A friend of mine thought I was spending too much time working and not enough time playing and he posted the following comment on my Facebook page:
Work/Life = balance?It made me think. Now I know that both Brian Tannebaum and Scott Greenfield have written about this on numerous occasions but I figured I'd add my two cents to the conversation.
In a perfect world there would be much to gain by balancing work and fun. But we don't live in a perfect world. If you've got a 9-to-5 job working for someone else then you can probably leave your work at the office and get to it the next day you show up to work. Hell, if you're a transactional lawyer you can get away with it.
I know it's a strain at home when I'm spending my weekends and nights at the office. It's not an easy task to raise two girls by yourself because your husband is working 60+ hours a week. Today would've been a great day to fire up the smoker and do a rack of ribs or a couple of chickens. It was a beautiful morning to cut the grass - or to till up the soil for this spring's garden.
But, if you found yourself before a jury facing criminal charges, would you want a lawyer defending you who is working with his life coach on how to balance the demands of work and home or would you want the lawyer who will spend every waking minute looking for the best way to handle every situation that might arise during trial?
I can be a real bear while I'm in trial. I'm short with people, I'm distant and I don't have any patience. Don't try to get between my client and me during trial. There's no room there and it's going to end badly.
No, I don't even attempt to balance work and home when I'm in trial. Does that make me a lousy husband and a bad father for a few days here and there? Probably.
Defending your constitutional rights and civil rights is not a 9-to-5 job. It's a commitment that takes a lot of time, a lot of energy and, in the end, doesn't always pay all that well. It's what I do and I'm damn proud of it.
Next weekend I can fire up the smoker and work in the yard. Right now I've got more important things to do.