By Erin Wiley • October 01, 2009•Other Career Issues
The American Lawyer has reported on a major paradigm shift in some American families - the rise of the Power-Lawyer Mom and the Stay-at-Home Dad. With recent lawyoffs in the legal sector, layoffs that have hit men harder than women according to The American Lawyer statistics, many male former lawyers are opting to stay at home with the kids, allowing their wives to pursue their 'power' careers.
For some women, however, this is not a new phenomena. For Barbara Becker, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the arrangement makes sense because she knows the kids are taken care of, allowing her to do her job. Her husband, Chad Gallant, a former associate at Cravath, for his part, volunteers at their children's school, cooks meals and takes care of the family bookkeeping.
For other couples, the arrangement has worked for practical reasons. From a salary and benefits perspective, it makes sense for some families to have the power-lawyer mom continue working, while the father stays home with the kids.
There are a few interesting differences that The American Lawyer notes about these arrangements, as opposed to families with a stereotypical male breadwinner. The power-lawyer moms generally participate more in the household, through cooking, shopping for the children's clothing, or doing other activities around the house. Also, as Gallant notes, "he might feel differently [about being a stay-at-home dad] if he hadn't already proved his ability to provide, first at Cravath, then later by founding and selling and Internet start-up."
To read more about this new take on the American family click here.