Working away // Editor's Note

Enjoy the benefits of flexibility in your professional life

By Melissa Kluger

On Tuesday December 4th, 2012


I’m writing this editor’s note in sweatpants. It’s a damp and grey November morning. I’ve just dropped my daughter off at daycare and have returned home to a cup of coffee, my Mac and a wireless connection. As relaxing as it sounds, I assure you it will be productive. I will get a ton of work done during the day and once my daughter’s in bed, there will be a conference call, stories to review and meetings to schedule before my work day is truly done. Tomorrow, I’ll be back in the office. But the commute, the business casual attire and the general busyness will all seem a little less of a chore after my day spent in sweatpants.

While I can’t speak for anyone else’s work-from-home attire, I can say that it’s not only lawyers-turned-magazine-editors who get to enjoy the benefits of a flexible professional life. Lots of practicing lawyers are using flexibility to their advantage, too. I was reminded of this when I read a recent article in the Toronto Star about McCague Borlack LLP’s initiative to track the comings and goings of staff via fingerprinting: while clerks, assistants and receptionists are required to be at their desks for a prescribed number of hours, lawyers (who are exempt from this new program) enjoy a certain freedom. Unless you’re in court, or a client calls with a crisis, your time is really your own.

The cynic would say that lawyers don’t need to be fingerprinted because they are working all the time anyway. But the optimist would note that lawyers enjoy a lot of freedom (and a lot more than the staff at McCague Borlack). And while long hours are part of the deal, some of those hours can be spent out of town or at home. You might even spend them somewhere extra nice, like Prince Edward County.

In this issue, we feature lawyers who’ve discovered ways to work and play in Ontario’s newly popular vacation destination (p 25). They’re dabbling in winemaking, restoring old properties and setting up remote offices walking distance from their idyllic farmhouses. I might think that occasionally working from home in sweatpants is pretty luxurious, but these guys are truly living the dream.

You have to be somewhat of a risk-taker to live your life and build your career in a creative way. But it is possible. And the lawyers you’ll meet in this story will show you how it’s done.

Exceptional lawyers wanted It’s that time of year again when Precedent goes searching for the best of the next generation of lawyers. If you know someone called to the bar in the last 10 years who really stands out, nominate them today for the Precedent Setter Awards. All it takes is a short letter to put your nominee’s name forward and we’ll do the rest. Winners are featured in our summer issue. Click here for more information. Nominations close February 5.