Women of the Courts Symposium: Remarks

Joan Dempsey Klein

... The sensitive topic of judicial recusal is a related issue for those of us in specialty bars and those who belong to the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ), both of which of course have male members. ... A specialty bar is not necessarily one based on gender or ethnic affiliation, but it does include such bars. ... Blatant discrimination based on race was the impetus for African-American attorneys to organize a major bar association to protect and promote themselves and their cause. ... Based on the success of the CWL experience in California and the perception by a handful of California women judges of a real need to form an association of similarly situated colleagues, wherever they might be across the nation, plans for a NAWJ were discussed among the few of us in the 1970s. ... It was the gender bias task force and was started in New Jersey by Judge Marilyn Loftus. ... To no one's surprise, they found evidence of gender stereotyping, discrimination and bias! ... I have long been an advocate of a two-track responsibility for women and minority attorneys - belong to your own specialty bar and also the major integrated and voluntary bars in your community. ... A female colleague refuses to belong to any women's legal or judicial organization because she believes such membership creates the appearance of impropriety. ...
  • Print Location Joan Dempsey Klein, Women of the Courts Symposium: Remarks, 36 U. Tol. L. Rev. 911 (2005).

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