One of the challenges within law firms right now is that Gen Xers want a life, while the older partners want to work associates and young partners to the bone. The American Bar Association conducted a recent unscientific study in which slightly more than 84% of associates (including me) said we'd take less pay to have more time. I'd love to quote huge chunks of this article, but instead urge you to look at the article yourself if it piques your interest.
The legal frontier could be changing. And it will happen at the hands of my generation and those younger because we aren't willing to sacrifice our families on a day-in-day-out basis.
I was fortunate to find a firm that was flexible with me. I worked three days a week -- most weeks. But if a judge or key client needed to see me, I was there regardless of whether it was my day to be at work.
The kids got used to playing games on the computer or watching a video on those days while Mommy ran to court or talked to a client or partner.
There are ways to make a reduced work schedule work without hurting client service.