Can a lawyer have a “balanced” life?

Most people think that lawyers have “no life.” Being a lawyer is demanding, both in terms of skill and in terms of time spent working. Is there such a thing as a balanced life for lawyers? Is this a myth?

One law firm, Pittsburgh’s Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP believes it will get more from its lawyers by demanding less.

The eyes of other law firms will be on KLNG and other such firms to see if they remain economically viable while allowing/encouraging its lawyers to take time off, become involved in other interests and, in effect, have a life outside of the law firm.

Effective Jan. 1, Pittsburgh’s largest law firm is introducing “Balanced Hours,” a new firm-wide initiative intended to give its 1,000-plus lawyers greater flexibility through the use of reduced hours, telecommuting and variable workloads.

The goal is better retention, particularly of traditionally over-worked young associates.

“Retention is always a battle for law firms, no matter which one you’re in,” said Roslyn Pitts, a former lawyer who is coordinator of the Balanced Hours program. “Any time you can do something that will be good for your people and keep them here is ultimately good for clients.”


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