For many city lawyers, taking on pro bono cases can be a challenge and the fear of not
being able to fit this into already busy work schedules is already deterrent. However,
even those who are not initially deterred by this, and proceed to take on a pro bono
case, will at some point experience a feeling of exhaustion, because of the nature of a
pro bono legal work and different type of stress that assisting someone in need can
provoke. However, there are ways to manage this and therefore avoid burnout during
pro bono cases.
Remember How Your Client Will Benefit
One of the most motivating things a lawyer can do during their career is to remember
how they are benefitting their clients. Especially in pro bono cases, your clients are
receiving help they would never have been able to afford. You may be saving them from
a sentence or fine they would never have been able to crawl themselves out of. Even
when you feel buried in your work, you can grow inspired by your job again by
remembering your client’s situation and how you are blessing them with your services.
As a lawyer, you may have gotten used to the constant grind. However, pushing
yourself to your limits too often can lead to burnout. It is crucial that you take breaks
throughout your day and do not deprive yourself of your free time. It is sometimes
tempting to work straight through your break, but you will soon find yourself lacking
energy if this is a common practice. Your head needs time to rest after wrestling with
complex content all day.
Have a Support Team
Nobody will understand your struggles better than your work colleagues and, in my
experience, one of the most effective ways of doing pro bono legal work is to ensure
you have a collaborative team on the job. Having people to relate to you will remind you
of the complexities of your job but will also encourage you to keep pushing on in your
role. You should especially look to those in leadership positions who had to work their
fair share of pro bono cases throughout their career. Grow inspired by their career
success because of their diligence through taxing cases. At the end of the day, having a
team to confide in will make you much less likely to feel burnt out.
Take Care of Your Health
Another proven way to avoid becoming overly exhausted is to take care of your health.
This also means you must put time aside for yourself to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Getting proper sleep, eating nutritious meals and getting regular exercise are all ways to
improve your health and avoid becoming burnt out in your career. When you’re following
all these healthy guidelines, you’ll feel much more energized when approaching your
work, especially work you are not getting paid for.