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Everyone is familiar with the term “work-life balance.” However, many of us struggle to strike a balance between our professional commitments and personal life. It becomes even more challenging in high-stress professions like law. Today, we take a deep dive into the transformative journey of renowned family law attorney Ed Kainen. His story is a testament to the possibility of attaining a work-life balance, even in the most demanding professions.

Taking Control of Practice and Life 

Ed Kainen is an extraordinary family law attorney who shifted his life from being a workaholic to taking 175 days off a year. This drastic transformation didn’t happen overnight. It was a gradual process involving a radical shift in his time management techniques and the intentional empowerment of his team.

Kainen broke free from being enslaved by his practice and took control of his calendar. This control allowed him to delegate tasks effectively, focus his time efficiently, and, most importantly, realize the value of taking time off. This transformation wasn’t just about professional success but also about life’s unpredictable turns.

Transition from Work Obsession to Balance 

Kainen’s upbringing instilled in him the value of hard work. His work ethic often had him working from early mornings to late evenings, even on weekends. He was always driven to deliver the best results for his clients. However, over time, he realized the importance of striking a balance between his work and personal life. 

Kainen established control over his work schedule, taking time away from his practice. This transition wasn’t easy, but it was crucial for his well-being and the overall health of his law practice. 

Improving Time Management and Productivity 

One of the most significant steps Kainen took was to implement an open-door policy and flip the delegation of tasks. Clear communication and creating habits to increase efficiency were critical to his success. He prioritized his tasks, managed his time efficiently, and gradually started taking weekends off. This strategic approach boosted his productivity and allowed him to take much-needed breaks.

Managing Time and Untangling Success Traps 

Success can sometimes become a trap, leading to revenue and personal growth stagnation. Kainen recognized this early on and worked towards untangling his habits, systems, and processes. He began managing his day when people were in the office and delegated tasks to his talented team. 

Moreover, Kainen understood the idea of compounding interest in one’s practice and life. Just like in finance, investing time and effort in the right areas can lead to significant returns over time. 

Atticus Coaching for Success 

Ed Kainen utilized the services of Atticus, a coaching service for attorneys, to master his weekends and manage his time effectively. He learned the economics of his practice and realized that perfection isn’t always necessary. Through this process, he could take 175 days off and enjoy life more.

Challenges and Decisions in 2021 

Life threw a curveball at Kainen and his wife, Carol, in 2021 when they found out that Carol’s older sister, Linda, had stage four terminal cancer. They had to act quickly to fulfill Linda’s wish to move back to her hometown. Kainen’s newfound control of his time allowed him to be there for his family during this difficult time.

Work-Life Balance in Law Practice 

Kainen and his wife embarked on an eight-week trip to visit his family in upstate New York. The importance of serving the family and making a practice work without being physically present was critical during this period. 

Kainen’s journey is a shining example of achieving work-life balance, even in high-stress professions like law. It’s about redefining work culture, empowering teams, and prioritizing personal time. Remember, it’s not just about professional success; it’s also about navigating life’s unpredictable turns with grace and resilience.

If you want to learn more about Great Practice, Great Life, check out

Steve Riley

Certified Practice Advisor & Attorney

Steve Riley has coached attorneys for more than 20 years. His one-on-one coaching focuses on a limited number of top producing attorneys committed to taking their practices to new levels of excellence, profit, and personal success. He also presents at group coaching workshops around the country for individual law firms, state bar associations, and other legal organizations.

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