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Tips to avoid burnout as a young lawyer

Lawyers starting out in their careers commonly experience long hours and stress. What can millennial lawyers do to mitigate the risk of burning out?

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Topic: Investing

Seventy-hour working weeks, catnaps at the desk and weekends in the office: sound familiar?

Calls from the legal community to the LawCare Helpline rose 12 % in 2016, with workplace stress caused by long, anti-social or inflexible hours the most common issues for callers​.

Burnout is a common affliction for young lawyers eager to please and establish themselves at the firm. The heady mix of ambition, perfectionism and anxiety is a perfect recipe for an unhealthy work-life balance.

It could be the reason why 32% of lawyers, earning over £50,000, are applying for non-legal roles, but addressing underlying work-life balance issues doesn’t have to mean leaving the job you love.

Opportunities abroad

Opportunities overseas for young British lawyers are growing, particularly in Asia, the Middle East and Australia​. Hong Kong, Sydney and Dubai are popular destinations.

While an international move allows you to experience different cultures and explore new locations, many lawyers are also making the move overseas to take advantage of tax benefits or get their evenings back. In Hong Kong for instance, the average commute for lawyers is less than 15 minutes. 

Embrace technology

Digital overload and an endless stream of digital distractions are often seen as a primary trigger for serious workplace disengagement, but that same technology can also help young lawyers looking to stay afloat during the first act of their legal career. A study conducted by the University of North Carolina School of Law found that putting new technology in place would result in an estimated 13% decline in lawyers’ hours.

Getting to grips with mobile document automation and matter management systems is just the start – anyone considering a long-term career in the legal sector needs to learn how they can use Artificial Intelligence to do the heavy lifting too.

Lawyers slow to adopt this new technology may not only find themselves struggling with ever increasing workloads but also fall out of step with what is looking like the decade of disruption.

Outsource other decisions where possible

Young lawyers are not often quick to acknowledge when they’re overwhelmed and therefore not quick to ask for help when they need it, but being willing to delegate is a skill that you should start practicing as soon as possible.

This applies not just to your professional life but also your personal life. Don’t let your life admin become another source of stress. Outsourcing important financial decisions, for example, is becoming easier with new online services.

Funding your next chapter

Wherever you are heading next, now is a good time to be thinking about how you will fund your future. If you have disposable income, investing could help facilitate a move overseas or even set up your own business in the next five years or so.

Try our investment calculator now to see how quickly your investments could grow.

All investment carries risk and it is important you fully understand these risks and are willing to accept them. You may get back less than you invested. The information contained in this article does not constitute advice and the information referred to may not be the same for all, therefore we strongly recommend you seek professional guidance from your independent advisor before taking any action.

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    Posted: 12th December 2017

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    Posted: 12th December 2017

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