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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Input for my next American Lawyer column: work life balance in a dismal economy

A Lawyer's Work is Never Done
Originally uploaded by chrisafer

If greed was good in the '80's, the overriding mood of early '09 seems to be quavering panic, at least in the legal profession. Above the Law's posts are dominated by layoffs (209 entries and counting), slashed salaries, withheld bonuses, bounced checks, and the incredible shrinking perk. Gordon Gecko's obnoxious wardrobe choices — and one can only assume accompanying attitudes — are making a comeback. Law students are scared to death to blog, and billable hours are eating work life balance for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — at their desk, of course.

It seems to me that going fetal in a down economy is "a bad choice" (as I would say to my son), and that innovating and distinguishing one's business methods and philosophies — fishing in a storm — are key to both short- and long-term survival.

Abandoning work life balance and career flexibility considerations in hard times strikes me as unwise and shortsighted. What do you think, and what do you see happening now and in the future?

[Update:] Further discussion spaces in Facebook at Law Students Building a Better Legal Profession and Women Lawyers — Back on Track.

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