Monday, December 14, 2015

Women lawyers are treated like crap

"Women lawyers aren’t taken seriously, and they certainly aren’t treated with respect by their fellow lawyers in this profession.”

So says a recent survey of lawyers, both men and women.  Read the article linked above.  Some of those examples are appalling.  Here are two:

-- I was told I was too pretty for the job. Once, an opposing male counsel asked me out while in the middle of a proceeding.

-- I am usually called sweetie, hunny, hun, dear, miss, etc., instead of attorney — this by clients, other attorneys, and judges.

I have personally been subjected to a few similar remarks.  For example --

-- A judge once berated me on the record [court reporter present and reporting] for wearing a suit with pants instead of a skirt.  [Maybe I should have been wearing this:]

-- After a particularly heated session of oral argument, judge asked me: "Are you done with your little tirade?"  No such similar comment was made about opposing counsel, who made a similarly-impassioned argument.  He was male.

-- An opposing counsel telephoned my firm one day, and ended up speaking with me.  He snorted disgust and asked if there was a male attorney in the office who would speak with him.

Fortunately, these incidents were more than five years ago, and I have found, at least in my area of practice, most interactions between counsel and judges have been much more professional that what I've experienced in the past.

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