After nearly 18 months of working from home offices and kitchen tables, it has become clear that remote work is a new reality for the legal profession.
Yes, lawyers are returning to the office at a higher rate than many other professionals — as of August, occupancy rates for law firms are back up to 56%, compared with 34% of companies nationwide. But thanks to technology, in-office work is no longer a must-have for many firms, and many lawyers now bristle at the thought. More than four-fifths (83%) of millennial lawyers say it’s very important for their law firm to have work-from-home options.
While this newfound flexibility can support varied work styles, improve work-life balance and even increase productivity, it also introduces fresh challenges for the legal profession. In May 2021, 37% of lawyers reported feeling depressed, up from 31% in 2019, and 71% experienced anxiety, up from 64% in 2019. Like everyone in our communities, lawyers aren’t immune from the effects of isolation, burnout and an uncertain future.
At Smokeball, we know these issues affect your world and your specific practice every day. That’s why we’re focusing our September communications on supporting your life as a Healthy Remote Lawyer, covering topics like stress management, setting healthy client boundaries and asking for the help you need. And on Friday Sept. 24, lawyer-turned-psychotherapist Chelsy Castro, JD, MA, MSW, LCSW, shares her perspective and answers questions on working from home in a free CLE webinar.
Smokeball is here to support your practice, no matter the month. We welcome your feedback on topics and features that could make your job easier. Below are some additional recommended resources: