Georgia Association for Women Lawyers Announces Study Results from IT'S ABOUT TIME II: Examining Flexible Work Arrangements

Study Presents Fair and Practical Solutions for Lawyers and Law Firms



Mar 04, 2008, 00:00 ET from Georgia Association for Women Lawyers

    ATLANTA, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Georgia Association for Women
 Lawyers ("GAWL") today released nationwide its report entitled, IT'S ABOUT
 TIME II: Examining Flexible Work Arrangements from the Attorney's and the
 Firm's Perspectives -- A Study of Part-time Policies in Georgia Law Firms.
 
     The report, which analyzes the ubiquitous challenge of work-life
 balance facing attorneys, concludes that flexible work arrangements are
 crucial to recruit and retain women lawyers, and mitigate financial risk
 for employers. For such arrangements to work, both law firms and lawyers
 must understand the perils of maintaining the status quo, as well as the
 benefits of implementing flexible employment policies. It's About Time II
 presents fair and practical solutions for lawyers and law firms seeking to
 implement alternative work arrangements.
 
     Due to accelerating attrition rates among women lawyers, law firms
 currently face challenges associated with employee diversity, increasing
 firm costs and client relationships. Women represent nearly one-half of
 U.S. law school graduates, but only 17% of partners in law firms. Such loss
 of female associates may interrupt client-firm relationships, negatively
 impact fees, and increase firm operating expenses. A law firm will spend an
 estimated $280,000 to $500,000 to replace a second year associate. While
 the costs alone are staggering, maintaining a diverse workforce is
 important for law firms wishing to promote themselves and benefit from a
 heterogeneous work environment. These factors highlight the business
 imperative for employers to implement retention policies and procedures.
 
     In the Study, more than 60% of female attorneys leaving law firms cited
 the desire for a different schedule or professional dissatisfaction as
 their reason. GAWL's survey results from 84 Georgia law firms show that
 lawyers' attitudes about part-time and flexible work schedules have
 progressed. Over 93% of all respondents look favorably on employers that
 allow part-time or flexible work arrangements while 86% of women attorneys
 are interested in part time or flexible work arrangements.
 
     While perceptions are shifting as attrition increases, employers have
 been slow to adapt. Both men and women lawyers believe working part-time or
 on a flexible schedule is career limiting; this dichotomy may be explained
 by firms' underwhelming strides to implement policies supporting flexible
 work arrangements. More than half of the firms surveyed have never employed
 a part-time attorney. Greater than 60% of law firms have no formal written
 part-time policy.
 
     The It's About Time II study is available at www.gawl.org. Contact
 Alicia Grahn Jones at 404-815-6164 for additional information.
 
     About GAWL
 
     GAWL, established in 1928, has over 1,000 members. GAWL strives to
 advance the welfare and development of women lawyers and support their
 interests.
 
 
 

SOURCE Georgia Association for Women Lawyers
    ATLANTA, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Georgia Association for Women
 Lawyers ("GAWL") today released nationwide its report entitled, IT'S ABOUT
 TIME II: Examining Flexible Work Arrangements from the Attorney's and the
 Firm's Perspectives -- A Study of Part-time Policies in Georgia Law Firms.
 
     The report, which analyzes the ubiquitous challenge of work-life
 balance facing attorneys, concludes that flexible work arrangements are
 crucial to recruit and retain women lawyers, and mitigate financial risk
 for employers. For such arrangements to work, both law firms and lawyers
 must understand the perils of maintaining the status quo, as well as the
 benefits of implementing flexible employment policies. It's About Time II
 presents fair and practical solutions for lawyers and law firms seeking to
 implement alternative work arrangements.
 
     Due to accelerating attrition rates among women lawyers, law firms
 currently face challenges associated with employee diversity, increasing
 firm costs and client relationships. Women represent nearly one-half of
 U.S. law school graduates, but only 17% of partners in law firms. Such loss
 of female associates may interrupt client-firm relationships, negatively
 impact fees, and increase firm operating expenses. A law firm will spend an
 estimated $280,000 to $500,000 to replace a second year associate. While
 the costs alone are staggering, maintaining a diverse workforce is
 important for law firms wishing to promote themselves and benefit from a
 heterogeneous work environment. These factors highlight the business
 imperative for employers to implement retention policies and procedures.
 
     In the Study, more than 60% of female attorneys leaving law firms cited
 the desire for a different schedule or professional dissatisfaction as
 their reason. GAWL's survey results from 84 Georgia law firms show that
 lawyers' attitudes about part-time and flexible work schedules have
 progressed. Over 93% of all respondents look favorably on employers that
 allow part-time or flexible work arrangements while 86% of women attorneys
 are interested in part time or flexible work arrangements.
 
     While perceptions are shifting as attrition increases, employers have
 been slow to adapt. Both men and women lawyers believe working part-time or
 on a flexible schedule is career limiting; this dichotomy may be explained
 by firms' underwhelming strides to implement policies supporting flexible
 work arrangements. More than half of the firms surveyed have never employed
 a part-time attorney. Greater than 60% of law firms have no formal written
 part-time policy.
 
     The It's About Time II study is available at www.gawl.org. Contact
 Alicia Grahn Jones at 404-815-6164 for additional information.
 
     About GAWL
 
     GAWL, established in 1928, has over 1,000 members. GAWL strives to
 advance the welfare and development of women lawyers and support their
 interests.
 
 
 SOURCE Georgia Association for Women Lawyers