When I began as a young lawyer so many years ago, I didn’t immediately think of “flexibility” of one of the perks of practicing law. Litigation was demanding, and the hours were long. Like so many lawyers, I put pressure on myself to be in the office as much as possible and be all things to all people — partners, clients, judges, opposing counsel.
Over the years, as opportunities for in house positions became available and I talked to my cohorts about their corporate jobs, I realized law firm life is actually more flexible than I had originally thought. While I had to plan around deadlines and hearings, bill my time, and sometimes stay up until 2:00 a.m. drafting a brief, no one made me arrive precisely at a certain time in the morning, or clock in or out for lunch, and it was possible to take off at 3:00 p.m. for an appointment or one of my children’s sporting events, so long as I was responsive and got the work done. Corporate and in house jobs seemed to have more parameters around them — something I couldn’t fathom.