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Some Law Schools Finally Offer Breastfeeding Accommodations for New Mothers

Most of the time, I try to write with some empathy, objectivity, or insight.

But when I am out of my element, I rely on the experiences of others or I default to attempts at humor. With that said, I confess I have never breastfed -- at least not since I was an infant.

I have been a law student, however, so let me share what little I learned about lactation accommodations in law school. Apparently, there are not that many, but some schools are finally beginning to add accommodations for new mothers.

Thank Goodness for Indian Law

Brenda George, who writes for Ms. JD, recently posted about her experience at an Indian law conference hosted by the Federal Bar Association in Scottsdale, Arizona. She said Indian law conferences welcome women with children, and the bar sent out daily email about a private nursing suite for breastfeeding mothers.

"This may seem silly to some, but I was delighted to see this announcement in the email that went out to all attendees," she wrote. "Steps like these help normalize breastfeeding, and help bring that balance for women that are pursuing a career and raising children."

George said such programs, and some law schools, are setting the tone for the legal field. She said more law schools and employers should follow, noting that the Department of Health & Human Services says breastfeeding employees miss work less often and breastfeeding lowers health care costs.

"Law offices and other schools: take note and continue to provide accommodations that exceed the minimum requirements," she said. "Your employees/students will be much happier, and so grateful."

Law Schools With Nursing Accommodations

University of Florida recently announced a lactation room for nursing mothers at the Levin College of Law. It will be open in the fall to all law students, faculty and staff.

The law school also has a dedicated room at the Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center. Patricia Morgan, head of the law school's access services and outreach, said students use it while studying for exams.

"Law school's hectic enough," she said. "I can't imagine being in law school and having a child."

Seattle University School of Law and Stanford Law School also have rooms for nursing women. The rooms typically include a microwave, a refrigerator, changing table and a lock for privacy.

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