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Aspiring/Active/Retiring/Recovering LAWYER MOMS! - Page 9

post #161 of 369
Hi ABQMama!

I'm in ABQ, too, and graduating from UNM law school in May. and I've already started looking for a job. Your situation sounds great! Are you hiring?

I've got a 4 month old, and it's been challenging, but wonderful.

Welcome to MDC!
post #162 of 369
So it seems like this thread isn't very active right now, but I thought I would post. I had my ODD three weeks before I graduated from law school in 2004. When she was almost five months old, I started working for a medium sized law firm doing transactional law with a tax focus. I really enjoyed the work, or at least the research and writing aspect of it, but not so much the environment. It was definitely trial by fire. I worked there for 3 years.

For the past six months or so, I have been working as a staff attorney for an appellate court. The hours are much shorter and I really enjoy the work and the atmosphere. After I started here, I was offered a job with a large firm in a neighboring city doing estate planning and probate work. I took that job, but I have not started yet - I am still with court until June, when we will also be moving. I'm nervous about the time committment. I have worked for a firm before, but it was relatively small (17 attorneys), we had a revenue requirement rather than a billables requirement, and the attitude was not turbo. I am a little unsure of what to expect, especially since I will have been out of practice for almost a year.

Right now I don't forsee myself doing the big firm thing long term. I anticipate putting in two years, during which I want to pursue a Master's in Tax (not an LLM, but an accounting degree, because that is what is available locally). I would love to do research and writing on a contract basis. I might go part time. Or I have considered getting a PhD. It's up in the air.

Anyway, it's nice to hear from other attorney moms and hear how they are dealing with these struggles. I 'd love to hear updates on how some of things discussed in this thread have developed over the past several months.
post #163 of 369
Hello fellow Lawyer moms,
I have a serious question. I recently took the bar exam and then found out I am pregnant. I am wondering how to approach the pregnancy issue when applying for jobs. I am in the first trimester and not showing....yet, should I not tell and try to hide the fact that I am pregnant to potential employers or should I be upfront about it?

I need some advice,
Thanks mommas
post #164 of 369
That is such a tough position. I was pregnant during my third year, so for most of my job hunt. It was obvious to people, and I was unable to obtain employment during that time. I interviewed with a firm after my daughter was born but before the bar exam. I didn't mention to anyone that I had a child until my last interview, which was with a director (i.e., partner) who was a young-ish mom. I felt good that I had told my "secret," and to this day I am not sure whether she told any of the other directors before they hired me.

IMO, no one wants to deal with maternity leave. Once you have the baby, everything is fine because moms are making it in the professional world and no one questions your ability to be productive. I just got hired by a large firm, and they new I had two kids. No big deal. But with maternity leave, you are going to be gone for at least six weeks, and a high percentage of women do not come back (even the people who seem the most committed). It is expensive and risky for a firm to hire you in that situation.

So pregnancy is tough and there is no best answer. For me, I would not feel "right" not giving them information sometime before they made an offer (but for sure not in the first interview, because it is easier to pass you over at that point). It might keep you from getting offers. But I would be concerned about integrity issues with accepting a job and then telling them. If your employer percieves you as a liar and manipulator, that's not good for you in the long run.

Overall, it's just a very fine line you have to walk about when and to whom you provide the information.
post #165 of 369
I am soooo jealous! I get 12 weeks maternity leave and I can add my 4 weeks vacation if I like but this is amazing:


http://www.abajournal.com/weekly/mor...ve_to_18_weeks
post #166 of 369
Thanks so much for the helpful information I think Im going to have to just take a non-lawyer position until after the baby is born because I dont want to be dishonest at interviews. I agree and think it would be bad if they found out I knew I was pregnent and failed to disclose this info.
post #167 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3cuties View Post
I am soooo jealous! I get 12 weeks maternity leave and I can add my 4 weeks vacation if I like but this is amazing:


http://www.abajournal.com/weekly/mor...ve_to_18_weeks
That's really nice, but those are the crazy big firms. I imagine the decision to increase maternity leave to 18 weeks was colored by a whole host of issues with getting and keeping female lawyers, who are graduating from top tier law schools in very high numbers these days.
post #168 of 369
I took my last 1L exam today!!! I can't believe how quickly this school year went...
post #169 of 369
I found this thread late, but I'm a lawyer too. I haven't practiced since my oldest was born (and she'll be 21 this year), except to help DH, who is also a lawyer, with advice when he asks. That can be a little like law school all over again, since I get the facts in dribs and drabs until I have them all. LOL!!!

I don't miss working, but I do miss the conversations about the law. I love the law, and our Constitution, and I sometimes wish that I were still in the "loop" with people who can talk about it.

But I love staying home, and for me that choice has worked.
post #170 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenegirl View Post
I took my last 1L exam today!!! I can't believe how quickly this school year went...
Congrats! I hope my first year next year goes fast too.
post #171 of 369
I'm curious to know if there are any other attorneys in solo practice or doing indigent defense. For the last two months, I've been eeking out a living on the appointed list at my local courthouse. At this point, I'm trying to decide whether to add another county or expand in some other direction.
post #172 of 369
I Had no idea there was a lawyer tribe here. SWEET! I got my JD from University of Georgia in '01. I practiced doing ERISA work for the US Dept of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration. I quit that job when my daughter Lucy was born. SInce then I have been working for myself doing some law work but I am more interested in Real Estate!
post #173 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Era28 View Post
Hello fellow Lawyer moms,
I have a serious question. I recently took the bar exam and then found out I am pregnant. I am wondering how to approach the pregnancy issue when applying for jobs. I am in the first trimester and not showing....yet, should I not tell and try to hide the fact that I am pregnant to potential employers or should I be upfront about it?

I need some advice,
Thanks mommas
You might consider doing contract work until after your baby is born if you are having a hard time finding employment. If you tell someone you are pregnant you will more than likely not be hired.
post #174 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenegirl View Post
The school I will be attending is a private school. Tuition is $29,000/year and the school estimates $18,000 for living expenses. This means you can take loans for up to $47,000 for this year. As you can see, if you were to take loans for everything, you could easily end up with $150,000 in debt after 3 years.
I have a lot of friends who have a lot of debt. I am amazed at the amounts. My only criteria for law schools is that they were in the top 50 (1st tier) and under $15k a year. I knew I wanted to work for the government so I didn't want to get into a position where I couldn't. I graduated with about $65k in debt about $10k of which was from undergraduate.
post #175 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selesai View Post
I have a question for those of you that have to bill. Practically, what is a 2000 billable hour / year schedule like? I'm thinking it must entail 10 hour work days. ?
Thanks...
WHat I saw it was more like a 12 hour work day. I did the rounds of interviews at large firms and was really unimpressed with the concept of work/life balance. Out here in Seattle a lot of the firm have part-time for partners after you make partner which a lot of the female partners end up doing, but they get the crappiest work to do. That is really fair *not*.
post #176 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2 View Post
Some people do go nuts. I don't think they do markedly better - often the opposite, because if they're overly detail oriented they just miss the forest for the trees in extracting principles for things.


I was the twelve hour studier, I did incredibly well in law school, but in my defense, because of my learning style, I am totally unable to cram. I totally envy the crammers. If I haven't learned something two weeks before a final, I won't learn it. Everyone retains information differently. I have to read something three times to understand it well.
post #177 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajake View Post
I was told very nicely by the leading local head hunter that he might be able to get me work doing document review for $15 an hour (which of course wouldn't cover child care). Two diffferent firm partners (one big, one medium sized - both of whom knew me since law school) told me there was no place for me. The big firm guy told me his partners "couldn't envision a place for me" and the medium size guy actually used the word "unemployable." When I asked the medium sized firm guy about starting as a first year associate, he said, "Why would the firm hire you when we could hire someone out of law school and train them our way?" It was, needless to say, demoralizing.

I would be really curious about the experience of the person at your firm who came back after 7 years home with kids. Anything you can share about how she did that would be really helpful. I honestly don't know if I would want to go back to commercial litigation - maybe it is just my ego wanting to have the option - since after all I did walk away from it to do public interest work long before kids. I have been thinking about maybe getting an LLM and trying to teach. Any law professors on here?

Thanks.
THere is so much ageism out there, you should try applying for some government positions, both litigation and investigative. They really try to get people with experience and don't care how old you are really. My office had a 62 year old very well paid intern, who was hired full time the following year.
post #178 of 369
I just found this tribe- and I would love to join!

I start law school next month (aak!), June 23rd to be exact. I'm doing an evening program so that I can be at home with DD (6mo) during the day, and she can be home with DP at night- saving on the childcare costs.

Anyone have some words of wisdom for a first-year?

Also- thinking ahead to the distant future... I would love to have another baby some day, but not sure how it will fit in career wise. Do you think it would be harder to have a baby during law school, or in the first couple years of a career?? Neither seem like great options, but I'm already in my 30's and don't want to wait too long before getting pregnant again.
post #179 of 369
Hi lawyer mamas! I'm new to the tribe as well.

I just finished 1L (whew)! I also found out right before finals that I'm pregnant (6 wks now). I'm planning on going back for the fall, even though I'll be 8-8 1/2 months pregnant during finals then - let's hope I don't have an early arrival! I'm planning on taking spring semester off, but after that I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm worried about not working next summer, career-wise, but I really doubt that I'll want to leave my baby for a part-time, no/low-pay internship, you know? And of course, I'm worried that I'll never make it back to school! DH is predicting I quit altogether to SAHM, which he doesn't mind, but I don't want to completely quit after finishing half the degree! I'm also not going to want to SAHM forever. I do want a career, or at least the possibility of one!
I also don't even know if I want to be a lawyer, although I'm trying to remind myself that it's impossible for me to know since being a 1L does not equal being a lawyer. All I know is that I want to be home as much as possible.


Quote:
Originally Posted by changingseasons View Post
Anyone have some words of wisdom for a first-year?

Also- thinking ahead to the distant future... I would love to have another baby some day, but not sure how it will fit in career wise. Do you think it would be harder to have a baby during law school, or in the first couple years of a career?? Neither seem like great options, but I'm already in my 30's and don't want to wait too long before getting pregnant again.
Hi changingseasons... Personally, I think it's easier to have a baby in law school, if your school allows you to take leaves of absence - you may get 6-8 (or 12 if you're lucky) weeks of maternity leave at a job, but in law school, you can take an entire semester (or two) off with no worries, no planning for a replacement, no disgruntled boss or co-workers. And, when you go back, it'll just be for a few hours a night, not 40-60 a week. Also, a new employer may not be so thrilled with hiring you only to see you take leave after a few months or a year. And if you're worried about waiting too long to get pg again, you should do it now - it'll be 3-4 years before you finish your degree, and then at least another 1 before you'll feel okay about taking leave. I say, go for it if you want another baby now!

Here are my words of wisdom for 1L:
* Don't wait until right before finals to study! I do that and it's miserable. : * Make friends! * Try to join at least one or two student groups so you can be involved outside of classes. See if there's a group for older (i.e. not fresh from undergrad) students, or a group for parent students. * Get as many notes & outlines from upper-class students as possible (another benefit of the student groups). * Don't waste your money on study guides unless you really need them, and then only buy one. Better yet, use the ones on reserve in the library. * Contracts, Civ Pro and Property are hard and not intuitive - give them more time than Torts and Crim, which are at least a little more familiar. * Read a non-law book every now and then - even if it's 10 pages at a time before you fall asleep. Then you won't dream about law school, which sucks!

Good luck!
post #180 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellejar View Post
You might consider doing contract work until after your baby is born if you are having a hard time finding employment. If you tell someone you are pregnant you will more than likely not be hired.
I was hired at 22 weeks pregnant for my current job, but I also work in-house rather than in a firm. I found out I was pregnant 3 months before graduation and while I was job hunting I told everyone that I was pregnant and that I would be needing maternity leave after Christmas. It's nice, actually, because I ended up at a very family-friendly workplace that way.
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