Making lactating mothers pump in bathroom stall is not OK, ABA says | Reuters

2022-03-10 06:04:43 By : Mr. Ken Zhang

A breast pump is seen in San Antonio, Texas, February 8, 2019. REUTERS/Callaghan O'Hare

Feb 15 - Breastfeeding mothers should be allowed to bring pumping equipment into law school and bar exam testing rooms, according to the American Bar Association’s policymaking body.

The ABA’s House of Delegates on Monday overwhelmingly approved a resolution urging bar examiners, law schools, bar associations and legal employers to adopt “reasonable and accessible” accommodations for lactating individuals.

Those measures should include one “off the clock” 30-minute break every three hours; a private or semiprivate place to pump that is not a bathroom; and clear signage directing people to the accommodation area, according to the resolution.

“Quite simply, a lack of accommodations for nursing individuals creates a barrier to the practice of law,” Alabama attorney Daiquiri Steele told the House of Delegates, noting that women are frequently forced to pump in bathrooms or places without adequate seating.

The resolution was co-sponsored by the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division and its Commission of Women in the Profession. It follows a measure the body adopted in 2019 urging courthouses to provide lactation areas for court staff and visitors, Steele said.

Kentucky lawyer Michelle Browning Coughlin, founder of the non-profit advocacy group Mothers Esquire, told the House of Delegates that law students and lawyers who are mothers frequently report that accommodations are inadequate or nonexistent.

“This a matter of access to this profession and dignity for our colleagues,” she said.

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Karen Sloan reports on law firms, law schools, and the business of law. Reach her at

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