Part-time lawyers continue to be the exception

While nearly 98 percent of law offices offered part-time schedules in 2010, only 6.4 percent of lawyers have taken advantage of the option, according to the NALP Directory of Legal Employers. 

In addition, the study found that of those who took advantage of part-time working opportunities, 70 percent were women, with 11.9 percent of female partners and 13.6 percent of women lawyers working part-time. 

Since NALP began tracking this data the numbers have increased, with only 86 percent of offices allowing part-time work in 1994. In addition, only 1.2 percent of partners worked part-time in 1994, compared to 3.6 percent in 2010. 

NALP's study also provides insight into where part-time work is most frequent. In Chicago and Washington, DC- two of the largest markets, part-time partners are more than twice as common than in New York City. In addition, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento have the greatest presence of part-time partners. 

While it seems that most part-time positions aren't taken advantage of, those entry-level associates hoping to start out part-time may be out of luck. Nearly half of offices that offered part-time options excluded the option for entry-level associates.



As Mark Twain said, there are liars, damned liars and statisticians. The simple fact is that part time employment increased during the reporting period by 30%, with the trend continuing to rise. The fact that 98% of law offices offered part time schedules is of no consequence. Those offers may have been declined for a myriad of reasons. The NALp numbers of part-timers also do not include staff or temp positions, an ever increasing number.

The inferences sought to be made regarding gender and part time work is simply misogynistic.

Jery Kowalski