For more information about the harsh reality about practicing law, check out Harrison Barnes’ article here:
We’ve all heard the phrase, “worked to death,” but in practicing law, this may be exactly the case. Harrison Barnes, in the LawCrossing article that has gone viral, dives into the darker side of practicing law. In his words, “being an attorney can (literally) suck the life out of you.” Barnes’ piece is speaking to the hearts and minds of attorneys everywhere. Attorneys all over the world have suffered from the stress and misery that unfortunately correlate with success.
Fresh out of law school, attorneys are energetic and eager to fight for their clients and work their way up the ladder at their law firms. Barnes describes how reality sets in when they realize the life of an attorney is “sitting under fluorescent lights for 15 hours a day and [pounding] out a bunch of work for other people about matters you are personally not too concerned with.”
Why do attorneys slave away like this?
Barnes explains: for recognition, for a bonus, and to climb the partnership ladder. Even at the top, however, comes more work, and with that, remaining “handcuffed to a job.”
Eventually, the long hours take a toll on attorneys, and they may end up divorced, have a mental breakdown, or, like the attorney Barnes describes, dead.
Plenty of attorneys daydream about escaping the law, but the truth of the matter is, very few actually escape. It’s difficult when there’s a 4,000 hour billing requirement always lurking in the background.
However, what’s most important, Barnes emphasizes, is enjoying life, even your job. “If it’s not making you happy, you probably should not be doing it.”