London Lawyers, Like Americans, Struggle for Work-Life Balance
Posted Jun 26, 2007 7:24 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
London used to be considered by many a kinder, gentler place for lawyers to work than comparable American cities. But seemingly successful attorneys there are leaving the profession, too, and efforts are underway to find out why and improve work-life balance.
Some of the reasons may include endless workdays, lunch eaten "on the hoof" and no social life except for events focused on client development, one anonymous former big-firm London lawyer tells the BBC.
"As one climbs the greasy pole, it is desperately sad to see the effects this has on individuals and their families as we struggle to prove ourselves--divorces, family breakdowns, addiction and other mental health problems, even suicides," this lawyer says.
Opting to move to another job and become a solicitor in the hope that this would help her "make a real difference to clients' lives," she remains disillusioned. "I have come to realise that it is nothing like that--it is all about ego, money and soulless, ruthless commercialism and exploitation, invariably at the personal expense of those working for the true 'Fat Cats,' " she says. "It is every man for himself, hang the consequences."