[portion only quoted, omitted text includes "[portion only quoted]" comments]
Re first part, I'm also thinking of, not leave, but (thinking about non-law workplace examples), the tensions created by e.g. parents needing/wanting time off or leaving at a set time or whatever being accommodated, but non-parents not for the things they want to do. I see part of reducing stigma not only making leave available (and encouraged, in the sense of no stigma) to parents generally, but some provision for non-parents wanting the possibility of leave time even if unpaid or low-paid (i.e. maybe not a year!).
Also, what about the other way? If man A takes off a year for parental leave, then another year for medical leave, should he be credited for those two years as if he were a high-billing rainmaker, like woman B who was present and working and achieving for those two years? Should he be credited as if he were a high-billing rainmaker, ahead of woman C, who was present and doing average but not great? If woman D has a year of maternity/parental leave, with benefits topped up so earning 100%, should she be credited with the time equally with woman E who never was on leave? Etc.
Re hours and billables and rainmaking, are there lawyers with great contacts who can bring in lots of business and farm it out to other lawyers, who are in a position to negotiate, hey, I'll bring this much business, but I don't want to have to work the long hours? I was reading this piece by Jordan Furlong recently which among other things (including disparity between compensation for women and men) noted his failure to understand why partners have high billing targets (rather than farming out the work they bring in).
Also in terms of what he was saying about valuing or not, I'm thinking of the stereotype (or examples?) of some lawyers are aggressive and boastful and land clients who end up being not particularly happy with billings or results, other lawyers are quieter and not so good at landing the clients but better at serving them and producing results the clients like and so they stay with the firm, but compensation tends to reward the former?
Wow, what a jump in LSAT scores! Congratulations! That's so impressive, seriously. I'm sure some law schools in your area would accept you. However, you need to make sure your personal statement is very well written and provides not only a succinct overview of your life and work experiences, but also your motivations for wanting to pursue a legal career at this age. Also make sure that you explain the reasons for why your GPA is on the lower side.