Changing your life. Doing so to spend more time on yourself and what matters most while avoiding being completely absorbed by work. Who hasn’t dreamt of that at least once? However, there are those who just dream about it and those who move from words to deeds. Among the latter there is certainly Javier Santos Ramirez. Last September 30 the former partner at DLA Piper has left the law firm (here the news). He was head of the energy practice and member of the law firm’s energy steering committee. Nothing personal with the firm, he explains to Iberian Lawyer, but only the need to undertake new projects that will allow him a better work-life balance. This after almost 35 years in private practice. Before joining DLA Piper, he worked at Cremades y Asociados and then Squire Sanders & Dempsey, a law firm that was absorbed by DLA Piper in 2006. His departure is reminiscent of the causes that drove the phenomenon known in the United States as the Great Resignation (here our dedicated article). We interviewed him to talk about this in depth. Here is what he told us:
After 30 years in private practice and 17 at DLA Piper you decided to change your life. Can you tell us why?
It is essential for people to achieve the right work-life balance. Working at a law firm is very demanding, so that balance is difficult to reach. Generally, the most penalised part of the equation is personal life. So, after almost 35 years in the legal profession, the time has come for me to try to turn that equation around and devote more time to the aspects that are not strictly professional.
Do you have already any projects in mind? Which ones? Do you plan to move in-house, or do you want to change your job completely?
At the moment, my only project is to continue practising law, but on my own, from my own office. I am not considering joining another law firm or moving to an in-house position. What I am looking for is to carry a lighter workload than before and to be able to focus on interesting matters where I can provide real added value to clients because of my experience.
Did the pandemic have any influence on your decision? Does it have anything to do with the phenomenon known as the Great Resignation?
The pandemic has had a great impact on our lives. One of the lessons we have learned is that we now value much more those things that we once considered very simple, like going for a walk, doing sport or just meeting friends for a drink. What I really want now is to spend more time enjoying those simple things. I would have taken my decision anyway, although it is true that the pandemic may have affected its timing, it may have accelerated it. In that sense, then, it could be seen as an example of the Great Resignation phenomenon, in which many people have decided to sacrifice their income, a promising career or a consolidated professional status for a better work-life balance.