The Frenchifying of American Lawyers

 A recent NYT article outlines a quiet but remarkable shift in at least some strata of the legal world as more and more law firms begin to implement more family-friendly policies to stop the flight of would-be partners to greener pastures:

 A harbinger of changing times might well be the brief filed by the hard-driving white-shoe firm of Weil Gotshal & Manges of New York, asking a judge to reschedule hearings set for Dec. 18, 19, 20 and 27 of last year.

“Those dates are smack in the middle of our children’s winter breaks, which are sometimes the only times to be with our children,” the lawyers wrote.

The judge moved the hearings.

Are the heady days of 2300 billable hours per associate numbered? What’s next, the 35-hour workweek? 26 weeks of maternity leave? A marked increase in the quality of life?

What do the lawyers here think? What kind of weight does your firm grant such considerations? How do you navigate professional and domestic demands?



  1. Big firms are becoming more lax about scheduling, but still demand big hours and run on tight deadlines. That is why smart attorneys choose medium size firms (talking about myself of course)! Sure, the money isn’t there at first, but the quality of life cannot be matched.


Comments are closed.