Are you committing fraud if you attempt to balance your legal life with your “living” life?

Posted on 06-05-2013 by
Tags: Trending News & Topics , work-life balance

When people tell you that a lawyer’s work-life balance is a fraud and a myth (e.g., ABA President Laurel Bellows), what they’re telling you is that they’ve opted for the fraud/myth. It’s an option to let your life depreciate while working a lawyer’s long hours. If you’re doing this, you’ve opted for the Shakespeare route – you’ve chosen “a plague on both your houses.”  

Consider these other frauds/myths that have an opt-out:

Maybe it’s simplistic to mention these examples, but the point is, you don't have any hard set “life rules” in your career universe. I’m an example – I’ve worked full time as a home-based, legal editor for 13 years, and in that time, I doubled as a stay-at-home dad. Fraud and myth said that I couldn’t do it. But I opted-out in favor of diaper changes and trips to the pediatrician.  

So, I invite you to answer the question:  Is it a fraud to assert that because you call yourself a "lawyer," you have to forfeit your non-lawyer life?


James Peiser
James Peiser
Posted on : 10 Jun 2013 6:10 PM

I don't think so - even if you don't have children.

Travis Burchart
Travis Burchart
Posted on : 10 Jun 2013 6:28 PM

I agree, though there are some who think imbalance is inseparable from the practice of law. It's a personal choice, exclusive of occupation. As the husband of a teacher, I know there are some educators who choose to put in 50-60 hours a week.

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