Jonathan M. Shapiro was at that familiar crossroads in his career as an attorney. He had spent five years with a large law firm — Day Pitney — and needed to decide whether he was willing to invest the time and effort to obtain a partnership position.

He considered what was best for his wife and their 15-month-old daughter and whether it was worth living in Stamford, Conn., to be close to his office but farther away from his extended family in the central part of the state.