find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
The dog that bites

The dog that bites

Despite the onslaught of day-to-day work and business, in-house lawyers need to remember to step back and look around, Peter Turner writes

Despite the onslaught of day-to-day work and business, in-house lawyers need to remember to step back and look around, Peter Turner writes

One of the pleasures of working for my organisation is meeting people.

Not just in-house lawyers and members of the broader legal profession whom I meet professionally, but people from all walks of life.

I am regularly berated on King Street – where our office is located – by a gentleman who assures me that the world is coming to a rapid and cataclysmic end but that salvation is nigh. In the foyer of our building, I chat with foreign students on working visas, who attend a trade school located somewhere up above us in the same building. Many are keen to debate the recent changes to the visa rules and the spate of violent attacks that have occurred involving young students in Melbourne.

Our office cleaner is from Greece. His wife is currently pursuing a workers’ compensation claim for injury to her hand, which was badly hurt when a fire extinguisher fell off a wall (not ours!) while she was cleaning underneath it. My physiotherapist is being pursued by one of the big law firms for not paying fees to one of those friendly tax incentive schemes that he’d invested in but which fell over during the GFC. And then yesterday, I met with one of our office suppliers to discuss some of our IT requirements, and got chapter and verse about the federal budget and how the new super minerals tax is going to ruin us all!

The point is that life goes on. Whatever the big issues may be that demand our attention and call for our professional skills there has to be time out to “look and listen”, time for the family, time to think.

With in-house lawyers now working unprecedentedly long hours there is a heightened risk of “closing off”, withdrawing, a symptom often associated, with loneliness and depression.

A survey by Beaton Consulting in 2007 found that professionals experience more depressive symptoms than the general public and that, amongst professionals, lawyers have the highest incidence.

So next time it all seems too much and the walls close in, step back, take some time out, have a chat to the people around you. The black dog is never far away.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Peter Turner is the chief executive officer of the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association.

The dog that bites
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Quentin Bryce
Oct 18 2017
DV has worsened in a generation: Quentin Bryce
Former governor-general of Australia Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO has spoken of her deep distress about...
Lawyers
Oct 18 2017
Academics entertain the idea of law without lawyers
Researchers from Queensland will explore some of the most disruptive trends tipped to transform the ...
Please, Continue (Hamlet), Melbourne Festival
Oct 16 2017
Hamlet suffers slings and arrows of top Victorian barristers
Victorian judges and barristers have performed the unique play Please, Continue (Hamlet) at the Melb...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...