May 8, 2010
And Now for Something Completely Different: On Complicated Relationships or the Working Conditions of Legal Secretaries
Chicago-Kent law prof Felice Batlan's ‘If You Become His Second Wife, You are a Fool’: Shifting Paradigms of the Roles, Perceptions, and Working Conditions of Legal Secretaries in Large Law Firms[SSRN] is based on her 2009 nation-wide survey. From the abstract:
Using such data, along with other primary sources, the article examines how legal secretaries’ roles and work have changed during the past fifty years, why women decide to become legal secretaries, their level of satisfaction, the work/ family conflicts they experience, how the recent financial crisis has affected them, and the complicated relationships that they have with attorneys, especially women attorneys. Moreover, the most significant scholarship on secretaries has depicted the secretary/boss relationship as one of a personal and domestic nature – what we might call the “second-wife” or “office wife syndrome.” Yet what does this mean in a culture in which the very meaning of “wife” is changing and unstable and where legal secretaries now work for a multiple attorneys, including women lawyers.
Hat tip to Workplace Prof Blog. [JH]