It's been 10 years since I graduated from law school, and I'm still working 80- and 90-hour weeks to make ends meet. Am I doing something wrong?

That all depends on how you define the word “wrong.” In the opinion of many so-called experts, including—one suspects—more than a few Supreme Court justices, you're doing exactly the right thing: you have made the law your “mistress” to which you have devoted all your waking hours. Of course you're spending 16 hours a day at the office; that's what lawyers are supposed to do!

However, it's one thing to spend your life in the office and rake in tons of money (though that's not all it's cracked up to be, given the sacrifices you're making). It's quite another thing to put in those brutal hours and make what you consider a “subsistence” living. If you genuinely can't shave a few hours from your work week for fear of not making the rent, yes, you are doing something wrong.

The fact is that lawyers—at all stages of their careers—need to learn how to work smarter, not harder.

It's very easy to yield to the received wisdom and resign yourself to toiling non-stop until the day you die, and to accepting every client that walks through your door. It takes a lot more courage to step back for a moment, weigh the situation, and question whether that “the law is a jealous mistress” mantra really makes sense given the economic realities that prevail today. Other lawyers—including your own partners—may accuse you of slacking off if you pare back your hours; you have to realize that this is their problem, and not yours.

At Great Legal Marketing, we know that successful lawyers spend their time, money, and resources intelligently, and make room for other things in life (like having a family). Questions? Call our innovative legal marketing experts today at 888-791-2150 to find out what we can do for you!

Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.