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law jobs and the latest trends? Visit LawCrossing.com for access to articles written for lawyers and law students, an extensive collection of available legal positions maintained in real time with locations around the country and for more information on A. Harrison Barnes, visit his blog at AHarrisonBarnes.com. “>In 2007, a new trend began that suggested many women were leaving the legal profession. They found it frustrating and challenging. But why is that and why does the trend continue? A. Harrison Barnes, lawyer and founder of LawCrossing.com has a few theories. Women are finding it difficult to become partners in their law firms. Even as the ratio continues to balance out between male and female attorneys, other statistics aren’t keeping up, including those that include advancement opportunities. This also means fewer women are realizing their dreams of become judges, managers and even law professors. Another reason, says A. Harrison Barnes, is women are more likely to take leaves of absences to raise their children, a trend that appeared to be easing in the late 1990s as men seemingly were beginning to take those kinds of leaves.

So just how relevant is the trend? Women only fill approximately 17% of partnerships. One primary reason women don’t pursue partnerships is because of family commitments. Nearly 45% of women attorneys who have children have worked at some point in a part time position. Surprisingly, that percentage is nearly zero for male attorneys. The LawCrossing.com founder says many firms offer flextime so that their lawyers can better juggle their family commitments with their careers, but many women feel as though it’s just lip service by some firms that want to appear to offer a level playing field.

So what are women doing who leave traditional law firms? Many are heading to the non-profit sector and finding great satisfaction for their efforts. There are those who choose to work for the government or opt to work for larger corporations. They can better manage their schedules without feeling as though they’re compromising their working hours.

So is it possible that the law field is becoming non family-friendly? Possibly, says Barnes. In 2000, one report released by the Boston Bar Association stated that the field of law was “in danger of seeing law firms evolve into institutions where only those who have no family responsibilities – or worse, are willing to abandon those responsibilities – can thrive”. Those are strong predictions, to be sure. Unfortunately, the past decade has done nothing to disprove those predictions.

It’s true the field of law can be grueling to anyone who chooses it, but no one and certainly not women, ever expected to feel as though they had to make a choice between their passion for practicing law and their passion for family. Sadly, it appears that this is exactly what’s happening.

Want more information on available law jobs and the latest trends? Visit LawCrossing.com for access to articles written for lawyers and law students, an extensive collection of available legal positions maintained in real time with locations around the country and for more information on A. Harrison Barnes, visit his blog at AHarrisonBarnes.com.

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