A great depression

Notwithstanding my injunction to cultivate a habit of optimism, the legal press continues to provide some element of corrective. It is some comfort, though not a lot, to know that lawyers across the piece are having the same problems, contemplating the same actions, and, quite possibly, making the same mistakes.

A sobering article in the FT last month, Redundancy and the threat of a great depression, caught my eye, and in particular the section on employees having to take on an increased workload. Now I have colleagues who think that this is no bad thing, but . . .

The potential for working harder, he [William Shanahan, medical director and lead addictions psychiatrist at Capio Nightingale Hospital] says, is exacerbated by technology: “BlackBerries and mobile phones mean that people are not managing their time well. They cannot relax even on a holiday, which can create problems with families.”

Managing time well is itself one more pressure on lawyers. It is one most of live with and, by and large, we learn how best to do it. It is, however, not just working harder, but also finding yourself with little or no work – and more time than usual. Having said that, writing this post is one way of dealing with the delay in replies from two of my clients on transactions where there is nothing more I can do until I hear from them further.

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