Do Attorneys Work on Weekends: Guide To a Lawyer’s Work Hours

Do Attorneys Work on Weekends: Guide To a Lawyer’s Work Hours

Saad Ali
Written by Saad Ali
August 29, 2023

Law is undoubtedly one of the most intense professions.

The fact is that most lawyers work long hours, which a lot of new and aspiring lawyers are concerned about.

It’s common for lawyers to sometimes work back to back, meaning they can also get burnout.

Around 70% of Attorneys have experienced burnout, which shows that the job of a practicing lawyer isn’t easy.

The stats and the industry prove that lawyers’ work hours are intense.

But how many hours do lawyers work a week?

Let’s find out.

Do Lawyers Work 7 Days a Week?

Do Lawyers Work 7 Days a Week

The truth is that Lawyers work long hours, sometimes nights and weekends, too.

The hours billed by lawyers on invoices are just one aspect of their work life.

Interestingly, it’s not even enough to describe the level of stress they go through.

Most lawyers even work harder than the hours they bill for, and attorneys need to work on administrative duties, invoicing, processing payments, ledgers, and a lot more.

When you consider all these responsibilities, then it adds up.

A statistic shows that in 2018, it was reported that while lawyers spend 46.8 hours per week working, they usually work an extra 2.8 hours a week, moving their total to around 50 hours a week.

It depends on the attorney whether they want to work long hours, but some lawyers even aim for 70-80 hours per week, as it is a standard norm for many elite and hardest-working lawyers.

So yes, many lawyers work seven days a week relentlessly to upskill and upscale their firms.

But what do Attorneys do that make them work even a week?

Here are the responsibilities that they have:

  • Solving client’s problems in courts of law on disputes or issues.
  • Researching complex legal issues and then analyzing the results.
  • Researching laws, making legal decisions, and regulating cases.
  • Negotiating on behalf of the customer/client.
  • Filing and preparing official legal documents, including wills, deeds, appeals, and much more.

These are just some of the responsibilities that Attorneys have.

Hence, a typical work week for a lawyer can include these tasks, and let us tell you that each of these tasks is time-consuming.

So, it is natural for lawyers to take the weekend and work, but it is unhealthy.

Many lawyers have experienced burnout and say that they even take a lot of work at home, doing nothing but work all day.

The nature of the law means that you must be available, and small mistakes can cost you the case and even change someone’s forever.

How Many Hours Do Lawyers Work Per Day?

How Many Hours Do Lawyers Work Per Day

The typical hours a lawyer works depend on the type of practice they’re doing and who their employer is. Moreover, it also depends on the number of cases, the pressure, and how much work needs to be done.

Though most lawyers spend a 40-hour work week, many of them work more than that.

So, here’s how we can divide these lawyers.

A lawyer working for a large firm may work even more, maybe up to 70 hours a week.

For lawyers who work for small to medium enterprises, their work can go up to 60 hours a week, and for government lawyers, 40 hours per week is a good number.

An 8-hour day is natural for most lawyers all around the world, but since some lawyers work for a whole week, they go up to 60 hours a week, and sometimes 70.

It all depends on what someone’s goals are and how much they are willing to put in the effort.

But you might be surprised to know that the average leave times of law firms can exceed even more than 8 hours.

This means that some lawyers and attorneys even work up to 10 hours, which is done for tasks that are more managerial or urgent.

👩‍🎓 What Time Do Lawyers Start Work?

What Time Do Lawyers Start Work

While it’s a common practice for lawyers to work 40-70 hours per week, most lawyers start their work from 7:30 AM and end it anywhere from 4:30 – 8:30 PM.

There’s a lot of variation because it depends, but if you’re a litigator, you tend to have the most work, and you’re always getting ready to go to the course.

Moreover, the work hours are intense, focused, and tiring for larger firms.

This is especially true for new lawyers who want to gain experience.

Most lawyers work for 50-60 hours per week in the office and some work even outside the office.

Their time can start anywhere from 7:30 in the morning to 9 AM, but as we’ve already said, it depends. Some lawyers have also shared that they work roughly 9-5 and are accessible on weekends.

But they still have some clutter on the weekend.

The lawyers who work at companies have it less intense, but law firms are different because they have a plethora of cases, and they generally let you work from 8 AM to 6 PM.

Moreover, at small firms, the work is a bit less intense as they aim for 1600 billable houses per year, which is still not too intense.

However,  if a firm is aiming for 2000+ hours per year, that’s where intensity increases.

🔎 Why Do Lawyers Work So Many Hours?

Why Do Lawyers Work So Many Hours

There are many reasons why lawyers work so many hours.

It starts from the minimum billable hours requirement.

Many law firms make a target for their lawyers that they need to achieve for the betterment of the firm and themselves. 

These targets are calculated in billable hours form.

For example, a lawyer must have 1500 billable hours for their clients.

By chasing these numbers, the law firm grows, and the clients’ cases also get solved.

However, even billable hours aren’t a perfect indicator of a lawyer’s work, as there are many tasks that are nonbillable.

For example, research, getting new clients, managerial tasks, and communication.

Having so many tasks on their list, it is almost impossible to perform them within the regular 40-hour work week.

Many lawyers work outside the firm and give their attention to the clients.

This also takes up their time but provides them with much experience.

Lastly, even if a law firm doesn’t impose minimum billable hours, most lawyers must work outside their regular office hours to complete their daily tasks.

That’s why home offices have become so common.

How Many Hours Do Lawyers Work a Day in the UK?

The choice of your career will have different working hours in a day.

So, when it comes to the solicitors, they usually work from 9-5 and have weekends off.

On the other hand, Barristers are self-employed, so they have many flexible hours and time to perform their duties.

However, many law firms are open on Saturdays, allowing them to provide services for clients who aren’t available during their daily work hours.

So, in the UK, many lawyers work up to six or even seven times a week based on their goals and responsibilities.

How Many Hours Do Lawyers Work in Canada?

The average Candian lawyer works around 50 hours per week, which is more than the average 9-5. However, this is to keep the billable hours target, and you must be organized.

Canadian lawyers have a lot on their plate, and they typically don’t go on long vacations with family and friends.

Being a lawyer comes with a lot of responsibilities, but efficiency is the key.

From delegating work, prioritizing tasks, getting in good shape, and focusing on the billable hours, there are a lot of things to be done.

While most people like to leave work in the firm, lawyers typically get urgent meetings or work anywhere, so they must be prepared.

Working Efficiently with Time Analytics

Time Analytics time tracking

Attorneys have some of the most time-consuming jobs regarding the law in general.

From gathering paperwork and dealing with clients to calculating billable hours, a solution must ease their intensive work week.

Time Analytics is the perfect solution for all law firms looking to calculate billable houses automatically. The time tracking tool saves you weekly hours and creates transparent invoices with tie billings.

Most law firms get billing confusion, and that’s where Time Analytics will help you.

You can create accurate invoices and reports in minutes based on the team’s billable hours.

Interestingly, the tool also lets you experience its full features with a 14-day trial without even using a credit card.

Aside from creating a billable report, Time Analytics has one of the most intuitive and responsive time-tracking tools that allows you to capture accurate time spent on each task.

Most people use email, calendars, and a task management tool to calculate hours.

You also get various features about team performance tracking, online timesheets, and project reporting. The old methods of tracking hours are obsolete.

However, with a tool like Time Analytics, you get all the features you need, but you can set each task to whether they’re billable or nonbillable.

Get Started with Time Analytics Today

Saad Ali

Saad started his Content Writing journey in 2019 on Fiverr, where he catered to over 100 businesses in different niches like SaaS, Crypto, Meta, Gaming, Entertainment, and more.

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