March 10, 2011 Articles

Top 10 Tips for Work-Life Balance

Finding balance in your personal and professional life is imperative to being a good mother and lawyer.

By Erica L. Reilley

By the time you read this, I likely will have delivered my third child just a few weeks before. I’ve had all three of my children—the oldest of whom is now in kindergarten—while practicing at Jones Day, and this last one in the year after I was elevated to the partnership. As one might expect, throughout those last five or six years, I’ve learned a lot about balancing work and life. There are a few things I’ve done that have made the endeavor reasonably successful—both personally and professionally.

1. Establish a Great Reputation Early The old adage is true: First impressions matter. So start off—whether as a brand new lawyer or a lateral to a new firm—with your guns blazing. Work hard and do the very best work of which you are capable. Don’t ever consider any task too small or insignificant to give it your all. The truth is that the senior lawyers still will take note of your performance, and that will matter. Demonstrating that you will give—and deliver—100 percent to any project to which you are assigned will make you a trusted and highly sought-after lawyer. Those first few years spent dedicating yourself to establishing your reputation will be hard ones, but they also will be well worth your time. Among many other things, when you later desire a greater level of flexibility to achieve your own sense of work-life balance, your strong reputation will only aid in obtaining that balance on the terms that best suit your situation.

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