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Can a Female Lawyer Ever Have it All?
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can they have it all

Summary: The Geller Law Group offers a family-friendly alternative among law firms.

Can women have it all? A full time job, be great mothers, great lovers, the whole thing? “I think women can have it all,” said Maria Simon, a lawyer for the Geller Law Group, a six-woman firm, whose credo is family friendliness. “It’s just based on your paradigm of ‘all.’”


Well yes, certainly, if your definition of all is this abbreviated bled out thing, sure, you can have it all. But can you really have it all?

Ms. Simon puts in the 60 plus hours that most firms expect of their client, and yet has some flexibility to drop her son, Jack, off at preschool and see family events.

What Ms. Simon and her law partner, Rebecca Geller, are attempting to do is make a family friendly environment, where mothers can be mothers, can be there for their children.

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As most partners are expected to bill 2,000 years yearly, which comes to about a 60 to 70 hour week, this is an especially tricky experiment Simon has come up with. Even her firm was banking on the women not taking time off for maternity leave, and only recently paid the extra insurance to allow that to happen.

A 2007 report by M.I.T. talked of “The difficulty of combining law firm work and caring for children in a system that requires long hours under high pressure with little or inconsistent support for flexible work hours.”

So many women who “have it all” also have stay-at-home spouses who tend the children. This the divorced Smith does not have, but insists on nevertheless having it all.

Given that most days of the Geller Law Group work out fine, it seems Smith is having it “all” by her definition. Whether it is sustainable or workable for other firms is another matter. Granting such thoughtful flexibility for mothers to come and go on the schedules of their children is harder to manage with larger firms.

News Source: NYTimes


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