Wednesday, November 19, 2008

3 Day Week

It's nice to hear that partners at Britain’s ten biggest law firms took home an average of £1.1 million in profits last year (thanks, Current Awareness). Unfortunately, things aren't quite so rosy at the other end of the profession. In fact, it often feels like I'm not in the same profession at all. You see, since August I've been on a three-day week. I don't expect any sympathy - lawyers these days are held in such low regard, and others have lost their jobs entirely - but it does grate when I'm tarred with the same brush as the 'fat-cats', when I can now barely pay my rent.

Of course, if there is any employer out there who has some part-time work available for a hack family lawyer, then I could just be your man...


  1. Poor old John :( Bit grim. I hate these fat cat stereotypes such bollocks

  2. Utter bollocks. I think the non-city proportion of the profession is something like 90+ percent, and the non-city partner percentage must be close to 99.5%.

    Thankfully my department is doing OK (being fairly recession proof/counter cyclical, as I believe the phrase is) - or at least was doing OK until my arrival, but there are a lot of people facing very difficult conditions - and not just conveyancers or fat cats.

    When somebody of John's abilities and skill is in this position it is clear what is happening to the non city partner overwhelming majority of the profession.

    John, I'm really, really sorry to hear this.

  3. Me too.

    I have to say you are doing an excellent job with the website so I imagine new opportunities can't be too far away.


  4. NL: Thanks.

    Paul: You too? I'm sorry.

  5. No not actually me too in that sense. I was echoing the sentiment of others.

    I'm in the "pile it high, sell it cheap" end of the market (also known as legal aid). I can assure you that we have plenty to do...perhaps a bit too much. Although I was made redundant from my private paid job earlier this year.

    I went to London this week on the train. I got the early train just past 7.00 am. Packed. On the way home - packed also. Looking at the other passengers I could see the exhaustion and worry. It is depressing that however hard people work (and people work too hard anyway) matters are out of their hands.
    Everyone is in the same boat...

    Here endeth thought for the day.

    Back to work.


  6. Ah, I see. Very worrying times.

  7. Not doing too badly down here in Chichester for private work - but has been better.

  8. Sorry to hear that, John. I hope things start to look up for you soon.

  9. John, I was truly surprised and saddened to read this. My first reaction was that you must be taking a well-earned rest and that in these straightened times felt it more prudent to characterise the break as enforced. But times are certainly hard (though I would have thought family law to be somewhat counter-cyclical!). We have spoken on a few occasions and I know you to be an experienced and eminently sensible guy. Were it only thus with more of your profession!

  10. Thanks for your kind words - I'll make no comment about the rest of my profession!

  11. Ironically, John, I do sympathise, having been downsized myself to term time only (in Chichester, as it happens).

    I shall now feel almost guilty the next time I advise a father not to use a solicitor.

    (The 'word verification' for this post is 'shlex'. Is that a legal term, and if not, shouldn't it be?)

  12. So you should feel guilty! ;-)

    'shlex' = overweight barrister, looks like a green character from a well-known children's film.


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