Its true what people say ‘when you got money you don’t have the time to spend it’.
Think that is true for most lawyers. Our breather is running downstairs to pack lunch or dinner. Our enjoyment is dropping down to boat quay for a beer before rushing back to finish some work. For us, there are no weekends only saturdays and sundays when clients don’t call because they are expecting something on monday. Weekend is rarely a time to relax and chill rather it has been consumed by work and transformed into a ‘work holiday’.
Dates or romantic dinners with your partner are only postponed delayed and eventually cancelled plans. There are no sunday brunch or late night suppers at the local hawker centre but rather client formal dinners and early sunday meetings with your supervising partner. There is no reading a nice relaxing book before falling asleep but rather its going through your briefs for the next day only to fall asleep on your table which might as well be called ‘your bed’.
We desperately plan to save enough (which is easy cos we never spend) so we can go on that perfect gateway with your friends, loved ones or just random people. To celebrate the 3-5 days away from work with no email, no calls, no white and black book (which feels like my bible now). We come back thinking we are refreshed and energetic ready to go for another 5 years only to realize on the second day how its time to leave this profession.
So, why does every single university student want to be a lawyer, doctor or investment banker ?
Let me end with a story a partner at one of the big five law firms told me:
“The last time I took a holiday was my wedding about 20 months ago, but we were so busy at work that I had to postpone my honeymoon as my firm didn’t give me leave. And to this day I owe my ‘ex-wife’ a honeymoon”.
Ask yourself is this what you want in exchange for 5000 salary ?