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Ann Israel is the legal profession’s Dear Abby. A New York legal recruiter since 1979, Ann is a past president of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants. Advice for the Lawlorn is updated every week.


Q: I’ve enjoyed reading and gained tremendous help from your advice and wisdom to others. Thank you, truly. Now, I hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to please ask you a question.

I’m a devoutly religious person who’s interested in working for a national law firm. I’m wondering, can a person of faith have a career as a “big law” firm attorney as well as freely practice his/her religion? Obviously, in this day and age no one would be overtly intolerant of any religion, but I realize there may be more subtle situations that might crop up that I’d have to confront, whereas others might not be as concerned, or that simply might affect me differently. For example, if I needed one day per week off for religious observance, would that be a problem (not necessarily so much regarding whether or not I would complete my work — I definitely would be more than willing to put in as much time as necessary and work during the other six days — but as far as “face time”)? I’d appreciate your thoughts regarding the issue of “religion in the workplace/law firms.”

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