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The Work-Life Balance

The Work-Life BalanceTufts graduate Pamela Rothenberg, a successful lawyer and mother of three, proves that you can, in fact, have it all.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [12.11.06] Pamela Rothenberg, the managing partner at the Washington, D.C., law offices of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, created quite a stir last year when she walked into work with a newly adopted baby girl from Guatemala. According to Legal Times, no one in the office knew that the 1981 Tufts graduate—who already had two children —was planning to adopt a third.

“I went to Guatemala on a Friday, came back and took the baby to the pediatrician on a Tuesday,” Rothenberg recently told Legal Times. “[I] was back in the office —with the baby —on a Wednesday.”

While her colleagues at the firm, which employs about 45 lawyers, were surprised by Rothenberg’s news, she told the newspaper that she hoped to send a message when she toted the infant, Mia, into her workplace. According to the newspaper, she wanted “other attorneys to see that having a family is not incompatible with being a successful lawyer” and “to send a strong message” to the younger female associates at the firm.

Rothenberg, who studied history at Tufts, became managing partner at the firm in 2004. “Besides running the D.C. office and serving as a kind of mentor/den mother to Womble associates, Rothenberg, 48, handles close to a billion dollars’ worth of real estate deals annually and seems to have her hand in just about everything,” Legal Times reported.

At the firm, Rothenberg also spearheaded a “sales club” that meets twice a month to discuss marketing and client development. The newspaper reported that she believes “that understanding how to sell your services represents the key to the corporate kingdom.”

Rothenberg, who “thrives on activity,” is one of the firm’s busiest equity partners, in terms of both billable hours and firm-development work, according to Legal Times. With two biological daughters, ages 10 and 12, and an adopted baby, she’s busy at home, too. But still, with the help of her husband, who she describes as “wonderful,” Rothenberg doesn’t miss a beat.

“From the Guatemala City Marriot I closed $30 million worth of [real estate] deals,” she told the newspaper, reminiscing about her trip to Central America to adopt Mia. When the baby fell ill after arriving in the United States, Rothenberg remained by her side in the hospital, but was still able to negotiate a $250 million deal, she told Legal Times.

Despite her many commitments, Rothenberg isn’t concerned that she’s taken on too much, the newspaper reported, even when it comes to the new baby. “I don’t have a problem —I have a challenge,” she told Legal Times.

Having a big family, she added, has always been her dream.

“This is my life goal,” Rothenberg told Legal Times. “I cannot not do one of my life goals.”

Written by James Gerber, Class of 2008

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