For Working Mothers, Large Law Firms Remain the Holy Grail When Seeking Employment Opportunities

Despite recent attempts by many law firms to provide their employees with greater flexibility in their work schedules, many working mothers continue to struggle to succeed in “Big Law.”  In an attempt to correct this continuing trend, the Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association (MAMA) and other organizations attempt to assist women balance work and family. A recent article published by the Philadelphia Inquirer cites data collected by the American Bar Association that shows that while women account for 47% of law school graduates, only 31% of the nation’s lawyers are women.

Many female attorneys have unfortunately found that Big Firm culture directly conflicts with their personal needs and schedules.  Despite working at the office for 10 hours a day, Andrea Kirshenbaum, an employment attorney and mother of three, recounts that her job often follows her home. Attorneys are often faced with unexpected urgencies which make it impossible to leave work in the office, and, in an increasingly competitive business, there seems to be little firms can do to prevent such occurrences. As a service business, firms must respond immediately to client needs or risk losing business to their competitors. As business becomes more competitive so too does the opportunity for young associates to achieve the coveted position of partner.  This opportunity is even more elusive for working mothers who are seeking to balance their work and home lives and are being met with increased demands.

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