Is work-life balance a realistic goal at "biglaw" firms?

( 71 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Is work-life balance a realistic goal at "biglaw" firms? I just became a parent and I'm having a hard time managing work and family. My firm has a reputation for being one of the top firms to work for - what gives?


Unfortunately, it is not realistic for you to expect to work "banker's hours" while striving for partnership (or simply striving to stay employed) at a "biglaw" firm.

After you became a parent you may have been surprised at the lack of sympathy and understanding you received from your firm. Especially since many firms tell you how "family friendly" they are during the recruitment process. No matter what the magazines and the rankings say don't expect that your firm will be on your side while you try to balance work and family demands.

In reality, law firms do very little in practice to help their associates and partners handle the challenges of working and parenting. The truth of the matter is that your firm is not your friend and it is not their job to make your life easier. I'm not trying to be a "Debbie Downer" - I'm trying to be as honest and realistic as possible. Once you start a family, you should expect to make hard choices about your career goals and aspirations. It may not be possible to "have it all" or "do it all" - there will be choices to be made and it is a matter of deciding what's important to you.

Once you decide what you want for your career and your personal life, talk to a trusted mentor at your firm and figure out how you can make it happen. You need to be an advocate for yourself and for your family.

Featured Testimonials

I like to read the news wires and they are really informative.


LawCrossing Fact #33: LawCrossing’s articles have features that let readers comment on them, allowing site users to share their opinions and interact with each other.

Let's Do It!

Only LawCrossing consolidates every job it can find in the legal industry and puts all of the job listings it locates in one place.

  • We have more than 25 times as many legal jobs as any other job board.
  • We list jobs you will not find elsewhere that are hidden in small regional publications and employer websites.
  • We collect jobs from more than 250,000 websites and post them on our site.
  • Increase your chances of being seen! Employers on public job boards get flooded with applications. Our private job boards ensure that only members can apply to our job postings.

Success Stories

LawCrossing is fantastic! When I am looking for a job, it is the first place I come to. The service is very good and I enjoyed the emails. LawCrossing has more jobs and it is more tailored. Other sites gave a lot of irrelevant results. Your site may have a great algorithm, but it felt like an actual person choosing jobs they felt would be good based on my search. I will always recommend this site!
  • Ann Harris Harvey, LA