August 26, 2011 Practice Points

Growing Mentor Association Is a Valuable Resource for Attorney-Mothers

By Amber Pershon

Managing the demands of being an attorney in a big law firm and motherhood can be a daunting task. A 2010 survey by the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) finds that women in big law firms are still not on an equivalent economic level as their male counterparts. Big law firm culture often requires long and unpredictable hours, as well as large demands on an attorney’s time and focus. Many women find balancing these demands with those of their family challenging. In an effort to assist attorney mothers, an association called Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association (MAMA), which was highlighted in a recent article in The Philadelphia Inquirer entitled “Making Their Case,” is growing throughout the country.  

MAMA seeks to assist attorneys who are mothers by facilitating work-life balance, promoting advancement of mother attorneys, and creating a support group in which members can share their experiences. MAMA attempts to serve attorneys who are mothers through unique solutions. For example, recent topics at meetings for the Philadelphia chapter have included discussions about transitioning into law jobs other than in firms and finding strategies to make partner while maintaining sanity as a mother. The association currently includes chapters in six cities: Austin, San Diego, Honolulu, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and its founding chapter in Seattle. Organizations such as MAMA are one step in cultivating a solution for the demands placed on attorney mothers.

Keywords: work-life balance, working mothers, NAWL, MAMA

Amber Pershon, Phoenix School of Law

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