You’ll all be well versed to many of my complaints about working in the legal profession by now. Besides for the obvious day to day politics there are other things that make whatever you’re doing a part of your life. When you’re involved in legal disputes, they become your life. There is no longer a night where you can go home and relax by the television. No. Relaxation no longer exists.
When you’re a lawyer your life becomes about the case you’re working on. This is at least my experience. It’s incredibly rare that a single second will go by where I don’t think about the case I am currently working on. I am sure there are many lawyers out there that can echo this and perhaps sympathize with me. And then, I am sure there are others that can’t even begin to understand this. To those I want to say – I envy you. Teach us your methods. Please. I beg of you. It’s ironic actually that the same people that are reporting about increasing suicides among lawyers are the ones leaving us so stressed. Our cases are often highly publicized in the media and even when they’re not, they become the focus of someones life for that time.
This does have one advantage however. When the case is finally over, when a verdict has finally been reached, I can breathe a collective sigh of relief with other members my legal party. When the case does run into conflicts, such as the jury being unable to reach a verdict or there being some unforeseen event, the stress again piles on. The only time I truly have a break from the stress is the short amount of time between when a verdict is reached for the current case I am working on, and the time before starting another one.
And then the next case hits me and it happens all over again. Sometimes the anxiety this creates is exhilarating. I feel like there really are people depending on my skills as a legal professional to save their lives. And then other times, this anxiety is overwhelming. It can be extremely difficult to concentrate on anything other than the case in front of me, and sometimes this also works against me. I guess this is a personal fault more than anything. I am an all or nothing kind of guy. I either want to invest 100% of my time into the case I’m working on or I want to be working on something else.
To be honest, if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I haven’t taken a proper break in years. I’m really tired. I am starting to become resentful of having to deal with other peoples problems when my own continue to exist, however I’m not exactly sure how to go about properly tackle this issue in my life. Do I reduce my 80 hour working week? This would be incredibly difficult to do when you work as your own boss. There really is no one else to pick up the work.
I will say that the case I’m currently working on is a pretty clear cut one. Obviously confidentiality applies, but I don’t have someone expecting miracles. This is refreshing in a profession that seems to believe the more money you spend, the better your case will be. Although this does ring true it’s also one of the things I dislike about the legal profession. People believe that the law is black and white but the very existence of our court system gives evidence to the contrary. Good lawyers know this and this is how they win.
I’d love to hear from others that are working in the legal field and fail to detach from their work when they’re at home. It may make me feel less alone. Although I’m succeeding in my professional life, sometimes I really do feel like I’m failing in my personal life. Conversely I would also like to hear from those of you that work as lawyers and yet are able to detach themselves from work and home. What is your secret? Is there a magic formula that I am somehow missing?
I’ll update everyone about how the current case I’m working on pans out when it’s okay to reveal more details. Until now I’ll look forward to the verdict. Hopefully then I’ll be relieved of some of this stress.