As the head of a women-led law firm, I am proud of the many achievements of women in law.
In 2018, the number of women enrolled in law schools rose for the third consecutive year. Females made up 52.39% of all students in ABA-approved law schools.
According to a 2019 National Association of Women Lawyers Survey on Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms: “Women continue to be underrepresented among equity partners and firm governance, and while women work as much as men, their client billings and compensation continue to lag behind that of similarly-situated men. But there are signs of positive change, with firms adopting more women and family-friendly policies, investing more in training and support for women and diverse attorneys, and some recent activity, such as the make-up of new classes of equity partners, showing increasing representation of women.”
Ensuring women’s opportunities
At Napoli Shkolnik, our women-led firm’s structure is mentor-driven to recognize and develop talent. This supportive environment demonstrates our commitment to personal growth by allowing individuals to excel and contribute directly to the firm’s success. Increasing numbers of firms are making similar commitments to ensure women have the opportunities they merit.
One thing is certain. Women today do not need to choose between having a legal career and a family. You can have both. Countless women attorneys do. The key is to plan an effective work-life balance that works for you. I can attest it is an ongoing strategy, but a rewarding one.
A healthy work-life balance
In the same way COVID-19 has affected our lives, it also reoriented our understanding of work/life balance. Traditional office hours have skewed as people work around the clock from their private homes, with email always at the ready. While this can be a move toward greater productivity, it also takes an emotional and psychological toll…especially for female attorneys and their families.
What are ways to adjust to this new approach to life and work and how can we make it healthier for everyone? What are ways that partners at firms can set a good example for other employees to adjust to these major shifts? What does the research say about ways to bring better balance to one’s workday? As more women rise in the ranks of law firms, they will be instrumental in helping shape a better work-life balance.
As New York Magazine honors me for my leadership role in law, I am excited for women planning legal careers to know that they have limitless opportunities to lead and contribute in this field while developing a work-life balance that works for them. If you can see it, you can be it. Now, the time is ripe to visualize your future in law.
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Thank you, New York Magazine, for honoring me as a woman leader in law.