Saturday, July 18, 2009

Married to the law

That's a common theme of two items I read this week, one about Sonia Sotomayor's personal life, one about the personal lives of young women lawyers generally.

Here is a link to the former, and here is a link to the latter.

Here is an excerpt from the former, which appeared in the New York Times:
Now and again, friends persuade Judge Sotomayor, 55, whose workweeks stretch seven days, to try a blind date. But she acknowledges loneliness as a frequent companion. “There are many friends who have known me for most of my adult life; what they know is that the professional success I had achieved before Peter did nothing to bring me genuine happiness,” she said of her fiancĂ©, Peter White, at her 1998 induction to the United States Court of Appeals. Ms. Sotomayor and Mr. White split two years later.
Here is an excerpt from the latter, which appeared in Young Lawyers Blog:
According to a publication from an ongoing study called After the JD, comparisons between the 2000 Census and a study of young lawyers conducted in 2004 show that young women lawyers aren’t as likely to be married and definitely aren’t as likely to be mommies as their non-lawyer peers. According to the 2000 Census, 59% of women ages 27-32 are married. Among female lawyers ages 27-32, 47% are married. That somewhat smaller percentage comes with a plus – only 7% of the female lawyers in that age group are divorced compared with 12% of the general female population at that age.
Since these items appeared, Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, has gotten a lot of attention for these comments:

“There's no such thing as work-life balance .... There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences."

Welch said women who take time off can still "have a nice career," but their chances of reaching the top are smaller, according to the Wall Street Journal account. "We'd love to have more women moving up faster," he said. "But they've got to make the tough choices and know the consequences of each one."

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