May 17, 2007 at 7:30pm
Re-Entering the Legal Profession?:
, Christine Hurt has an interesting post -- with a good question -- about re-entering the legal profession after years away.
This is going to be a serious issue. My class was over 50% women, and at the last reunion many of them had found an investment banker or doctor to marry.
Several already had, or were planning, to take two or three years off with the baby.
While in school they were always quite vocal about women and minority rights. I can't imagine that they're going to be too happy when they get back to big law to find out they're not being considered for partner, or career of counsel, at the same time as a man who was hired the same time they were.
Nicole L. Black (
I think that lawyers who "opt out" can most certainly "opt in". I did, after a three year hiatus from the law.
You just have to be be willing to work hard and be self reliant. Solo practice may very well be the perfect option for many lawyers who are re-entering the legal field.
I'm not entirely convinced that law firms, especially large firms, are going to be particularly helpful in that regard, however--at least not in the near future.
Once the Gen X and Gen Y lawyers make up the majority of the workforce, I think that things will change for the better. The values of the younger generations (both men and women) are far different than the Boomers' values and this will become evident over time.
But, in my opinion, in the near future, while Boomers still rule the roost, lawyers would be prudent to attempt to re-enter the law on their own terms as solos or perhaps in small firms, since to do otherwise will likely result in severe head contusionss resulting from repeatedly banging your head against a wall on a daily basis.
Unlike lots of fields, we lawyers have a very strong continuing education resource available to help get back up to speed on developments in our field. It may be true that law-firm life changes in ways that CLE won't help, but the more common path would appear to be firm->baby->in-house, where firm culture is irrelevant.