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The Love Life of Lawyers and Those Associated within Law Offices

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Lauren Stiller Rikleen, partner at Massachusetts law firm Bowditch & Dewey and author of Ending the Gauntlet: Removing Barriers to Women's Success in the Law discovered a great deal about the inner-workings of romantic relationships within law offices while conducting research for her book. After speaking to literally hundreds of women in law, she found that there seems to be a slew of affairs and hook-ups in firms that usually end unhappily. In many law offices, when a man and woman get romantically involved—which tends to be a byproduct of the consistently consuming work hours that prohibit lawyers from dating outside of the office—younger women, perhaps associates, got involved with men who were senior to them in the firm. "Whether or not the relationship lasts, in most of those instances, what tends to end up happening is the woman has to leave that workplace," said Rikleen.


 
The Love Life Of Lawyers And Those Associated Within Law Offices

Rikleen also found that a tremendous amount of marriages in law end in divorce, resulting in a surge of worry in lawyers, specifically in women, that their marriages or future relationships may be doomed because of their career choice. "There was definitely a perspective that there is a very high incidence of divorce among lawyers and that that comes from the stress of the 24-7 commitment of the job," said Rikleen.

Being a lawyer herself who has been married to her husband, also a lawyer, for 35 years, Rikleen found this consensus to be a bit shocking. "I was startled by how many people said that either their marriage failed or they know a lot of other people whose marriages failed because of the stresses of work," she said.

This raises the issue that lawyers are not allotted enough time in the day to develop new relationships or nurture current ones. Lawyers and experts alike agree that too many law professionals are trapped in their offices, bogged down with mental commitments, and have to intense of a fixation on their work. Attorneys in their early 30s or younger, who Rikleen spoke with, voiced a real concern about how their jobs would affect their chances of meeting someone to marry.

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