Reports of sexual harassment abound during Legalweek tech conference
Reports on social media about sexual harassment and assault during the New York Legalweek technology conference last week have led the event sponsor to issue a statement condemning the misbehavior. (Image from Shutterstock)
Reports on social media about sexual harassment and assault during the New York Legalweek technology conference last week have led the event sponsor to issue a statement condemning the misbehavior.
“In a group of 29 women, 20 had personal stories of inappropriate behavior at a conference,” Fleener wrote. “That is unacceptable, and we have to do better.”
Event sponsor ALM, which publishes Law.com, said the alleged harassment happened off-site, and it wanted to “reiterate our strong position that any such behavior has zero place in any setting.”
Fleener posted allegations by women that included:
• “Last night, I was propositioned in the most graphic way I’ve ever heard. When I turned him down, he tried to convince me to leave with him by telling me his pregnant wife was on bed rest, and I was doing her a favor.”
• “A leader at a firm showed me a video of [two] girls under 20 in his bedroom naked and … invited me and the other woman I was with to join him.”
• “A woman went to the bathroom and was pulled into the men’s room by a man who then wouldn’t let her leave.”
Here is the full ALM statement: “ALM has been made aware of reports of occurrences of highly inappropriate behavior, including harassment and assault, occurring at unaffiliated venues in New York City during the week of its Legalweek event. We first want to vehemently condemn all such actions and reiterate our strong position that any such behavior has zero place in any setting. While these acts did not occur on-site at Legalweek or at any conference-sponsored events, ALM prides itself on the community connections it creates and is committed to partnering with other key stakeholders to prevent harassment of any industry member.
“Our long-standing events policy provides that ALM is dedicated to providing a respectful conference experience for everyone and harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. We will continue to work internally and with external stakeholders in the community to determine how we can best champion meaningful, positive change for the legal community and address the larger problem in the industry.”
Commenting on the statement, Above the Law said it “hits all the right notes,” but the problem is more widespread.
“Allegations of all sorts of similar awful behavior have permeated every part of the legal industry: academia, the judiciary, law firms, government, politics,” Above the Law wrote. “It’s the industry that needs to respond, not just ALM.”