NPR reported on a recent study that shows that people who are engaged in creative hobbies generally perform higher on the job. The findings were published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.
"Psychologists from San Francisco State University found that the more people engaged in their hobbies, the more likely they were to come up with creative solutions to problems on the job. And no matter what the hobby was, these people were also more likely to go out of their way to help co-workers."
"The researchers surveyed about 350 people with a variety of jobs (and a variety of hobbies) about what they did in their free time and also asked about their behavior at work. Those who said they engaged fairly often in a creative activity scored 15 to 30 percent higher on performance rankings than those who engaged in creative activities only occasionally."
The researchers suspect that "behaviors at work and home reinforce each other. 'It's very possible that those who are performing better at their jobs also have more energy to pursue these creative activities. And, in turn, participating in creative activities may help people feel more energized and engaged at work. You almost kind of spiral in a positive direction.'"
Hobbies can also provide an escape from everyday stresses where you're using that time to recharge.
And lawyers and law students would do well to keep a creative hobby (which probably seems impossible with the time constraints). Lawyers and law students have a higher rate of suicide and depression than the general population, and some work/life balance with a creative hobby may help alleviate some of the stresses that can trigger these issues.