Lawyers won’t have to be slaves to the billable hour for much longer, according to the panel of experts participating in “Flexing the Workplace,” a roundtable discussion held in the New York offices of Davis Polk & Wardwell and sponsored by the National Association of Women Lawyers.

Timed to coincide with NAWL’s annual awards luncheon and the release of its study “Actions for Advancing Women Into Law Firm Leadership,” the panelists emphasized that now, more than ever, law firms must begin offering more flexible work schedules to its lawyers. If not, they risk losing the young crop of talent needed to secure a successful future.

Why the urgency? According to Patricia Gillette, a San Francisco partner in employment law at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, waves of baby boomers soon will be retiring from partnership positions, and when that happens, law firms will be hard-pressed to replace those lawyers.

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