Any lawyer will attest that their profession requires a certain level of time commitment and work ethic. Television shows and movies, such as How to Get Away with Murder, Counsellor at Law, and Liar Liar, often push the stereotype that lawyers are workaholics and prioritize their careers above all. The media commonly portrays the character of a lawyer as only caring about achieving professional accomplishments while putting loved ones and personal interests on the back burner, believing that total dedication to their job is the only route to success. Real-life attorneys are indeed dedicated to their work, but do they honestly ever have time to enjoy a personal life?
Matthew Cambó is a Florida family law attorney who was recently recognized for his unique diligence while serving clients by Best Lawyers in America 2022. He says that lawyers who want to have a profitable career while also living a healthy home life can do just that with the proper practices and approaches. Cambó offers two simple steps to help attorneys reach the goal of work-life balance by learning to prioritize.
2 Simple Steps To Help Attorneys Reach The Goal Of Work-Life Balance:
Step 1: Define Personal Definition of Work-Life Balance
Each individual is different, including their perspective on what work-life balance entails. A work-life balance might mean a daily commitment to balancing work, family, and hobbies for some, and for others, it might mean making sure to have one day of the week off from going into the office or answering work calls and emails. One’s idea of the balance between life and work can also be motivated by obtaining specific financial goals or workplace settings, which is why the common misconception of Big Law attorneys being workaholics often comes into play. Lawyers who work for some of the nation’s largest law firms, also known as “Big Law” firms, tend to work longer hours but are able to find work-life balance as their firm offers an immense amount of flexibility that seems to exist less in smaller firm environments. The feeling of being overworked and stressed comes with various levels of tolerance depending on the person, which is why the image of work-life balance can uniquely fit an individual’s vision of it. Before implementing any strategies, an attorney should genuinely picture what defines personal work-life balance, which comes down to recognizing personal values and priorities.
Step 2: Set Boundaries
According to the University of Buffalo School of Law, setting rigid boundaries can lead to a greater chance of balance between work and life. After identifying personal values and essential commitments, it is time to make room for all priorities. Setting boundaries between when it is time to work and when to balance other areas of life allows for a lack of overlap where work takes away from those other priorities such as time spent with family and friends or enhancing mental health. Boundaries are going to look different for everyone. They could involve not answering phone calls during a child’s basketball game, not looking at emails every Saturday, or only working specific hours, from nine in the morning to six at night. These lines in the sand essentially block off and prioritize the personal time that equates to work-life balance.
Matthew Cambó is an associate attorney with Leinoff & Lemos, P.A. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America 2022 due to his exceptional focus on serving clients in family law matters. Mr. Cambó has a degree in Political Science and a J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law. He is licensed to practice in Florida and is a member of the Family Law and Young Lawyers sections of the Florida Bar.