How Realistic Are Law Firm Flex-Time Arrangements for Attorneys?
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes
My firm offers flex time and reduced hour options, and since the long hours have been driving me insane, I am somewhat intrigued. How legit are these plans in general and what will it mean if I actually take my firm up on the offer?

The struggle to balance career and family is not a new problem, but one that many employers have recently started to address and implement policies about. These changes are no longer an administrative annoyance, but are being recognized as actually adding value to firms and giving them an edge in a competitive environment. Obviously, having two working parents in a household is not uncommon, nor is a single parent support of the family -- it is becoming the norm. Individuals need to find time for responsibilities outside of work. Therefore, it is important that firms address their level of commitment to institutionalizing and publicizing support for alternative work schedules.

Increasingly, firm policy on alternative work arrangements has become a hot button issue. Even attorneys who do not necessarily have children, or even expect to have any, find it an important indicator of a firm's culture. Today's attorneys are looking to join a progressive firm that values the importance of family and community. As you research different firms during your job search, it is important to find out as much information as possible regarding their policies on alternative work arrangements and gauge how important their views on the issue are to you.