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Dahlia Lithwick

Balancing Work and Family

An acquaintance stopped me one afternoon last week, as I was picking my three-year-old son, Coby, from camp. “Great piece in the Post last Sunday,” he enthused. “I thought you did a really smart job on that one.” Almost as an afterthought, he added: “Imagine what your career would look like if you didn’t have small kids!” I must have looked stricken because he added, “I just mean, you know, you spend so many hours with them. If you were a sixty year old man . . . with nothing to do all day but write . . . .you’d…

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Wallflower

The Work-Life Balance Sales Pitch

Wallflower is a 3L at NYU School of Law It's hard to imagine any law student making it out of law school without being bombarded with talk about the extended hours attorneys work and the difficulty many have in maintaining both a happy home life and a successful career. Long hours, stressful working conditions, and having little time for social lives are challenges most attorneys face. In my experience, however, the work-life balance issue is most often discussed as a problem that primarily affects women or parents, and in my opinion, this does a disservice to all attorneys. During my…

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Jill Filipovic

On “Balance”

[The following is an email sent out over an NYU Law listserve. It references an event sponsored by a religious organization at NYU, which featured a white, male, Mormon attorney with five children and a stay-at-home wife speaking about balancing work and family.] Rebecca writes, "Nor does it address the fact that, whether you intend to or not, when you say that Mr. Belnap can't speak for women on the work-life balance issues, you implicitly depict the issue as mainly a woman's issue. Work-life is an issue neutral to gender and neutral to having children or 'family'. And while women…

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Mary Nienaber-Foster

My Mommy Wants to be a Lawyer

By Mary Nienaber-Foster, a 1L at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio Everyone thought I finally lost it. The kids or my husband's job had driven me to the brink of insanity and I had officially gone bonkers. I stood up in the spring of 2006 and announced to the world that I was going back to school. Law School. Fulltime. Granted, thousands of people around the country were announcing the same thing, but somehow, my little cluster of friends and family thought this was an earth-shattering announcement. After all, I wasn't a fresh-faced 22-year old. I was a mother. Of…

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