Working on the 'Mommy-Track': Motherhood and Women Lawyers
25 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2009
Date Written: Winter 1997
This Article examines the effects of motherhood on the careers of women lawyers and the efficacy of the 'mommy-track' as a means of ameliorating these effects. Part I examines the current position of women in the legal profession. Part II examines the nature of 'motherhood' and the risk/benefit function of 'mommy-tracking.' Part III analyzes the 'mommy-track' from the perspective of feminist jurisprudence. Finally, Part IV examines issues related to workplace transformation. It is the position of this paper that 'mommy-tracking' reinforces undesirable stereotypes. Ironically, this apparent 'solution' actually forestalls the transformations, at home and at work, which could enable women to choose both motherhood and career. Thus, 'mommy-tracking' both results from and perpetuates gender inequality because women, unlike men, still pay the cost of parenthood with their careers.
Keywords: women lawyers, motherhood, legal profession, feminist jurisprudence, undesirable stereotypes, gender equality, careers, families
JEL Classification: K39, K49, L84, M14, M51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation