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General counsel are increasingly paying attention to work-life balance and implementing flexible work arrangements and other programs for their in-house counsel. Long work-weeks may still be the norm, but many legal departments are now offering flexible work arrangements. Other work-life initiatives such as in-house amenities, stress-management programs and help with child and elder care are also taking root.

“Creating flexibility is an imperative,” said Ellen Ostrow, psychologist and principal of Lawyers’ Life Coach, a personal and career coaching service for women lawyers in Silver Spring, Md. Ostrow said the reasons behind the change are two-fold: Attorneys increasingly strive to achieve better balance between work and family life, while legal employers generally face lower rates of retention among their attorneys. In an effort to keep their best employees and attract new talent, many corporate legal departments hope promises of flextime and other work-life balance tools will lead to more loyalty and better retention rates.

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