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Ann Israel is the legal profession’s Dear Abby. A New York legal recruiter since 1979, Ann is a past president of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants. Advice for the Lawlorn is updated every week.


Q: I enjoy reading your advice column. One thing you’ve said frequently is how much you admire the fact that lawyers work around the clock, dedicate their lives to their jobs, etc.

While I agree that a strong work ethic and dedication are admirable and necessary for success, I wonder if workaholism and 24-hour workdays seven days a week should really be considered something to aspire to for young lawyers. It seems from, what you write, that mental health, physical health, a balanced life and spending time with loved ones aren’t things you value very much. If you did, I’m guessing you wouldn’t be raving about 24-hour workdays — because let’s face it, such a lifestyle does not lead to general well-being. Let’s not forget that lawyers have an extremely high rate of divorce, alcoholism, heart attacks and depression, among other things.

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