Ms. JD

Law Firms Turning to Family-Friendly Culture

Citing handheld devices, home offices, part time schedules, on-site daycare, and longer maternity leaves, a Los Angeles Times article describes techniques that law firms are using to create a family-friendly culture that accommodates personal lives. 

In the article, Deborah Epstein Henry, founder of Flex-Time Lawyers LLC, comments on the female attrition rate at firms, pointing out that losing a second-year associate can cost a firm between $200,000 and $500,000.

The article goes on to report that law firms are promoting alternative client-attorney bonding opportunities.

"Spa get-togethers, women's poker night, wine tastings, cooking classes, antiquing outings, self-defense training," Henry rattled off, citing ways female attorneys have put their stamp on the networking practice.

"One client and I have taken our children to the 'Nutcracker' together for the past five years," said Elaine Koch, a partner with the Kansas City office of Bryan Cave. "We talk over her business -- the kind of bonding you would do with any client."

Finally, the article mentions that men are increasingly taking advantage of some family-friendly options. Patricia K. Gillette, a partner in employment law at San Francisco-based Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe comments on this Generation Y phenomenon: "And you know how it goes when men start wanting things. All of a sudden it looks normal."

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