Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why is an alternative work schedule all about minorities and women?

This piece in the LA Times is, in my opinion, so right and so wrong at the same time.

We've been talking about the concerned law students group for a long time now, and the problems have been going on as long as I can remember.

I agree that there are problems with minority and female associate retention and partnership promotion. But that is a systemic issue at all levels, not just those groups. It is not just female hamsters that are flung against the cage. People of all genders and colors go to BigLaw after leaving law school and most leave within a few years. That is the nature of the system as it currently exists.

Perhaps I am wrong, but my read of the story was an implication that only minorities and women are interested in flexible schedules (or that only white males are willing to work them). I didn't like that. Guess what: white males want lives, too. I ought to know.

There may be some changes, and there may not. It's all a matter of supply and demand, and right now supply is in the catbird seat, though if enough elite law school grads demand change it could happen. But the golden handcuffs of high salaries, partner-associate leverage and extraordinary perks could make that problematic unless there is systemic change in the
BigLaw system.


Peter said...

Yeah I saw that too. How many articles do we need to hear this issue AGAIN and AGAIN.