How to have a family life despite working in a law firm
Nowadays ithas become very demanding to combine a work life in a law firm, havingaspirations to being in a successful position, with having plans of starting afamily. In this essay I want to sketch out some possibilities how to overcome these barriers.
How it all begins…
First ofall, in ideal law firms, the possibility of combining the wish to become a partnersomeday and the plan of starting a family have to be manageable and should notbe in total contrast to each other. In order to make this happen, part-time workhas to be made possible without reducing the chances for climbing the corporateladder.
Imagine a couple
exactly does it become so unsuitable? Well, imagine two law school classmates
marry or enter into a relationship just after their graduation. So, they are
both in their mid-twenties and get a typical law firm job with a chance of
advancing to becoming a partner after a couple of years.
The first challenges
years are very demanding and stressful, relationship-wise and work-wise but
they get through it. Now they are in their early thirties. The idea of starting
a family grows. However, this is the part where it all gets more demanding.
Decisions have to be made
aspect of partnership just in reach, they have to decide whether they want to
endure the intense stress and the unavailability to each other for a few more
years in exchange for being one of the partners of the law firm (without the perspective
of having a less stressful life).
Time to say goodbye
work-stress is at its peak, the question of children is also increasing. The
perspective of being around sixty when their children enter college and not
spending significant time with them because of their job doesn’t sound very
appealing to them so, eventually, they leave.
What if… ?
resulting question is: What has to happen in order to make them stay? Many
lawyers are leaving although knowing that the chances of partnership, which is
linked to considerable profits, aren’t bad. So money can’t be the decisive
factor. Instead, their work life balance has to be restored and in order to
restore it, the necessity of part-time working options and working less
overtime hours is undeniable.
Sharing work is crucial
Staffing cases realistically and facilitating the option of job sharing is essential. The workload a particular person has to handle can get out of hand very quickly, because of various reasons. So in order to prevent completely overloading particular people with more work than they can deal with, job-sharing is key. It may be attached to some costs that firms will have to bear, but it is also a way of giving people a chance of having a family in perfect harmony with their aspirations concerning their jobs.