His day involves long hours with his head buried in thick books reading over law paragraphs and court cases. Not only this but sitting in meetings, consulting with clients, answering emails and spending long hours in court hearings. Being a lawyer is definitely not a job where one can find the time to be bored. Gareth Abdinor sheds a bit of light on what it’s really like to be a lawyer.
Still in the comfort of his home, the workday begins over breakfast with Gareth checking the daily news online as well as what is new on LinkedIn.
He notes interesting stuff to refer to later in the office.
Hitting the office at 8.00 AM he gets right into the working spirit by spending his first 30 minutes reading and responding to emails, planning yet another full on day and reading online news stories. He has an unwritten rule with himself never to book any appointments during his first 30 minutes in the office.
Gareth explains in a bit more detail: “If I am appearing in court or mediation it usually begins at 9.30 AM and I spend the hour from 8.30 AM completing any preparation and travelling to court or the mediation venue. On these days my schedule is determined by the court or mediation and sometimes these meditations go on into the night.”
Not having to be in a court hearing is better. Gareth can devote more time to meetings with his clients, reading the latest court cases and keeping on top of the never ending administration. What does lawyers administration look like? Well things like drafting documents, preparing letters and considering files. Yes these also belong within the role of a lawyer.
Finally the clock hits 11.00 AM and energy is getting low. High time for Gareth to take a break and hit the coffee stand.
Back in the office, Gareth buries his head down in paperwork. It is now 11.30 AM and he is working on documents, correspondence and strategy for court cases. Sometimes he squeezes in a meeting or two with clients.
Lunchtime is now edging closer but that does not necessarily guarantee Gareth will have the chance to enjoy one. Workload permitting he gets away from the office for at least 30 minutes to enjoy a bite to eat and a quiet walk. Gareth explains: “This used to be the case, however now I make it a priority to take a break if at all possible.”
The second round of emailing and responding to voice mails comes into play between 2.00 PM and 2.30 PM.
”From 2.30 PM-3.30 PM I attend team meetings twice a week (business development once a week and know-how once a week). If I’m not attending team meetings, between 2.30 PM and 4.30 PM I meet with clients or work on documents or correspondence.”
As the afternoon starts turning into evening Gareth checks and responds to emails and voice mail messages one more time before calling it a day and heading home.
This is in case he is not preparing for a mediation, in which case he either says in the office late or continues working from his office at home.
Closing the doors on his office at 5.30 PM does not mean the workday’s over.
Gareth takes an active part in networking and also attends or presents at seminars to clients and potential clients after hours.
You would not find Gareth in his office on Friday’s however. He has made it a habit that Friday’s he either works from home or spends it looking after his young family.
Even if you are a lawyer, you gotta have some “me” time. It is not all work and no fun after all, even for lawyers.