Get out of private practice!

General Details
Network:
Working mother
Profession:
Law
Type of leave:
Maternity
Number of years professional experience:
6-10 years
Length of leave:
6-12 months
Type of experience:
Positive
Work pattern on return:
Flexible full-time
Message A bit of a disclaimer that I haven't yet begun my mat leave and that I haven't worked in private practice but I hope that this inspires all you city lawyer mums to review your options. Having had no luck securing a training contract with a firm I liked upon graduation, I ventured into the world of contract negotiation in-house at a large investment bank followed by stints in different parts of the public sector working on regulation. Overall I have enjoyed a great career in the 9 years since I graduated; interesting work, well rewarded both financially and in terms of promotions and, perhaps more importantly, moral support. All my roles have been quasi-legal (again, I did not qualify) AND in every position I have been surrounded by enlightened ex-magic circle lawyers as colleagues, who have left the dark side only to find that jobs of these nature (in my experience) entail shorter hours, longer mat leave (I'm looking at 12 months, 5 of those with full pay), flexibility on return (part -time and/or working from home), challenging work and often - hurrah! - comparable pay. It's sad to hear so many women with bad experiences, seemingly feeling trapped in firms and not realising that there is a world of other fantastic opportunities out there for lawyers that are compatible with the more important things in life and that can be just as rewarding as private practice. Don't tolerate this awful culture!
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