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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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“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 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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Something to brighten your weekend: feeling grateful for U.S. women’s opportunities for legal education and careers [Clippings]

University of Chicago 3L (and Mom-in-Law-School) Lag Live meditates on a New York Times article about the Middle East's "Education City." [W]hat struck me the most was a section on the second page titled "Opportunities for Women." To quote some of the article: "Education City represents broad opportunities for women, in a nation where many families do not allow their daughters to travel overseas for higher education or to mix casually with men. Cornell stresses, proudly, that it was Qatar’s first coeducational institution of higher learning. The female students are very much aware of their new opportunities... 'I don’t want…

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Most attorneys say they don’t care whether their colleagues are male or female

Linda Marks, our friend at the Project for Attorney Retention, asked some 1,400 attorneys who they'd want to work with: men or women? The answers are published in the ABA Journal this month, in an article hyperbolically titled What Women Lawyers Really Think of Each Other. The good news: a majority (58%) of attorneys said the gender of their colleagues didn't matter. The survey also asked questions about who takes direction better, which supervisors are mored demanding, etc. Results are broken down by age as well as gender. Perhaps not surprisingly, there is a split between the responses of older…

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Maryland judge calls trio of black female lawyers ‘the Supremes,’ recommends client get a male lawyer [Clippings]

County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone called three black female lawyers "the Supremes" in court. He also advised a defendant to get "an experienced male attorney." Generously, Boone has recused himself from further cases tried by the three lawyers. [Hat tip to Women in Law Daily.]

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Is there such a thing as professional anger for women?

I was intrigued by the series of comments about showing emotion as a female lawyer in a professional context. I was especially struck by the posts that talked about how crying was the response that came through when what the women really felt was anger. One woman wrote that when she “lost [her] fear and embarrassment about [her] own anger, [she] was able to take a deep breath, speak slowly and clearly, and maintain [her] composure” rather than responding with tears to certain situations. Another woman commented about an occasion where she had cried in front of a partner: “I…

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When Other Women Hate You Because You’re Beautiful

No one really talks about it, but one of the main issues preventing women from getting along with other women is jealousy. In the professional world, it breaks down to one of two things: jealousy over how good you are at what you do or jealousy over how good you look doing what you do. These related but distinct problems each deserve their own post, so I’ll start with Green Monster #1: when you’re prettier than the average woman. Many of you reading this are probably already feeling an aversion to the topic—none of us likes to admit that other…

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Angel Dust

Big Problem with Law Firm Claiming to be the best law firm to work for in the Bay Area

This blog wants to expose the shameful truth about one of the largest law firms home based in San Francisco, California. Their claim to fame is that they were voted for 11 years in a row as one of the best law firms to work for. In reality, the management personnel of this huge firm suck. They are awful. They only protect their own asses. Some of these management personnel have been with this firm for a long time. They are set in their ways. They will kill just to protect their own jobs. The newcomers and minorities at the…

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“Different Leadership Styles” or Gender Bias: How Do You Get Behind Euphemisms?

After only 17 months in her post, Susan Prager, the first female president of Occidental College, resigned. Gender bias is not cited as the cause of her departure by any of the parties involved. Instead, neutral words that say very little purport to explain the resignation. Prager said she did not have "a strong compatibility" with the board chairman and senior administrators. Dennis Collins, the board chairman, expressed regrets that he and Dean Prager "were not able to work together as [they] envisioned."Prager's position at Occidental was not her first foray into leadership: Prager was the dean of UCLA Law…

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I am well aware of my female-ness

I have an interesting story from my interview experience when I was a 2L looking for a summer associate job. I went on call-backs to many, many large firms in the city I was interested in. About half way through the “season” of callbacks I had a great set of interviews at a mid-sized office of a very large international firm. The day went very well and for the only time in the season, the office chair offered me a job on the spot. I was impressed. I felt like this was a good indicator that they really wanted me…

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