As far as tired clichés go, “work hard, play hard” is among the most exhausted. Despite the mantra’s patently empty promise—that you can somehow have it all by just going full-throttle across every inch and moment of your life—its allure persists, especially among occupational maximalists like lawyers. Now, as law firms prepare to welcome their new classes of summer associates, outdated and uninspired thinking about the appeal of the “work hard, play hard” image is likely rearing its head once again.

Here’s the common line of thought: “We want them to like us and have fun, but also to see we take our work very seriously. I know, we have to show them we can work hard and play hard!”

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