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Betrayal: Sexual Harrassment by Mentors

I can't stop thinking about a recent story out of a Texas district court of several alleged acts of extremly severe sexual harrassment by a federal judge. There are a number of disturbing circumstances involved. The alleged aggressor is a federal judge-a person we all trust to uphold the law. The alleged attack was barbaric and, according to more than one accuser, just the most recent and sever in a long history of abuse of female subordinates. I'm clerking this year, so the intimate setting in which these attacks purportudely took place is familiar to me, and it's a particularly…

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chandra u tiger

Questions about Gender Discrimination?

I have some issues relating to my business and myself that are clearly gender discrimination. I have an attorney who has just disclosed a conflict of interest with the other side's attorney on this matter. What would you do if you believed that your attorney is no longer independent?- a conflict of interest? What is there is evidence of acts taken that prejudiced the case in the favor of the other side?Who is the best national gender discrimination lawyer or law firm that can handle a high profile case involving a CEO level female? Any insights would be appreciated. Thank…

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Lawyer pleads guilty to spying on female colleagues [Clippings]

 The AP reports, A former Legal Aid Society lawyer pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegally using a hidden video camera to spy on female co-workers as they changed clothes in their offices.Peter Barta, 32, of Queens, used a camera hidden in a clock to videotape five co-workers in the public defense agency's Manhattan offices, recording at least one woman with her breasts and buttocks bared.The women told police they regularly changed clothes in their offices before and after work. . . .Barta pled to a felony so he is automatically disbarred. Thank goodness.You can read the full AP news article [Newsday] and…

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Are all of my customer service complaints doomed to be seen as illegitimate?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, "A Lawyer Bride Sues Her Florist" which reminded me of sintecho's recent post "Does Your Partner Hide Behind Your Skirts?" Now, I certainly do not think that sintecho's encounters were based solely on her status as a lawyer - I am inclined to agree with her assessment that had her husband also been a lawyer, the parties would have nevertheless still requested to speak with him. That being said, I went to read the WSJ article and found myself guilty of the very stereotype I now wish to condemn. I…

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Licenciada: A Latina’s Perspective on Entering the Legal Community

Two years ago, I had my first experience with what I call the Stupid White Male ("SWM"), a creature not limited to the legal community, but often prevalent in it. At the time, I was working as a legal secretary on a temporary basis, as my admission to law school had been deferred for a year. The SWM was a summer associate who had just finished his 1L year, and after I explained to him how to use the office copier, I mentioned my admission to the law school. His response was something to the effect of, "oh yeah, well…

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Are these really the 50 best firms for women?

Judge Nancy Gertner of the District of Massachusetts submitted the below Op Ed to Massachusetts Lawyer's Weekly ( commenting on the Working Mother 50 best law firms for women. She highlights that the word "honor" has to be put into the correct context since many of the firms in Boston on the list have lower than averagae women as equity partners.She calls the Working Mother survey a part of a revolution of "falling expectations". She questions the reason so few women are at the upper echelons of private law firms and demands that we be asking those questions of the…

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Whitney Hill

Mentoring—> Sisterhood—> Supreme Court?

I cannot help but wish that three or four more women were sitting on the US Supreme Court. This will happen. A clutch of women Supreme Court Justices would be very visible role models, but until then we can celebrate the women lawyers who are federal judges, state supreme court judges, civil rights lawyers, politicians, and partners in law firms. I think that the power and influence of positive role models cannot be understated. In that vein, a woman in the legal profession needs a mentor to give wisdom in the form of cautionary tales, guidance and advice. Role models…

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Skirts vs. Slacks: I’m not rooting for slacks. I’m rooting for the issue to just go away.

Skirt suits or pants suits--which are more professional? This was the topic of conversation around the dinner table of a group of female classmates one evening, where a surprising majority insisted that for women, a skirt suit was the most professional attire for a female lawyer. As self-proclaimed feminists, their reasoning was that women who don't wear skirt suits are uncomfortable with their femininity. And while I may not necessarily agree with their views, I do recognize the basic message the conversation was meant to encapsulate: that the very visibility of our gender unfailingly garners attention, regardless of whether we…

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Sisters in Law

When I think about advancing the role of women in the legal profession, the women I know here in the U.S. are those that come first to mind. Sometimes I extend my attention far north into Canada. Rarely, though, do I take the time to think about how powerful a voice we--women attorneys who still have a tough professional road to hoe but at least have the undisputed right to a place on the road--might have in furthering the cause of our less fortunate sisters abroad. This article on the efforts of five women lobbying for the right to practice…

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Corinne M. Croucher

Shooting for the Stars

When I was eight years old my brother and I were in our shared bathroom getting ready for bed. We were discussing what we would do when we were "grown up," and I declared that I wanted to be an astronaut. My brother looked at me and told me that "girls cannot be astronauts." Upset and confused I immediately went to tattle tell on my older brother. My mom then sat both of us down and told us that we could do anything in this world that made us happy and that nothing could stop us. As an eight year…

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