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How to Keep Your Hand on the Scales of Justice While You've Got Your Eye on Raising Your Kids

This article, Lawyers Who Take Time Off Face Tough Return (Legal Times -- September 22, 2006) reports on the new initiatives sponsored by bar associations and law schools around the country to help attorneys (primarily women) who take time off to raise their children keep connections with the law and ease their transition back into the profession. Among other things, the projects will "give nonpracticing attorneys a way to keep abreast of major legal developments and to give them opportunities for informal networking." One such program founded by attorneys from Skadden Arps is already in place in New York, and another is readying for launch in Washington, D.C.

In many ways, this kind of program -- which helps women who've left the workforce to return -- is preferable to the not-very-successful part-time plans. Part-time plans usually fail either because of "hours creep," where women wind up working longer hours for part-time pay, or because they don't provide the accommodation that they promise. After all, working a 35-hour week (light by law firm standards) doesn't allow much quality time for family.

As I've written previously, women who want to achieve work-life balance need to start planning for it in law school. But for those who haven't done so -- and choose to step out of the job market to raise families -- these types of transitional programs help make up for lost time.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on September 22, 2006 at 06:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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