Challenges faced by lawyer mums

Every lawyer mum will have a different story to tell about the challenges faced when balancing a legal career with family commitments including:

  • difficulties negotiating flexible work arrangements with an existing employer
  • finding suitably flexible work with a new employer
  • being discriminated against for promotions or other opportunities at work
  • resistance from superiors, colleagues and clients about job-share arrangements and/or part-time workPregnant lawyer mum
  • managing staff and maintaining a leadership role while working part-time or job-sharing
  • finding appropriate care for young children to accommodate the long hours often associated with a demanding legal role
  • juggling the childcare/preschool/school ‘pick-ups’, ‘drop-offs’, sick days, school holidays and other challenges faced by working parents
  • struggling with the decision as to whether to return to work as a lawyer (or at all) following the birth of a child
  • maintaining skills and up-to-date legal knowledge while on maternity leave or raising children
  • negative perceptions about taking a career ‘break’ to have babies and raise children
  • transitioning back into a legal role after a period of maternity leave or time away with family
  • dealing with a redundancy or restructure while on maternity leave
  • juggling postgraduate studies with children
  • ‘switching off’ from work when spending time with family
  • balancing career progression (including partnership aspirations) with planning a family and taking time away from work to enjoy motherhood.

These are just some of the many topics raised and discussed daily by members of Lawyer Mums Australia in our online discussion forum (exclusive to lawyer mums) and will be discussed in more detail at our networking events, panel discussions and keynote speaker presentations. While these challenges are certainly not unique to lawyers or to mums, it helps to have a community of like-minded people to raise these delicate issues with, ask questions and benefit from the invaluable advice of experienced lawyer mums who have faced the same hurdles.