Is "part-time" ever really "part-time" in a law firm?

There's a great post over at Conglomerate about "part-time" schedules at law firms and whether they're really part-time in practice. From the post:
In the law firm context, I have had many friends try part-time schedules only to declare them a myth. They take a cut in pay, but the work keeps coming, as do the hours. Perhaps its because the assignment of work is not centralized. Maybe it's because the person negotiating the deal is not the person parcelling the work. Maybe it's because 80% of everything is still everything. Do attorneys in these negotiations just hear the words "reduced hours" and nothing else, while managing attorneys just hear the words "reduced pay" and nothing else? In my experience, the attorney ends up very jaded and cynical and the firm ends up swearing never to make special deals anymore. Everyone feels abused.
That's exactly what I've seen occur when people are offered part-time schedules at reduced pay. I don't think that the intent is to abuse the part-time employee or take advantage of him/her (usually her). It always sounds great in theory, but never seems to translate well in practice. Maybe one day that will change.


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