Work/Life Balance Can Go Hand in Hand with a Successful Career
What it means to achieve fulfilling, successful work/life balance is different for everyone. But I don’t think anyone can actually attain it without the support of workplace policies and programs that facilitate work/life balance without affecting the ability for advancement.
I’ve never felt at Gibbons that my desire for work/life balance, including my adoption of a reduced hours or flexible schedule, has ever been viewed as a lack of job commitment. In fact, many of my colleagues don’t even realize I work a flexible schedule. Likewise, while I know that nearly 20 percent of Gibbons’s women attorneys have taken advantage of our reduced-hour or flex-time options in the past few years, and ten attorneys, both women and men, currently work reduced or flexible hours, I don’t know who most of those attorneys are.
I began a reduced-hours schedule as a director (partner) when my twin sons were born in 2006. Though my three children are now a bit older, I continue to work a flexible schedule. Neither my reduced hours nor my flexible schedule have had any impact on my ability to work on interesting, challenging cases or on my opportunities to take on a leadership role at the firm.
I recently played leading roles in two appellate matters with significant implications for the business community, successfully arguing them before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and the Ninth Circuits in 2017. Both resulted in published decisions in developing areas of the law. One involved a high-profile victory against the Internal Revenue Service, while the other, equally high-profile case has significant economic ramifications for the state and region. I also had a substantial role in the firm’s representation of the New Jersey legislature in defending its sports-wagering legislation, with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in our favor in May 2018, making way for legal sports betting throughout the country.
In addition, I recently became team leader of the firm’s Appellate practice. I oversee a group of highly experienced attorneys handling matters before the U.S. Supreme Court, nearly every U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and dozens of State Supreme and intermediate appellate courts. That I have been tasked with these new responsibilities, in addition to my busy practice, is a testament to the priority Gibbons places on work/life balance and our collective commitment to achieving it, without it holding anyone back from opportunities for advancement.