Is Money the Solution?

The Wall Street Journal’s newish blog “The Juggle” recently posted about an email sent by a Big Law associate, who commented that the recent salary raise she’s received made a big difference in her motivation to work and in her ability to provide for her young child What sparked my interest is that it has a post about the salary bump topic as seen through the work-life lens. The point being that perhaps money does make things easier, and perhaps it is a factor worth ratcheting up on the list (as in: what would you do with $15k more per year? Is it more/less/equally as important as your time with family? Does it help the time with family? Etc.). But the most revealing part is the very tetchy comments that some readers have made (if you have five minutes, definitely check them out). Thoughts? Is this really a thank you from the firms to their overworked associates in a banner year? Or is it a sign that the law firm business model is not looking so hot these days, with rising associate drop-out levels, part of which (I firmly believe) relates directly to the enigmatic work-life issue? Support for the argument that the law firm business model is a dinosaur (and implicitly, that the meteor has hit, life will come to an end soon, and good grief: is that a mammal I see?!!), check out a recent speech given by Mark Chandler, the SVP and General Counsel of Cisco, at a luncheon at Northwestern School of Law. It’s appropriately entitled the “State of Technology in the Law.”

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