Friday, May 01, 2015

Reading on the Run: Articles of Interest to Working Moms (A Family Friendly Law Firm)

Spending time with my daughter on a Thursday night at Beverly's Birthdays Gala. 

Everyone used to believe that you had to sell your soul and sacrifice your soul and sanity in order to work at a law firm, but that may not be true anymore... 
Successful working women keep track of important matters in the news. However, we are not one-dimensional. Some of us also want to keep up with celebrity gossip and fashion news too. Even in the era of the Internet and 24 hour news shows and E!, it can be challenging to keep up with everything.

Fortunately for you, I make it my job to keep up on articles of interest to working moms and when I find notable ones, I share them with you. The one below is a about a family friendly law firm.

Having a Family and Practicing Law Used to Be Impractical


When I began practicing law over ten years ago, finding a family friendly law firm was about as likely as finding a unicorn walking down the street. It was something that played out in fairy tales but nobody actually expected to find one. Nobody believed it was even possible to have a family friendly law firm. After all, the law is a client service business. And clients are demanding. Failure to meet your clients' expectations was akin to career suicide.

Everyone understood that you had to sell your soul and sacrifice your soul and sanity in order to work at a law firm. That understanding motivated me to leave law firm practice as soon as I could. While it is possible, I don't know whether I would have been able to create the memory in the above photo with my daughter had I remained in firm practice.

One Family Friendly Law Firm Is Changing the Paradigm


This week, the New York Times ran an article about a female owned law firm that is committed to helping their staff work full time while being completely present for their families. The article was entitled, A Woman-Led Law Firm That Lets Partners Be ParentsThe attorneys in the article created their own firm in order to allow them to raise their children and to be full participants in their families lives. Many of the female partners made it work by outsourcing their home responsibilities and/or having stay-at-home spouses. 

Make no mistake. those options make it easier to work and have a family. However, they relegate the mom to a manager. That may work for some women. However, it does little to help women figure out how to do both. Even Sheryl Sandberg admits that part of the problem with convincing women to "lean in" is that we tend to place a higher value on spending time with our children. If that is true, the outsource and stay-at-home spouse option may leave a lot of women feeling unfulfilled. 


As a working mom who is an attorney, I am encouraged and inspired by this firm and the attention its family friendly practices has garnered. Change is made one employer at a time. Kudos to this lawyers for having the courage to try something different.
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