Jill Filipovic

Sexist Advertising in Legal Magazines

[The following focuses on an advertisement in Massachussets Lawyers Weekly, which featured a naked woman, covered by a man's suit coat, pulling a professionally-dressed man toward her by his tie, with the words, "A custom tailored suit is a natural aphrodisiac." Several female attorneys wrote in to complain, and a handful of "feminist" defenses of the ad followed. This is a response to some of those arguments.] If this ad is somehow represents the idea that women can be sexual, then that idea isn't really new at all, is it? Women's bodies have been used in advertising to sell goods…

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bethb

What’s Wrong With The Times

In the fall of 2005, The New York Times published an article discussing a relatively recent- and somewhat disturbing- trend among young women at elite colleges in the U.S. The article revealed that more and more female students at top undergraduate institutions are deciding (as early as freshman year) that they will opt for stay-at-home-motherhood over a career. The students interviewed shared the notion that it would be impossible to be a successful career woman and a successful mother simultaneously. As a senior in college at the time, set to attend law school the following fall, I was shocked by…

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Callie M. Vivion-Matthews

Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

The following is the text of the graduation speech given by Callie M. Vivion-Matthews in December of 2006 at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. Her speech can be watched at http://smith4.net/Callie_0002.wmv Introduction Many of my fellow graduates told me that they voted for me to speak today because they think I am funny, and in fact, have demanded that I be so today. No pressure, right?! They want to laugh – laugh away all the anxiety and stress and craziness that has consumed so much of these last three and half years as a law students. They want me,…

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Mary Nienaber-Foster

My Mommy Wants to be a Lawyer

By Mary Nienaber-Foster, a 1L at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio Everyone thought I finally lost it. The kids or my husband's job had driven me to the brink of insanity and I had officially gone bonkers. I stood up in the spring of 2006 and announced to the world that I was going back to school. Law School. Fulltime. Granted, thousands of people around the country were announcing the same thing, but somehow, my little cluster of friends and family thought this was an earth-shattering announcement. After all, I wasn't a fresh-faced 22-year old. I was a mother. Of…

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Manamana

AmLaw thinks practice area matters a lot (more) for female lawyers. Discuss.

Following up on "Obstacle Course" in the American Lawyer (which the WSJ’s Law Blog has linked and commented on the article in their post Women Litigators Battle Adversity and Stereotypes): The AmLaw article’s main contention is that female litigators have it even harder than not only other (male) litigators, but also by implication female corporate lawyers. I think this notion—litigation is very hard (the hardest?) in terms of balancing personal and professional life—is one that has a lot of traction in the workplace. That is why the article doesn’t even bother to come out and say what they’re getting at,…

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Anonymous

The New Professional Dress: Ladies, Leave Your Feminine Charms at Home

By a Third-Year Law Student In the ongoing skirmish to redefine the parameters of professional dress for women, the old battlefields were permission to go without nylons and abandon the skirt. Today, barelegged women in pantsuits are fighting a more internal battle for the freedom to act like something other than a female man and still be taken seriously. Perhaps with the exception of Martha Stewart, whose empire is, after all, built around the concept of creating a warm and welcoming home, the top female professionals often maintain their queen of the mountain status only by ruling like a king.…

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Kalokagathia

High Heels

Although it may seem a bit random - lately I can’t seem to get something off my mind: HIGH HEELS... No, I am not harboring some sort of fetish (although I do love shoe shopping). There are actually a few reasons the epitome of feminine footwear has been a thought provoking topic. It started as I prepared to start my summer job. I have never had a job that required more than a t-shirt and jeans. I have only donned a suit when forced to (ahem, oral arguments) and worn dress shoes only for fun. I am not very comfortable…

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Anonymous

Maybe It’s Us

By a 2L at the University of Michigan Law School Maybe the problem with gender inequality in the legal profession is that we, women, continue to insist that there is a problem with gender inequality in the legal profession. Many of the women’s law club meetings or legal symposia or even lunchtime conversations I have attended have focused on the obstacles facing women in the law – the differential pay, the less-stimulating and prestigious case assignments, the stigma that comes along with being a lawyer-mother. Perhaps it is our own obsession with emphasizing stigmas or prejudices that has led women…

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Anonymous

Why am I afraid to volunteer in class even when I know the answer?

By a 2L at the University of Michigan Law School Why am I afraid to volunteer in class even when I know the answer? Sometimes our most insightful realizations come to us randomly. Or at least mine seem to. This weekend I had a run in with a peeping Tom, the details of which are irrelevant, however, the important thing was that I knew that it was a situation in which I should call the police, but, instead, I clutched my phone and debated. In the aftermath of filing a police report, I began wondering about why I hesitated. As…

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Manamana

Is Money the Solution?

The Wall Street Journal’s newish blog “The Juggle” recently posted about an email sent by a Big Law associate, who commented that the recent salary raise she’s received made a big difference in her motivation to work and in her ability to provide for her young child What sparked my interest is that it has a post about the salary bump topic as seen through the work-life lens. The point being that perhaps money does make things easier, and perhaps it is a factor worth ratcheting up on the list (as in: what would you do with $15k more per…

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