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From dreaded commutes to ironing shirts: Lawyers reveal what they don’t miss about office life

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Lockdown’s ‘silver linings’

COVID-19 has changed the way we work, and while there are some aspects lawyers miss about office life; seeing their colleagues in the flesh as opposed to on a grainy Zoom call, for instance, there are others they’re quite happy to do away with.

Barrister and DAC Beachcroft partner Sahar Farooqi took to LinkedIn this week to focus on lockdown’s ‘silver linings’. Regular commuters will be able to relate to some of the things Farooqi mentions in his list of six, which includes:

“I don’t miss standing on a packed train pretending not to watch the guy sat down in front of me swiping through his dating app/reading The Metro newspaper over his shoulder”, and, “I don’t miss the time spent in queues. For a Tube turnstile. For an Oyster scanner. For coffee. For security checks at court. For a lift. For lunch. For anything.”

Not having to queue seemed to be a constant theme among Farooqi’s following when he asked them to share what they don’t miss about office life. Rebecca Marshall, a trainee solicitor at Michael W Halsall Solicitors, responded saying she doesn’t miss “queuing for the microwave at work!”

The dreaded daily commute also cropped up a few times. On public transport, Richard Woods, a solicitor at Bolt Burdon, said he doesn’t miss “the constant sniffling and the temperature swings (between the arctic and tropical (or the depths of hell when using the Central line)”. Katie Walmsley, a barrister at DWF, added, “in winter, donning a coat ready for the elements on the way to work becomes an incubator when you go underground”.

“I don’t miss the cancelled trains, paying through the nose for the luxury of boarding on one if you have managed to elbow your way through, the breath of strangers on me, the annoying people who don’t move down the carriage, the rat race that commences the minute the doors open. The ‘now I’m too hot, now I’m too cold’ dance of the scarf removal,” wrote Jessica Burgio, a paralegal at NLA Media Access.

Others said they don’t miss playing “parking roulette” nor “spending money on petrol and starting the day sat in traffic”.

The latest comments from across Legal Cheek

With schools shut for the majority of students, and remote learning continuing in homes, some lawyers said they don’t miss the stressful early-morning school run. “I don’t miss having to wake my kids up early to take them to nursery because daddy has to leave early to get to court on time,” wrote Rajiv Sharma, a public law barrister at The 36 Group.

Lots of lawyers didn’t seem to miss having to dress for work each day. “I don’t miss trying to remain professionally presentable in a suit, and some days heels, whilst running on and off trams and the rainy streets of Manchester,” said Monique Mahyavanshi-Foley, a real estate paralegal at Gateley, while Liam Hendry, a legal assistant at Prettys, said he doesn’t miss “making sure I have five shirts ironed for the week!”

Other aspects lawyers said they didn’t miss included that “Monday morning feeling”, “de-icing the car”, and getting home late and “having to figure out what’s for dinner”.

The government plunged the country into a third national lockdown last week following a rapid rise in coronavirus cases. As ministers ponder whether to tighten COVID restrictions further, it seems lawyers will be able to take advantage of lockdown’s ‘silver linings’ for some time longer.

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29 Comments

Billable chump

I actually miss the office

(245)(180)

Lewis K

He says as he is mid way through his first year LLB and never worked in an office

(44)(62)

Anon

I miss the office, but then having a frickin baby in the house does that.

No, “oh damn I’ve got loads of work on, have to stay late” excuse.

Why God?

(6)(31)

Get a life bro

“Having a frickin baby in the house”

AKA i impregnated a woman and gave birth to a ‘frickin baby‘ who happens to be my child and now I want to avoid parenting and any kind of responsibility but WFH does not give me the opportunity to stay away from that ‘frickin baby’ so now I must suffer and stay in the same house all day as that ‘frickin baby’ and my frickin baby mother who I willingly chose to impregnate.

Why is my life so hard??

Instead of spending my spare time with my frickin child and frickin baby mother or go out for a walk, get some food, exercise, watch a film, read the news… I would rather come on Legal Cheek comments section filled with predominantly law students and barely graduates so they can feel sorry for me and confide in my situation because surely they can relate to my sad little life.

Anyways, ta ra (gonna go tell my frickin baby mother I’m going out for a while to get tested for covid just so I can have some time to myself away from that frickin baby lolz) xoxo

(48)(11)

Anon

You aren’t going to have any babies with that sort of attitude.

@ anon

You don’t deserve to be a father to the child you already have by the sounds of it yet you’re giving unsolicited advice to students and newly grads about whether or not they will be able to have their own babies.

Get off LC and spend some time with your kid fgs

Stud

His problem is it my baby and it looks like me.

formerfrickenbaby

How do we know this person is a “father”…..? Babies, especially ‘frickin’ ones can be universally annoying.

(0)(1)

Lounge Lizard

I miss the pub.

(53)(2)

Anonymous

I miss the live diversity and anti-discrimination lectures, especially the parts about sub-conscious bias. Nothing better than being told by an HR person that there is a problem with preferring Oxbridge or Russell Group candidates.

(59)(9)

Anon

Is that what HR are like these days?

Back in my day it was HR who put all non Russell Group grads in the bin, mainly so they were able to shoot off home by 5pm.

There was the odd token non-RG in a shiny suit abs bright shirt just to make it look like they had some sort of ‘system’ and weren’t winging it.

(10)(1)

Anon

In my day, there were only a few token non-Oxbridge spivs who were let in. Things have gone down hill since then. My firm now has people called Stuart and Hannah who went to universities like Warwick.

(30)(7)

NQ hopefull

Anyone know the NQ whack at FisherBroyles? Really need to know this pls

(5)(5)

Kirkland NQ

I miss seeing the envy in the eyes of other motorists as I bomb past them in the Lambo every morning. An occasional spin to stock up on essentials in Harrods food hall just isn’t the same.

(13)(15)

Anonymous

Those with class have a driver. Lambos are for soccer players from abroad.

Ownership of such vehicles tends to be based on insecurity or a lack of personality and a desperate need to impress others, especially the opposite sex. From what I have read you tick the boxes.

(56)(1)

Kirkland NQ

I’d never let staff near my Lambo unless they’re performing it’s daily Fiji water deep cleaning.

(9)(22)

Anonymous

Really? My expectations for KNQ’s ripostes are low, given his basic level of one trick pony wit but surely the average spotty faced keyboard comedian teenager would do better than something this limp. A limp one trick pony is one that needs to be taken to the back field and shot.

(22)(2)

Sly Whit

Bravo sir, 10/10.

Dr Freud

You forgot to mention the desperate attempt to compensate for insignificant, small genitalia.

(14)(2)

A

You knew he was a pleb when he said he did his shopping at Harrod’s rather than Fortnum

(18)(1)

Anonymous

Shh. The best keep secret in London is the upper floors of Fortnum. The out of towners and the nouveaux never venture up there.

(7)(1)

1 PQE

I’m 1 PQE in a US firm, and I’d rather be back in the office. ‘Living at work’ is not fun.

I recognise that it’s different for people with long commutes and/or children, but for junior lawyers the status quo is sub-optimal.

(44)(4)

Anon

I’m 1PQE and have neither a long commute nor kids and still love working from home!

(19)(32)

1 PQE

Yes, I think that our firm will have to cater for all tastes once normality returns. I don’t see why we need to impose the same template on everyone.

(19)(15)

Djvnkkv

Because standardised practices are more profitable and less hassle for partners to manage.

(0)(0)

Fed Up Junior

I definitely don’t miss the sexual harassment after male barristers can’t accept you’d prefer to sleep with someone else apart from them.

(16)(29)

FlourPour

That’s the thing I miss most. Now they only judge me on the quality of my work -_-

(10)(2)

Darlene

That man in the office with the horrible nervous cough like a fog horn that goes off when you least expect it

(11)(7)

A non-knee mousse

I really DO NOT miss other lawyers I can tell you that. I hope this virtual barrier between them and I lasts forever.

(15)(0)

Comments are closed.

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