Its Wednesday morning. The Christensen clients are coming in Thursday to review their documents with me; they should’ve gotten the documents a week ago, but these days running a week behind on my cases is SOP. My paralegal has done the first draft, but I need to at least look at them before they’re printed off.
Open up the Christensen file. Secretary calls and says the Meg Jones is on the line with an urgent matter; I lose the rest of the morning putting out that particular fire. I eat a sandwich at my desk after I wrap up with Ms. Jones and open the first document for the Christensens. I get two paragraphs in before Mike, my junior associate, knocks on my door and asks for a minute of my time.
A minute turns into an hour and a quarter. Mike’s matter is pressing, so I can’t resent the time spent with him. He walks out and our office paralegal, Sherry, walks in. She tells me we missed the deadline on filing the Smith case. We spend the next three hours frantically working on the Smith documents to get them finalized and filed.
Sherry goes home at 5:45, as soon as we get the Smith case done. I pull up the Christensen documents; the clients will be here first thing in the morning. Phone rings, but everyone else is gone; I answer it. My spouse asks when I’ll be coming home, and I promise I just need to look over these documents quickly and will leave in half an hour.
The third paragraph in the Christensen documents is missing several important provisions I discussed with the client. So are the fourth and fifth paragraphs, and most of the third and fourth pages. I go through the documents with a fine tooth comb, revising and adding new language until it looks right, until it’s something I can hand over to the clients. When I finish it’s almost 10, but at least it’s not midnight. I leave and go home.
My spouse reminds me as we get ready for bed that I missed my eldest son’s piano recital last week, and my daughter’s softball game Monday night. I don’t think I’ve seen the three-year-old while she was awake on a weekday in a month. Tonight was another night when I said I’d be home and I wasn’t, another missed dinner with my family, more frustration with a situation that needs to change.
I’m terrified of work slowing down because I need the income for my family, but working sixty to eighty hour weeks leaves me no time to actually see my family. My attorney friends all seem to be in the same boat, and say they’re just glad that they have work, to not be sitting in an empty office waiting for the phone to ring.
The Practice Development Summit on June 27th at the Utah Bar is targeted to helping attorneys manage issues like this in their practice. Come to this CLE (6.5 credits and 1.5 Ethics) and learn how to better balance the needs of your practice and your life.
Chief Success Officer and Co-Founder of REAL Automation Solutions.
Kim Mayberry first of all fell in love with Liz Mayberry while she was in law school and already working for HotDocs® . That relationship later turned into a marriage and a business partnership.
Kim Mayberry received his Bachelor’s Degree in Information System from Brigham Young University and a Masters in Operational Excellence from The Ohio State University. Following graduation, he worked for Ameritech Library Services before joining REAL Automation Solutions, Inc full time in 2004. He is responsible for the training and consulting with law firms to improve their systems.
He has presented on the topic of the impact of systems in the law firm to through CLEs and Webinars throughout the United States.
In his spare time, he loves to mountain bike, ski, and spend time with his family. He reads on average 2 business books a month. He loves to learn and is passionate about helping firms put systems in place that change the lives of the law firm’s clients and team members.
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