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Break The Catch-up Cycle: How Attorneys Can Work Smart!

Updated: Jun 27

Break The Catch-up Cycle: How Attorneys Can Work Smart!

Break The Catch-up Cycle: How Attorneys Can Work Smart!

The legal profession is well-known for its demanding work schedules. This raises the question: what are the typical working hours for attorneys, and how do these extended workweeks impact their well-being and professional performance?

Exploring the work-life balance of a professional in the legal industry, the traditional concept of a "workweek" (40 hours) for an Attorney does not exist. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that many lawyers, particularly those in private practice or large firms, routinely surpass the standard 40-hour workweek.

The demanding nature of legal practice—encompassing billable hours, client management, court appearances, and case preparation—often necessitates extended work weeks. While these demands are understandable, a culture of overwork can lead to burnout, negatively impacting a lawyer's well-being.

  • A staggering 86% of lawyers, according to the 2022 Legal Trends Report, work beyond the standard workday.

  • This translates to a significant portion of lawyers putting in late nights.

  • The report also highlights a subset of lawyers who work extremely long hours, with 11% admitting to working after 10 p.m.

The long hours associated with legal practice stem from a multitude of factors which can include:

  • Demanding Workloads: Lawyers juggle a variety of time-consuming tasks, such as case preparation, client management, and court appearances.

  • Client and Peer Pressure: Both clients and peers can exert pressure for lawyers to be available and responsive outside of standard working hours.

  • Billable Hour Requirements: In some law firms, compensation is tied to the number of hours billed to clients, incentivizing longer workweeks.

However, this is perhaps the most concerning fact that we at Assistants4Hire uncovered: 

“According to the 2020 Legal Trends Report, lawyers spend about 30% of their day on billable work, which suggests that approximately 70% of their time could be spent on non-billable activities. This indicates a significant portion of a lawyer's workday is dedicated to tasks that do not directly generate revenue, such as administrative duties, client management, and other non-billable work.” [The National Law Review]

And finally, Data from the 2018 Legal Trends Report reveals a concerning trend: 77% of lawyers work beyond standard business hours to “catch up.” 

This suggests that current workflows may not be optimized for efficiency. Without implementing more efficient systems, lawyers may find themselves perpetually "catching up" on uncompleted tasks.

We at Assistants4Hire have compiled MANY compelling reasons why Attorney would benefit from the specialized services of Virtual Assistants like the team behind Assistants4Hire:

We assure you of guaranteed results with no extra work on your own plate when you decide to work with Virtual Assistants who specialize in supporting Attorneys and Law Firms. We understand the need for professionalism and urgency. Most importantly, eliminate the need for extra hours and the dreaded catch-up cycle.


If you're looking for expert help in your field, learn more at our website:

Written by Tatum De Souza


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