Work-Life Balance

Author Sees ‘Groundswell’ of Male Lawyers Interested in Work-Life Balance


Joan Williams

Joan Williams

Male lawyers are saddled with the presumption that they will put work above all other demands, creating pressure and increased interest in work-life balance, according to the author of a new book on the subject.

Work-life balance expert Joan Williams is seeing a “groundswell” of male lawyers interested in the issue, according to the Careerist blog. She says younger male lawyers in particular are more insistent on work-life balance.

“The younger ones have a different view; there’s already a generation war in the law firms,” Williams told the Careerist. She is author of Reshaping the Work-Family Debate and director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California at Hastings law school.

Williams writes in her book that white-collar men are expected to prove their masculinity by working long hours in the office. The presumption that men will put work first “means they need stay-at-home wives or women who work part-time,” she told the Careerist. “The old-fashioned idea of being the sole support of a family is pretty daunting. The exquisite privilege of working 60 to 70 hours a week is not something that men treasure.”

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Do Reduced-Hour Workloads Derail Partnership-Track Careers? (Podcast)”

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