Women in the Law

What Century Are We In? Still Mistaken for Court Reporters, Women Lawyers Need to Speak Up, One Says

Despite comprising nearly half of the nation’s new law graduates these days, female attorneys still aren’t on a level playing field with male colleagues.

Incidents both minor and major demonstrate this, writes Patricia Epstein in a Wisconsin Law Journal column.

They range from the frequency with which women lawyers, but not men, are asked in a roomful of attorneys whether they are the court reporter to what Epstein calls the “doozies”: Lunches at Hooters; inviting a stripper to help celebrate a male partner’s birthday–at work; and a female divorce lawyer handed a triple X-rated DVD by a male opponent at the conclusion of a contentious trial.

“Despite the understandable instinct to stay quiet and keep a low profile when these things happen, which I myself did in younger years, I urge all women lawyers and our male colleagues to speak up when this sort of thoughtless, belittling and, yes, sexist conduct occurs,” she writes.

“Let’s try to do better for our sons and daughters who will follow in our footsteps, and let’s all set a much better example for the generations to come.”

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