As a current student working towards my paralegal degree at Centennial College, I have begun to wonder what life would actually be like as a female within the legal field. Competitive? Challenging? Enough to want to get up every morning and head into work? I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, the answers to all those questions is yes.
A recent assignment had us look at the connection between working and balancing a healthy lifestyle and as I grow older, I begin to realize the importance this balance actually is.
Nicole Garton-Jones, a full-time mother and lawyer writes about her life and the struggles she has faced attempting to balance her workload and her family. Her blog post titled “The Myth of Work Life Balance in Law” portrays how time consuming the field of law actually is and how your yearly earnings are generally calculated by the number of hours one puts in.
However, Garton-Jones raises an interesting stance towards the end of her piece when she talks about what the future of law has in store. She believes that one-day, in order for law firms to stay not only competitive but also profitable, firms will promote more flexibility in order to draw in new employees (woohoo!!).
What about men? Most of us have a good understanding on the previous generations and the expected gender roles that came along with it (men working, women raising families); however, we have reached and era where that is no longer the norm.
Yamri Taddese, author of article “Male Lawyers join Women in seeking Work-life Balance” raises an extremely thought-provoking fact when he brings up the importance found in having flexibility in hours for the male lawyer population, pointing out it is valued more within the male populace than female.
Although is it still prominent within Canada at least, that women over men are found to take parental leave, men are still focused on finding a work-life balance with flexible full-time hours.
Taddese writes that since parental leave is not looked positively through the lens of legal firms, people departing on parental leave often do not return. Finding work in places that allow for flexibility in full-time hours. Perhaps this is why Nicole Garton-Jones feels that the future incentives of working within law will be forced to change their ancient expectations for not only females, but males as well.
Taddese confirms in his article that parental leave programs are imperative for ensuring a co-ed workforce that will continue to grow and prosper as the importance of family life in only expected to increase.
Finally, I am able to provide readers of this blog with some tips given by Jatrine Bentsi-Enchill author of article “Cases and Chaos: Work-Life Balance Strategies for Busy Lawyers” who has given some great tips for law professionals to stay happily afloat in their clearly hectic lifestyle.
Bentsi-Enchill, highlights two key ingredients perfectly in having a healthy work-life: accomplishment and enjoyment.
Her tips to follow are ones to take to heart as they provide great guidelines for those searching for a solution to help better balance family and work.
- Determining your own values and priorities
- Identifying the things blocking those value and priorities
- Balance your mind and beat to your own drum
- Creating “non-negotiable” personal time at least twice a week
- Contemplate a life-coach to help funnel your thoughts
- Create a vision that you want and stick to it
All three articles can be found by clicking these links!
Nicole Garton-Jones: The Myth of Work Life Balance in Law
Yamri Taddese: Male Lawyers join women in seeking work-life balance
Jatrine Bentsi-Enchill: Cases and Choas: Work-Life balance Strategies for Busy Laywers