Balancing the Scales: A Young Attorney’s Guide to Excelling Personally and Professionally

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Young attorneys starting out in the legal industry receive warnings about long hours, stressful work environments, and strict deadlines. Regardless of whether an attorney starts their career as a law firm associate, in-house counsel, as a government lawyer or in the public interest sector, the expectations and pressure to succeed in each environment remains high. Young attorneys struggling to juggle personal and professional responsibilities may wonder if they can “do it all” like the senior attorneys at their job seem to be able to do.

The Young Lawyer Editorial Board, composed of 21 attorneys in the legal community, gathered some tips and advice that can help fellow attorneys take care of themselves so that they can continue to take care of their family as well as their clients. 

Find the Time to Exercise

Young lawyers often feel intense pressure to be available and online at all times. Do not be afraid to take an hour out of your day to “unplug” from work and exercise. 

You Get Time Off … Take It!

While it is important that supervisors know that you are available to help with assignments, even on short notice, it is equally as important not to take your vacation and other time for granted. A well-deserved vacation will make you a better lawyer in the long run.

Get a Pet, Get a Hobby, Get Perspective

When working long hours, it is easy to become overwhelmed and lose sight of what is really important. A pet or a new hobby can provide perspective through companionship or escape from the pressures at work.

Do Not Be Afraid to Delegate

Learn to prioritize work and personal responsibilities and recognize the power of delegation. This is something more senior attorneys have mastered. Whether it is delegating specific work tasks or involving family members in household chores, distributing responsibilities helps avoid burn-out and feeling overburdened. 

Are you interested in more advice about navigating work/life balance from The Young Lawyer Editorial Board?  Read more in this article.

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