"I give them very wishy-washy advice. Every person is in a different situation, so they have to evaluate where they are in every aspect of their life, personally, professionally … ," she says. "I'd tell them I don't regret it."
Debra Bruce, an attorney and president of Lawyer-Coach LLC in Houston, says opportunities for women lawyers to work at a firm and have children have improved over the past two decades, but a part-time work schedule still has a subtle impact on a career.
"Sometimes the career development of people on part time gets diminished because they don't have the projects that have the most challenge. And, challenge is where we grow," Bruce says. "I've not seen a really demonstrable pattern, however. There are women who are satisfied in their career where they are because they chose to give up going for the brass ring."
Based on her experience counseling lawyers about their careers, Bruce says Generation X and Millennial lawyers are particularly willing to trade "dollars for time." However, she says they don't want to give up prestige.
Notes Bruce, "Going part time, they would be comfortable making less money, and that's still a lot of money. The issue then becomes: "Am I respected and appreciated for what I bring to my firm?"