“Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing, and conveys much.”
“You have reminded us that, together, there is nothing we Americans cannot overcome.”
President Barack Obama on September 11, 2016, paying tribute to 9/11 survivors and victims’ families on the 15th anniversary of the attacks.
Greetings! I am back from my August hiatus, all refreshed from the crisp and clear Maine and Wisconsin air and ready to tackle again the issues affecting women lawyers. And, there are so many!
To get the Fall started off right, let’s check our perspectives. There is so much to be accomplished by women and for women in America, but there also is so much to celebrate. Maybe it is my mindset as I reflected on Labor Day and how women fit into the workforce here. Although, as women lawyers, we do not have all that we want and equity continues to be elusive on many issues, we have become serious contenders for some of the most important high-level jobs in our profession.
More women lawyers than ever are at the helms of law firms across the nation, and we are shining a light on issues of implicit biases that hold women back and keep them from reaching their full potentials in the law. Those conversations are important and hopefully will result in an increase in partnership and judicial appointment figures for women lawyers and provide them the careers that they want and deserve.
Women lawyers also are demonstrating that they are not satisfied with the status quo. There have been as many as four gender discrimination law suits filed against major law firms by women lawyers this year. Although I have no idea about the merits of these suits, the pattern does suggest a need for reform. It also demonstrates that women lawyers are not willing to sit on the sidelines and that they know how to do something about it. Yesterday I was contacted for contribution to an article coming out soon in American Lawyer on-line addressing these issues. Look for it.
And, of course, we have the possibility of our first woman president — who also happens to be a lawyer. No matter where you are on that issue, you cannot deny that Hillary Clinton’s words “Women’s rights are human rights” are a guiding light for us all.
Perspective. We always need to keep it in mind. For those of you who need an extra nudge, check out this story about the Saudi women and the underground running club. That should make it very clear. All these women want is the right to exercise in public — and they are fighting for it.