How to have a family life despite working in a law firm
January 16, 2019 10:51 am Published by

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

But how 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

The first 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

With the 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

While the 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… ?

So, the 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.


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