Summary: There are 15 reasons as to why BigLaw lawyers struggle to maintain personal relationships, ending up with a high rate of divorce.
The divorce rate is high in the United States, but it is especially high among BigLaw Attorneys. In the article, “Why Big Firm Attorneys Are So Likely to Get Divorced,” Harrison Barnes explores why attorneys at big law firms have higher rates of divorce. Here are ten of the fifteen reasons in the article that explain why attorneys suck at relationships.
Large law firm attorneys identify more with their work than with their family and relationships. Attorneys are the kind of people that don’t like to lose and neither do law firms. Law firms foster an environment that is like a “game” so it becomes “all-consuming.” There is little time for family or relationships because all of their energy and importance is placed on being part of the game.
Attorneys often develop a “lone-wolf” personality. They work hard to get where they are, but that work was done by themselves. No one else did the work so they could get good grades in their law school classes or on their bar exam. With all of their energy devoted to the law firm, when the attorneys finally get home, they have nothing left for their family.
Attorneys working in large law firms will have important clients. Those clients will be their number one priority, not their family or a relationship. This means that when their client wants something, whether it is a meeting Sunday afternoon or late nights to get the work done, they get it done, no matter what plans the attorney may already have.
Attorneys fear the cost of failing at the law firm more than in their relationship. When an attorney fails at a major law firm, their chances of getting another equally prestigious job will be difficult. The fear of making all their hard work in college, law school, and the time spent practicing law go to waste is the most powerful factor. The fear of ruining a relationship is lower on their priority list.
The work that attorneys do often involves contention and arguing, albeit sometimes in a civil manner. This behavior comes home with them, quickly ruining any relationships they have. The attorney may pick fights with their significant other or avoid them all together.
Large law firm attorneys are also very paranoid. They fear having a colleague that will undermine their work, make them look bad, or take their job completely. Attorneys are always looking over their back, never trusting anyone else. This translates to their home life. They tend to not trust their partners or family.
Attorneys at large law firms spend most of their time there, surrounded by their colleagues. The spouses of attorneys spend a lot of time alone, so they reach for affection from other places and other people. The attorneys end up having affairs themselves with those they are spending a lot of time with.
The nature of the work big law firm attorneys do causes them to keep to themselves and not be fully transparent. Attorneys view transparency as weakness, which is a bad thing for a good attorney to show. They cannot show weakness to other attorneys, and especially not their clients.
Attorneys are very skilled at finding the weakness in others, which makes them very unlikeable. While the trait is valuable when it comes to practicing law and getting the best outcome for their clients, the trait makes it hard to have close relationships outside of work.
The environment that law firms foster turns attorneys into very self-centered people that put themselves above others. Attorneys are rewarded for their achievements, which they get by billing many hours and bringing in large amounts of business. These are things that they do on their own, not by working in a group.
Attorneys for big law firms are left never feeling secure or relaxed, things that make keeping a relationship difficult. Law firms are playing a constant game with their attorneys. Even when an attorney is great, achieving business and billing lots of hours, the law firm can change the rules at any given time. This causes attorneys to be on edge all the time.
Read all 15 reasons in the full article here: Why Big Firm Attorneys Are So Likely to Get Divorced.
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For more information on this topic, read these articles:
- Should I Marry a Lawyer?
- Top 11 Tips for Those Who Date Lawyers and Their Significant Others
- 10 Misguided Rationales of Dating a Lawyer
- Successful Actors and Attorneys Are Very Alike
- 5 Misguided Assumptions about Dating a Lawyer
- America’s Top Legal Recruiter Lists 10 Characteristics of the Top Attorneys