Conference To Take a Look at the Trend of Professional Women Leaving the Workplace

The controversial phenomenon de­scribed by some as "opting out" — the supposed trend of professional women leaving the workplace to devote their energies full time to family care-taking — will be explored at a conference taking place Friday-Saturday, March 27-28, at the Yale Law School, 127 Wall St.

The event — titled "‘Opt Out' or Pushed Out: Are Women Choosing to Leave the Legal Profession?" — will bring together legal practitioners, professional students and scholars to critically assess the structural, institutional and societal reasons why women lawyers may be departing from the workplace. It will also examine the experiences of men and how they may be similar to — or different from — those of female attorneys.

Conference panels will touch on topics of parenthood, social expectations that treat men and women differently, and how the legal field can learn from other professions that have begun to accommodate the reality of male and female professionals' multi-faceted lives.

"The aim," write the conference organizers, "is to generate concrete goals and methods for improving the structure of the workplace and social perceptions of the occupational choices that attorneys make."

The conference is sponsored by Yale Law Women. Registration is free for Yale students, faculty and staff; $10 for students from other schools; and $35 for the general public. For a complete schedule and to register, visit www.law.yale.edu/news/optout.htm.