By Scott Levine, Founder / Managing Member
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Attorney Happiness: What You Need to Know

The stats are staggering. More than a third of lawyers are alcoholics; a third struggle with depression; and about 20% struggle with anxiety. In a recent survey of New York-based attorneys, 37% are struggling with their mental health, but the vast majority have not sought any professional help. One out of four is less than satisfied with their job. Of those who graduated law school in 2002, one-fourth had left the practice of law by 2012. They walked away when they should have been partners walking into corner offices.

Something has got to give.

As dire as those numbers are, we also know what can make a real difference.

Prioritize Your People

How are your people doing? Organizations of every size and shape claim their most valued resource is their people. But how does your firm demonstrate that it values its attorneys and staff? What specific actions has your firm taken to turn that bumper sticker claim into the firm’s day-to-day reality?

Remember that a law firm is a service industry. People are your goods. They interact with your clients and the opposition. They represent you and your clients in courts and other forums. If they’re unhappy, the world is going to know. It’s going to show in their work and demeanor.

Therefore, taking care of your people isn’t an option. It’s mandatory.

Prioritize Your Culture

Law firms too often pride themselves on a culture of suffering. They brag about the abusive work hours and toxic culture—as if these are badges of honor that prove these firms deliver outstanding work to their clients. But studies show that employees are more productive in positive environments. They accomplish more, and they do so at a higher quality.

Companies with better environments have employees who stay. They’re less likely to quit or “quiet quit” from burnout. Employees working in lower-stress environments are even less likely to get sick.

If your firm’s brand is that of “sufferpreneurship,” ask yourself what this truly gives you and your clients, and what it would take to have a more positive environment.

Prioritize Measurements

Perhaps, when it came to prioritizing your people and your culture, you recognized that this might be an issue, but you aren’t sure how to move forward.

Consider that, as lawyers working for clients, we gather data and analyze evidence. We look for independent validation and then confirm these findings with more third-party reports. Well, you can do the same to measure the health of your firm.

While other companies offer similar services, AEGIS has been using Office Vibe to measure our attorneys’ satisfaction. We’re delighted to see that we’re receiving a very high (+50) “employee net promoter score,” showing that our focus on prioritizing our attorneys and other teammates is paying off.

By the same token, our Office Vibe assessments give us staff feedback so that the firm continues to grow and improve—just as we hope every member of our team does.

At AEGIS Law, we’ve disrupted the traditional practice of law. Our firm offers the same quality and sophistication as larger firms, but we do it more efficiently and with a better attitude. We’ve created a new kind of law firm by focusing on recruiting top legal talent and giving our clients superior service. If you’d like to learn more about us and how we work, let us know. Send us a message or call us at (314) 454-9100. Or, take a look at our Recruitment Guide

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