Advertisement

Work-Family Balance for Women Lawyers Today: A Reality or Still a Dream?

  • Diane-Gabrielle TremblayEmail author
Chapter
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)

Abstract

Applying a theoretical approach centered on the professional ethos, we examine the possibilities for men and women lawyers mainly in Quebec to balance their profession with a family life and to have a good quality of life or well-being. The lawyer profession is governed by a set of formal rules alongside informal expectations and professional ethics. Many lawyers come to question the long hours required by this ethic when they begin to plan for children. However, the standards imposed by the professional culture and ethics are nevertheless well anchored in the profession. Professional advancement is difficult for women; this can mean either scaling back or postponing their professional engagement or postponing having children. Even when they postpone births, it is difficult for these women to commit sufficiently, and sufficiently soon, to access the career status of associate at a large firm.

Keywords

Work-family Lawyers Working time Work family Gender inequality Profession 

References

  1. Baker, J. G. (2003). Glass ceilings or sticky floors? A model of high-income law graduates. Journal of Labor Resources, 24(4), 695–710.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barreau du Québec. (1992). Women in the legal profession. Montreal: Barreau du Quebec.Google Scholar
  3. Barreau du Québec. (2011). L’avenir de la profession à l’horizon de 2021. Montréal: Barreau du Québec.Google Scholar
  4. Barreau du Québec/Cirano. (2009). Enquête socio-économique auprès des membres du Barreau du Québec, 2008. Montréal: Barreau du Québec/Cirano.Google Scholar
  5. Barrère-Maurisson, M.-A., & Tremblay, D.-G. (2009). Concilier travail et famille. Le rôle des acteurs. France-Québec. Québec: Presses de l’université du Québec.Google Scholar
  6. Beaudoin, M. (2012). Conciliation travail-famille: avocats et parents: quels sont vos droits ? In Journal du Barreau of the Barreau du Québec. p. 8.Google Scholar
  7. Behson, S. J. (2005). The relative contribution of formal and informal organizational work-family support. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 66, 487–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brockman, J. (1992). Resistance to the club to the feminization of the legal profession. Canadian Journal of Law Society, 7(2), 47–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brockman, J. (1994). Leaving the practice of law: The wherefores and the whys. Alta Law Review, 32(1), 116–180.Google Scholar
  10. Brockman, J. (1997). The use of self-regulation to curb discrimination and sexual harassment in the legal profession. Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 35(2), 209–241.Google Scholar
  11. Brockman, J. (2000). A wild feminist at her raving best: Reflections on studying gender bias in the legal profession. Resources for Feminist Resources, 28(1), 61–79.Google Scholar
  12. Brockman, J. (2001). Gender in the legal profession: Fitting or breaking the mould. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.Google Scholar
  13. Brockman, J. (2006). An update on gender and diversity in the legal profession in Alberta, 1991–2003. In E. Sheehy & S. McIntyre (Eds.), Calling for change: Women, law, and the legal profession (pp. 237–251). Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.Google Scholar
  14. Canadian Bar Association Task force on Gender Equality in the Legal Profession. (1993). Touchstones for change: Equality, diversity and accountability. Ottawa: Canadian Bar Association.Google Scholar
  15. Epstein, C. F. (1981). Women in law. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  16. Fusulier, B. (2011). Articuler vie professionnelle et vie familiale. Étude de trois groupes professionnels: les infirmières, les policiers et les assistants sociaux. Louvain: Presses universitaires de Louvain.Google Scholar
  17. Gorman, E. (2005). Gender stereotypes, same-gender preferences, and organizational variation in the hiring of women: Evidence from law firms. American Sociological Review, 70, 702–728.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gorman, E. (2006). Work uncertainty and the promotion of professional women: The case of law firm partnership. Social Strengths, 85, 864–890.Google Scholar
  19. Haas, L., Allard, K., & Hwang, P. (2002). The impact of organizational culture on men’s use of parental leave in Sweden. Community, Work & Family, 5(3), 319–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hagan, J., & Kay, F. (1995). A study of lawyers’ lives. London: Oxford University Press, 235 pp.Google Scholar
  21. Hagan, J., & Kay, F. M. (2007). Even lawyers get the blues: Gender, depression, and job satisfaction in legal practice. Law & Society Review, 41(1), 51–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hagan, J., & Kay, F. M. (2010). The masculine mystique: Living large from law school to later life. Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 25(2), 195–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kay, F. (1997). Balancing acts: Career and family among lawyers. In S. B. Boyd (Ed.), Challenging the public/private divide: Feminism, law and policy (pp. 301–335). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  24. Kay, F. M. (2002). Crossroads to innovation and diversity: The careers of women lawyers in Quebec. McGill Law Journal, 47(4), 699–742.Google Scholar
  25. Kay, F. M., & Gorman, E. (2008). Women in the legal profession. Annual Review of Law and Social Sciences 4, 299–332. Reprinted In: L. K. Andrew & D. Wilkins (Eds.), Problems in professional responsibility (5th ed.). Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2010.Google Scholar
  26. Kay, F., & Hagan, J. (1995). The persistent glass ceiling: Gendered inequalities in the earnings of lawyers. British Journal of Sociology, 46, 279–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kay, F., & Hagan, J. (1998). Raising the bar: The sex stratification of law-firm capital. American Sociological Review, 63, 728–743.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kay, F., & Hagan, J. (1999). Cultivating clients in the competition for partnership: Gender and the organizational restructuring of law firms in the 1990s. Law and Society Review, 33, 17–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kay, F. M., & Wallace, J. E. (2010). Is more truly merrier?: Mentors and the practice of law. Canadian Review of Sociology, 47(1), 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kay, F. M., Masuch, C., & Curry, P. (2004). Diversity and change: The contemporary legal profession in Ontario (Report). Toronto: Law Society of Upper Canada.Google Scholar
  31. Lapeyre, N. (2006a). Comprendre les temporalités de la féminisation des groupes professionnels. In G. De Terssac & J. Thoemmes (Eds.), Les temporalités sociales: Repères méthodologiques (pp. 133–147). Toulouse: Octarès.Google Scholar
  32. Lapeyre, N. (2006b). Les professions face aux enjeux de la féminisation. Toulouse: Octarès, 214 pp.Google Scholar
  33. Le Feuvre, N. (1999). Gender, occupational feminisation and reflexivity. In R. Crompton (Ed.), Restructuring gender relations and employment: The decline of the male breadwinner (pp. 150–178). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Marshall, K. (2008). Father’s use of parental leave. Perspectives on Labour and Income, 20, 5–14.Google Scholar
  35. Sheehy, E., & McIntyre, S. (Eds.). (2006). Calling for change: Women, law, and the legal profession. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.Google Scholar
  36. Tremblay, D.-G. (2010). Paid parental leave: An employee right or still an ideal? The situation in Québec and in Canada. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 22(2), 83–100. https://springerlink3.metapress.com/content/lx7155250u42w210/resource-secured/?target=fulltext.pdf&sid=qyrpx3z1bdfxrejzk5jfsliq&sh=www.springerlink.com
  37. Tremblay, D.-G. (2012a). Conciliation emploi-famille et temps sociaux. Québec: Presses de l’université du Québec.Google Scholar
  38. Tremblay, D.-G. (2012b). Articuler emploi et famille; le rôle du soutien organisationnel dans trois professions. Québec: Presses de l’université du Québec.Google Scholar
  39. Tremblay, D.-G. (2012c). Transformations of work in a global context: Employment systems, autonomy, and work-life articulation as main challenges. In A. Sales (Ed.), Sociology today: Social transformations in a globalizing world. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  40. Tremblay, D.-G. (2013). Can lawyers take parental leave and if so, with what impacts? The case of Québec. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 25(3), 177–197. “Online First”/SpringerLink: http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1007/s10672-013-9214-1
  41. Tremblay, D.-G., & Genin, É. (2011). Parental leave: An important employee right, but an organizational challenge. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal. en ligne: doi:  10.1007/s10672-011-9176-0 Online first: http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1007/s10672-011-9176-0
  42. Tremblay, D.-G., & Mascova, E. (2013). Les avocats, les avocates et la conciliation travail-famille. Montréal: Éditions du Remue-Ménage.Google Scholar
  43. Tremblay, D. -G., Chevrier, C., & Loreto, M. D. (2006). Le télétravail à domicile: Meilleure conciliation emploi-famille ou source d’envahissement de la vie privée? Interventions économiques, 34. www.interventionseconomiques/revues.org
  44. Tremblay, D.-G., Genin, É., & di Loreto, M. (2012). Advances and ambivalences: Organizational support to work-family balance in the police sector. Employment Relations Record, 11(2), 75–93.Google Scholar
  45. Wallace, J. E. (1999). Work-to-nonwork conflict among married male and female lawyers. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 20, 797–816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wallace, J. E. (2004). Motherhood and career commitment to the legal profession. Research in the Sociology of Work, 14, 219–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wallace, J. E. (2006). Can women in law have it all? A study of motherhood, career satisfaction and life balance. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 24, 283–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Management SchoolUniversity of Québec/TéluqQuebecCanada

Personalised recommendations