Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Education




Dr. Alan D.W. Leschied


The purpose of this study was to examine the nature of work-life conflict (WLC) as experienced by mid-career members of the teaching and legal professions with a view to both determining the extent to which the universal WLC factors identified by previous research apply to specific professions and identifying any WLC factors unique to the teaching and legal fields. Participants included four business law firm lawyers and four teachers working in large urban Ontario settings, all with at least five years of experience working in their field. A phenomenological design using semi-structured interviews was employed. Eight themes were identified for teachers and six themes were identified for lawyers. The results of this study suggest that there is a great deal of overlap in the factors responsible for the WLC experienced by those in the teaching and legal fields (including hours worked, workload, work pace and spillover); where the two groups appear to differ is in the presence of factors that increase resiliency to WLC (including sources of job satisfaction and perceived meaningfulness of work), thus allowing the teachers in this study to more effectively cope with the WLC they experienced than their counterparts in the legal field.