Kat

Queen Bee Jealousy and ‘Vision Thing’: The Obstacles Faced by Female Bosses

Several recent articles and reports found in a variety of law and business publications have dealt with the issue of how women are perceived in the legal profession by both their female and male colleagues. Specific focus has been given to the challenges faced by women in managerial roles. A new article by lawyer Michael Maslanka, in Texas Lawyer, recently noted by the ABA, presents a different, biological and evolutionary take on the experiences of women bosses. His article summarizes findings by managerial experts. According to Maslanka's summary, one theory suggests that "[e]volutionary biology creates queen-bee jealousies that spur women…

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Kat

Working Mother Magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers Rates the Top 50 Law Firms for Women

Working Mother Magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers recently released its list of the top 50 law firms for women.  The firms "were evaluated on their workforce profile, family-friendly benefits and policies, flexibility, leadership, compensation, and their advancement and retention of women, among other factors." The firms that made the top 50 have "more lawyers working reduced hours (8 percent versus 5 percent nationwide) and also employ more female equity partners, who share in their firm’s profits (20 percent versus 16 percent nationwide)."  To view the complete list of the Top 50 firms, click here.

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Kat

Top Michigan Court Rules that Judge has the Power to Ban the Muslim Veil from Courtroom

Michigan Rule of Evidence 611 has just been revised, giving judges the power to determine what witnesses should wear in their courtroom. Recently, a divided Michigan Supreme Court approved this rule, despite protests from the American Civil Liberties Union that the rule should contain an exception for religion attire. The issue just decided by the Michigan Supreme Court originally arose when a Muslim woman, Ginnah Muhammad, testifying in a 2006 small claims case, was asked by the judge to remove her niqab. The judge, 31st District Judge Paul Paruk, asked her to do this so that he could see her…

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Kat

Conservative Radio Show Host Liddy on Sotomayor: “Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating…”

Conservative radio show host G. Gordon Liddy made a series of inflammatory comments regarding Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the bench earlier this week. He initially criticized her for making "racist comments" and then moved on to denigrating her gender, stating: "Let's hope that the key conferences aren't when she's menstruating or something, or just before she's going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then." Liddy then rejected the idea of the importance of diversity on the Supreme Court: "And everybody is cheering because Hispanics and females have been, quote, underrepresented, unquote. ...[T]he Supreme…

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Kat

Federal Judges Complain About the Attire of Women Lawyers

At a recent judges' panel discussion at the Seventh Circuit Bar Association meeting, U.S. District Court Judge Joan Lefkow made a comment about the inappropriate dressing of some women lawyers. This opened the floodgates for similar complaints from other judges on the panel and the the majority-male audience. The topic also proved to be one of contention. Women come into court wearing "skirts so short that there's no way they can sit down and blouses so short there's no way the judges wouldn't look," said Judge Michael McCuskey, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of…

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Kat

Women Lawyers’ Mother’s Day Project Receives National Award

The National Conference of Women's Bar Associations has awarded the Hawaii Women Lawyers' and Hawaii Women's Legal Foundation's Mother's Day Project with the 2009 Public Service Award. The Mother's Day Project provides children in foster homes, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, or living with relatives, with Mother's Day gifts to give to foster mothers, biological mothers and grandparents. To read more about this project click here.

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Kat

End of the ‘Sisterhood’ for Women Lawyers?

Recently, Vivia Chen wrote a piece for the American Lawyer entitled 'The End of Sisterhood.' In that article, she examines whether women lawyers are really as united as they make out to be. As Chen posits: "[W]omen -- particularly their immediate superiors -- can be [fellow women lawyers'] worst tormentors." Hearing stories about how women can be particularly hard on members of their own sex is nothing new. Chen explains this phenomenon, however, by chalking the lack of 'sisterly support' up to misplaced expectations. "Women expect other women to be more empathetic and nicer -- or at least they hope…

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