Legal Career Resources

Set and Keep Priorities Where Your Job Is Not Number One
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Summary: Keeping a set of priorities with health at the forefront is the only thing that will help an attorney stay successful during their career.

Read How to Not Fail, Die or Go Crazy Practicing Law to learn more.


It doesn’t take much for an attorney to reach their break point when practicing at a large law firm. IT also doesn’t take much for an attorney to be happy and successful so that is difference between to two. Harrison Barnes gives the run down on how attorneys can prevent themselves from reaching that point of despair by setting and keeping a set of priorities in their life.

Attorneys struggle with issues such as substance abuse, health problems, divorce rates, emotional instability, and more at higher rates than any other profession. These attorneys have not figured out how to play the game yet and are missing the parts of life that hold their career together.

Read 10 Mistakes Attorneys Make That Kill Their Careers.

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It all boils down to the priorities that attorneys set for themselves and how they manage their priorities. Placing energy in the wrong pot not only kills their career but as Barnes explains is a “soul-killer and even a life-killer.” Unless an attorney figures out how to channel their energy in a positive direction, they will get pulled in too many directions and will lose.

Attorneys that end up giving up do so because they made their career their number one priority. They ignored family, friends, and their happiness. The stress of placing all their eggs in one bucket – worried about cases, “missing deadlines, getting fired, not advancing” – exhausts attorneys so much that they have nothing left to give to their spouses, families, passions, interests, and life in general. Everything they are gets consumed by work.

Health should be the number one priority. A healthy attorney will be happy, have more energy for work, and will then have more energy leftover for their family. The number two priority should be your career with the third priority being family, friends, and a personal life. The happiest and most successful in the long run are attorneys that place a top priority on their health – psychological and physical.

See Going In-house Is Career Suicide for Good Attorneys.

Career must come before family because being a successful attorney at a top law firm is still a competitive job. If they don’t keep up, they will be fired and be unable to get another job as a successful attorney that can support their family.

Even though family, friends, and personal interests are the third priority, they are still a priority that needs to be addressed. Completely ignoring these things will alienate an attorney so that they no longer have any motivation to keep working hard.

Create a way of making sure you maintain these priorities. Set aside time each day to exercise and never compromise on it. Plan ahead to prepare healthy meals or snacks so that you are not tempted to grab the unhealthy food from the vending machine at meal times. Make the most of your circumstance so that it works for you.

Do you think health should be a top priority for everyone? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about the struggles attorneys have with substance abuse, read Attorneys & Crystal Meth.




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