As we hurtle our way toward year’s end — when firms hand out bonuses and make partnership decisions — I’m struck by the two concurrent, yet entirely separate, conversations going on now in the legal profession: giving associates a lot more money and achieving work-life balance.

I recently spoke on a panel with several other lawyers discussing the work-life issue and what women lawyers can or should do to try to achieve it. It was an interesting discussion with a bunch of smart women I admire. And I fear all we did was frighten the young women lawyers and law students in the room, because, at the end of the day, we don’t have any better answers for them now than our predecessors had for us 20 years ago.

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