One of our owners and founders of Montage Legal Group, Laurie Rowen, was selected by Women Lawyers OnLine to be part of an interview series called “The Work Life Balance Project.” Several women lawyers were interviewed to share their views on balancing work and life, struggles they have faced in their attempt to create success in their personal life and legal career, and tips to assist other women lawyers who may be facing the same challenges.
Laurie provided her insights on work life balance, and shared why Montage Legal Group has helped her in an ongoing struggle to balance her personal life and her life as a lawyer. Below are a few excerpts from the interview:
Kendra Brodin: What do you consider to be your biggest challenge or struggle in attempting to create this kind of success that we’ve been talking about in your personal and legal career? What’s been the hardest thing for you to accomplish?
Laurie Rowen: The profession of law is frequently based upon the amount of hours you bill. And so my biggest challenge, and I feel like a big challenge for a lot of women, is how can you reduce your workload and still meet the expectations of your law firms? There are only 24 hours in one day. After you meet your billable hours requirement, and you sleep for a little bit, there’s no time left over for personal life, family, husbands, and fun. For me, after starting Montage Legal Group, I find that there are significantly fewer challenges in balancing my personal life and career. I can choose the exact amount of legal work I want that particular week, based on time commitments, how finances are going, and other things that I have going on. It’s been working out really well and I feel like I’ve kind of met those challenges and I’m not struggling anymore as I used to be prior to starting my own legal group.
Kendra Brodin: What’s been your biggest lesson as you’ve moved along this journey in terms of creating your successful personal and professional life?
Laurie Rowen: I’ve learned that happiness is key. Many women let their jobs control them, as I used to do, and when you do that, you lose your life. You let life happen to you, instead of controlling your own life. You need to be the engineer of your life, and constantly evaluate and re-evaluate your commitments. Don’t feel like you need to stay in a job where you are unhappy just because there is outside pressures to stay on a traditional career path. For me, I looked up to the amazing female partners in my prior law firm and I initially had a very hard time dealing with the fact that being a partner was not the right solution for me. And I had to accept that while the profession needs women like them to stay in law firms and be female partners like we need, the legal professional also needs women like me. The right solution that works for you may not be obvious, but I learned that a legal career is absolutely possible to achieve and balance with a fulfilling personal life.
To listen to Laurie Rowen’s full 30 minute interview, please click on Laurie Rowen’s Interview.