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Law Students: Ms. JD
Seeking A Just Balance: Law Students Weigh In On Work and Family
By Caroline Conway
A Better Balance: The Work & Family Legal Center is publishing a study, Seeking A Just Balance: Law Students Weigh In On Work and Family. The study is a survey of NYU law students and their expectations around work/life balance. Generation-Y lawyers ? American men and women born between 1978 and 1998 ? are extremely worried about these issues and are willing to trade money for time.
The demand for work/life balance is greater among both men and women than in the past. Family life is a high priority for today?s young attorneys, and they do not want to make the same sacrifices for their careers as their parents did. It?s not about the money anymore, but about the big picture in their lives.
The study found that as firms have competed for talent over the last ten years, salaries have increased exponentially. The result of that is an increased expectation of availability and billable hour requirements. They offer ?lifestyle perks? designed to keep people at work instead of flexible time that would allow workers to be with their families. Up-and-coming lawyers would rather trade money for more personal time, and will leave for a pay-cut if the result is less time at work. Many respondents commented on how the private sector works attorneys to death, and that if they are required to put in 80 hour work weeks or stay until others leave so that there is face time, they will leave the firm.
This is not a new trend, but represents a shift in cultural values in Generation Y.
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