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Work/Life Balance

To All the Law Students Who I have Loved (or Just Liked a Bit)

I write a lot about work/life balance, mental health, and the pursuit of things other than money in the legal profession.

My wife (and lawyer) Maureen McKay has laughed at me about this (among other things.) She has said, “Murray, if any of the young people who you counsel to pursue a balanced lifestyle were to have applied to your firm back when you were hiring Associates and talked about working reasonable hours and reserving evenings and weekends for their families, you would not have hired them.”

She’s right. But, in my defense, it’s complicated.

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Work/Life Balance

Money, Money, Money

“I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too.”

Steve Martin

I like money as much as the next guy. Actually, I like money much more than I like the next guy.  

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Work/Life Balance

Figures Don’t Lie…

The following recent headline in Law360 caught my attention: “Law360 Canada Pulse survey shows strong satisfaction among lawyers with their jobs.”

Although I love Law360 and think very highly of their writers, the headline took me aback because it does not ring true with my lived experience or what I am hearing from the trenches.

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Work/Life Balance

The Ethics of Dictating Work Ethic

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Later he kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden and decreed that from that date forward, people would have to work very, very hard, just to survive.

From then until recently, if you chose Law as your profession, you did not have to read much further into the Bible to understand what was expected of you.

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Work/Life Balance

They Care… in Their Spare Time

The other day my wife, Maureen, told me about a friend who was complaining that his busy adult children do not call him very often.  Her friend asked Maureen, “Don’t they care about their dad?”  To which Maureen replied, “they care… in their spare time.”

Maureen had it exactly right. Busy people tend to focus on the issues in their life that require their immediate attention. They put the things that they can take for granted aside to worry about when they can find the time.

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Work/Life Balance

There is More to Life than Hard Work

I was a socialist at age twenty. I went to law school because I wanted to help the poor and the oppressed. By the time that I was thirty I was a business lawyer. Stuff like that happens to people.

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Work/Life Balance

Slow Death by Normal Crazy

There is currently a great deal of talk about mental health issues in the legal profession. It remains to be seen whether the profession will finally take mental health seriously, or whether the topic is simply the ‘flavour of the month’ and useful material for recruiting and marketing. 

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Work/Life Balance

Of Boomers and Beemers

“It just doesn’t matter.” 

Bill Murray in Meatballs

I am a Boomer who never owned a Beemer. The best that I ever did was a Honda Accord and I had to make my way through a Chevy Citation, Dodge Aries, and a couple of Pontiacs to get that far.

I had a few partners who owned Beemers.  They all said that they bought them because they liked how they drove, but we all knew the truth.  What they really liked was how they looked in them.  Successful and well-off.

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Work/Life Balance

Justifiable Paranoia – Nothing New Under the Sun

“All of this has happened before. All of this will happen again.”

Battlestar Galactica, Peter Pan, and Ecclesiastes 1:9

It is not often that I quote the Bible, but when the Bible is validated by both Peter Pan and Battlestar Galactica, it has to be right.

In 1994, which may as well be back before the beginning of recorded history as far as people entering law school now are concerned, the Los Angeles Times ran an article written by Amiram Elwork under the following title, “‘Justifiable Paranoia’ Afflicts Lawyers, Psychologist Says.”

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Work/Life Balance

Act Your Wage

Veronica is my Gen Z stepdaughter. She knows a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff and is not shy to educate me on just about everything.

Most recently Veronica taught me the expression ‘Act Your Wage’ and then explained to me what it means.