Time Management by the Hour

This is my last editorial for Lexpert Magazine so I want to give you something useful, a piece of practical wisdom. I have learned a great deal from listening to, writing about, and working on the ranking and awards of many of the finest lawyers in Canada. There is likely much that is true and helpful to be drawn from this experience, but it will take me time to reflect on these lessons; and with any luck by that point, I will be on to my next exciting opportunity and time again will be rationed. In this moment, what is it that I want to gather up from you and return to you, thus giving you back a fraction of what you have given me? The importance of time management.

It is conceivable that the billable hour model has borne the implication for many lawyers that time is infinite. The more hours you spend, the more you make. Don’t get me wrong: I believe you fill those hours with excellence of service, but still, that “more is more” is a seductive idea.

Perhaps the new alternatives in software, pricing and service models that are here with more coming might cause you to think positively — not only of what can be done in an hour but what should be done.

I’m going out on a limb here (if not now, when?) and suggesting that a time management course should be mandatory in law school even though the list is long of recommended practical and business skills courses to be added to the curriculum. After all, this is when we first learn that the law is practically infinite.

And for all of us, I say we check out the time management resources that are available. When I review the Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 Winners’ bios, I am daunted by the sheer volume of accomplishments, both professional and personal. I hope they have found time to breathe and laugh.

Thank you to each and every one of you for your time.