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The pressure to increase productivity in the white collar profession has increased by leaps and bounds over the years and the legal profession is no exception. In fact such a work culture is more of a norm in this profession. It is like an unspoken contract that you sign when you start a career in law you have to put in extra hours without anyone telling you to. Hence, most legal employees have to put in lots of effort and hard work in order to make sure that they have a steady income from their career. They require putting in almost sixty hours of work in a week and this sometimes even goes up to 70 hours a week. Sometimes they even need to put in 12 hours a day and 8 to 9 hours on the weekends. This leads to most lawyers stress themselves out of their existing capacities.  This leaves most people in the legal career with no time whatsoever for relationships or for a personal life.

Considering the present scenario it is difficult for all employees, whether in the law field or any other corporate sector, to imagine work weeks of 40 hours. This is because these days there are increased pressures to put in more work hours which also may also add to the income of the legal professionals. Added to this there are the aspirations of employers of increasing productivity of their firms. Today, white collar workers like lawyers require working not only in the office premises but also at home in the weekends and during vacations too says, A. Harrison Barnes, the owner of the job search engine Law Advancements in the field of technology have enabled working from home.

There is a lot of pressure on a legal employee for putting in their maximum potential. This is why, in the words of A. Harrison Barnes, it is necessary that the legal employees must be dedicated and devoted to the goals of their career. There has also been a shift in the work place attitude and work-culture and the process of hiring new legal recruits. The job search boards have, thus, also modified their search for prospective legal candidates and this is especially true in case of Law Crossing.

The numbers of hours that the salaried legal workers spend working at home and during the vacations cannot be precisely determined as the government statistics cannot document this exactly. But according to other unofficial information and estimates there has definitely been a considerable increase in the working hours.

Over the 25-year-span between 1979 and 2004 the average number of work hours put in by the Americans in a week remained quite stable while this period saw much of job-hour cutting in many industrial countries mostly in Europe. At present, the working hours of the Americans, makes them stand second in ranking after New Zealanders, informs A. Harrison Barnes. The average American works 1,824 hours in a year.

At present, the white collar legal professionals as well as technical workers deal with more working hours that do not count inside their regular working hours. A big reason for working more hours is to give more security to their jobs, especially at the time of an economic crisis. Presently, everyone is worried about their jobs due to the ongoing conditions of the job market. The regular news of lay offs and terminations have brought in fear in the minds of even white collar legal professionals. Thus they must work harder and longer hours not just for A. Higher income but to save their jobs as well, says A. Harrison Barnes. They believe that this way they will be saved from getting laid off or being fired by their legal employers during the time of cut-backs.

Increased work hours, however, don’t necessarily increase productivity as employees working for longer periods tend to make mistakes and the quality of their work suffers. There is A. Higher risk of increase in on-the-job stress among employees. Employee dissatisfaction leading to disillusionment is also a potential jeopardizing factor. Thus one must also be careful of the pitfalls of an abnormal increase in working hours.

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