Most dissatisfied lawyers work longer hours and report more burnout
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Burnout and long hours appear to be making life miserable for the most dissatisfied lawyers.
Lawyers work an average of 53 hours per week, according to a Bloomberg Law survey of 1,554 law firm and in-house lawyers. The 6% of lawyers reporting the lowest job satisfaction work even longer hours, Bloomberg Law reports here and here.
In-house lawyers with the lowest job satisfaction scores worked an average of 60.9 hours per week, while law firm lawyers with the most dissatisfaction worked an average of 57.8 hours a week. The most satisfied lawyers, representing 59% of the total, worked about 11 hours less than their dissatisfied counterparts at in-house jobs and about four hours less at law firms.
Burnout is also a problem. The most dissatisfied lawyers said they feel burnout 74% of the time, on average, while satisfied lawyers feel burnout 28% of the time.
The COVID-19 pandemic is also hitting dissatisfied lawyers harder. Thirty-nine percent of dissatisfied lawyers said they experienced a major decrease in well-being as a result of the pandemic, and 71% reported less work-life balance. But only 7% of the most satisfied attorneys reported a major decrease in well-being, and 39% reported less work-life balance.
Looking at the other side of the coin, Bloomberg Law determined that lawyers reporting high job satisfaction are more likely to have more practice experience, to work in-house and to say they aren’t currently feeling burnout.