By Janet Wallace • October 02, 2009•Careers, Firms and the Private Sector
The Project for Attorney Retention's newest report, Reduced Hours, Full Success: Part-Time Partners in U.S. Law Firms, maintains that law firms can create successful part-time programs.
Part-time arrangements have long been viewed as bullets to the heart of lawyers’ careers—and dubious propositions for law firms’ bottom lines. This report challenges that view. It shows that law firms can create successful reduced-hours programs—and that part-time lawyers and their law firms can flourish when they do.
Firms that can attract and retain excellent lawyers through flexible work arrangements are going to be able to hire from a larger pool of applicants, save recruiting costs by hiring fewer new lawyers, retain a diverse group of lawyers, reduce attrition costs, attract new clients, and increase the satisfaction of their current clients. In short, the way firms view flexible work for lawyers needs to shift from an “accommodation for mothers” to a business strategy designed to improve the long-term financial health of law firms.
The report challenges many of the assumptions associated with part-time work, including the assumption that part-time partners are not financially successful at their firms. The report also includes recommendations for "best practices" and recommendations for succesful part-time partnerships.
The report can be found here.