Better to have a baby as an associate or a partner and why?

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If you have a baby as an associate you risk not making partner. If you wait until you make partner you risk not being able to get pregnant. And there’s also the risk that you will wait and they won’t make you partner anyway.

Don’t make your family planning decisions based off of this job. There is no way to optimize this individually, it’s a systematic problem.

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Just saying, but OP could theoretically be a guy.

Whenever you’re ready, but keep in mind that if you wait until you’re a partner you likely won’t make it and then you won’t be a partner and also won’t have a child. It may also be significantly more difficult to have the baby at that time.

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As an associate; you’re an employee and can not be responsible for clients being retained while on maternity leave.

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I don’t think a baby would make a very good associate (poor attention to detail and too much screaming), so I’d have to go with partner as my answer.

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A reasonably senior associate is probably more manageable as you won’t have the responsibility of partnership but I’ve seen both. Either way, of course it will be a challenge. There is so much negativity on here though, you can definitely do it and still make partner/have a successful career! I think it’s just what works best for you i.e. financial situation, close to promotion at work, maybe your husband has more capability to help at a particular time.

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Please don’t let this job make your personal decisions for you. This is your life.

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Depends on the firm. Having one as an associate and planning on my second as a partner. Won’t be an issue in either case but my firm has a low ahole factor. I will add there’s not a whole lot to be gained in planning as it works itself out in the end anyway. There won’t be a perfect time.

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I think mid-level associate is the best time. You’ve worked at your firm long enough to gain trust and have already developed strong working relationships with partners, who will presumably help ramp you back up after your maternity leave. But you’re not being considered for partner so no one is closely watching your billables. If I really had to choose, I’d probably say between years 3-6 or 7 (depending on the partnership track at your firm) are best.

That being said, there’s no perfect time. It’ll be challenging no matter what.

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Better as an associate because you can take full parental leave

Some firms don’t penalize partners for parental leave. This is why people shouldn’t work at firms that treat their people like shit.

Associate, but only because it comes before partnership. Earlier the better.

One thing I can definitely say is, regardless of your decision don’t be a 40 something yo parent to a 4 year old kid. They have a tremendous amount of energy and I have seen partners at firms have kids and they struggle to keep up with the kids and end up hiring a nanny full time and NEVER spend time with their kids.

I became a father (28yo) as an associate (my first son right before onboarding as a fall associate, and the other during my second year at the firm). Best decision I ever made and is more than manageable whilst working in biglaw with a supportive wife.

I’d say go for it early, don’t let your professional life dictate your personal. You’ll regret it for the rest of your life.

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