Thursday, April 17, 2008

Midlevel Survey

Yesterday I took an anonymous survey for AmLaw about midlevels at my Big Firm. My Big Firm was disappointed in its ranking last year. I suspect that the surveys skew in favor of smaller firms because there are less associates to participate. After deciding to stay in Boston instead of accepting a job at a different Big Firm in D.C., I chose the Big Firm that had the best Boston reputation and was known for its corporate work. I haven't been disappointed. The work is challenging but my colleagues (including partners) are respectful. The last few years have been a bit of a grind hours-wise but now I'm in a bit of a holding pattern which helps me feel additional goodwill. The AmLaw survey asked whether I used all my vacation (I realized shockingly I had last year), what I was compensated, my hours, and I ranked my satisifaction with firm training, support, etc. I think these surveys don't have very much value since the only people who read them in depth are law students who think somehow this will give them insight into making "the right decision". There really is no "right decision". Most of whether things work out is luck, finding your niche (which took me 3 years and 2 very different departments but that is another story), working hard and spouses who put up with your hours.

I got all the way through the end of the survey and suggested that my Big Firm be clearer about partnership tracks and explore non-partnership avenues (which I know they are doing) when I realized there were not many questions relating to work-family balance, support of women with children, mentoring, etc. For the past 4 months (about when I figured out I was pregnant) all I have been doing is worrying about how I am "going to make it work" and I completely forgot about the future kiddos as I filled out the survey. Also, why were there more questions about technology and tech support than about families? It is definitely true that a slow time at work can make you feel like anything is possible - including juggling two kids and two jobs. I'm sure I wouldn't have felt the same way if I got a call at 7 pm (which, by the way, is when most babies are heading down to sleep) as I was leaving the office to start a new project.

Okay, I promise there will be less law stuff this weekend as Husband and I are heading to Ohio for his mom's 60th birthday party. I'll also post about our most recent doctor's visit so you can catch up with the tykes. If I can get Husband's help I'll learn to post photos so we can include some ultrasound photos.

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