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Study Shows Female Lawyers Willing to Leave Firms to Get a Life

Female lawyers are willing to leave law firms to get a life, concluded a recent study by Rutgers University's Center for Women and Work, "Legal Talent at the Crossroads: Why Women Lawyers Leave Firms and Why They Choose to Stay." Teresa Boyer, lead author of the study, explains her team's research in this press release:

One of the study’s key findings is that women are now willing to leave an employer to seek a more flexible work environment ... It appears that women no longer feel trapped or helpless in their pursuit of a successful career in the law.

The study also suggests, however, that leaving a firm isn't necessarily the answer. Of respondents who changed employers in the last five years, 30 percent remained dissatisfied with their current employer's level of flexibility. While that's a significant drop from the 70 percent dissatisfaction levels indicated before women changed jobs, having a full third of female lawyers unhappy at their firms isn't a figure worth celebrating in my book.

Of course, this report was prepared before major law firm cutbacks, at a time when women actually could leave and find options at other firms. With fewer options, women unhappy at work will either have to tolerate it or hope that their firms adopt the report's recommendations on how to create more family-friendly environments.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on May 13, 2009 at 03:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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