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jessie

Southern Ms. Part VI: Identifying Discrimination

A few weeks ago I witnessed a female lawyer (hereinafter "Lady, Esq.") accuse a male lawyer (hereinafter "Gentleman, Esq.") of sexism and discrimination. It started with Gentleman, Esq. commenting on Lady, Esq. being rude and disrespectful to him. Lady, Esq. responded by explaining her snarkiness and sarcasm were in response to his condescension. Gentleman, Esq. asked Lady, Esq. to "calm down." I know I'm guilty of a sexist stereotype, but nevertheless I've got to say it: "calm down" is possibly the most infuriating thing a male professional can say to a female professional. It implies sexism even where there might…

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jessie

Lessons from the Courtroom: The Crying Game

We've discussed crying before here, here, and here. I have cried at work, but not in a work-related context: I got choked up when a family member was dying, when I got in a personal disagreement with a good friend at work, and when I was feeling particularly homesick. I also once comforted a friend at work whose pet was sick. I did not feel I had been unprofessional in these situations - but it's clear from the conversations we've had in this area that I could have beenperceived as such. What I did think was unprofessional was crying in…

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jessie

Equal Pay Day: Scholarship on Advocacy and Equity

Today, Friday, April 18, 2008 is Equal Pay Day. The National Women's Law Center is encouraging bloggers to voice their support for the Fair Pay Restoration Act. Lest you think the wage gap doesn't reach attorneys (after all those law firms have lock-step and hour-based associate salaries and partners are just paid according to their client base, right?) study after study has confirmed that gender pay equity continues to be a goal and not a reality in the legal profession as well. Recently Judge Kaye and Anne Reddy reported that as recently as November 2007, the National Association of Women…

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sintecho

Girls Being Girls: A Lot Less Steamy Than Boys Being Boys

Julia Baird's article, Girls Will Be Girls. Or Not. Why aren't more powerful public women caught up in sex scandals?, explores an interesting side of the gender power imbalance: why "are so few women in politics embroiled in tabloid tales?" There are few obvious female counterparts to the Eliot Spitzers and Jim McGreeveys (aka "Luv Guvs") of the political world. Of the "handful of minor scandals involving women in public office in America," the majority arise from "love affairs, not casual—or commercial—liaisons." The lack of "indiscretion" by female politicians leads to a call for more women to be elected to…

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sintecho

Does Sexism Still Exist?

The word on the street seems to be that if you think you're the victim of sexism, you are either paranoid or looking for excuses for a non-gender-related failing. I myself am guilty of blaming sexism--when I blogged about a male colleague who changed one of my recommendations at work behind my back, I bitterly recounted the story to friends with the added conclusion: "he never would have done that if I were a male colleague." But, maybe he would have. How can I really be sure? Likewise, Jessie posted on a new law review article that indicates how little…

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jessie

Blog Watch: Daily Kos Tallies Women in Top Elected Offices

Daily Kos has tallied up the number of women in top elected positions in response to Hillary Clinton's comment about Iowa and Mississippi never electing any. Kos notes that a number of other states could be added to that pathetic list if you excluded the widows who succeeded their late-husbands and Lt. Governors who succeeded their bosses mid-term.

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sintecho

Would people respond better to what you say if you were a man?

In an article on women's leadership styles, Nicholas Kristof references research that "women, compared with men, tend to excel in consensus-building and certain other skills useful in leadership." In explaining why women have not had more success in achieving positions in government despite these strengths, Kristof hypothesizes that "in the televsion age, female leaders also have to navigate public prejudices." These "prejudices", as it turns out, are of the sort that affect women lawyers as well. Kristof cites the "Goldberg paradigm," an attribution arising out of a study in which people read an article or speech with one group of…

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Lynn Hecht Schafran

Judge Boone’s Reprimand Also Demonstrates Progress

When news broke that Maryland Judge W. Kennedy Boone was reprimanded in January for calling three African-American women lawyers “the Supremes” and advising the defendant to “get an experienced male attorney,” people were dismayed. How could this still be happening? It’s one thing when Imus does it, but a judge.... Looked at through the lens of history, however, the Boone case is also a story of tremendous progress in addressing gender bias in the courts. As Director of the National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts (NJEP) at Legal Momentum, I know that…

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jessie

Southern Ms. Part IV: Lawyerettes

I'm often hesitant to tell people I'm an attorney. Suffice it to say the achievement of graduating from law school and passing the bar is dampened by finding oneself the butt of many many jokes. But in Memphis, I find myself asserting my professional status more because otherwise I find folks assume I'm a secretary. When people ask what brought me to Memphis, I alwasy say my job did - that I moved here to work for a Federal Judge. I get varying responses, "you're his assistant?" "his secretary?" "a paralegal?" These assumptions were not restricted to those unfamiliar with…

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Anna

“Where are they now?” Post-AutoAdmit Speculation Edition

Where do guys go after they "grow up" (I use the phrase loosely) from harassing and objectifying their law-school classmates on AutoAdmit and XOXOXO? When they graduate into the big, wide world of lawyering? Apparently, the answer is: Skadden Arps. Brian Baxter reports for the American Lawyer that Skadden http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202732106724&rss=newswirehttp://skaddeninsider.blogspot.com/2008/01/hottest-female-associate.html http://gawker.com/5003031/at-law-firm-please-keep-the-lady-objectification-to-a-low-roar-at-gawker-go-right-aheadhttp://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/02/12/skadden-insider-hot-or-not/ Let's put one cliche to bed: "hot or not" ratings contests are not "all in good fun." Unless each participant agrees to participate in being ranked, this kind of activity is not "all in good fun." So quit kidding yourself, guys. If an associate is unwillingly having attention called to…

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