parens binubus

more than you want to know about a law school graduate/bar examinee who is also raising two children and doing her best at being a partner to her love.

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  • Wednesday, May 02, 2007
    is it really about "childcare"?
    New article in the Globe today re: a new study being released on women in law firms.

    Something that frustrates me: the constant reference to childcare responsibilities. This article claims that the fact that women associates are leaving the firms at a rate of 35%, and men at 18% (higher for those with children) proves that women continue to shoulder the bulk of childcare responsibilities.

    I disagree that "childcare" is the only consideration. I know of several husbands - especialy of younger women - who share the burdens equally. It's not just about finding someone to make sure the kids are supervised.

    There is also this thing called a "relationship" with your child? You know - seeing them now and again, knowing who their friends are, enjoying their senses of humor.

    My friends at Future Firm often looked at my life longingly.

    "You're so lucky you already have kids, you have it made." Because I don't need maternity leave - ever. I don't need to worry about full time childcare or nannies or what to do after a part-time preschool program.

    But I have existing relationships with my kids. Just because I have older kids who can walk to/from school on their own does not mean I have the license to disappear from their lives. Just because my husband works part-time and writes in our home does not mean that I am a negligible presence who can just work 20 hours a day.

    So while looking for solutions, I don't think a nanny training camp is gonna cut it. On-site childcare works to a point - but school age children need their mommas, too, and their mommas need their kids.

    I remain optimistic about Future Firm, and hold dearly to it's very high ranking on the "top 25 best firms for women" and on the lifestyle firm lists. That comes primarily from its flexibility in allowing attorneys to work at home and it's slogan that there is no "face time."

    I also am optimistic that these conversations that are going on in the media and otherwise will influence the firms, and make it so that I don't get fired on account of my, "I'm going home for dinner, and will get this done from home this evening. See ya."

    Labels: , , ,

    posted by Zuska @ 7:17 AM  
    • At Wednesday, May 02, 2007 8:58:00 AM, Blogger LawSchoolMom said…

      Have you asked current associates about Future Firm's "lifestyle benefits" and whether "no face time" and flexibility applies to new associates or only to those with more seniority?

      A friend of mine works in the CA office of a national firm and she was allowed to go "part-time" - 40 hours instead of 60 - only after FOUR very productive years at the firm. Are you willing to wait that long for flexibility?

      I don't think firms will change their policies too much because there are always law students who are willing to give their lives to the firm. Around here, they sign up in droves for the "privilege."

    • At Wednesday, May 02, 2007 10:29:00 AM, Blogger Zuska said…

      Being a relatively intelligent person, capable of making decisions and finding appropriate information before doing so - I did in fact talk with associates who have families and who are finding ways to build their schedule in a way that works for them for the most part.

      9 to 5 is 80% at my Future Firm, and part-time is NOT what I'm looking for.

    • At Wednesday, May 02, 2007 11:12:00 AM, Blogger LawSchoolMom said… post didn't imply that you weren't an intelligent person or capable of making decisions. Try being a little less defensive. If you don't want comments, then turn them off.

    • At Wednesday, May 02, 2007 11:35:00 AM, Blogger Zuska said…

      Oh, you're welcome to comment - just as I'm welcome to respond.

      "Am I willing to wait that long for flexibility?" sounds to me like an assumption that I'd never stopped to consider such things. Why would that be assumed? Perhaps you weren't reading along last summer when these considerations were being discussed, but the assumption should not be that this story of yours is the first time I'm considering a well-known issue in the field I've chosen to go into.

      I found it condescending, and will respond as I see fit.

    • At Wednesday, May 02, 2007 5:11:00 PM, Blogger Pissed OFF Housewife said…


      I am well aware that a battle with you is a losing proposition so I'll have to say my peace and then quietly cower in the corner while you blast me with both barrels....

      Your children will not be the downfall of your career.

      It's obvious to all.

      It's the obsession with American Idol that's certain to have you fired from any reputable firm in the country.


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