Roxanne B. Conlin and Associates, a Des Moines, Iowa-based plaintiffs firm, is one of only a handful of firms in the country that allows parents to bring their babies to the office. This is not on-site day care; it is full-time parenting in the workplace. Over the last 18 years, Conlin’s firm has had 20 “office babies.”
Not only is this arrangement good for parents, Conlin says, it’s good for the office as a whole. Babies relieve tension and offer much-needed distraction. They also elicit good behavior from adults in the room — even opposing counsel. Tiffany Klosener, a senior attorney with Conlin’s firm for six years, routinely had her baby with her during conference calls and depositions. If he fussed, someone in the office would hold him until she was done. But, she says, a little cooing in the background often kept the dialogue civil. “It’s harder to be aggressively adversarial with someone who has her child there,” says Klosener.