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Working mothers still struggling in legal world

Evidence indicates women in large law firms make less than men and are in the leadership minority

Despite the many changes in recent years seeking to improve the work-life balance for lawyers, working mothers in law firms continue to face challenges with the long hours and inflexible schedules.

According to a story published yesterday in the Philadelphia Inquirer, lawyers who are mothers are now teaming up for mutual support and to help strategize how to reduce the unique problems they face. The piece profiles Laura Mattiacci, a 34-year-old lawyer who struggles to juggle her profession and her home life as a mother of two small children.

“I’m like so many other lawyers who are mothers, trying to fit into a culture ... that collides directly with our needs and schedules,” Mattiacci told the Inquirer.

It is this scenario that led her to help form the Philadelphia chapter of the Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association (MAMA), a nationwide organization based in Seattle with chapters in various cities seeking to help working mothers balance work and family.

The Inquirer goes on to note that while there aren’t any specific statistics about lawyers who are mothers, the findings of a 2010 survey by the National Association of Women Lawyers suggested that women in large law firms don't tend to make as much money as men, and are in the minority in the upper echelons of firm management and leadership.

Additionally, while women currently represent 47.2 percent of law school students, they comprise just 31 percent of American lawyers, American Bar Association's Commission on Women finds.

To learn more about MAMA and Mattiacci, read the full story in the Inquirer.

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