Saturday, August 27, 2011

Work-Life Balance: Who’s Watching Out for Over-Worked Young Lawyers?

The Young Lawyers Board of the Legal Intelligencer has encouraged supervising lawyers to keep an eye on young lawyers who are working too hard and endangering their physical and emotional health:

We ask employers and law firms, supervisors and senior attorneys to consider a few questions: Are you monitoring the workload of your employees? How do your employees track and account for their time worked each month? If the monthly hours are entered via software, or even by hand, does the employyer have a work-flow coordinator reviewing these monthly hour-sheets for time management?

We imagine that most employers notice when a junior attorney has had an uncommonly light month; but do the employers notice the uncommonly high months? For those employers using a billable-hour format, how often do you review your employees' hourly totals? Monthly? Quarterly? Annually? Are you reviewing the totals often enough, and with enough context, to appreciate trends? Will your processes detect the chronically overtaxed attorney?

This editorial is worth your time. Is your  law school community looking out for students who are working too hard?


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