Should Firms 'Out' Lawyers on the Work/Life Balance Track?

Littler Mendelson lists its "flextime" attorneys right on its website.

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Littler Mendelson lists its "flextime" attorneys right on its website.

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  • Emily Morris, Program Manager of Littler CaseSmart (and former FTA)

    As a Littler attorney whose chosen career path has gone from federal law clerk to Littler Associate to Discovery FlexTime Attorney (FTA) to Lead Discovery FTA to currently serving as Program Manager for Littler CaseSmart – Litigation, I know from personal experience that this article completely misconstrues the FTA role and Littler’s decision to promote the FTAs on our website. FTAs are not Shareholders or Associates who have chosen to work a reduced schedule. FTAs are experienced attorneys dedicated to working in the Littler CaseSmart platform who want a career path that allows them to specialize in a certain area (ex. research, brief writing) and simply work less hours than a traditional shareholder or shareholder-track position. Personally, I’m grateful that Littler offers these unique positions that are exactly what some attorneys are looking for in various phases of life. Through its inaccurate portrayal of the FTA position and how Littler treats and values its FTAs, this article did a disservice to those currently working in the FTA capacity and those who might be looking for a flexible option.

  • Camille Edwards

    Hello Mr. Forman: This seems a distinction without a difference. I agree with the article that it would be more appropriate to have this information on the recruiting page for applicants. But to include this designation on the bio of each of the Flextime Attorneys seems a distinction without a difference. There is clearly some lingering stigma to the "flextime" designation. And once you "other" a group (i.e. Flextime vs. "normal" associate) you‘re telling the world that they‘re somehow not equal.

  • Scott Forman, Littler Shareholder and Founder of Littler CaseSmart

    This article mischaracterizes Littler’s FlexTime Attorney (FTA) program, which is a dedicated position within our Littler CaseSmart platform and separate from Littler’s long-standing policy to offer flexibility to lawyers on a traditional path. We actively recruit FTAs both within and outside of Littler – it is not a “policy” that we apply to lawyers who want reduced schedules. We list our FTAs on the website because they are an important part of our team and the service we provide to clients. Rather than “singling out this group”, I think it would say something about our commitment to the FTAs and their value within the firm if we did not showcase them on our website. If associates or shareholders are on reduced schedules, we do not note that on their bios, nor should we. Since FTAs are distinct positions (rather than flexibility within another role), it’s not an apples to apples comparison. Finally, while currently the majority of our FTAs are women, this position is open for anyone to apply to and we are increasingly receiving applications from attorneys from all walks of life who are seeking greater flexibility for personal or professional reasons. - Scott Forman, Littler Shareholder and Founder of Littler CaseSmart

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