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goldilox741

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question for the female law students
« on: August 05, 2005, 05:26:44 PM »
Hi there,

This is a question for the female law students. I'm wondering if any of you has thought of whether or not you plan to have a family (i.e., kids) at some point early on in your law career and if so, do you plan to continue working full-time once you've had a baby, or do you intend to quit, or work part-time, or what?

I want to attend law school and become a lawyer, but I also want to have children sometime in my late 20s and I want to be there for them (i.e., not hand them off to a nanny to raise), so I'm not sure how to reconcile this...

Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!

YankyKitten

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Re: question for the female law students
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2005, 08:13:14 PM »
Hi, first let me say that I think it's great that you want to have a career and a family.  Personally, I want to adopt, so, it will be easier for me.

I think you may want to think about the type of law you want to practice.  And, I think a small firm would be more to your liking than a large firm.  I could be wrong, but a small firm might be more of a family atmosphere that would be understanding.  Also, doing Wills and Trusts, or Contracts might be a more flexible schedule.  Since, I am going to be in my first year myself, I could be making wrong assumptions; however, I think the basis of what I'm saying is true, which is you should think about practicing the type of law that will enable you to live the family life you want to lead.

Good luck!
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Janna116

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Re: question for the female law students
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2005, 12:14:49 AM »
I'm starting my second year, I've been married for four years and I'm not sure if I want a family but here's what I can offer. 

A lot of large law firms have in house daycare so you can drop your kids off in the same building (and go down and see them I guess.)

I don't know if small firms would be more flexible to your desire to have a family but they would probably be more flexible about billing hours.  If you don't have to worry about billing thousands of hours then you will probably be able to have more of a normal schedule. 

Contracts or (Transactional law) usually requires less of a time commitment, ie you won't be staying at work until 2am and coming back at 6am (although during a big contract or something you might have to pull all-nighters,  but not everyday.) 

Government jobs are also considered more family friendly with more regular hours. 

This may sound awful but you may want to start a family after you've worked for a few years.  I don't know how old you are now so I don't know if this is going to work with your late 20's plan, but after a few years you become very valuable and the firm would have to invest a lot of money to replace you.  You would have more bargaining power if you wanted to go part time or telecommute or something. 

My final piece of advice is to suggest you read Sisters-in-Law.  It's a very funny, quick read book written by several female lawyers who go over family and career choices and the whole baby thing.  There's more to it than that but they do focus a lot on family so I think it will answer a lot of your questions about which jobs would be the best fit for your family goals. 

Jen
It is never too late to be what you might have been. - George Eliot

supercupcake

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Re: question for the female law students
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2005, 08:30:43 PM »
Jen, thanks for you advice. I definitely will
read Sisters-in-Law (I still have two weeks before my
1L begins).
I'm 22, and I got married four weeks ago. My husband is
46, and I've been debating if we should have kids
right after LS, or, as you advise, after I've worked
for a few years - I still will be in my "late 20's"
then, but my husband - whom I eternally love - will be
in his mid-50's... What's your take on that?

mmhome

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Re: question for the female law students
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2005, 12:13:47 AM »
Here's a novel way to resolve this, the same way the men do....find a husband that wants to stay at home and raise his kids. 

makotosan

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Re: question for the female law students
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2005, 08:27:36 AM »
Here's a novel way to resolve this, the same way the men do....find a husband that wants to stay at home and raise his kids. 
And there's plenty that will! Mine plans on it, and his friend said he would do that same thing if he was with a girl who was in a career like this. I feel lucky.  ;)
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g825

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Re: question for the female law students
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2005, 11:06:33 AM »
This issue is on my mind, but I'm not too worried at this point. I'm 25 about to start my first year. I hope to be married around 28 or so and have kids a few years after that.
I don't really think law is that much different than a lot of other careers. True, the likelihood of us working crazy hours is greater than some other professions, but I think we each can find that balance. I'm just hoping to live close enough to my parents to use them as baby-sitters when the time comes!!
In the end, I think (and hope) that everything will work out with not a lot of worries!

Coffinberry

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Re: question for the female law students
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2005, 10:58:10 PM »
Well... there is always the reverse solution (which is what I did). Take a few years to make and raise a couple kids (I took 18 years, made four kids, youngest is starting 2nd grade this fall, oldest is a HS senior), then go to law school at age 40.

rapunzel

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Re: question for the female law students
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2005, 01:06:12 PM »
YankyKitten,
I find your comment that adoption will be easier than bearing a child to be intriguing.  Sure, you would not go through a physical pregnancy, but the effort and money that it takes to complete a domestic or international adoption can be a daunting factor.  Plus, you will have a new child the same as any mother.  If it is an infant, then you will have the same sleep interuptions.  If an older child then there will likely be an intense period of adjustment with the potential for medical and behavioral issues.  Not to mention, if you follow the growing trend towards open adoption, you will be stepping into new relationships for which limited roadmaps exist. 

YankyKitten

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Re: question for the female law students
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2005, 06:29:52 PM »
YankyKitten,
I find your comment that adoption will be easier than bearing a child to be intriguing.  Sure, you would not go through a physical pregnancy, but the effort and money that it takes to complete a domestic or international adoption can be a daunting factor.  Plus, you will have a new child the same as any mother.  If it is an infant, then you will have the same sleep interuptions.  If an older child then there will likely be an intense period of adjustment with the potential for medical and behavioral issues.  Not to mention, if you follow the growing trend towards open adoption, you will be stepping into new relationships for which limited roadmaps exist. 

Absolutely true; however, I will not have the political bs at work.  At that point, my husband will be a stay at home husband and deal with most of the anticipated problems.  His sister has adopted children before, and although there are different "problems" we do expect to encounter, at work I expect far less problems that with a pregnancy.  But hey... I've been wrong before  ;D
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