Thursday, December 13, 2012

Women in the Legal Profession

I recently read the December 2012 issue of the ABA Journal magazine.  A number of interesting articles were included, but one of the things that most stuck with me was a letter to the editor from a new lawyer named Jessica Wentz.  The letters are available at the following link:

Ms. Wentz was responding to an article about a trend that women are no longer going to law school as they had been.  I had read that same article in the October 2012 issue: “Clogged Pipeline: Lack of Growth at Firms Has Women Skipping Law School.”  The article had attributed this trend to a lack of advancement in large firms.  But Ms. Wentz attributed the problem more to the difficulties of trying to “manage both a legal career and raising a family.”  Ms. Wentz writes,

“As a recent law school graduate, I feel very daunted by the prospect of having kids while launching my career and repaying my loans. There are very few part-time opportunities, and almost every position available is incredibly time consuming and energy intensive. The entire profession needs to be overhauled to support a healthier, more balanced lifestyle for law school graduates. Both law schools and employers could undertake efforts to encourage this transition.”

She goes on to assert that we would have “more efficient and more empathetic lawyers (and policymakers) if we had more time to spend with our families, communities, etc.”  She concludes,

“Finally, maybe if we spread the work around there would be more jobs for people with law degrees. It is stunning how unemployment is such a problem for recent law grads, and yet those who do have jobs are completely overworked (and often overpaid). Why not have a system in which lawyers make less money but have more time? I’m sure we’d be happier overall, and the entire legal system would benefit.”

I don’t know Ms. Wentz, but she makes a number of excellent points.  Bravo!


1 Peter 2:17

Honor everyone.  Love the family of believers.  Have respectful fear of God.  Honor the emperor.

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