I suppose everyone is different but I work long hours and make myself available 24/7 and on weekends if a client has an emergency.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 17 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
So much depends - if a sole practitioner isn't available, then the potential client will find someone else to give the work to, so they always want to be available. In large law firms they often have a very high mandatory minimum of "billable hours" that must be reached each year, sometimes requiring as many as 1800 - 2200 hours a year (and a billable hour isn't the number of hours in the office, but the number of hours you are actually working on case work that can be billed to the client, not making copies, or sipping coffee. If you are a transactional lawyer drafting contracts and such, it may be somewhat different from the hours put in by a litigator who may work 18-20 hours a day (including weekends) while preparing for or on trial, and fewer hours when there is no trial, but preparing for the next matter. Many lawyers burn out and quit the profession after 5 to 10 years because of the intensity fo the work. It is NOT an easy way to make a living, and despite the hours of work, many attorneys do not get paid high salaries, and have very little chance of a family life.
This is not intended to be legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. If more information is needed, you should consult with an attorney in your state regarding the specifics of your situation and the options available to you.
How many hours a week attorneys work varies vastly depending on the type of practice they are engaged in and whom they work for. As a general rule it has been my experience that most attorneys work long hours. Solo and small firm practitioners work very long hours as their income depends directly on the amount of work they do. New attorneys at Wall Street type law firms work exhausting hours, sometimes 60 or 70 hours a week or even more. Some attorneys employed by the court system or government agencies may work fewer hours, perhaps 40 or more, but some work much longer hours as well. Attorneys in private practice may work weekends on a regular basis or some weekends just to catch up or accommodate clients who can only meet on weekends. If this is a field you are interested in pursuing I would say that it generally requires longer than usual work hours and involves a good deal of stress. On the other hand, it can be a very interesting and rewarding profession. Good luck.
This answer does not constitute legal advice nor does it create any attorney client relationship. It is provided for general purposes only and you should not rely upon it in making any decisions. You should consult with an attorney licensed in your state who is experienced in the area of law involved in your question.
If you are a trial lawyer, you will find yourself working all weekend the weekend before the case is set for trial. Then if the case is not reached or it gets postponed, you will work another weekend when it comes up again. This is very stressful for the lawyer and tough on the spouse and kids too. I agree with my colleagues that just about all attorneys put in long hours and endure a lot of stress, depending on their practice area and the firm for which they work.
This answer is intended as general information and not as specific legal advice. If you want to have a free consultation with me, please contact me through AVVO.
Not sure of the purpose of the question or how it relates to workers comp. I come in my office seven days a week.
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I enjoy my work and really do not consider it work.
I have two "Ask An Attorney" weekend radio shows
and also answer lots of questions on AVVO.
It is a pleasure and privilege to help people
everyday with their estate planning needs.
The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.
Some days an attorney puts in over 20 hours, takes a nap and goes at it again just as hard the next day, and repeats this process for several more days.
Some days an attorney plays just as hard.
Some days an attorney plays easy.
I've met danged few who had more take it easy days than long days.