By Aebra Coe
When law firms ignore lawyers' personal needs and their lives outside work, they lose out on valuable opportunities to attract and retain talent by creating an atmosphere and culture that is hostile toward families, experts say.
Flexible work policies aimed at accommodating busy parents' lives are some of the most effective tools law firms have when it comes to attracting and retaining the best legal talent and promoting gender diversity, according to legal recruiters and law firm management consultants. Although many law firms talk about their commitment to diversity and their ability to adapt to the needs of caregiver-attorneys, that doesn't always translate into action.
Having the technology in place to allow attorneys to work around school start times, after-school events and children's needs is one important element of becoming a family-friendly firm, according to Jennifer Henderson, managing director of Major, Lindsey & Africa'ss Southern California office.
"Attorneys have to have the ability to login from home in a situation where it's the equivalent of being at the office," she said.
That means firms have to implement programs through which lawyers can securely access their information and connect with colleagues and clients from a home office. As of a decade ago, that never would have been possible, Henderson noted, but today, there are tools available to law firms that make it fairly easy and inexpensive.
Read more of this feature at The National Law Journal.