Work-Life Balance how to achieve Nirvana

Posted on February 13, 2023 in Uncategorized


By Matthew Konecky

Nothing is more frustrating than to see the state or local bar put on another CLE from a lawyer talking about work-life balance. It's usually put on by a big civil firm lawyer who after 25 years of working 80hrs a week has become an equity partner and intends to coast the rest of his/her career. The gist of the CLE is this “Life is good, take time to smell the roses, do some yoga and meditate”.

It feels forced and phony because we all know what that lawyer did to get to that position. They have never stepped foot in a criminal courtroom, may have never have tried a case, and never started their own business.

I am not here stating work-life balance is impossible. It's achievable, but I believe that it becomes achievable when you have a law practice you have built, or like working in, that shares YOUR principles and allows you to be you.

As I write this, I want you to know, I haven't found a total work-life balance as of yet on a sustainable level, it's something that I work on all the time. (Quick side note, I put this blog project aside for 2 weeks as I was preparing for a trial that got continued the day before, not much balance there.) So, let's start talking about what are the foundations for work-life balance.


In order to build the practice you want to work for, you have to build the practice. First, get enough clients to substantiate a business. Second, have the time to service those clients. Third, build a team that can support you in court and in business building. Now repeat. (Just that simple)


This first step can be easy for some, and difficult for others. I was a part of the latter for many years. If you looking to find the best ways to get clients, start by reading marketing books, ones by Dan Kennedy or Ben Glass are a great start. These books emphasize magnetic marketing, which is essentially getting people drawn to you because of what you do. We are a unique group of lawyers who focus on the advancement of DUI trial techniques. This sets you apart from 90% of your colleagues in your area.

Make that your Unique Selling Proposition to your clients. The point is to differentiate yourself from the herd. Just because someone else is doing something, it doesn't mean it's good. Once you have clients, make sure the flock does not stray. Internally market the heck out of them.

You have a list of clients, make sure they never forget you. Referrals are the best way to get a client, make sure your happy clients are the ones that keep you in business. Once you get a client's information or even a potential client, make sure the information goes into a CRM system (Customer Relations Management). This database is where you can build a steady stream of returning or referring customers without spending marketing dollars. Send weekly or monthly firm updates, holiday cards, and birthday wishes. Keep your name top of their mind.

If you need other ways to learn how to gain clients, do your research, do not fall for the endless emails of how marketing companies are going to get you to the top of google. Your website should be hosted and optimized by trusted host/developer. Don't let someone build you a website and not manage it.


The second and third steps are the key to the work-life balance. They go hand and hand. First, let's talk about time management. It's great you now have enough clients to sustain a business, but you must serve them. You must also serve yourself. Do not let clients monopolize your personal time. This is your time at home with your family, or any time you set aside for yourself.

One quick way to prevent this is to not take any unscheduled inbound phone calls. Have your staff take a message, or even better, answer their question, and then schedule a time to call them back. This prevents you from getting interrupted while you are doing your best work. Most answers to client questions can be provided via a secretary or an email. If the client wants to discuss strategy, that should be a scheduled appointment. Scheduling appointments also add a beginning and end to a conversation. No more runaway train conversations with clients who love to hear themselves talk.

Answer emails two times a day. This is unthinkable to most (I admit, I don't even do this, but it works). Can you imagine what your day would be like if you just spent ½ hour in the morning and in the afternoon checking and responding to emails, and that is it? This breaks up that endless cycle of checking a different screen every 15 minutes. Also, it helps you focus on what is important and delete those spam email.

Lastly, put an end to the day. If you want to be home for dinner, set a deadline, and you will leave the office at 5:30. No excuses. If you have too much work and can't leave, leave it. On your way home, think about how you could have delegated the work or handled the workflow better.


Having a top-notch staff that works for you can help you leave the office to be home for dinner. Your support staff should be supportive and not a hindrance. If you find yourself correcting mistakes, or double-checking work because you have been burned before, you are not getting the help you need. You should be successful because of your staff not despite them. Look at improvements here to help strike the balance you desire. Fire fast, hire slow. Get the right staff.

What if you are a total solo practitioner without a staff? Don't try doing it all yourself. If you are suddenly solo and don't feel you can afford full-time help, you can always outsource projects. We live in the gig economy so finding some part-time secretarial work is pretty easy. Also, you can look for ghostwriters for your more sophisticated motions. This is not cutting corners; this is saving you time. NCDD provides a host of products including books, materials, a forensic library, and defenses that work. Stop recreating the wheel when you don't have to.

In evaluating how to achieve a work-life balance, look at your strengths and play to them; find your deficiencies and work on them; build a solid team to work for you, not against you. Now go home to your family a enjoy life outside of the office.

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