The Billable Hour and its Impact on Lawyer Subjective Wellbeing and Burnout
AuthorPasyk, Victoria Summer
Committee MemberDomene, José F.
Mudry, Tanya E.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractMany lawyers experience high workloads, challenging clients, and imposed expectations on the amount they bill, yet purport to have high job satisfaction. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the impact of billable hours and practices on lawyer subjective wellbeing and burnout. Fifty-six lawyers responded to questions on the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI), the Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI), and a questionnaire developed by the researcher that examined lawyer job satisfaction, billing practices, and demographic information. ANOVAs and MANOVAs were used to determine whether levels of billing targets or types of billing practices were related to burnout or wellbeing while thematic analysis was utilized to examine job satisfaction. A correlation matrix was also created to examine the relationships between variables. Results demonstrated no statistically significant differences between levels of billing targets and scores on the PWI and CBI, however in comparison to other research studies, levels of burnout were significantly higher in the lawyer population. Burnout scores were also equally high across billing targets and practices. Lawyers had similar scores on the PWI as the Australian public, however rated health and community connectedness substantially lower. Correlations revealed that job satisfaction was significantly correlated with both burnout and wellbeing. Lawyers were also satisfied with their jobs, however thematic analysis suggested that lawyers desire changes in the industry and workplace to make their experience more positive. Results of this study suggest changes need to be made to both the culture of the professions and the milieu of the workplace.
CitationPasyk, V. S. (2019). The Billable Hour and its Impact on Lawyer Subjective Wellbeing and Burnout (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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