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Work/Life Balance

Flexibility, Even With Long Hours, Facilitates Happy Family Life

Posted Jan 23, 2008 6:58 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Unlike many of their trailblazing counterparts a generation up, today's young women lawyers—and at least a number of their male colleagues—don't want to give up a normal family life for their law firm's benefit even at the outset of their careers.

However, at least some have found it isn't the long hours lawyers often must work but a lack of scheduling flexibility that kills family time, reports the Wall Street Journal Law Blog. (A recent ABAJournal.com post also notes that young women lawyers who start families early in their careers are contrarians in a world in which many women, not just attorneys, delay childbearing until later in life.)

Erin Leatham, for instance, left Holland & Knight to start her own firm, and now says she works even harder than she did before. However, "I can control it in a way I didn't before," she says. "It's just empowering."

A Holland & Knight spokesperson told Law Blog that it is responding to concerns women are raising, but notes that a job in a major law firm isn't the right fit for every attorney.

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