The issue of balancing professional and personal commitments is not a new challenge to the legal field. Nor is it unique to the industry, although like many professional service disciplines, the expectations of professionals in the field are particularly high and time-sensitive, often making the ability to balance the two sides more challenging than those in other jobs. Although law firm leaders said their work-life policies apply to everyone, they acknowledge that parents – and particularly mothers – are the ones most likely to feel the pinch of trying to balance home and work life. And with women working in firms in greater numbers than in the past, firm leaders said they can't afford to lose good talent in whom they've invested years developing. "As a general matter, retention is something firms focus on. You don’t want to lose good associates. It's like watching money walk out the door," says Litigation Partner Deborah Barnard.
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