June 29, 2015 Practice Points

The Part-Time Path to Partnership and Career Success

By Jenny Austin

In the article “Top Female Lawyers and Executives Find That Part-Time Isn’t a Career Killer,” author Claire Bushey summarized the part-time paths that several women took during their careers and how these women were able to achieve success. For eight years, one of the women, Rebecca Eisner, billed between 60 and 80 percent of the hours required for full-time. In April 2014, she was named head of Mayer Brown’s Chicago office. Other women who worked part-time or flexible arrangements include Kim Simios, the managing partner of Ernst &Young’s Chicago office; Amy Manning, managing partner of McGuireWoods’ Chicago office; and Julie Howard, chairman of Navigant. The article also discussed common factors that resulted in successful part-time arrangements: (1) a supporting mentor within the company, (2) flexibility on projects coupled with a commitment to client service, and (3) a longer path to partnership. While within some organizations alternative work arrangement are looked down upon, this is slowly changing as companies focus more on doing what is necessary to retain top talent.

Keywords: part-time, career success, job flexibility, women, alternative work arrangements

Jenny Austin works at Baker & McKenzie LLP in Chicago, Illinois

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