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#241 of 369 Old 10-22-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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I do not want to discourage anyone from doing anything that they feel driven to do, and I certainly do not want to discourage people from taking on challenges. Believe me, if you are a parent, you can get through law school. Dealing with a newborn at 2 am or a toddler in the grocery store is harder than a Contracts class.

However, if part of your decision-making is based on financial concerns, I want you to be aware that you cannot count on getting a job at a big firm that will pay highly and allow you to pay back loans. For one thing, unless you go to Yale, Harvard, Duke, Stanford, and a handful of other schools, only people with very good grades even have the chance to interview for big firm jobs. And law school grades are not like undergrad grades. You compete. You compete with people who do not have children or spouses and have nothing they have to do except study all day and all evening. Law school parents can and do get very high grades many times, in part I think because they are forced to be very disciplined, but there is no guarantee.

The other factor is the economy. I had a fairly easy time finding a big law job two years ago. Not so now, law firms have cut hiring below 50% in some places.

There are many, many different paths that a law degree can take you on. Big firms are by no means the exclusive option. There are small firms, government jobs, solo practice, in-house positions, jobs with legal aid and public service groups, contract positions, academic positions, political positions, etc.. However, just beware when you are deciding to go to law school, and deciding which law school to go to, that you may not be making $160K the first year out of law school. You may be making $40k.
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#242 of 369 Old 10-22-2008, 11:41 PM
 
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How did you finance law school? And if it was pure loans, how much do you owe now in student loans? Is it worth the debt with your take home pay as a lawyer?

I had $30k in undergrad loans, which I am almost done paying off. I don't know if I really want to be back in debt again for school...
I graduated this year from a top ten public school that is no longer really public--that is, the state no longer provides it with much funding, so it basically has private school tuition costs. DH and I took some loans out, and paid for some of it ourselves as we went along, so I actually ended up with less debt than most of my friends from law school--about $50K altogether. It's a lot, but we've done the math, and it looks like if I stay at this job (or a similar-paying job), we'll be done paying off the loans within ten years. It's definitely something to think about, though, before deciding to take law school on! I *think* I'd still do it again, though, if given the choice.

Like one of the other PPs, I too work in a difficult area of tax law (complex high-net-worth estate planning), which can be mentally taxing (especially for me as a first-year learning the ropes!), but also very interesting, intellectually challenging, and more conducive to reasonable hours than some forms of litigation, at least. All in all, I'm pretty satisfied with the way things turned out. I really, really do miss DD during the day though. I usually feel, most of the time, like I'm doing the right thing, and like I should be proud of what I've done this past year (had a baby, finished law school, taken the Bar, started a new job)--but sometimes, I just feel like I'm leaving her every day to go work for the man or something. It's tough. But, I think I'd feel this way about any job, it's not really a law-related problem

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#243 of 369 Old 10-23-2008, 02:23 AM
 
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I graduated this year from a top ten public school that is no longer really public--that is, the state no longer provides it with much funding, so it basically has private school tuition costs. DH and I took some loans out, and paid for some of it ourselves as we went along, so I actually ended up with less debt than most of my friends from law school--about $50K altogether. It's a lot, but we've done the math, and it looks like if I stay at this job (or a similar-paying job), we'll be done paying off the loans within ten years. It's definitely something to think about, though, before deciding to take law school on! I *think* I'd still do it again, though, if given the choice.

Like one of the other PPs, I too work in a difficult area of tax law (complex high-net-worth estate planning), which can be mentally taxing (especially for me as a first-year learning the ropes!), but also very interesting, intellectually challenging, and more conducive to reasonable hours than some forms of litigation, at least. All in all, I'm pretty satisfied with the way things turned out. I really, really do miss DD during the day though. I usually feel, most of the time, like I'm doing the right thing, and like I should be proud of what I've done this past year (had a baby, finished law school, taken the Bar, started a new job)--but sometimes, I just feel like I'm leaving her every day to go work for the man or something. It's tough. But, I think I'd feel this way about any job, it's not really a law-related problem
Good post. This really resonated with me. I think you and I both would feel the same emotional tug toward our children with regard to working long hours or taxing hours, regardless of the field. It's an issue for all careers, not just law.

However, I think (from what I've heard and seen) that new lawyers have a lot of expectation heeped on them to work long hours and strive to make partner, etc.

I'm not quite sure I'm ready to take on law school, and then 5 or 10 years of building a law career. Like someone else said previously in this thread, in law school, parents can do well, but they will be competing with other students who are non-parents, aren't working, and can devote all their time, energy, and attention to studying.

I am pretty certain that my law school academic performance as a mother would be less stellar than it would have been as a non-mother coming right out of or shortly after undergrad. That's not saying all mothers would be that way, but I know my limitations. My child lays a major claim on my attention and energy, rightly so, but a majority of my life's time and energy, none the less.

The other issue is money. It really does come down mostly to money. I just paid off (or close to, I guess) $30k in undergrad loans. I don't want to be in debt again (even though it is the lowest interest debt I've ever had) so that I feel I need to work the higher paying, higher stressing and higher expectation jobs that would take me away many hours from my family.

The other factor is that I do NOT have a husband who will ever be a SAHP. He has his own career and identity issues, and he works long, insane hours, and he'll never stop that. So, it's not like I have a fall back person who can be more of a parent. So, that definitely plays into it.
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#244 of 369 Old 10-23-2008, 07:48 AM
 
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I completely hear you, That is Nice. After having DD, I'd often look around my classmates at law school and think to myself: You all have it so easy! All you HAVE to do is study! I used to be like you! Now, studying is the LAST thing I have to do! I did very well in law school, and I'm really proud of myself--but absolutely, it was much, much harder as a parent, both from the standpoint of having two full-time jobs (as mama and student), and of feeling that strong emotional pull of motherhood, like you mentioned.
Don't completely give up on the idea of the law, though! It is a rewarding field, IMHO, and there is SO much you can do with a law degree. Keep it in the back of your mind for when your kids are older, perhaps

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#245 of 369 Old 10-24-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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Good post. This really resonated with me. I think you and I both would feel the same emotional tug toward our children with regard to working long hours or taxing hours, regardless of the field. It's an issue for all careers, not just law.
...
The other issue is money. It really does come down mostly to money. I just paid off (or close to, I guess) $30k in undergrad loans. I don't want to be in debt again (even though it is the lowest interest debt I've ever had) so that I feel I need to work the higher paying, higher stressing and higher expectation jobs that would take me away many hours from my family.

The other factor is that I do NOT have a husband who will ever be a SAHP. He has his own career and identity issues, and he works long, insane hours, and he'll never stop that. So, it's not like I have a fall back person who can be more of a parent. So, that definitely plays into it.
My husband is the same way. We're expecting our first baby in February, and while I would love to stay at home for a while, my student loan payments don't allow it. I am a prosecutor in FL, and while I'm lucky that I don't work long hours and I love my job, but I still wish that I could really "have it all" and be able to take six or more months off with my new baby.

When I was in law school it seemed like the parents always had it together more than I did--they were so organized and generally got better grades.

If I had to do it over again, I would, but I would choose a less expensive but still decently ranked public school. The financial consequences of bringing so much debt into a marriage (and my own life) are difficult to bear, especially now that our priorities have changed.

Question for the Lawyer/Lawyer-to-be Mamas: Do you feel like you get less respect at work because you are a mother (or pregnant)? I'm starting to feel this way...mostly because people are always asking me how I'm doing and commenting on my appearance. I'm only 24 weeks!!

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#246 of 369 Old 10-26-2008, 11:56 PM
 
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I graduated in 1997 with nearly $100k in student loans. This included undergrad. I went to a private law school because I needed to stay close to my mom who was sick with cancer (there were no public law schools in my area at the time). At the time I graduated the job market was spectacular. Today, not so much. I have spent my whole career with the government (first a state appellate judicial clerkship, then the feds)...the market for government lawyers isn't great these days either. Lots of agencies are very strapped. There are still a lot of jobs in areas like DOJ and homeland security, but the competition is also tougher because there isn't much in the private sector happening.

The student loans are really wearing on me, because I feel like I've been paying them off forever and they never seem to go down. But I wouldn't change my decisions even if I could. This is what I'm meant to be doing, and I love it. I can't really envision myself in any other career at this point.
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#247 of 369 Old 10-29-2008, 04:20 PM
 
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#248 of 369 Old 10-29-2008, 06:39 PM
 
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Question for the Lawyer/Lawyer-to-be Mamas: Do you feel like you get less respect at work because you are a mother (or pregnant)? I'm starting to feel this way...mostly because people are always asking me how I'm doing and commenting on my appearance. I'm only 24 weeks!!
Hmm, I actually haven't felt that way at work (I worked for this firm last summer while pregnant, as a summer associate, and now of course I AM a mama . I did feel that way sometimes in law school though, while I was pregnant during 3L year. I never felt judged or treated differently by my profs, but definitely by other students. The law student population at my school was overwhelmingly young and single, and there was a lot partying...Guess I didn't always fit in with that so well!

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#249 of 369 Old 10-29-2008, 11:32 PM
 
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However, if part of your decision-making is based on financial concerns, I want you to be aware that you cannot count on getting a job at a big firm that will pay highly and allow you to pay back loans. For one thing, unless you go to Yale, Harvard, Duke, Stanford, and a handful of other schools, only people with very good grades even have the chance to interview for big firm jobs. And law school grades are not like undergrad grades. You compete. You compete with people who do not have children or spouses and have nothing they have to do except study all day and all evening. Law school parents can and do get very high grades many times, in part I think because they are forced to be very disciplined, but there is no guarantee.

The other factor is the economy. I had a fairly easy time finding a big law job two years ago. Not so now, law firms have cut hiring below 50% in some places.
Great post! I agree completely. I am a 2L, currently ranked 5/100 in my class, despite working FT and having a baby 6 weeks before my last set of finals. And you know what? I went through OCI last month and didn't get a Biglaw job. It's been a very difficult time. But I am so incredibly thankful that I got a scholarship to law school, and that I am not facing the prospect of paying back 80K in student loans, without the megacrazy starting salary that some of these placess offer. Definitely something to think about.

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#250 of 369 Old 10-30-2008, 12:03 PM
 
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[QUOTE/]Question for the Lawyer/Lawyer-to-be Mamas:[/B] Do you feel like you get less respect at work because you are a mother (or pregnant)? I'm starting to feel this way...mostly because people are always asking me how I'm doing and commenting on my appearance. I'm only 24 weeks!![/QUOTE]

I actually think I get more respect from almost everyone. Support staff in particular are far more sympathetic to my and my needs than they to most young associates.

I know it can be annoying when you are pregnant and people treat your body like it is a display piece, but honestly people mean well almost all the time. It is exciting to see this amazing event unfolding before your eyes--there is a person growing in there!

That being said, there are a few, unfortunately all female, attorneys who do not respect anyone who has made different choices about family life than they have. I just avoid those people.
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#251 of 369 Old 10-30-2008, 03:03 PM
 
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Clerking and being pregnant was not such a great combination in retrospect. Yes, the hours were good, and I had plenty of time off for doctors, etc. But I did feel more like a mommy to be than a lawyer. Did people take me less seriously? I don't know. But I think I took myself less seriously. It was hard to concentrate, hard to imagine the next job (which you have to focus on as a lawcler) because I couldn't see past the baby. It was distracting. If I could do it again (and wind up with the same wonderful kids) I probably would have waited until after the clerkship to get pregnant.

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#252 of 369 Old 10-31-2008, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel it's harder to be a working mother than a working father. I saw the resume a partner marked up before hiring me (i.e. during/after my interview took place) and he appeared to question commitment and family on there. It really offended me. Then, in my review, he commented that I seemed to spend a good deal of time on personal matters. I don't know what they were talking about. I was pregnant and often going to the doctor.

My current supervising partner, when discussing when I should plan to leave every evening, told me he knew I had obligations at home so 5:30 would work.

I always feel like these things are "weaknesses." I KNOW that the male associates work longer than I do. I know the one whose wife cares for their 3 young children never gets calls from his spouse about where the clean laundry is or when he's coming home. He seems fine with getting home "by bedtime," but that doesn't work for me.

I want to do well here, but let's face it-- my family is my life. Maybe I shouldn't have chosen to be a lawyer because of that priority. Maybe I should have put it off, or chosen a different workplace. I can't help but think that by the time I focus more completely on work, it will be "too late." A female partner here told me you have to "work like you don't have kids." I don't know how one can actually do that.

Also, I find that most female partners are not very accessible about these things.
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#253 of 369 Old 10-31-2008, 10:19 PM
 
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I saw the resume a partner marked up before hiring me (i.e. during/after my interview took place) and he appeared to question commitment and family on there. It really offended me. Then, in my review, he commented that I seemed to spend a good deal of time on personal matters. I don't know what they were talking about. I was pregnant and often going to the doctor.

My current supervising partner, when discussing when I should plan to leave every evening, told me he knew I had obligations at home so 5:30 would work.
These are red flags to me -- not huge ones, but def. medium sized -- that your firm's culture isn't conducive to family life or at least isn't proactive about family issues.

At my old firm (which was not family friendly) one of my colleagues was dinged in her annual review for having 1600 billible hours, rather than the required 2100. She had to remind them that she'd been on maternity leave for 5 months of the period being reviewed -- on an annualized basis she was well above the minimum. But here's the kicker (IMO): Because of the way the review process was set up, each of the partners in our group had seen and commented on her "packet" over the course of several months, but nobody thought to point out that her hours were a result of her leave, or even to bat an eye at the negative comment. Unreal, esp. since she worked her butt off up until 39 weeks 5 days. It's stuff like that that tells you that no one is paying attention. I hope you asked for clarification about the "personal matters" comment.

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I want to do well here, but let's face it-- my family is my life. Maybe I shouldn't have chosen to be a lawyer because of that priority. Maybe I should have put it off, or chosen a different workplace. I can't help but think that by the time I focus more completely on work, it will be "too late." A female partner here told me you have to "work like you don't have kids." I don't know how one can actually do that.
Are you concerned that you're being mommy-tracked rather than groomed for partnership? IIRC you're only 3-4 years out of law school? Now would be a good time to consider making a move to another workplace. As you move farther along the p'ship track you'll only face higher expectations. The majority of the successful (and happy) partner/moms at my old firm started in the government and moved to private practice once their children were older and they were well-established in their fields. Of course, it depends on your practice area, your locale, your firm, but I'd say that in general, "coming up through the ranks" or "paying your dues" in private practice is MUCH harder (or at least very different) than making a transition later.

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Also, I find that most female partners are not very accessible about these things.
That tells me something right there. If they're truly not accessible, either they're mean-spirited folks (which I hope isn't the case) or they've got nothin' good to say, no words of wisdom short of "work like you don't have kids."
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#254 of 369 Old 10-31-2008, 11:51 PM
 
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I feel it's harder to be a working mother than a working father. I saw the resume a partner marked up before hiring me (i.e. during/after my interview took place) and he appeared to question commitment and family on there. It really offended me. Then, in my review, he commented that I seemed to spend a good deal of time on personal matters. I don't know what they were talking about. I was pregnant and often going to the doctor.

My current supervising partner, when discussing when I should plan to leave every evening, told me he knew I had obligations at home so 5:30 would work.

I always feel like these things are "weaknesses." I KNOW that the male associates work longer than I do. I know the one whose wife cares for their 3 young children never gets calls from his spouse about where the clean laundry is or when he's coming home. He seems fine with getting home "by bedtime," but that doesn't work for me.

I want to do well here, but let's face it-- my family is my life. Maybe I shouldn't have chosen to be a lawyer because of that priority. Maybe I should have put it off, or chosen a different workplace. I can't help but think that by the time I focus more completely on work, it will be "too late." A female partner here told me you have to "work like you don't have kids." I don't know how one can actually do that.

Also, I find that most female partners are not very accessible about these things.
I worked at a place like this. My "mentor" had a couple kids, and around 6 one night one of them called her for help with homework. The partner brushed her kid off, hung up, and started complaining that "that's what I pay the nanny for." I got fired because I wasn't "partner material." Best thing that ever happened to me

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#255 of 369 Old 11-03-2008, 12:12 AM
 
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I feel it's harder to be a working mother than a working father. I saw the resume a partner marked up before hiring me (i.e. during/after my interview took place) and he appeared to question commitment and family on there. It really offended me. Then, in my review, he commented that I seemed to spend a good deal of time on personal matters. I don't know what they were talking about. I was pregnant and often going to the doctor.

My current supervising partner, when discussing when I should plan to leave every evening, told me he knew I had obligations at home so 5:30 would work.

I always feel like these things are "weaknesses." I KNOW that the male associates work longer than I do. I know the one whose wife cares for their 3 young children never gets calls from his spouse about where the clean laundry is or when he's coming home. He seems fine with getting home "by bedtime," but that doesn't work for me.

I want to do well here, but let's face it-- my family is my life. Maybe I shouldn't have chosen to be a lawyer because of that priority. Maybe I should have put it off, or chosen a different workplace. I can't help but think that by the time I focus more completely on work, it will be "too late." A female partner here told me you have to "work like you don't have kids." I don't know how one can actually do that.

Also, I find that most female partners are not very accessible about these things.
I definitely feel scared about stuff like this too. I shopped around a LOT for a family-friendly firm, and I definitely feel good about the one I chose. Generally, I think all the partners are fairly accessible, and several female partners are even mamas of many--but a lot of them had their kids later in life, i.e., while they were partners. So, yeah, I worry about having to "pay my dues" while DD (and any future children, God willing) are little. Right now, I'm kind of jealous that you can leave at 5:30, to be honest...My firm has a 1900 billable hour requirement (modest around here), and the senior associate in my group says he needs to stay from 9-7 every day to make that requirement without having to work weekends and to still be able to take seven vacation days and all our holidays every year. So, that's good, I don't want to work holidays or weekends either, absolutely not. But that means I'm working from 8-6 or 8:30 to 6:30 every day, and I don't get home till seven Sigh...
In happier news, though, I did find out on Friday that I PASSED THE GA BAR!!! So that was a relief

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#256 of 369 Old 11-03-2008, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Right now, I'm kind of jealous that you can leave at 5:30, to be honest...My firm has a 1900 billable hour requirement (modest around here), and the senior associate in my group says he needs to stay from 9-7 every day to make that requirement without having to work weekends and to still be able to take seven vacation days and all our holidays every year.
We have a 2000 billable hour requirement but I'm not making it because there isn't a workload to support it, at this point. My understanding is that most associates work 10 hours a day. I commute an hour each way.


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I worked at a place like this. My "mentor" had a couple kids, and around 6 one night one of them called her for help with homework. The partner brushed her kid off, hung up, and started complaining that "that's what I pay the nanny for." I got fired because I wasn't "partner material." Best thing that ever happened to me
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These are red flags to me -- not huge ones, but def. medium sized -- that your firm's culture isn't conducive to family life or at least isn't proactive about family issues. ...
It's stuff like that that tells you that no one is paying attention. I hope you asked for clarification about the "personal matters" comment.

Are you concerned that you're being mommy-tracked rather than groomed for partnership? IIRC you're only 3-4 years out of law school? Now would be a good time to consider making a move to another workplace. As you move farther along the p'ship track you'll only face higher expectations. The majority of the successful (and happy) partner/moms at my old firm started in the government and moved to private practice once their children were older and they were well-established in their fields. Of course, it depends on your practice area, your locale, your firm, but I'd say that in general, "coming up through the ranks" or "paying your dues" in private practice is MUCH harder (or at least very different) than making a transition later.
I am at a very large firm but in a small department of that firm. So my experiences are based only on a few partners. The women that I said are inaccessible are the only two women in this office's branch of my practice group, and one of them is completely and totally inaccessible to everyone, and the other is just moderately inaccessible.
My firm is thought to be a pro-family firm. You can make partner working 60% +, etc etc. So maybe I need to find other people in the office to talk to about this issue.
My concern is not just being mommytracked, it's that I've come to realize the decisions are being made up in the corporate structure without much regard for the partners at the local level. So I think those "up there" probably don't care WHY I don't make my hours, they care that I don't. And I haven't been around long enough to know the ins and outs of how partners are chosen. I'm 3 years out but I've only been here a year.

I've thought about going elsewhere. I don't know how that would improve things. As far as quality of life, the reality is that I have a lot of debt and I'm the sole wage earner, so the big firm money makes life easier / possible for me in this high COL area. If I commute to DC I will likely need an extra hour of travel time over the almost 2 I spend each day (depending on where in the city) and moving isn't an option. I know the gov't (justice) isn't hiring now.

I've gotten calls from headhunters of course, and I have thought about looking into that. I want to stop going from job to job, I want to settle somewhere.

I have also wondered about going 90% (If I could) because it would make my hours look better. I would essentially work the same, but be making my [then reduced] billable requirement and get a bonus. I guess that would look better at partnership time.

I don't know. I find this all so confusing. And kind of stupid, too.
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#257 of 369 Old 11-03-2008, 04:55 PM
 
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I'm so glad I found this thread. I am very seriously considering law school. It has always been in the back of my mind, and it's beginning to feel like it may be time to ge serious about it. I have a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology and a Post-Graduate clinical Certificate from a top school and I'm a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I like what I do, but I have always been interested in law. I think my first choice of specialization would be family law, but I also have an interest in environmental/land use/water resources law.

I think it will take me at least a year to be ready to apply, and by then my youngest will be 2. It's tricky...I'm 37 and would possibly like to have another baby in the next few years, so the timing is all very important. :
Any advice?
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#258 of 369 Old 11-04-2008, 12:04 AM
 
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I've thought about going elsewhere. I don't know how that would improve things. As far as quality of life, the reality is that I have a lot of debt and I'm the sole wage earner, so the big firm money makes life easier / possible for me in this high COL area. If I commute to DC I will likely need an extra hour of travel time over the almost 2 I spend each day (depending on where in the city) and moving isn't an option. I know the gov't (justice) isn't hiring now.

I've gotten calls from headhunters of course, and I have thought about looking into that. I want to stop going from job to job, I want to settle somewhere.

I have also wondered about going 90% (If I could) because it would make my hours look better. I would essentially work the same, but be making my [then reduced] billable requirement and get a bonus. I guess that would look better at partnership time.

I don't know. I find this all so confusing. And kind of stupid, too.
I probably wouldn't have left my big firm job voluntarily for the same reasons, but I found that when I was shown the door everything worked itself out and money didn't turn out to be as big a problem as it seemed like it would be.

I didn't have kids at the time, and my husband worked, so you have a couple more challenges. All I can say is that we've downsized our house, cut our expenses somewhat, and I've never been happier. I didn't realize just how much stress was ruining my life until it was alleviated.

Now that DD is almost 2, I'm starting to look at full-time jobs again, but I would never go back to a job where I couldn't leave promptly at 5 p.m. and forget work until the next morning.

Good luck finding the right situation for you!

-Marisa, ecstatic mommy to amazing DD Sidonie, 2/07 :
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#259 of 369 Old 11-04-2008, 11:23 AM
 
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Hi ladies!

It is so great to find this thread! I often feel isolated as a lawyer mommy.

I didn't have kids until my 5th year as an associate. The firm was billed as being family friendly, but I got fired when I was 8 months pregnant!! I found a good lawyer of my own and managed to get severance worth 3 additional months on top of the regular maternity leave, so I had a 6 months paid maternity leave. Then I found a job at a small firm. I work 80% and have one day at home, so I am only in the office 3 days. It is great!!!

Money is tighter now that I am no longer in biglaw, but I work 9-5 instead of 630-530, and I feed my daughter breakfast and dinner every day, and see her for more time on my day working at home.

I agree with the posters above that the partner questioning commitment, etc., is a big red flag. True family friendly firms (not the lip service ones) would never do that. As an example, everyone here is very protective of my time - they ask me to do things only as my time permits, and make sure that I am always able to leave on time at 5.

I also think that it would be easier to have a baby during school than afterwards. You could take a semester off for maternity leave and then jump back in - rather than trying to look for jobs as a pregnant student or having a baby as a new lawyer (both difficult).
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#260 of 369 Old 11-05-2008, 11:47 AM
 
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Hello ladies.
I just found this board.
I could use some advise & encouragement.
I graduated law school 2006, had my first child 2007 (she'll be 1 yo this Friday!)
I live in a small metro area & I have kicked around a few firms in the area for the last few years.
Finally got a (so I thought) great job with a well known firm.
After 8 months I realized I love the work (practicing family law) but hate the job. I'm treated like a paralegal and making a dismal salary.
So I turned in my notice Monday and am preparing to hang out my own shingle next week. It is such a big step & I am scared & thrilled at the same time. I have so much to learn about practicing law, and everything to learn about running a business, but I think this is the only way I can have it all.
DH has been SAHD since I went back to work after maternity leave and that wil have to change (at least temporarily) until I can get my firm up and running. But he is extremely supportive, and we have family to help with childcare.
I look forward to being my own boss, and don't need or desire to make a fortune. I just want to be able to practice my way.
Any advise on making this work?
Looking forward to many more conversations with ya'll!
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#261 of 369 Old 11-07-2008, 03:23 PM
 
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Hi ladies,
I don't have a whole lot of time to post now because I'm at work, but I just wanted to share that I got sworn in to the Georgia bar today--I'm officially a LAWYER mommy!!! Woohoo!
I'll try to post more later in response to some of the new posts--hope everyone's having a good day!

Wife to DH 6/05 partners.gif and mommy to DD1, born 10/07 dust.gif and DD2, born June 2010 energy.gif, and one cat.gif! We bftoddler.gif, familybed2.gif, and homeschool.gif

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#262 of 369 Old 11-08-2008, 01:30 AM
 
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Wow, congratulations! Good job!
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#263 of 369 Old 11-08-2008, 03:42 AM
 
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Congratulations!!!
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#264 of 369 Old 12-03-2008, 07:28 PM
 
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I haven't posted in awhile, it looks as though I will be going back to government, with the economic downturn I am thankful my boss is going to try to rehire me. Hope anyone else looking is having as much luck.

Gina
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#265 of 369 Old 12-03-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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Hi ladies,
I don't have a whole lot of time to post now because I'm at work, but I just wanted to share that I got sworn in to the Georgia bar today--I'm officially a LAWYER mommy!!! Woohoo!
I'll try to post more later in response to some of the new posts--hope everyone's having a good day!
Congratulations! I am a UGA alumnus. I totally miss athens. Atlanta not so much but that is okay by me!
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#266 of 369 Old 12-11-2008, 07:30 PM
 
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Would any of you wonderful lawyer mama's be willing to give me some advice?

I am a single SAHM of a darling 17mo. I want with all my heart to continue being a full-time mom but need to pay the bills. I have dreamed of starting my own solo appellate practice, first doing some contract lawyering while it builds up. I am licensed and live in a state that I haven't worked in before, so I have virtually no contacts right now. The other challenge is my home is in a very rural area, so networking is challenging. I believe I could do it though, with some hard work.

Another option is to move and work 20 hours a week as a court staff attorney. I would work 4 hours 5 days a week with an hour break each day to come home and nurse baby who would be cared for by grandma. The thought of leaving LO for 4 hours a day breaks my heart. We are deeply attached to eachother and we've never been apart before. I would much rather work from home.

I would love some advice/feedback on weighing these options. What would be best for baby? Anyone who has started a practice or contract lawyered, how challenging is it to start your own business? Any and all comments would be appreciated. Thank you.
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#267 of 369 Old 12-11-2008, 07:56 PM
 
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Would any of you wonderful lawyer mama's be willing to give me some advice?

I am a single SAHM of a darling 17mo. I want with all my heart to continue being a full-time mom but need to pay the bills. I have dreamed of starting my own solo appellate practice, first doing some contract lawyering while it builds up. I am licensed and live in a state that I haven't worked in before, so I have virtually no contacts right now. The other challenge is my home is in a very rural area, so networking is challenging. I believe I could do it though, with some hard work.

Another option is to move and work 20 hours a week as a court staff attorney. I would work 4 hours 5 days a week with an hour break each day to come home and nurse baby who would be cared for by grandma. The thought of leaving LO for 4 hours a day breaks my heart. We are deeply attached to eachother and we've never been apart before. I would much rather work from home.

I would love some advice/feedback on weighing these options. What would be best for baby? Anyone who has started a practice or contract lawyered, how challenging is it to start your own business? Any and all comments would be appreciated. Thank you.
I've done neither (I practice litigation at a large firm), so take this with a grain of salt, but between the two options you outline, I would take the 20 hours a week as a court staff attorney.

Part-time litigation work can be hard to find, so if you can afford not to work full-time it's worth snapping up. Particularly if you don't have a lot in the way of connections or reputation in your area, just making those would eat up a fair amount of time and effort were you to go solo at this point, I would think. And doing all the other little extras if you're solo with a small practice - the administrative stuff, billing, etc. With the court staff attorney job, you're in and out, and when you're with your baby you can be fully present, instead of always having one eye on the computer or one ear on the phone.

That's my take, anyway...
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#268 of 369 Old 12-12-2008, 02:35 AM
 
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Finishing up exams/papers here--one more semester to go...

BUT...

The teeny firm where I've been clerking since last October has invited me to stay on after graduation!!!!

:::

(I accepted. Well-above-market pay, not nearly enough paid time off (but they're very good about flexibility otherwise), no health insurance but I can continue on my student stuff for a year and hopefully my partner will have something I can go on after that...and the best....NO MINIMUM BILLABLE HOUR REQUIREMENT!!!!! The two full-time associates bill around 1500 a year. Very, very humane, especially considering the pay. I'll be working some evenings due simply to the nature of the practice, but it's predictable and not to further line the coffers of a $500/hour partner. )

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
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#269 of 369 Old 12-13-2008, 08:32 PM
 
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I've done neither (I practice litigation at a large firm), so take this with a grain of salt, but between the two options you outline, I would take the 20 hours a week as a court staff attorney.

Part-time litigation work can be hard to find, so if you can afford not to work full-time it's worth snapping up. Particularly if you don't have a lot in the way of connections or reputation in your area, just making those would eat up a fair amount of time and effort were you to go solo at this point, I would think. And doing all the other little extras if you're solo with a small practice - the administrative stuff, billing, etc. With the court staff attorney job, you're in and out, and when you're with your baby you can be fully present, instead of always having one eye on the computer or one ear on the phone.

That's my take, anyway...

Thanks so much for your thoughtful feedback. You are so right, being able to leave work at work is definitely a plus. Thanks again.
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#270 of 369 Old 12-14-2008, 07:08 PM
 
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I hope its not too late to join in here - but I'm a 2L in NYC and expecting a baby sometime around Jan 6, 09. I'm finishing finals this week, so I'll keep this short and come back later to post more!

I have no idea what I'll do when I finish law school, but my boyfriend is also a law student at my school, so next semester I'm taking a super light load so that I can breastfeed (I'm super excited about being a mom!) and spend a lot of time with baby. We are relatively young, I'm 24 and he is 27. I came to law school straight from undergrad, and it was a BIG change. I'm from Seattle, went to school in a tiny town in Eastern Washington and now go to law school in Queens, and my boyfriend is from Long Island (we met as 1L's).

Any other lawyer moms in NYC? I don't know many people here outside of school, and I'd love to make some friends with kids/babies!
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