Women who work as attorneys at large law firms face a dilemma when it comes to starting a family. Although most firms have implemented policies to try to ameliorate this age-old problem, many female attorneys fear that they have to sacrifice family for career or career for family.

A recent study by the National Association of Law Placement shows that the number of female associates declined for the third year in a row. Ballard Spahr is aiming to reverse that trend. Chair Mark S. Stewart explained that his firm wants to keep women with young families involved because it has become good business. More clients have women executives and in-house counsel and want to see diverse firms work on their matters.

“Some tell you there cannot be a solution to this issue because you cannot be there 24/7 for your job and your kids,” said Mr. Stewart. “Firms are following the footsteps of their clients. If a woman needs to put a larger focus on her family, you have to keep the door open for them by making sure they keep connections with the firm and their clients.”

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