Less than half of lawyers satisfied with work-life balance, study finds

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By Rhys Duncan on


Majority think firms could do better

Lass than half of legal professionals (49%) are satisfied with their work-life balance, new research has found.

The study also found that 58% of respondents thought their employer “could do more” to support their work-life balance.

As for working flexibility, the research showed that two-thirds of employees were able to work remotely at least one day a week, with an increase in hybrid working voted as the main improvement that employers could make to improve work-life balance.

Earlier this year, Legal Cheek reported that lawyers working from home clocked higher hours.

Amy Watson, director of the Eventus Recruitment Group, the organisation which carried out the research, commented: “People’s confidence in their sector and the jobs market remains high and many are not being deterred from progressing with their career goals.”

The 2024 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Elsewhere in the study, it was reported that only 55% of employees in the legal and professional services sectors were “fully engaged” with their company, the other 45% being disengaged to varying degrees, and “not fully productive”.

This is in addition to the finding that the legal sector has the lowest annual leave entitlement compared to other sectors, and that ineffective management was the number one reason why people leave companies.

To find out more about the work-life balance at firms, as well as the average arrival and leave times, why not check out the Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2024, with information and insights on over 100 firms!



You can make US money while working less than 1000 a year at Sidley.


Yeah but it’s Sidley…

Downtrodden David

what is a good alt career with better w/l balance to exit to from commercial law


How quickly do you want to be in the other career and how much do you want similar money to BigLaw?

I’m 7 PQE and these are the careers I know of that people have switched to.

Product Director (via in house legal) – Seems like reasonable hours, mainly applying commercial common sense, decent pay (more bonus dependent than law). Lots of presenting which might put off some lawyers.

Strategy Director (via management consultancy) – Straight from law to MBB consultancy then into working for a mid size corporate as Strategy Director. Good money, lot of spreadsheets, work life balance picked up only after leaving MBB. Economics grad which probably helped.

GP trainee – Obviously requires four year GEC Medicine degree. Decent money, much more flexibility of location, work actually matters. Still stressful, WLB arguably worse as foundation doctor (Xmas Day shifts etc) so a long haul.

Teacher – PGCE for a year, some time in rough comp which sounded brutal. Now at private day school, decent money for location plus fees discount but nothing like Big Law, not too stressful.

Cafe owner – Obviously no training needed, financially riskier but work for yourself. Running a small business is a love it or hate it thing but great if it’s for you.

Nursery owner – Again, no qualifications needed. Seems very stressful but very rewarding during the day. WLB not too bad other than usual small business owner emergencies.

Married rich – Seems like a fantastic option lifestyle wise, downside that if you divorce them you’re screwed so have to tolerate affairs etc. Have seen it play out both brilliantly and awfully.


Hooker. You should be used to selling yourself at all hours of day already.


Is working for yourself attractive as a lawyer (eg a Legal Consultant or similar)?


My goal is to achieve a work like balance such that no-one can tell I actually work.

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