Why do lawyers work so many hours

Legal working hours: the magical 59-hour mark


Lawyers work on average significantly longer than the average full-time German employee. But above a certain limit, this is no longer worthwhile, a current study shows.

By comparison, lawyers work more than other professionals. This is the result of a recent study by the Soldan Institute. His study "Legal Practice of the Present" shows that lawyers work an average of 51.1 hours per week. This means that their weekly working hours are around ten hours longer than the average full-time employee in Germany.

1,593 lawyers took part in the investigation. The surveys revealed that one in three people works 50 to 60 hours a week, and almost one in five even more. Many don't even take a break on the weekend. Around 30 percent only put files aside on one day a week.

At least the high weekly workload pays off; as a rule, personal fee sales also increase with it. "However, the turnover per working hour does not continuously increase linearly," says institute director Prof. Dr. Matthias Kilian firmly. In terms of turnover, the most effective lawyers are those who work between 50 and 59 hours a week. According to Kilian, they achieved a turnover of 96 euros per hour worked. In contrast, even greater time commitment is only economically rewarded to a limited extent, because according to the results of the study, the turnover per working hour decreases noticeably from the 59-hour mark.

nas / LTO editorial team

Legal working hours: the magical 59-hour mark. In: Legal Tribune Online, 02.01.2017, https://www.lto.de/persistent/a_id/21640/ (accessed on: May 20, 2021)

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