Partner Issues, Reader Polls, Small Law Firms, Women's Issues

Size Matters: Is There Such a Thing As a Part-Time Small-Firm Attorney?

Last week I asked if small-firm associates are screwed. According to the two who wrote to me directly, the answer is no. They both enjoy their small firms and are learning a lot from their small-firm partners/mentors. Interestingly, neither of them mentioned their future at the small-firm (i.e. what their chances are of making partner?) but instead focused solely on the present.

Nevertheless, I did not hear from any small-firm associates who said they are screwed. In other words, last week’s column did not go far enough in crushing the hopes and dreams of small-firm attorneys. Thus, this week I ask a (hopefully) even more depressing question: are small firms a good place for women attorneys who want to have a family?

While I have thought about and discussed this question many times before, it did not bear repeating until the Wall Street Journal asked a related question yesterday: does your office allow you to leave early (assuming you are not Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg)?

So, here goes. Ladies and gentleman it’s survey time, and I want to know if your firm has a pink ghetto.


The Perils of An Early Sign-Off [Wall Street Journal]

When not writing about small law firms for Above the Law, Valerie Katz (not her real name) works at a small firm in Chicago. You can reach her by email at and follow her on Twitter at @ValerieLKatz.

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