Tag Archives: a day in the life

A day in the life of a London lawyer

a day in the life of a london lawyerI discovered Lisa’s blog earlier this year and it became an instant favourite. She shares my enthusiasm for London and spends lots of time out and about exploring the city whenever she gets a chance. I’m so pleased she could make time in her busy schedule to talk about the typical day in the life of a London lawyer! It’s clear that even when things have gone crazy at work she still takes time to appreciate what London has to offer.

A day in the life of a London lawyer

I would love to be the kind of person who springs out of bed in the morning at 6am, squeezes in at least a 5k run before sitting down to a healthy breakfast before heading to work. I am not that kind of person. My alarm goes off about 45 minutes before I need to get up because I need plenty of time to wake up. After hitting the snooze button several times I drag myself out of bed and get ready for work.

When I moved to London a few years ago I was keen to avoid hours spent on the tube, commuting to and from work pressed into someone else’s armpit. So I made sure that I picked somewhere to live that was within walking distance to work, it might cost me a small fortune in rent, but the cost to my sanity is immeasurable.

My walk to work is punctuated with some pretty big tourist sights, so much so that I often think that if I could get up a bit earlier in the morning, I could definitely combine my commute with running a walking tour. I pass by the London Wall, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and if I choose to walk to work by the river, rather than through the city, then I pass by the HMS Belfast and the Shard. It’s the little things I enjoy the most though, like the fact that hidden under an office building I pass are the ruins of Roman baths.

Once I get to work I generally get something from the canteen for breakfast and eat it at my desk while I’m checking through my email, reading updates and working out what I need to do that day. How I actually spend my day varies but can involve research, drafting notes of advice and attending client meetings.

My day is broken up into units of time of six minutes and whatever I do in the day is recorded (so that it’s possible to charge clients for the time spent of their matters). We are expected to record a minimum of 7 hours of time a day (our contractual hours – 9.30am-5.30pm minus an hour for lunch) and there are codes for different client matters and also for non-chargeable matters (such as team meetings, general admin, business development and pro-bono). Units of six minutes might seem weird (five minutes would seem more natural) but using six minute units mean that an hour can be broken up into ten units for ease of recording. So, for example an hour spent on a matter is recorded as 1.0 (or 10 units) and a 5 minute telephone call is 0.1 (1 unit). However busy my day is, I always try and get out of the office, even if it’s just to eat lunch quickly by the river.

There are horror stories about the hours that lawyers work but the reality varies from firm to firm and from department to department. It just depends on how much work you have on at any given time. I probably usually work from 9.30pm to 7pm but can be much longer and I’ve certainly had a few nights when I’ve finished in the early hours of the morning. If I need to work that late then there are generally a few of us in the office working on the same thing and a sense of camaraderie definitely kicks in when you all take a quick break to have a takeaway dinner together.

After work there’s normally someone available and willing to go for a drink, but whatever our intentions, we seem incapable of going for a ‘quick drink’ as one drink invariably turns into two and that early night I promised myself usually quickly turns into a whole evening of drinking and chatting.

I’m quite lucky as although my boyfriend is also a lawyer, he tends to get home before me and so if I call him when I’m about to leave, dinner is normally cooking or ready by the time I’ve walked home. I tend to avoid making plans for weekday evenings as far as possible as I can guarantee that when I make plans, that’s the night I have to work late to get something done. I hate being flakey and having to cancel or move plans, so as far as possible I try and only make plans I know I can keep. So although my evenings are usually spent in, I do try and make the most of my weekends though to compensate.

By Lisa from Not Quite Enough

You might like to read:

A day in the life of a London writer

A day in the life of a london writer

Today we get to see what a day in the life of a writer looks like, courtesy of Jenny Landreth. Aside from being a writer, Jenny is also a script editor and is currently working on a new animated series for children’s television. 

Jenny’s latest book, Swimming London, is out now and I’ve got a free copy to give away. Just leave a comment by Tuesday 17th June and a winner will be chosen at random. Happy London swimming!

A day in the life of a London writer

My normal day starts with getting a child off to school, and our dog walked round Clapham Common. I often meet John, a writer friend, with his dog and we compete about how busy we are. (He always wins, in quality and quantity.) John rescued my dog once when it fell in the pond and I just stood there flapping my arms screeching ‘he can’t swim! He can’t swim!’ which is kind of ironic, given that the thing I most write about is swimming. I’m grateful to John that he saved my dog’s life, and that he only mocks me a bit for it. ‘Oooh, I’m such a feminist, I need a man to save my dog’.

Coffee fuels my morning, and I work at home from nine with a full cup at my side, doing whatever scripts or writing pieces need my attention that day. I am never ever distracted by Twitter. Never. My best days are those when I don’t have meetings in town, so I can make my own schedule. Then I head to the pool around 12ish, and call it research. I live ten minutes from Tooting Bec Lido, the country’s largest outdoor pool and my spiritual home (unheated). The days I get to swim here are the best of best days.

The water temperature dictates how long I’ll swim for. On a sunny June day, when it’s up to around 20 degrees, I can loll around a bit, take a few lengths slowly and enjoy the feeling of sun on wet skin. Afterwards if I’ve got time, I’ll get a coffee from the fantastic new café and hang out with other swimmers, talking about – well, nothing and everything. Swimming mostly. If I didn’t have them to talk to, I’m sure I’d end up being one of those people who chases the postie just to have a conversation with an adult. This is my community, and I treasure it. Stripped down to our cossies and swim hats, we are all equal. Luck is a theme here, and I am very lucky.

Swimming in cold water makes me disproportionately hungry, and I go home for a massive lunch and a work-filled afternoon. Definitely not on Twitter. Definitely no napping. I tend to stop when my daughter gets home, try and hang out with her with varying degrees of success now the teen years loom. Then I cook supper, we eat and watch rubbish TV. I admit, I might just glance at Twitter at this point. On a really good day I go to the theatre or cinema with my old man. Then a late evening walk round the block for the dog, and it all rolls round again.

PS: I am aware that dogs can swim. But it didn’t LOOK like he could. Before you start on me.

Jenny Landreth

You might like to read:

A day in the life of a London Banker

My work day begins before I go to bed the night before. I check the weather forecast, pack a shirt and arrange a cycling outfit dependent on the weather. The alarm wakes me up at 6am. I generally roll out and stretch before making a cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal, taking a look at the headlines on the FT website and listening to the start of Today.

I leave the flat around 6:45. Why? I cycle to work. I always used to cycle to school from 16 on the roads and stopped on starting my previous job. The olympics changed all that – I thought I’d give it a go for a few weeks and see how it went. My route involves getting down on the A41 and that 6:45 start means I have the bus lane all the way to Swiss Cottage through to 7am.

a day in the life of a London banker

People see cycling as risky but it gives me a unique sense of freedom and the ability to observe the whole city. I go through Regents Park and its a fantastic way of noting the seasons change as I peddle past the zoo with few cars behind me and the sounds of the occasional animal if I listen carefully. London Roads are fast with little segregation; without a doubt the hardest aspect of the journey is the Euston Road up to Kings Cross – you see everything and have to be careful of cars, lorries and passengers lugging suitcases to the Eurostar.

By the time I get to work about 25 minutes later, I can have a shower and change. I keep spare suits and smart trousers at work to save on weight. We are lucky to have a dry cleaning service, a drying room and an interior cycle park. About 10/11 hours later, I’m ready to leave – the days can be intense with short lunch breaks.

Generally, I head straight home but I always take a different route back which is mostly longer. This tends to involve a steep climb through Highgate as climbing is also part of my training for Ride London in August this year.

By the time I’m back, I can relax a bit. Sometimes I’ll go out locally as West Hampstead has a great social scene. I’m also lucky in that I can visit my Mother for a surprise as she is only in Harrow. Most times I’ll read a book or watch some TV.

On days I am out outside NW6, I won’t have cycled and will tube it. London has such a great variety of stuff to do – I generally go to the theatre, cinema or the odd exhibition. It’s just easy to meet friends and find something to do. There is the occasional work/friends drink or dinner and I also do some committee work for the Friends of Fortune Green.

A day in the life of a banker video

Eugene is fundraising for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research in Ride London. Donations to his JustGiving page will be gladly received.

Follow on Bloglovin