Caring for your most important employee
We know that there are so many benefits to your well-being when it comes to being your own boss, along with a fair amount of stress. You have to look after the mental health of your most important employee – and that’s you.
Setting up your own legal practice is an exciting ride. Many who choose this route find significant benefits when it comes to improving their professional self-esteem, and confidence and reducing the psychological distress employees are often exposed to in corporate structures.
But running your own legal practice also has its challenges. So being aware of, and managing those, is key to it being a long term legal career path.
We spoke with our community at Carbon Law Partners to find out the elements which have a positive impact on mental health and well-being, as well as the more challenging aspects and what you can do when it comes to these.
The highs of running your own legal practice
You are in control
Running your own legal practice gives you autonomy, freedom and flexibility. You can choose a working pattern that meets your clients’ needs and works for your life and circumstances. If you are managing an existing condition and caring responsibilities, flexibility can often help manage this.
You can choose your own team
If your legal practice takes off and starts to grow, you are in a position to hire some like-minded colleagues. Good collaboration supports positive mental health and teamwork can reduce stress and keep workloads manageable.
You can choose your work environment
When you run your own legal practice, you can choose not only when, but where you want to work. Maybe that’s your home office. Co-working at a business hub. Maybe it’s your own office space if you want to keep boundaries neat. We know after two years of pandemic living that it no longer needs us to come into a physical workspace to provide value. Home-working can offer benefits including no commuting, a quieter work environment and a healthier routine with more time for well-being and lower stress levels.
But with the highs, come the lows…
With all the positive impacts of running your own legal practice, there are also challenges to be aware of.
Doing it all
From finding new work, accounting, marketing, taxing, planning and strategy…one minute you are working on a high-level legal matter for a client, and the next you’re buying the office stationery. It’s all-consuming and stressful.
Working remotely gives great flexibility. But it can lead to loneliness and the effects can be far-reaching. It’s important if working by yourself to stay connected and make the most of interactions and get outside, and as the world opens up, meet with people in real life if you can, ensuring you build relationships with people who can help you.
The buck stops with you
It can feel like from the moment you wake up until you go to bed, you are in constant motion and that you are alone when it comes to managing your clients. It can feel like a lot of responsibility.
Do new models in law bring the best of both?
We grew the Carbon platform because we wanted something that would offer lawyers the opportunity to be their own boss, whilst helping with some of the more challenging aspects of running their own legal practice. That’s why our platform gives our lawyers support so they don’t feel like they are doing it all. That’s why we are building a community of lawyers, who can help each along on their entrepreneurial journey by sharing knowledge and support and collaborating. And that’s why we’ll always be there for our team as a listening ear if times get stressful, to explore what might be causing stress and help put steps in place to build support.
Because sometimes the most valuable thing we can do is give each other our time. We can all play a part in creating a better culture of well-being in legal.
Well-being in the legal industry
If you are a lawyer who would like support when it comes to their mental health, LawCare is our industry charity and you can find their website at https://www.lawcare.org.uk/.