Those at risk of ‘burnout’ can off-load tasks onto quieter peers
International law firm Pinsent Masons is trialling a new online marketplace which allows its lawyers to offer up their work to other colleagues.
The pilot, which launched several months ago, is part of a new work allocation programme spearheaded by the outfit’s construction advisory and disputes practice. It is now currently operating across 17 of the firm’s offices globally.
So how does it work? Well, trainees and associates who are swamped with work can look to their peers for assistance by posting tasks on Pinsent’s online system. In turn, colleagues with more time on their hands can peruse the marketplace and volunteer to complete the work, subject to partner approval.
“Like most law firms, on one hand we have individuals who are consistently putting in long hours, working at over 100% capacity and putting themselves in danger of burnout,” Neal Morris, Pinsent Masons’ head of construction advisory and disputes, said. He continued:
“On the other hand we have people who, perhaps as a result of where they sit and the point in the economic cycle in their market, are operating at 60-70% capacity and want to do more hours in order to hit their targets, get exposure to a wide variety of work and so on.”
The pilot has been used to complete over 20 assignments so far and, according to the firm, gives lawyers greater personal control over their day-to-day workload.
Moreover, the new system provides less busy associates with an opportunity to boost their billable hours. Last week, Legal Cheek reported that the average newly qualified (NQ) lawyer at leading firms completed 1,437 billable hours last year. This was 336 more than the average mega-earning full equity partner (1,101 hours).