Outsource Everything Except of Your Significant Other

By Amarilda B. Fligstein, Esq.

When the next chapter of life knocks on your door and throws a couple crying babies who refuse to settle or negotiate with you, new skills that become highly effective in the legal field emerge.

Such as:

  • You can and will function with severe sleep deprivation and still be able to keep alive one or a few living human things; add a few pets in there to remind you of feeding time.
  • You can and will function with limited nutritional intake for at least the first ten years of your children’s lives because your worst-behaved opposing counsel has nothing on a child refusing to eat a small piece of broccoli.
  • You can and will be able to successfully maintain multiple schedules, sub-schedules, bullet points, arrows, and subcategories for school and sports activities per child, work events per spouse, holiday/summer/fall/spring/summer/sick breaks, etc., without missing deadlines. The more children you have, the more efficient you become at this process.
  • You can and will be able to account for all living things at all times, with no one left behind, as long as you check your car’s rearview mirror car to ensure all kids are in it.
  • You can and will effectively administrate, account, and lawyer your own practice within 5-hour increments. Again, sleep deprivation skills are essential here for any additional hours.
  • You can and will do all of the above while looking refreshed, calm, composed, and without showing a hint of survival mode, all while handling dozens of cases requiring legal and managerial skills (my particular practice area being guardianships and estates).

Fellow colleagues with young children know the balancing act required to grow a practice and family simultaneously and often advise outsourcing everything except your kids and your significant other. So, I decided to look into what that means and how much it would cost.

Well, hiring a dog walker dog would cost about $600/month; cleaning staff for office and home would cost about $600/month; babysitters for kid pick up and drop off would cost about $3,960/month (excluding weekends); prepaid dinners would cost about $743.20/month; kids’ school lunches and snacks would cost about $200/month; and a landscaper would cost about $200/month. So, one can absolutely outsource everything except the kids and significant other. Still, it will cost approximately $6,303.20 per month, that is $75,638.40 a year, not including basic living expenses and/or student loan repayments. Which gets me to the last point:

  • You can outsource everything, but it may cost you a pretty penny.

Why am I giving you a window into a sole practitioner’s family and attorney life? Because we often forget that a career is more than being a professional, that when a colleague has children, it’s a sign of competency, not weakness, that attorneys who have children may be working three jobs but get paid for one, the legal one; and that most of said attorneys are females.

So, in addition to a show of support, let’s make accommodations and adjustments, such as providing quality and free childcare in courtrooms for court-attending attorneys and court personnel. This workforce contributes to our profession’s intellect and raises the next generation of lawyers.

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