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Attorneys Working From Anywhere: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

A few weeks ago, we discussed the importance of mobile technology for the modern attorney. With a reported 73% of lawyers telecommuting regularly, the ability to work from anywhere is the new normal (ALA). As a software company committed to providing firms with the tools to make doing their jobs easier, we often tout the flexibility of the cloud-based versions of our services. And for the most part, this newfound freedom is a good thing: you can safely access client and practice information from the office, at home, in the courthouse, out at a coffee shop, on the golf course, or anywhere else with an internet connection. Time and billing software gives attorneys the power to take control of their work-life balance on the road and ensures that no expense or service goes untracked, unbilled, and unpaid. So whether it is the culture of your firm to be “always on,” or you’re working on a hot case with a VIP client that requires special attention, no longer having to be physically located in the office to get work done has revolutionized the legal industry (and attorneys’ personal lives).

However, we all know the downside to 24/7 access and availability: the virtually never-ending workday. As the line between “work” and “life” begins to blur, so too goes the balance. Because of this, it is key that you intentionally unplug, which may mean turning off your laptop and leaving the smartphone in another room during dinner.

In fact, recent research shows that taking some time off – both during the work day and at home – actually increases productivity. From taking just a few minutes to grab a snack or go for a walk, to prioritizing sleep and exercise, it is essential to purposefully carve out time to allow your mind and body to recharge.

Now, we understand that longer stretches away from the office can get tricky: the world doesn’t stop moving just because you’re on a Caribbean vacation. With this in mind, be sure to have a system in place before you set your out of office message. Designate a trusted colleague who is able to vet client-declared emergencies from actual emergencies so that you’re only contacted when absolutely necessary. And while it’s okay to periodically check your email, it shouldn’t be an hourly occurrence. Here, tools like attorney time and billing software are especially useful, as they provide the essential resources should you need to practice remotely.

We’ve all heard the cliché: nobody lies on his or her deathbed wishing they’d spent more time at the office. Do you think it may be time to improve your work-life balance? Find out how CosmoLex legal software for attorneys can not only make you more mobile but help you to balance your business and personal responsibilities. Then go ahead: take that break.

Rick Kabra

Dr. Rick Kabra is President of CosmoLex Cloud, creator of cutting-edge technology solutions to help solo and small law firms law firms. Rick has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from NJIT and has over 10 years of experience in the legal software industry catering to the specialized technology needs of small to mid-sized law firms. Rick has given numerous seminars and published articles on legal technologies such as law practice technology management, cloud computing, and legal billing, business & trust accounting compliance.