In a report released by the NALP on Thursday, the organization said that only 6.2 percent of lawyer were found doing part-time work in both 2011 and 2012, but more than 70 percent of part-time lawyers were women.
According to the NALP, this reflects that women are much more likely to take up part-time work than men. The survey also found that among women lawyers, while 13.5 percent were part-timers from an overall perspective, at least 11.7% of women lawyers were partners at law firms. At the same time, only 2.7% of male lawyers did part-time work.
James Leipold, the executive director of the NALP said, “In the aftermath of the recession, we have seen a small decline in the utilization rate of part-time programs by lawyers in law firms … This mirrors a similar decline in utilization in other professional specialties, like engineers, architects, and physicians, though the rate for lawyers remains far below that for the other professions. In times of economic uncertainty, there seems to be less willingness to embrace part-time professional work.
“As law firms continue to add a higher percentage of non-associate, non-partner lawyers to their professional mix, a group of lawyers that now has the highest part-time utilization rate, we might expect the overall figure for lawyers to go up a bit in the future.”
However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, among architects and engineers only 5.3 percent worked part-time, and only 29 percent of such part-timers were women.
NALP’s survey revealed that the concentration of part-timers varied greatly according to regional pockets. Part-time partners were more common in Chicago and Washington, DC, than in New York. Out of part-time women partners, at least 14 percent were in Chicago, 16 percent in Washington, DC, while New York City had only 7.8 percent part-time women partners, less than half of Washington, DC.
However, overall part-timer partners were most common in Seattle and San Francisco with both cities having more than 9 percent of their partners working part-time. None of the six cities surveyed found any male associates working part-time.