Work/Life Balance

The Baby Effect: More Billables for Men, Fewer for Women


A Canadian study suggests that having children leads to fewer billable hours for female lawyers and more for their male counterparts.

The study of 670 lawyers at an Alberta law firm found that mothers with school-aged children billed fewer hours than childless women, while fathers with preschool-aged children billed more hours than childless men, according to a synopsis posted on TaxProf Blog.

Researchers Jean Wallace and Marisa Young conclude that billables dropped for the mothers because they were more likely to have partners who also work, putting more of the onus on the moms to handle household tasks and childcare, according to a blog published by business consulting firm Abeceder. The fathers, on the other hand, were more likely to have a partner who did not work and could take on more responsibilities.

Female lawyers without children had the highest billable hours of all the groups studied—more than male lawyers with or without children.

The study also found that men and women took advantage of family-friendly benefits in different ways. Fathers took advantage of flexible work policies to pursue leisure activities while mothers used them to tackle domestic duties.

A hat tip to Legal Blog Watch, which posted the news.

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