Canadian lawyers and work life balance – Catalyst Study

Doug Jasinski

The non-profit Catalyst research organization has recently released a new study on job flexibility in Canadian law firms. Entitled “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: Lawyers State Their Case on Job Flexibility” the report is the third in a three part series and is based on a survey of 1439 lawyers in Canadian law firms.
Read the Catalyst report executive summary
Read the full Catalyst report
The survey finds that although large numbers of lawyers are using or have used flexible work arrangements such as telecommuting, flex time and reduced billable hour budgets in exchange for reduced compensation, most believe such arrangements amount to a career-limiting move, and a majority didn’t believe a lawyer who used such arrangements could ever become partner.
That is a very sobering finding in my view, and underscores why law firms are still seeing such huge rates of attrition from female associates in the early part of their careers. I have a theory that if any firm can ever successfully “solve” the work-life balance issue they will be sitting on a gold-mine of legal talent that is currently continuing to move away from private practice in droves.


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