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Kimbro Law

Attorney Work/Life Balance Reform with a Virtual Law Office

A small part of the work/life balance reform in the legal profession is taking place quietly through the use of secure, web-based technology. Virtual law offices provide an alternative method of practicing law that permit flexible work hours and can be used to create a better work/life balance for legal professionals. I chose this alternative and for the past two and a half years I have practiced law from home with a completely virtual law office powered by Virtual Law Office Technology, LLC (VLOTech). In the interest of full disclosure, VLOTech is a company that my husband and I founded…

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Jodi Rosenberg

‘It’s more of a juggle than a balance’: an attorney and mother shares tips for success

Jodi Rosenberg has been a practicing attorney for fifteen years and a mother for ten. Her account of the "juggling act" won Honorable Mention in the Ms. JD & PAR work/life balance essay contest. She shares war stories--like the time the school nurse demanded to speak with her in front of a judge--and winning stories, like this one: "A week before I left for maternity leave, [a partner] approached me about my request to work part-time. He represented a large bank and I was one of a group of associates who worked on the bank’s matters. The bank’s general counsel,…

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Sabrina Ursaner

An Open Letter: ‘Dear Baby Boom Law Firm Partner…’

Dear Baby Boomer Law Firm Partner, You have paved the way for young women like me to make it in the legal profession. You sacrificed a lot to get to where you are today, and I completely respect your work ethic and drive. So it’s probably frustrating for you that this new generation of up-and-coming lawyers wants to work less and live more. We want to work and have kids; take maternity leave and vacations; go home in time for dinner; make plans on the weekends – and still be on partner track?! Why should we get all these benefits…

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D. Brook and A. Bruck

Building a Better Legal Profession

Davida Brook and Andrew Bruck placed second with this entry in the Ms. JD & PAR essay contest about work/life balance. They write, "we are interpreted as a bunch of spoiled, resume-building, brats who want to get paid gazillions and flee the office for afternoon tee times. We are confused by this reaction, as we see our efforts as simply continuing the efforts begun by our parents decades ago. For example, just as the Boomers could not think of a single good reason why a Mother should not also be promoted to partner, we cannot think of a single good…

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Lori Johnson

Bridging the Gap on Work-Life Balance

Ms. JD & PAR essay contest winner Lori Johnson (1L, U. Mississippi) recounts the work/life revolution in her previous field, accounting. "Over time, the firm’s partners did recognize the importance of promoting work-life balance in the workplace. For years they had listened to clients complain about high turnover, which often resulted in client service teams comprised of entirely new faces each year. It is not hard to argue that clients are better served by continuity." --Ed.“The problem with your generation is that you don’t have any work ethic.” A single line from my favorite movie, Reality Bites, effectively sums up…

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Anna

Congratulations to the winners of the Ms. JD & PAR essay contest!

Ms. JD and the Project for Attorney Retention received fifty-four passionate, well-written arguments for better work/life balance in the legal profession. Our organizations co-sponsored the contest to generate dialogue between Baby Boomer partners and Millennials. Essentially, we asked entrants to explain why lawyers who place a premium on work/life balance are not slackers. Ms. JD awarded $1,000 to the winning essayist as judged by PAR attorneys. Lori Johnson, a 1L at the University of Mississippi, won first prize with her essay, Bridging the Gap on Work-Life Balance. Johnson previously studied accounting and finance at Texas A&M, then spent four years…

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complainant

Is What Women Lawyers Want a Big Mystery?

Bridget Crawford of Feminist Law Professors writes an interesting post, What Women Lawyers Want Is For You To Stop Asking What We Want (and Do Your Own Laundry). Responding to The Complete Lawyer article, What Do Women Lawyers Really Want?, Crawford contends that what women want isn't a huge mystery: "Women want family leave and flexible schedules. We also want partners or family members who can help pick the kids up from school, do the laundry, pay the bills, plan the vacation, buy the birthday presents, get the car fixed, buy groceries, call the school back and find a nursing…

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Peg

They just don’t get it

Somewhat tangentially related to my last disappointment in the older but wiser generation's lawyers and their attitudes about young-ish attorneys came this priceless nugget...In consulting with an "expert" about what a symposium on the issue of work-life balance should focus on, the expert's first piece of advice was that our speaker should tell people what work-life balance really is because "it is [his] experience that today's young attorneys don't really know what it is." What? Excuse me? Why don't you just go ahead and tell me what my priorities are or should be while you're at it?[More after the jump]Oh…

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jessie

Does “Having it All” require “Settling”?

Recently a friend alerted me to Lori Gottlieb's article in The Atlantic Monthly advising women in their twenties to "settle" when it comes to finding a mate: Don’t worry about passion or intense connection. Don’t nix a guy based on his annoying habit of yelling “Bravo!” in movie theaters. Overlook his halitosis or abysmal sense of aesthetics. Because if you want to have the infrastructure in place to have a family, settling is the way to go.Well I did not take kindly to this advice. I think Gottlieb's perspective is sexist and harmful-it's directed only to women and promulgates the…

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sintecho

The Green Monster: When Your Significant Other Is a Lawyer

The Washington Post has an interesting article on social psychologist Abraham Tesser's research on "how close friends and intimate partners who are engaged in similar work or activities compare themselves with one another." I can't even count all the couples I knew from law school who met in Torts, dated through Fed Courts, and were married (or engaged) by commencement. Now out in the working world, I see a rather significant number of married or engaged couples who met on the job, which makes sense given how much lawyers work--meeting other lawyers is easier than meeting a non-lawyer, and meeting…

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