ACC Foundation Webinar: What We Learned From the ABA’s Legal Careers of Parents & Child Caregivers Report

Banner artwork by AraGosha /

In a recent webinar hosted by the ACC Foundation and the American Bar Association, legal professionals delved into the nuanced challenges and experiences of attorney mothers in balancing their careers and caregiving responsibilities. Drawing from personal anecdotes and strategic insights, speakers Alison Moore-Alexis, deputy general counsel ay BNY Mellon, Nancy Laben, EVP and CLO at Booz Allen Hamilton, and Stephanie Scharf, partner at Scharf Banks Marmor LLC, discussed the impacts of maternity leave, workplace cultures, and the evolving landscape of remote work on attorney mothers. 

Pressure can come from many places 

Alison Moore-Alexis shared her journey of taking maternity leave during the pandemic. She highlighted how societal and personal pressures often overshadow the actual perceptions of employers, who are generally supportive. Nancy Laben and Stephanie Scharf echoed this sentiment. They advised the necessity of aligning personal values with organizational culture. Laben noted the importance of advocating for oneself in the face of biases and assumptions.

Balancing work and family is about aligning values with our workplaces and advocating for ourselves amid pressures. Artwork by Marta Sher /

Affinity groups are crucial 

The conversation also tackled the significance of mentorship, networking, and being authentic in professional settings. Speakers discussed the crucial role of affinity groups and external networks in providing emotional support and career advice.

Speakers discussed the crucial role of affinity groups and external networks in providing emotional support and career advice.

It will get emotional 

The panelists candidly addressed the emotional complexities of work-life balance, including feelings of resentment and guilt when work and family demands conflict. They offered practical advice on seeking support and outsourcing tasks to better manage these challenges.  

Overall, the webinar offered a comprehensive look at the multifaceted issues facing attorney mothers, highlighting strategies for success and the ongoing need for systemic support and understanding within the legal profession. For more insights, check out the results of ABA’s recent Legal Careers of Parents and Child Caregivers report.  

Disclaimer: the information in any resource collected in this virtual library should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on specific facts and should not be considered representative of the views of its authors, its sponsors, and/or ACC. These resources are not intended as a definitive statement on the subject addressed. Rather, they are intended to serve as a tool providing practical advice and references for the busy in-house practitioner and other readers.