Web Week

The Lawyer’s Web Week is a weekly commentary on legal activity on the web. This includes an overview of the best of the week’s blogs. If you want to direct us to useful links, email webweek@thelawyer.com.

Stressed clout

A shout to our friends at Above the Law (www.abovethelaw.com) for putting us on to Sweet Hot Justice (www. sweethotjustice.com), a US blog that gives an “entertaining inside look at Big Law” for those “reading this at 2am from an office the size of a crouton wondering why you went to law school”.

One post describes the author’s first intervention, made by a senior associate “dispatched to talk to me about my ­billable hours as they were higher than anyone else’s and it was the firm’s ­policy to ‘touch base’ with anyone whose hours fell outside of the billable bell curve – on either end.

“The associate explained the hypothetical importance of ­drawing boundaries after asking if ­anyone had ‘forced’ me to keep such a high pace – of course not! That string of hundred-hour weeks was absolutely, hands-down 100 per cent my own choice. Sleep, sex, ­sanity? Pass! – she sat me down and gave me the firm-sanctioned recommendation for how to handle too much stress.

“‘You know,’ she ­lowered her voice almost conspiratorially, ‘if you’ve been working non-stop and maybe you haven’t slept, or maybe you’re, you know, about to lose it, you can always just…’

“I leaned forward, waiting to hear the ­obvious: take a nap, take a shower, take a personal day. What I didn’t expect was: ‘Go take a short walk around the block.’

“So there you have it. When working torture-camp hours is starting to break you, when you’re one ­billable minute away from slicing your wrists, don’t go home, don’t go to a bar, don’t go to a ­hooker. Just… go take a walk! And then go back to work.”