The hours are long, the tasks are plentiful, and the stress is high. New lawyers often find themselves working 70+ hours a week for their first few years in practice. This can be attributed to the fact that there is no set work schedule and deadlines are not given. The key to successfully combat long hours is by setting up a good work-life balance. Here are some tips to help you combat long hours as a new lawyer.
1. Plan and schedule
It is vital that you plan your day and set a clear weekly agenda. This will help you bring a sense of order to the chaos in your life and help you prioritize and streamline your work. You don’t even need to invest in anything fancy. Your Apple, Google, Microsoft calendars — or even a simple handheld diary planner will do the trick. Law firm project management software programs like CoraLegal come packed with features specially targeted at managing and organizing legal work. Setting your schedule and sticking to your plans will go a long way in avoiding all too frequent bouts of long working hours. This will also give you a sense of accomplishment when you see that you have accomplished what you wanted before the time ran out.
2. Take small breaks
Taking breaks is essential for every professional. New lawyers are no different. However, taking breaks can be difficult when you’re in the middle of a case or working with deadlines looming. It’s important to understand the power of a break and how it can help you maintain productivity and focus on your work without getting overwhelmed. Small breaks can recharge your mind and clear your head. They can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, which will make it easier for you to focus on work at hand. Even just sitting on your desk for 10 minutes before returning to work will clear your mind and soft-reboot your cognitive system.
3. Legal software suites
It’s critical for new lawyers to use software products specially designed for lawyers to help them work long hours. Working long hours is a necessary part of being a new lawyer. Many successful lawyers and law firms are now using legal software suites such as CoraLegal to help them stay productive and save time. Along with being a legal document management software, CoraLegal also offers a suite of tools such as case management, collaboration tools, document management, e-discovery and more to help reduce costs, save time and increase productivity.
4. Set healthy boundaries
New lawyers are expected to be on-call at all hours and work long hours, even before they start. This can be difficult for new lawyers who need to balance their time, but it’s important that new lawyers learn how to make the most of their time and not just focus on the work. Eating healthy and being well-rested will further ensure that you have the energy to slog through long hours whenever required.
5. Use technology to your advantage
The legal profession is a large industry with an even bigger workforce. Lawyers rely on a variety of tools to increase their productivity and save time. One tool that many lawyers use is the cloud-based document management system. These systems allow lawyers to access documents from anywhere, which can easily increase workflow efficiency. All firms, big and small, use law firm accounting software and automatic redaction tools, along with other services to streamline the legal process and navigate through law compliance requirements.
Get started today with a trusted platform that will streamline and increase your productivity. CoraLegal is the number one platform for legal professionals and firms looking to scale their business. Visit CoraLegal to start your free 30-day trial and schedule a complimentary demo with a product expert.