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Health & Medicine

How to Reduce Stress in the Work of a Lawyer

— April 9, 2021

Combining physical and mental activity will help you maintain balance and relieve stress.

According to the U.S. News and World Report’s list of the Most Stressful Jobs, only being a surgeon is more stressful than being a lawyer. High depression, alcohol abuse, and even suicide attempt rates, reported by American Bar Association, prove the point. The problem incurs not only in the US law domain: Yuri Zachek, a former partner at Deloitte & Legal Director for Eastern Europe, Russia, and CIS at Accenture reports the same.

That makes you consider switching to coding, like the son of your mum’s friend did, right? Well, creating fancy new software is a good thing, but legal services are always in demand. There invariably will be wrongfully convicted who need your help urgently or startups that could really use your advice. The world would be a terrible place if lawyers went extinct, so we’ve prepared some tips on making your lives more relaxed and manageable.

1. Contract management

Remembering all the dates, key clauses of agreements, names may be overwhelming. You may relieve your mind a bit by managing a contract database and notifications. Instead of constantly forcing your mind not to forget everything, the legal document software will remember everything for you and remind you about events on time. 

2. Life is not all about law

Well, in some sense, life is all about law. But let’s not get into philosophy right now. Spending time with your friends & family, or just resting while embracing your hobby, is usual advice to fight stress. However, here is an additional tip: try combining your hobby with your work if you feel like just resting is not productive. For example, if you like programming in your spare time – try creating a chatbot for your business. Such a project would be useful both for your business and your hobby.

3. Sport

Legal work is all about using your brainpower. Getting your mind tired is one of the most common causes of depression. That explains the spread of it nowadays: smart-watches, phones, and other gadgets continually remind you about business. And if that was not enough, social media feeds people with various success stories that persuade you to push yourself even harder.

Gym equipment. Image via Flickr/uesr:Skngov. (CCA_BY-2.0).

Combining physical and mental activity will help you maintain balance and relieve stress. American Psychological Association published a thorough and easy-to-read article about that.

4. Automation 

Business prosperity means income increase, and income increase correlates with the number of services you provide. New clients bring new tasks, while your regular clients require legal advice as well. The truth is, the longer you work in the law business – the more extended your list of tasks gets. Sure, you can hire yourself an army of paralegals to fill templates, manage contract databases and meetings scheduled manually. But at the end of the day, it won’t help: instead of one tired lawyer, you will get a bunch of them.

Automation of repetitive tasks would be far more effective. Legal software can help you with assignments that revolve around US law and/or foreign law. AI-based solutions can highlight key points of the agreement, format the document correctly, propose edits, and even analyze clauses. Imagine how less stressful and depressing legal work would be with such tools!

5. HR Management

The software will make your life easier for sure, but it probably won’t cover everything. That’s accurately when the Human Development department must come into play. Finding new employees and interviewing them does not cover the full list of HR’s responsibilities. Great HR has to monitor the well-being of employees, check if a specific practice/department requires new workers. Depressed and tired employees won’t be productive at all. Remote work policies, vacation & overtime control will help with keeping co-workers happy.

6. Client Management

When you start your own business, you probably don’t have too many clients. But when you feel like you are overloaded right now, and hiring new employees/using legal software won’t help right now for some reason – it is time to prioritize. As Tim Ferris mentions in his Not-To-Do List, over-communication with low-profit & high-maintenance clients will drag you down. When the workload becomes unbearable – it is time to think about lessening the communication with less valuable clients.

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