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No one can argue that branding a firm as “family friendly” is a laudable goal. Lawyers want to know that their firms are supportive of family activities. Recent changes in professional settings and technology that allow professionals to work remotely and take advantage of workplace flexibility have led to significant changes in how, where and when we work. And it is undeniable that the family lives of lawyers are changing for the better as a result.

Beefed-up maternity and paternity leave policies, among other work-life balance initiatives at many law firms, have been promoted to attorneys at all levels, and of both genders. But does this focus and the related conversations and policies fairly and adequately protect and benefit all ­attorneys? In reality, firms are likely going out of their way to be able to advertise themselves as “family friendly” at the expense of ­associates who are not within the class of attorneys that are most likely to benefit from such a culture. What about those attorneys who are single? What about the attorneys who are childless?

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