Is there room for personal life in the legal industry? We believe there is and we practice what we preach!
Last week, Helsingin Sanomat published an article in HS Visio about inhumane and lengthy work days in the legal industry and investment banking. This article triggered intense conversations in some social media platforms and again brought to the limelight the challenges of the working time issues and employee well-being in big law firms. Many feel that the workload of lawyers, especially younger ones, is simply too big and lawyers are just expected to cope with it because that is how the industry works. This approach, if true, surely takes its toll and may in worst cases lead to severe consequences to the lawyers concerned. It also paints quite gruesome picture of the industry, comparing the work of lawyers to present day sweat shops. Is this something that we really want?
Well-being of our lawyers and other office staff is extremely important to us and employee satisfaction has long since been the corner stone of our law firm’s strategy. We truly think that even in the legal industry, life is not just about work. We all have our life outside the office, be it family, friends, hobbies or other leisure time activities. We all should equally have the right to enjoy them. Hence, we measure all of our lawyers’ working time, not just the billable hours. In other words, in our law firm, we actually apply the Working Hours Act to our associate lawyers. This is the promise we have made to all of our employees. We have made it because we care about our employees and our clients. In our books, the way to serve our clients with the highest of standards and to meet their expectations, is when our employees are at their best. To ensure this, we aim to make sure our employees have enough time to recover.
We have been forerunners of this for quite some time now by building a company culture that allows employees to have life outside of the office. For example, we have just recently updated our internal policies regarding how we work, with special attention to the monitoring of working time to ensure that our lawyers also balance the workload with shorter workdays or with days off. This has been communicated to them as well to make the system transparent. Our employees have the right to expect fair and sustainable working time.
We would also like to encourage all the actors in the field to act responsibly towards their employees and stakeholders. Together we can make the life in the legal industry better than it already is.
Happy lawyers make happy clients.