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« Summer Break | Main | We are women. Hear us blawg! »

Sep 15, 2008

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LawyerChick

I think you are absolutely right. Whether a policy exists on paper is different from how it is implemented in practice is different from whether anyone chooses to use it. I can't tell you how many of my friends with small children returned to work FT not because they wanted to, but because they felt that if they didn't, they wouldn't be taken seriously by their peers, notwithstanding the firm's *policy.*

I also have friends who are PT but were pushed to keep their jobs when they were on the verge of quitting completely, because (in part) the firm wanted to keep their statistics high. Of course they are fine lawyers too, but who has clients that only need you on Tuesdays and Thursdays? (Okay, realistically they probably could schedule their calls and meetings that way, but who is going to)

Never mind that that also, for the lawyers, PT usually doesn't pay. Meaning - you're not doing 75% of the work for 75% of the pay because your clients will inevitably need you during your "off" time, and you will end up dealing with it, but the bonus structures don't quite work the same way. So you end up getting 75% of the pay for dong, say 85% of the work, devaluing your time. A common refrain from friends who chose PT and FT.

Just my 2 cents.

Peg

I think that celebrating and shaming firms that make/don't make an effort is not the total solution but it is a part of the solution because it does play a role in recruiting. Personally, I think that law firms will only care about women's initiatives and balanced-life issues if they see that it will have an effect on recruiting or clients.

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