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Maybe baby

Even a working mum feels the pang of fear when an employee starts a family, confesses Marilyn Stowe

15 November 2010

It begins with a glowing, beaming, expectant mum breaking the news to me and our colleagues. We are genuinely delighted and rush to congratulate her. I think back to when my son Ben was a small baby and I juggled motherhood with the demands of a growing practice.

The legal sector has a reputation for being ‘family-unfriendly’, but I like to think family law is a little different. Perhaps this is because we are accustomed to working within and around families’ lives. We urge our clients to put children’s needs first and the trials, rigours and privileges of parenthood loom large in our day-to-day work.

As our firm’s senior partner, however, I must make a confession. When the expectant mum is back at her desk and the initial buzz and congratulations have subsided, my thoughts turn elsewhere. What about the lawyer’s clients, caught up in the emotional rollercoaster of divorce? However well the change is handled, will they be furious at the loss of the appointed...

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