When you got a J.D. and passed the bar and became a special unique snowflake, you also joined a profession notorious for long hours. How else are you going to render excellent client service while paying off those student loans, not to mention get rich?

But if Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, can leave the office by 5:30 pm most days, why can’t lawyers get a handle on their work hours?

Home for Dinner with the Kids

Freedom from Want

Jessica Stillman, writing for Inc. Magazine, quotes Sandberg:

I walk out of this office every day at 5:30 so I’m home for dinner with my kids at 6:00, and interestingly, I’ve been doing that since I had kids. I did that when I was at Google, I did that here, and I would say it’s not until the last year, two years, that I’m brave enough to talk about it publicly. Now I certainly wouldn’t lie, but I wasn’t running around giving speeches on it.

It’s hard to believe that too many lawyers outside of BigLaw are chained to their desks, busier than Sandberg. (And she’s on the so-called “mommy track,” to boot, leaving her vulnerable to criticism from male counterparts.)

Full disclosure: I’ve never been a full-time lawyer with a full caseload or full time lawyer work hours, but I do work for a living, and know the difference between a day spent procrastinating messing around on the Internet and a day spent being productive.

So maybe I’m full of it. But I don’t think so.

If you’re struggling with figuring out the right work-life balance for you, visit our portal to learn more about how to create a lawyer lifestyle that best fits you.

Originally published 2013.02.11. Last updated 2019.03.18