No one goes to law school out of a deep love of paperwork (no, not even transactional lawyers). But the practice of law often includes some undesirable tasks, and many of those fall firmly in the administrative realm.
Some degree of administrative tasks will always exist. At least the billable ones offer financial support to your practice. But there are all sorts of things lawyers and law firms need to do just to maintain their businesses that are exhausting and, honestly, can make even the best lawyers lose some passion for law.
The dream (and the reality)
Attorneys decide to enter the legal profession for a number of reasons, but many pursue a law degree because they have a legitimate passion for law. They may want to change the world—or at least a small corner of it.
But a legal career is much more than just lofty ideals and understanding the theory of law. Especially for solo practitioners or small law firms, a law practice involves a lot more than, well, just practicing law. Client acquisition, intake, and communication can take up a huge chunk of time, and it doesn’t contribute directly to the bottom line. And while this may seem like the cost of doing business, it’s also time-consuming and potentially overwhelming.
Even more than that, it can lead to professional burnout and a loss of passion for law.
Rediscovering your passion for law
The minutia of running a business doesn’t have to get in the way of your job satisfaction. Here are a few ways to foster (or reignite) your passion for law:
- Develop a reflective mindset. Yes, this sounds a bit out there, but bear with me. Taking even five minutes at the beginning or end of the day to reflect on how things are going can help you see patterns in your practice and your life. Are there common stumbling blocks? What can you do to minimize them? It’s hard to fix what you can’t see, so take a little time each day to reflect on what’s working well and what’s not.
- Involve yourself with legal organizations and other lawyers. Your bar association may be a good starting point for this, but it’s definitely not the only option. Look for conferences that spur your interest and include presentations that speak to why you chose the legal profession in the first place. The connections you make at these sorts of events can be as invaluable as the presentations themselves. Look for people who have the same professional values as you do.
- Make time for a little joy in your day. I know—with what time? When you’re losing your passion for your profession, the last thing you have time for is fun. But even five or ten minutes carved out to do something you really love can make a difference. So make the time to do something that recharges you as an individual.
- Hire help. This is the big one—the secret to giving yourself more time in the day. If you hate the day-to-day administrative tasks of running a practice, hire someone else to do them. Of course, it’s not always feasible to hire someone full-time, especially when you’re just establishing yourself. Luckily, there are other options. Virtual legal receptionists and virtual legal assistants are surprisingly affordable options. Look for a company that specializes in the legal sphere to ensure that you don’t have to spend precious time teaching them about industry practices and standards.
Ready for a break?
If you’re ready to reclaim your time (and your passion for law), we can help. Back Office Betties helps you grow your law firm with virtual receptionists and legal assistants. Contact us today to see how we can help you.