Letters to the Editor

Making Waves, Seeking Balance

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Escape from Arnold & Porter,” February, was a fantastic and interesting read. It managed to grab and hold my attention despite my having a lot of work to get to.

There is a lot to be said for avoiding the golden handcuffs in favor of a more balanced life in the law. Having left a big firm and now running my own small firm, I sometimes am frustrated by the balancing act. But it always comes back to doing what you enjoy, doing what you care about, and feeling like you are able to make a positive difference—all while trying to make a living.

Timothy R. Hughes
Falls Church, Va.

I truly enjoy the ABA Journal, and I usually read it thoughtfully over cof­fee on a weekend, rather than upon receipt. But “Escape from Arnold & Porter” captured my attention sufficiently to break that pattern.

I have no doubt that Charles Halpern deserves to be featured for his devotion to the public good. And I have no idea whether the original firm partners were deserving of equal respect. But I worked with Arnold & Porter partners and associates for many years, as a competitor, a client—and a friend. The firm’s attorneys, in my personal experience, are very, very smart, incredibly devoted to the principled practice of law, and exemplify the highest level of personal and professional integrity.

I don’t understand why you had to pick on them to flatter him.

Virginia Murphy
New York City


I question the intellectual integrity of the article “What Women Lawyers Really Think of Each Other,” February. The sig­nif­icant finding of the Journal’s survey was “a majority said they perceived no difference” regarding gender-related differences in workplace performance and behavior. The article then focuses on a minority of respondents who felt otherwise.

Within a short article, two full pages are devoted to pie charts illustrating the opinions of this minority. To make these charts at all meaningful, of the 4,449 people who responded, what percentage of this total is represented in the opinions depicted in the charts?

Personally, I think this article is about three decades too late—when the queen bees of law firms really did exist (and when less than 2 percent of lawyers were females).

On the other hand, if you wish to have a truly contemporary, meaningful article on women attorneys in the workplace, write an article about the groundbreaking 2006 study conducted by the Women’s Bar Asso­ci­ation of the District of Columbia. This study, “Creating Pathways to Success,” reports on the reasons that talented young women leave law firms. (Hint: It is not to spend more time with their families.) The full report is available online at the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia website.

Judith E. McCaffrey
New York City


The End of the Net Porn Wars,” February, was comprehensive and broad yet detailed, and it covered the myriad issues regarding pornography and the corresponding obscenity laws. As such, it was very well-written and informative.

However, I was stunned and extremely disappointed to find that the subject of women in particular, which is essential to any discussion about pornography, was entirely neglected. Children (as the article indicated), men and the disabled are also important victims of the porn industry—but women have an older and greater stake in it.

Especially with the advent of the Internet and the associated boom in amateur pornographers and pornographic material, the effects on too many of the women who are the actual subjects and corporeal producers of pornography are not “highly debated” at all.

Much pornographic material involves the clear physical brutalization of women, who will suffer from resulting external and internal injuries. Many women are forced in various violent and inhumane ways to participate against their will in pornographic acts. And a growing amount of Internet pornography employs (however fictitiously), and thus encourages, extreme fetish violence toward women, which reaches levels of unprecedented abuse and horror that can only have immediate, detrimental effects on those who participate in or watch this kind of sadistic, misogynistic propaganda.

When the creation and distribution of pornography is left so legally unchecked, the collective impacts negatively shape the status of and ideology surrounding women, who make up, after all, half of our society. An article about this industry—in which women are fundamentally involved—is incomplete if the dynamics of the relationship between pornography and women in specific are never even mentioned.

Nevertheless, despite my criticism, thank you for covering this subject.

Christina Bosch
Washington, D.C.

“The end of the net porn wars” was an absolutely great piece. It was well-written, entertaining and very informative. I was very pleased to read an updated article on the controversy that was, no doubt, started by the film Deep Throat in 1972.

Also, I am glad you actually gave a definition of the ridiculous and broad Miller test. I feel the Repub­lican Party and other right-wing fundamentalist groups are fighting a losing battle against what some call art and others obscenity.

Great job and keep writing such intriguing articles!

Marc S. Paisant
Alexandria, Va.


In “The G-Man,” February, a firm represented by Stephen Susman, Sky Technologies, was incorrectly identified. The firm is based in Boston.

The Journal regrets the error.

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