How Much is Enough?

I accumulated some money practicing law. Not as much as I may have put away if I had practiced on Bay Street. Less than I would have held onto if I had not had a domestic reorganization. Not quite as much as I would have had if I had not made a few stupid financial decisions along the way. But, all in all, a tidy sum which should see me through my retirement in fairly good style if do not do anything stupid, get sick in an expensive way that is not covered by government health insurance or make any more dumb investments.

I have friends who have a lot more. They have bigger houses, fancier cars and more toys, and they travel more frequently and to more expensive destinations. Does this make them happier?

Yes, it does.

I really should have worked harder. And you should stop reading this nonsense and put in a few more billable hours.

Law Firm Management

What If?

Many of us think that the legal profession is broken, because too many lawyers are stressed out and miserable. Law firms are throwing money at the problem. Apparently unsuccessfully. A few brave souls are attempting to start solo practices or small firms which operate on different, and more humane and sustainable principles. But apart from that, the profession seems to be lurching along as it always has and continuing to chew up, and sometimes spit out, those lawyers who are determined to have a life outside of practicing law.

People I Met Practicing Law

People I Met Practicing Law Episode Seven: The Super Star

Let me tell you about a real person, whose real name is not Emily.

Emily is a superstar. She does it all and has been doing it all for an awfully long time.

Work/Life Balance

Game Over

I met Maria when she landed her first job as an associate at a medium sized law firm in the Toronto area.  She was capable, intelligent, and eager to learn.  However, just how hard lawyers work in law firms seemed to catch her by surprise. I guess that they don’t tell you about that in law school.

There is a steep learning curve in the area of law in which Maria commenced her practice.  A great deal of training takes place in the first year or two, after which a good associate will hit their stride and become downright useful.  Maria was a good associate.  She persevered and right on schedule as she approached her second anniversary at the firm, Maria was becoming downright productive.

As often seems to happen, just as she was becoming valuable to her firm, Maria chose to leave. She departed for greener pastures just shy of her third anniversary at the firm.

Work/Life Balance

A Feminist Rant from an Old White Guy

Erin Durant of Durant Barristers recently posted the following on LinkedIn:

“A pain point for women who create firms is the narrative that they have quit rather than have built something. I did not quit my practice. I took my practice and built something better for my clients. I agree with a mentor who says that male founders do not face that assumption.”