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This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
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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.”