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Work-life balance is increasingly an issue for burned-out lawyers of both genders, parents in particular. Law students interviewing at firms increasingly ask whether they’ll have a life once they have a job. Our roundup keeps track of this hot topic for you. Hot Topics Table of Contents

Yale Group Ranks Family-Friendly Firms

The American Lawyer Sept. 11, 2008

The student group Yale Law Women released the results of a survey aimed at finding just how dedicated law firms are to work-life balance.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE Dads Care About Work/Life Balance Too

The National Law Journal June 20, 2008

Phoebe Taubman and Yolanda Wu of the Work & Family Legal Center say it’s wrongheaded for big law firms to frame work/life balance as a women’s issue, and to address it with superficial perks.

Beware the Parent Trap

Corporate Counsel April 9, 2008

Employers should avoid “family talk” to guard against discrimination suits.

On (Work-)Life Support

The American Lawyer April 5, 2008

Attorney and blogger Denise Howell talks about how law firms are demanding tons more billable hours from associates while supposedly embracing the idea of work-life balance.

Compliance and Ethics: Cure for Burnout?

The National Law Journal February 15, 2008

Attorney Joe Murphy talks about how the burgeoning field of compliance and ethics may be just what the doctor ordered for lawyer burnout.

Happiest Firms Are Still Happy

The Recorder January 23, 2008

Fortune’s list of the best workplaces in America features five major law firms, including Jay Zimmerman’s Bingham McCutchen � the same five firms lauded in last year’s list.


The Recorder January 7, 2008

Don’t cry about your all-nighters. This Weil, Gotshal patent litigator pulls one every week, putting his M.D. to use at a local hospital. … One new partner (and mom) at Ropes & Gray chose the long road to partnership � and has no regrets.

Finding Home in Gold Country

The Recorder December 24, 2007

Litigator Ralph Alldredge ditched big-firm life to become a small-town newspaper publisher in California’s Sierra foothills.

Exit Strategies

The Recorder December 26, 2007

Attorneys burned out on big firms used to flock to in-house gigs. Thomas LaWer, who now does executive compensation consulting, is part of a wave that seeks more unique opportunities.

Will Latham Trigger Family Leave Acts?

The Recorder December 14, 2007

The firm’s pumped-up policy for new parents may be the next battleground for recruitment bragging rights.

New Take on ‘Full-Service Firm’

The Recorder November 11, 2007

L.A.’s Liner Yankelevitz has upgraded the definition of a “lifestyle” firm. They’ve added a masseuse, free breakfast and gym membership, and concierge Joel Winston, who does everything from arrange concert tickets to picking up dry cleaning.

Frequent Fliers

The Recorder October 30, 2007

Two California lawyers chronicle the ups and downs of a jet-setting practice in our annual publication on women in the legal profession. Jones Day’s Martha Boersch weighs in on, among other things, facing endless vodka toasts. And Baker & McKenzie’s Cynthia L. Jackson reflects on balancing a family life with constant travel.

Stanford Students Grade Firms

The Recorder October 11, 2007

The Stanford group that wants law firms to shape up their un-diverse, sweatshop ways puts out a scorecard saying which firms grade worst in those areas. The crusade is picking up steam. Will it succeed?

Sowing the Message

The Recorder September 11, 2007

A grassroots student group trying to pressure big firms into culture change is going national. Since sprouting at Stanford Law School last year, it’s recruited some 130 members from schools like Yale and NYU.

Partners in Every Sense

The Recorder December 27, 2006

Some lawyers worry about bringing their work home. Couples like Alan Bayer and Heather Borlase build practices around it together.

New job? New baby? Not a Problem

Legal Times December 15, 2006

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice’s managing partner manages lawyers, daughters and deals, apparently with energy to spare.

Law Students Find Freedom to Fawn

The Recorder November 6, 2006

Catherine Tornabene’s schedule at Hast-ings allows her to enjoy her time with 2-year-old son Nathaniel. Professional life wouldn’t be so flexible, a reality more young law student/parents are discovering. No Subscription Required

Partner Paradox

The Recorder October 30, 2006

Women are pouring out of law schools. Why are so few of them becoming partners at major law firms?

More Ways to Pick Family-Friendly Firms

The Recorder October 2, 2006

For any law students who have been stumped about how to select an employer that understands work-life balance � at least a little � now there is a cheat sheet.

Hey Women � Men’s Lives Suck, Too

Legal Pad September 22, 2006

At a session on work-life balance, it turns out that male attorneys don’t love the 80-hour week much more than the women. And more of them are going part-time. No Subscription Required

Why Do Women Go to Law School?

The National Law Journal September 7, 2006

Often it’s about having kids or matters of work-life balance, but regardless: Half will have quit the profession within 10 years of completing an expensive education � sticking the rest of us with the bill. We ought to ask for refunds.

Finding the Perfect Fit

The Recorder September 1, 2006

Mid-sized firms offer associates many unique salary and lifestyle choices. Jason Schneiderman turned down a higher-dollar offer from a mega-firm for what he calls a more relaxed work environment at Perkins Coie.

Kirkland Tilts ‘Balance’ Video Off Site

Legal Pad August 15, 2006

The firm posted a commercial touting it’s “work-life” balance, then pulled it when two of the three lawyers quit. And there’s no way to say for sure, but when you see the video, they all have the demeanor of hostages being forced to read a list of their captors’ demands. We dug up the link, so watch it while you still can … No Subscription Required

Got Kids? These Clients Don’t Care

The Recorder April 24, 2006

Chicken pox? Child-care crisis? Think female clients can relate? Think again.

Distilling the Work-Life Economics

The Recorder February 13, 2006

The loss of one second-year associate could cost a firm up to $500,000. Lose five, and it stands to lose more than $1 million. Hitting law firms where it counts � the wallet � BASF President Joan Haratani wants to spell out exactly why work-life balance demands attention.

The Part-Time Predicament

The National Law Journal December 2, 2005

Firms face a daunting task, says Joan Williams, director for the program on WorkLife Law at Hastings College of the Law. Either improve work-life balance or risk losing more lawyers.

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