There's a provocative post over at Lawyerist entitled, "Being a Lawyer Doesn't Mean Long Hours." The author, Chris Bradley quotes someone quoting Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO, saying she goes home at 5:30 p.m. every day, and asks why lawyers can't do the same. The commenters mostly take Mr. Bradley to task for even suggesting such a thing, and I agree with them.
Here's my take. People talk about "work-life balance," but I find the best course is just to maximize everything. The most important thing to me, by far, is my family. Except for my clients, to whom I devote every waking moment. Of course, during the in between moments I must admit that all I care about is myself. And money. I contain multitudes, after all.
A day in my life is just the average day, I believe, in a lawyer's life. I awake before dawn to train with the ghost of Bruce Lee for four hours. I then pen letters to my children and tuck 'em underneath their pillows. Just as everyone gets up to eat the breakfast I've cooked for them, I head to the office. Today, for example, I checked in and started and finished the supreme court brief that was due today. Then it was off to the courthouse for a two-week trial (which I finished in one day). Over lunch I taught a six-hour CLE (three ethics credits). The afternoon was filled with client meetings. I had four clients scheduled for 2 pm, six clients scheduled for 3 pm, etc., all the way until 8 pm. After these meetings, I headed home at 5:00 pm, picked up the kids from daycare, and cooked dinner in time to have it waiting for my wife when she got home from work. After that I bathed the kids while leading seven conference calls with various clients simultaneously. I then read the Lord of the Rings trilogy (including the poems and songs) to the kids and put them down for the night. Next I made sweet love to my wife for three hours (cut it a little short because tomorrow is Valentine's Day, after all). After my wife fell asleep, it was off to my other family's house. I arrived there about 5:30 pm and was also able to cook dinner for them. Baths, all seven Harry Potter books, more sweet love.
Then I surfed the Internet for about 11 hours, daydreamed about the Badgers' recent win over Michigan, and had just a little time to do some blogging.
Nothing special, I admit—just making it work, like all lawyers do.