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Can Women Litigate and Procreate?

Can a woman attorney successfully litigate and raise a family? That's the question veteran law blogger Nicole Black tackles in her month-old blog, Women Lawyers -- Back on Track.

Black discusses an American Lawyer article discussing many of the challenges that litigation poses for women: clients with 24/7 demands, regular travel and unpredictable work schedules, to name just a few. And while the life of a litigator presents problems for fathers struggling with balance, women are still disproportionately impacted because they frequently bear the burden of family responsibility.

The article implicitly raises the question of whether work-life balance solutions are feasible when the nature of litigation is so incompatible with raising a family. Dan Hull of What About Clients says no. For Hull, you either "serve clients with passion and energy...or get out of the game." Yet, if that's the case, what does that mean for women litigators who love the courtroom and their families? Here's what Black says in her post:

I love trying cases--always have, always will. And yet. And yet. I have a family--a husband and young children whom I actually enjoy spending time with on a daily basis.  Little children who are growing up so fast--so quickly.  And, I love watching them grow.  I love watching their minds develop--their little personalities emerge.  I love them more than life itself, and unfortunately, I can't say the same about litigation.   I enjoy it and it's in my blood, but I can live without it--for now.  So, research and writing it is (edited to add that my practice has now expanded).  And, it's [a] good thing.  I've always enjoyed and excelled at that aspect of practice--almost as much as I enjoy litigating.   But, the call of the courtroom is ever present.  I'll hold it at bay for now.  But, in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger:  I'll be back.

Readers, what do you think?  Do work-life balance work in the context of a litigation practice -- and what's the solution that worked for you?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on February 22, 2008 at 03:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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