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Percentage of Part-Time Lawyers Trails Rate of Other Professionals

Posted Jan 6, 2011 10:16 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The percentage of lawyers working part-time at major law firms has risen from 2.4 percent in 1994 to 6.4 percent in 2010, but the rate is still lower than that of other professionals.

The percentage of part-time professionals in specialties such as engineering, architecture and medicine was 13.5 percent in 2009, according to Labor Department statistics cited by the National Association for Law Placement. “Overall the number of lawyers working part-time continues to be very small,” NALP says in a press release.

The percentage of part-timers was 3.6 percent for partners, 5.3 percent for associates and 22.1 percent for other lawyers, including of counsel, staff attorneys and senior attorneys, according to statistics compiled from NALP’s Directory of Legal Employers, a listing of mostly large law firms.

Women are much more likely to be working part-time than men, although an increasing number of male partners are taking advantage of part-time opportunities. In 2006, about 28 percent of part-time partners were men; in 2010 the figure was 36 percent.

Ninety-eight percent of the offices listed in the directory allowed part-time schedules. However, half of the offices that allowed part-time work did not allow entry-level associates to use the arrangement.

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