(Written by Megan Needham, who works on the JRCLS Media Committee and is responsible for the Updates and Inspiration e-mails.)
A year and a half ago I wrote this post about figuring out how to balance a legal career and a family. At the time I was an associate at Kirkland & Ellis in New York City and a newlywed. Now I'm a new mom and recently quit my full-time law job. I've been eagerly seeking ways to stay involved in the legal world while maintaining the flexibility to put my job as a mother first. In the process I've gathered some of my own suggestions along with the suggestions of more seasoned mothers who have sought the balance for them between work and family. Here's what we've come up with:
|Nancy Van Slooten|
- Keep up with CLE credit. By keeping your attorney registration active you will be ready for pro bono opportunities or part-time work whenever it arises. JRCLS conferences and events and BYU Education Week seminars are some wonderful opportunities for CLE credit.
- Show up. Shortly after I quit my job Elder Oaks was receiving the Canterbury Medal for religious freedom in New York City. I knew that many JRCLS members would be at the dinner and it would be a great opportunity for me to meet people and feel professional. Even though it meant leaving my son with a friend right before bedtime and getting home late, I made the effort to go. It was worth the sacrifice, and I was able to write about the experience for the JRCLS Newsletter.
- Keep writing. We get good at the things we do frequently. If we want our legal skills to stay sharp, continuing to write is invaluable. One way I do this is by writing a blog and sometimes covering legal topics. It helps me to continue to think critically while juggling laundry, dishes, and bath time.
- Volunteer. Many legal organizations could use an extra hand. Around the time I quit my job I contacted BYU's International Center for Law and Religious Studies to see if there were any projects they could use help with. It has turned into an opportunity to work on a treatise with one of the professors at BYU. You never know what opportunities might arise unless you ask.
- Read cases. It's pretty difficult to be an expert in an area of law even if you are practicing full-time, but reading the news and some court decisions here and there can be a good way to have meaningful legal conversations when you are around other attorneys.
Please comment! How have you stayed involved with the law while raising children?