"Girlfriends of the Court"

Archive for the ‘women’ Category

It’s more than the vibe; blogging the Constitution

In blogs, legal education, Public Law, Social Media, twitter, women on September 27, 2013 at 9:23 pm
Constitution, blog, public law

“in summing up, it’s the constitution, it’s Mabo, it’s justice, it’s law,
it’s the vibe and no, that’s it, it’s the vibe…. I rest my case.” **

 

I’ve been procrastiblogging by compiling a list of the best Australian constitutional law blogs, for both the legal academic and the student/scholar. There are now a number of high quality academic blogs that offer case or issues analysis sometimes within days (or hours) of a major constitutional decision being handed down. Whilst many students are understandably wary of using blogs for research assignments and study, I am confident of the authoritative and scholarly nature of these ones. Read on… Read the rest of this entry »

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If it please the court:

In Balance, Education, Time management, women on March 9, 2013 at 9:31 pm
What's new doll? *

What’s new doll? *

Welcome to Amicae Curiae, a blog for ‘Girlfriends of the Court’. The blog was intended to discuss the role of women in the law, in legal education, as students, as academics, and within the legal profession, and  we also discuss other issues. There are many posts on a variety of topics relating to legal life throughout this blog, but here is a quick guide to our most popular ones. Read on… Read the rest of this entry »

The legal profession’s treatment of women lawyers is a barometer of its ethics

In Career, Employment, law, women on December 10, 2012 at 2:13 pm

ImageWoman as justice – but is there justice for women?*

The release of the VEOHRC Report into women in the legal profession raises a number of important issues.  We have already highlighted the concerning lack of progress in terms of women’s retention and progression in the profession.  In this post, we explore the implications of these findings in terms of the health of the justice system.

Read the rest of this entry »

After 20 years, do the numbers stack up?

In Advocacy, Barristers, Career, Education, Hegemony, maternity, Solicitors, women on December 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm
What do we have to do to make a difference? *

What do we have to do to make a difference? *

Nearly twenty years ago, the Australian Law Reform Commission, in its report “Equality before the Law: Women’s Equality (ALRC Report 69 Part 2)” examined the place of  Women in the Legal Profession, and said

Women make up 50% of law school graduates, and 25% of the legal profession as a whole. However, women leave the profession at a much higher rate than men, and they are clustered in the lower ranks of the profession. [footnotes omitted]

Fast forward two decades and the VEOHRC has released its latest report into research on women in the law, entitled  Changing the rules: The experiences of female lawyers in Victoria.  This report focused on discrimination, sexual harassment and the accommodation of parental and carer responsibilities.  Read the rest of this entry »

In the Legal Profession, the Gender Card comes up Trumps

In Diversity, Judiciary, Solicitors, women on October 24, 2012 at 8:11 am

The gender card, so we’re told, has been played by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.  In the context of contemporary debate about sexism in public life, I’ve had a few interesting conversations lately about issues concerning women.  These conversations have been with educated men with whom I usually enjoy excellent interaction.  I have to say though that their thoughts about sexism and women in the context of the discussions we have had, did surprise me.  Mostly, it seems to me that not just in the public sphere but also more broadly, so many men (and some women) can’t (or won’t) see the issues as so many women experience them.

I have asked myself whether, perhaps, I misunderstand my own experiences.  That the current public debate about sexism has it seems captured the imagination of so many women indicates that I am not alone.  In addition, there is a lot of evidence, including scholarly study, that would back me up.  Why is it then, that the way that women experience sexism is not acknowledged?

Read the rest of this entry »

What’s so hard about consensual sex?

In law, legal rights, women on August 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Ahhh sex.  There has been an unusual global confluence of sex and public life in recent weeks, culminating in an extraordinary display by political leaders and aspiring political leaders around the world.  This has caused me to ask: what sort of man wants to have or defend non-consensual sex with a woman?

Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Call Me Girl. I’m a Woman.

In Career, Guest Post, media, TV, twitter, Uncategorized, women on August 1, 2012 at 10:20 am

Is this how we wish to represent women athletes? (image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Twitter has been abuzz since the start of the Olympic coverage, with the observation of Australian commentators’ use of ‘girl/s’ to describe women competitors.  The complaint that women have about this language is its capacity to diminish women’s athletic achievement and infantilise them.  Many disagree with this interpretation, pointing out that our male athletes are also called ‘boys’ or ‘lads’.  So why do many women feel so strongly about being called ‘girls’ in this context?

Read the rest of this entry »

Opportunity knocks more than once

In Balance, higher education, legal education, women on June 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Ana felt it was time to stretch her academic wings

When the southern hemisphere winter sets in and the days are short and bleak, its time to start planning to get out of the doldrums and into a conference. But how do you get a paper accepted by the convenors? And what if you are an inexperienced public speaker?

Flora Poste Writes has a very useful summary of tips and advice for those preparing to present or attend at a conference, and similarly the Thesis Whisperer has shared her slides on Academic Conferences: A beginners’ guide. Over at Hook & Eye Amiee Morrison (digiwonk) has a terrific post that reminds us that Conference Papers are like Movie Trailers. Her key points ~ “Hit the highlights, Show the chase scene, Simplify the plot”. That’s good advice! [read on…]

Read the rest of this entry »

Lawyers’ Lingerie League: Clothing as Control?

In Career, fashion, media, shoes, women on June 13, 2012 at 8:59 am
Cassie McRichie - page 8.jpeg

Single-sculler Cassie McRichie, founder of the Albert Park Lake women’s rowing club, wasn’t troubled by an overly sexualised costume in 1900.

The last couple of weeks has seen the Lingerie Football League (‘LFL’) in the news.  If you’re uncertain about what this entails, it is ‘Hot babes in lingerie playing footy!’ according to the Triple M website promoting it. (See also a spectator’s view here.)

Some commentators have decried the so-called sport as sexist, while others claim that this is snobbery.

So is it sexist?  If so, why?  Are there implications for women more broadly?

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Blawg Review #320 – A Call to Arms

In Advocacy, amusement, blogs, Diversity, women on May 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm

The Maid of Orleans and Women In Law: An Allegory

On this day in 1429 Jeanne D’Arc pulled an arrow from her own shoulder and returned, wounded, to lead the final charge thus ending the Siege of Orléans. Who was this heroic and infamous woman, and what is she doing in BlawgReview #320?  

If ever there was a symbol of leadership and sacrifice in the name of duty, it is the story of Joan of Arc. Living in an era during which women had no place at all in public life, she led French resistance and died doing so, having been tried and convicted of ‘insubordination and heterodoxy’ on 30 May, 1431. Read on… Read the rest of this entry »

Do Clothes Make the (Wo)Man?

In Career, fashion, Guest Post, legal education, shoes, women on April 29, 2012 at 10:32 am
fashion, law, blog

Are we just reproducing the dominant paradigm?     *Mattel

The Culture of Professional Dressing 

There’s been a lot of talk on this blog here and here amongst others, of women’s (and some men’s) experiences as legal practitioners, in terms of what to wear.  We could ask why these posts are so popular with readers.  Is it because women love clothes?  (I mean – you know what women are like, right?)  Perhaps.  However I have another theory.

It’s about culture – in particular, the dominant culture of the law. Read on. Read the rest of this entry »

The law and … tights

In Barristers, fashion, Stockings, women on February 22, 2012 at 8:53 am

Is it time to toss the tights?

I was sorting through a box of materials the other day when I came across a picture of the solicitor Sue MacGregor in polka dot tights. Many of you will recall that in 1993, Justice Smithers castigated Ms MacGregor for coming to court in polka-dot stockings and a suit with a skirt that finished above the knee. For a feisty response, see Magistrate Jennifer Coate’s protest. [Read on] Read the rest of this entry »

Who Controls Women’s Bodies?

In Advocacy, Community, media, women on February 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm

My Body. My Business.

In my last post on Amicae Curiae in response to an article by Bettina Arndt, I described the way in which women were objectified in media whether or not they displayed their breasts.  It seems however that the media’s obsession with breasts is not going to go away.

In mainstream media, on Twitter and on Facebook, the last week or so has seen a constant stream of the kind of mixed messages and double standards that represent society’s view of women’s bodies. {read on} Read the rest of this entry »

Early Optimism: A study of 1st year law students’ expectations.

In law students, legal education, women on February 6, 2012 at 9:01 pm

"I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions."

There has been a burgeoning of law schools in Australia in the last 15 years, matching a rise in demand for law degrees. Yet there has been little exploration of the expectations and aspirations of young students commencing a law degree in Australia. By contrast, a number of studies on features of professional life for practising lawyers are emerging. In particular, recent studies have shown high levels of stress, anxiety and depression among practising lawyers. In addition, there is evidence of high levels of attrition of women from private legal practice in the first few years following admission and a significant under-representation of women in the senior levels of the profession. [read on] Read the rest of this entry »

Opportunity Knocks!

In Education, legal education, Meeting, women on October 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm
conference, women, networking, career, legal, law

They say that what happens at the law conference stays at the law conference.

We all know the value of getting out of the salt mines, meeting new people and hearing new ideas. Whether its the networking, the great speakers, the time away from home and the desk, we think conferences are a wonderful opportunity to have a break from the daily grind, and experience something new.

Here are some interesting conferences that might be worth checking out. Read on: Read the rest of this entry »

Australian Legal Info on Twitter

In Community, community legal centres, legal rights, Procrastination, twitter, women on August 24, 2011 at 8:11 am

Your legal rights

Now continuing the quest to provide links for people looking to connect and communicate via twitter, here is the list of #auslaw community legal centres,  legal advocacy, legal info and academic law centres that use twitter. I have included not-for-profits and some providers of legal information, but have not included commercial law firms, politicians, university news accounts or nontweeting accounts (sorry @austlii). A list of personal accounts of Australian twegals are listed here.  A link to Australian government accounts is at the end. The short bios are those provided by the tweeters themselves. Read on… Read the rest of this entry »

The Glass Half Full-Pt II

In women on July 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Modern Education

Last week’s Higher Education Supplement in the Australian reported that women are doing better than men in completing higher education qualifications (39.1 attainment rate among women; 25.8% for men) see here. But beware of statistics:

Trevor Gale, education policy and social justice chair at Deakin, said more detailed data was needed. “We need to ask: which boys?” he said.”I suspect the data would show it is boys from low socioeconomic status backgrounds and regional areas who are lagging behind.”

Professor Gale said gender shouldn’t be addressed in isolation from issues such as wealth and location. He said students in elite private boys schools were very likely to go to university.

read on…

Read the rest of this entry »

Women partners: the glass half full or half empty

In Barristers, Career, maternity, Solicitors, women on July 8, 2011 at 11:33 am

In its annual survey of women partners, the Australian reports that one third of new partners are women here. The numbers of women making partnership are steadily on the rise. The Australian also reports that ‘family proves no obstacle to career’, with firms increasingly accommodating the needs of lawyers with young families without requiring them to sacrifice their career aspirations. Great news it seems.

But …

Compare the insightful opinion piece by Roy Williams  here, which questions the compatibility of the values of the modern legal workplace with the aspirations of many young lawyers.

In blunt terms: an Australian commercial law firm is no longer, for most lawyers, an enjoyable place to work

He concludes with 4 propositions, the final one is that rather than a ‘maternity wall’  women use their ‘common sense’ to bail out via a ‘maternity escape-hatch’.

Do you agree?

The Very Good Wife

In amusement, Balance, Parenting, Solicitors, TV, women on July 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm
The Good Wife courtesy of CBS.com

The Good Wife photo courtesy CBS.com

I have to admit to missing the TV show The Good Wife. If you haven’t seen it, the show  stars Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick who assumes full responsibility for the financial well being of her family after her husband’s sex and political corruption scandal lands him in jail by entering a large law firm and restarting her original career as a defense attorney.

In many ways it is a ridiculous show but… I love the fact its about law and also has some older women characters struggling with life as well as legal issues.

Am I the only fan out there?

Law: the New Arts?

In Barristers, Career, law students, legal education, Solicitors, women on July 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm

A recent article in the Australian (here) noted that there are fewer law students taking jobs in firms and more law students taking jobs in industry and commerce. The article is titled ‘Fewer graduates choosing practice …’.

Is this trend really a matter of choice or a case of taking what is available? Certainly, the article refers to AAR development director Jane Lewis who noted that

‘Growth in law firm jobs had not kept pace with the sharp increase in graduate numbers … so it made sense that a greater proportion of law graduates were being employed in the corporate sector.’

Continue reading below: Read the rest of this entry »

Please be upstanding up for the Ladies

In Advocacy, Awards, Barristers, Community, mentoring, Solicitors, women on July 6, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Gold, gold, gold!

Lest it not be a “winter of discontent” perhaps we should put on our thinking caps, sharpen our pencils and nominate some worthy women to the next round of law and community awards? Many women would never dream of asking someone to nominate them, or even nominate themselves, so don’t wait to be asked! Here is a round up of some Awards, why don’t you grab a friend, colleague or your mentor and submit a nomination?

As the Advancing Women guide says

If you know a woman who’s doing work that you admire, put her forward for an award. Australia will thank you.

A list of some awards follows below:

Read the rest of this entry »

Queen’s Birthday List Girls

In women on June 15, 2011 at 10:52 pm


Congratulations to Justice Susan Kiefel on being named a Companion of the Order of Australia in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

However, as a number of commentators have noted, women account for only 34% of the Queen’s Birthday awards, and most of them are at the lower levels. This trend is subject to Eva Cox’s usual insightful analysis at Crikey here:

Is it that women do not deserve at least the same levels of recognition as men for the contributions we make, or is it that what we do is still undervalued by us and others?

So she wonders whether the awards reflect the general under valuation of women’s work. I am sure we can all only smile knowingly at Eva’s prediction that women may ‘do most of the grunt work in nominations’. She also wonders if ‘Maybe more men have female assistants that can help put the documentation together….’

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City law aint no picnic.

In Barristers, Career, Solicitors, women on June 10, 2011 at 8:31 am

Can you spot the bitches at the law firm picnic?

Emma McDonald wrote in The Age how life in the Law Firms is still ‘no picnic’ for women here. Work in a law firm is no picnic for anyone, but Amicae Curiae tends to agrees with Ms McDonald’s view. For our take on the issue, see our article on ‘Supergirl’s Plight’ at the page here.  The Australian reports here that women are about to dominate the legal profession, at least numerically. The author, Ainslie Van Onselen notes

…while [the] growth rates aren’t bad, having a small percentage of women at the top of a profession they are coming to dominate is surely evidence of continuing gender problems in the law.

It must be addressed with flexible work arrangements and a shift in cultural and professional attitudes.

…The glass ceiling is cracking, but it is a long way from being shattered completely.

What do you think of work in a commercial law firm? For women does it make a difference being in a big city firm, a boutique operation or a suburban or country practice? We would love to have your comment on The Age or Australian pieces, or our article.

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Whatever you do, don’t mention cupcakes!

In amusement, Procrastination, women on June 5, 2011 at 5:11 pm

TSA now scanning for cupcakes?

Was it funny because cupcakes are so nausiatingly trendy? Or because it invokes the image of sneaky spies baking girly pies? It has been widely reported that MI6 substituted a bomb recipe with a cupcake recipe, see Lowering the Bar here, or others here, and here.

And some funny responses from twitter:

Click below for more on this story…

Read the rest of this entry »

Law is funny, innit?

In Journals, Procrastination, women on May 27, 2011 at 6:13 pm


The law is serious business. Mostly. But when a kind soul (known to me only as @ReplevinforaCow) pointed me to the case below, I had a chuckle, and I thought you should chuckle with me:

The entire unabridged report of Denny v Radar Industries 1970 per J.H. GILLIS, Judge:

The appellant has attempted to distinguish the factual situation in this case from that in Renfroe v Higgins (citation omitted). He didn’t. We couldn’t. Affirmed. Costs to appellee.

Have you found a shorter, blunter judgment? If you are a journal nerd (like me) you may enjoy the World’s Greatest Law Review Article found here. Or the World’s Shortest Law Review Article here [shortest_law_review]. Keep reading by clicking the little red button below…

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Read the rest of this entry »

Too much to do ….

In Balance, women on May 24, 2011 at 10:48 pm

I have had a busy week. Too many deadlines coming all at once. Being deadline adverse, the very existence of deadlines almost paralyses my thoughts.

I suspect something like this the constant dilemma of the modern lawyer. Too much to do and too little time. As some sort of solution, there are lots of interesting time management blogs.

Useful on how to use lists is:

http://www.thecompletelawyer.com/how-to-use-effective-time-management-to-increase-productivity.html

I also like the idea of a ‘not to do’ list:

http://apps.americanbar.org/lpm/lpt/articles/mgt07061.shtml

But what I also really want is a basic and practical to do list on how to do it. Just simple strategies would do, like emails. Should I answer them first, before doing any thing else; or should they wait a while until I get done that task I really need to do (writing)? What about those big monotonous tasks – a little each day or knock them off so as to clear the way for more interesting endeavours. …

Any ideas?

Is there a Ladies Lounge at the Bar?

In Advocacy, Barristers, Judiciary, women on May 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm

"I can never see why it is not considered the hallmark of success to have a brain like a woman!"

I attended the signing of the Victorian Bar Roll for my brother last week, and the Chair of the Bar Council Mark Moshinsky SC made some interesting points in his speech;

The first woman to sign the Victorian Bar Roll was the late Joan Rosanove QC. She signed as number 207 on the 10th of September 1923. Of the 47 Readers signing the Roll this evening, just under half are women – 21 of the 47. They will join the 425 women on the practising list, bringing the total to 446 – a little under a quarter of the total practising list of 1,849.

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Continued, click below Read the rest of this entry »

Law Week, so many events, so little time!

In Barristers, Judiciary, law, law students, Public Lecture, Solicitors, women on May 12, 2011 at 8:39 am

We're all going to Law Week!

If you are down by law, in-law, outlaw, legally blond, legal tender, below the bar, above the law or presumed innocent, you may be interested in some of the events coming up in Law Week (16-22 May) the official site is here.

All jurisdictions have law tours, open courts, seminars and a mix of serious and fun events, and most have a PILCH/Pro Bono Walk for Justice on the 16th May (see your local Public Interest Law Clearing House for details)

Survive Law blog has kindly set out their national round up for you (click here).

You can select your forum conveniens by clicking the link below.

Like what you see? You can subscribe to this blog by scrolling to the bottom of the page, or follow us on twitter @amicae1.

Read the rest of this entry »

3 Top Tips from ‘Girlfriends of the Courts’

In Balance, Career, Employment, higher education, law students, women on May 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Should I have asked about the dress code in the interview?

A career in the law: be prepared…

The NSW Young Lawyers have just released a great booklet on how to ‘Survive and Thrive in your First Year of Law’ (the pdf is available from their site click here). It is full of honest advice about starting life as a law student, and then as an early career lawyer. Have a look back at our post on Depression and the Dark Side of the Law.

Amicae Curiae has asked some of our ‘girlfriends of the courts’ on their top tips* for starting out in a law career, and here are the best ones (read on):

ps like what you see? You can subscribe to this blog by scrolling to the bottom of the page, or

Read the rest of this entry »

Calling all academic bloggers!

In blogs, higher education, non law, Social Media, women on May 10, 2011 at 7:45 am

This morning’s Age has two pieces on academics and blogging; one starts out as a story of a scuffle between Monash and Melbourne Universities over the ‘Melbourne Model’ (Click here) but ends up discussing Edublog, a proprietary blog platform (Click here). The other piece is a nifty list of ‘academic bloggers’ on a variety of topics (Click here), including one I like, Dr Samantha Thomas’ Discourse (Click here).

The Age inexplicably overlooked Amicae Curiae, and the Castan Centre’s Human Rights Blog (Click here).

Like what you see? You can subscribe to this blog by scrolling to the bottom of the page, or

Read the rest of this entry »

Mothers’ Day – Do You Do It?

In non law, Parenting, women on May 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm

"If I'm not Queen for the day there'll be hell to pay!"

Is your family resolutely not celebrating Mothers’ Day, in an ideological statement against retail enforced false happiness? Or do you do The Works, with visits, presents and flowers to all generations of women in your line? We would love to know! Fill in the poll, or just leave a comment. Read the rest of this entry »

The Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

In books, legal education, women on May 3, 2011 at 9:56 am

Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Entries have recently closed for the University of Alabama Law School, where Harper Lee studied law, and the American Bar Association Journal for the Harper Lee prize for legal fiction.

http://www.law.ua.edu/harperleeprize/\

Clearly, the entries are unlikely to match the original. Indeed, many works of fiction about lawyers are often highly compelling airport fodder.  Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see what comes out of the competition. Many lawyers I know yearn to write or indeed do write in their “spare” time. I also wonder how many lawyers would rank To Kill a Mocking Bird as one of their formative reading experiences.

What are your favorite or formative legal fictions (of the literary kind)?

LATE BREAKING NEWS: a signed 1st edition of To Kill A Mockingbird sold last week for $25,000 (LA Times, click here). Some people really love that book!

Is the Bar an Old Boys Club?

In Barristers, Career, women on April 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm

"When I grow up I'm going to be a barrister, like Daddy"

Back in the olden days (er, the early 1990’s) a group of women barristers approached the Victorian Bar Council about forming a Women Barristers Association. Some of our learned friends were enthusiastic about the idea, but others grumbled about ‘those feminists’ and wondered aloud whether there should thus also be a Men Barristers Association. The retort echoed through Owen Dixon Chambers “there already is a male barristers association, it is called the Bar!”

In today’s paper are two reports about people trying to do things differently at the Bar, both involving barristers’ clerks  Trailblazer Norman O’Bryan meets resistance”  and “Outsider finds Bar a closed shop for clerks”

So is the Bar an Old Boys Club?

Corporate dressing

In Career, shoes, women on April 20, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Think of any of the women lawyers on the many American courtroom TV shows, from Ally McBeal to The Good Wife, and a common feature is what they wear. Neat little suits and great shoes are a staple. When I was working as a lawyer I too briefly aspired to that look.  It was pretty unsuccessful. Those cute little suits didn’t make it easy to manage files, court books and discovery boxes and I wore my heels out running up and down Queen Street to get to court. But it turns out even ‘the suit’ as imagined by legal drama can be controversial. You can see the furor in the US from a few years ago at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/23/us/23lawyers.html?_r=2&hp

Thank goodness there is also a blog dedicated to fashion for corporate women: http://corporette.com/ .

We know there are quite a few Shoe/Law and Fashion/Law blogs that our readers enjoy, please leave your favorite links for us to share below:

From the Wire Service

In Balance, Employment, Social Media, Solicitors, twitter, women on April 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Some highlights (or lowlights?) from Twitter last week:

Results of new study show the (US) legal profession is falling short in efforts to increase diversity http://t.co/FJz4sDd Via @LegalTube.

In the UK “City firms are unwilling…to allow women to stay at work & progress…once they start a family” http://t.co/zC41c8I via @Legal_Week

And in Australia The New Lawyer reported: 60 hour working weeks the norm for most lawyers. http://t.co/h9rqRBY via @neil_watt

While @LexMonitor passed this on: Women Lawyers Have (up to 20%) Lower Billing Rates than Men; why? http://t.co/teSaiF2 from @LarryBodine Read the rest of this entry »

Mind the Gap!

In Advocacy, Career, women on April 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm

"Maybe today is the day I get equal pay!"

The GFC and the pay gap:  We just read author Anne Summers’ June 2010 speech to Our Community (many thanks to Leanne O’Donnell for forwarding it). In it Anne discusses the GFC, or Gender Fairness Crisis;

There is a million dollar penalty to being a woman. Recent research shows that if current earning patterns continue, the average 25-year-old male starting work today would earn $2.4 million over the next 40 years while the average 25 year old female would earn $1.5 million. Over a lifetime of working, a woman will earn almost one million dollars less than a man. How fair is that? Read the rest of this entry »

Damned if you do, Damned if you dont, Damn you.

In Balance, non law, Parenting, women on April 7, 2011 at 8:27 pm


I couldn’t help noticing the piece in the Hun yesterday about women with children feeling stigmatised when they went back to work after having kids, and others feeling stigmatised if they stayed home, and didn’t go back to work!

Almost 60 per cent of working mums were made to feel they weren’t taking parenting seriously enough, the survey, conducted on http://www.careforkids.com.au, reported.

Stay-at-home mums did not fare much better – 40 per cent experienced negativity about their decision not to work.

continued> Read the rest of this entry »

Women in Uniform: Gendered Workplaces

In Career, non law, women on April 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm

The federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, and adviser on women’s issues to the Australian Chief of the Defence Force, Elizabeth Broderick wrote a piece in the SMH/Age today about the profound culture of disrespect for women and ‘gender imbalance’ within some workplaces, specifically here she was discussing the Armed Forces.

Research has found workplaces and communities that are heavily male conform to masculine norms that are emphasised to varying degrees.

Men should always ”be a winner”. Men should be ”tough” both physically and emotionally. Men should never be seen to be in any way feminine or acknowledge their ”feminine side”. They should be ”a man’s man” – one of the boys.

She focuses on the industries that are remote and ‘tough’ environments, but we wonder whether at the top end of town whether attitudes are much better.

Until (Defence) recognise that strong effective leadership has both a male and a female face, the desired change will be difficult to achieve.

For the whole piece click here.

Seeing is Believing

In law, Social Media, women on April 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm
Amicae Curiae

Amicae Curiae

More to Chew on via twitter

In Balance, Social Media, twitter, women on April 3, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Eva Cox is reviving WETTANK, women’s equity think tank, to put equitable social policy on political agendas, and she needs policy wonks, ideas. Contact her at Eva.CoxATuts.edu.au

Female Judges From Around the Globe Convene in D.C. To discuss Womens’ Rights http://t.co/AbtTnwI

Startling! The @FeministLawPrfs posted this: Word Clouds: Gender & the Vocabulary of Ads for Toys. tinyurl.com/4v8lru3 (reminds Amicae to use Wordle more often too).

Justice Mary Gaudron was a whistleblower: – new info on Senator Heffernan’s false charges against Justice Kirby (via SMH).

Via @lawyerist: An Alternative Career Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Call Yourself A Lawyer http://t.co/c401CS9

there’s more…on procrastination, Royal Weddings, and Parents…

Read the rest of this entry »

Missing by Increments

In Education, higher education, Journals, law students, legal education, women on March 30, 2011 at 10:32 am

I have been talking to a friend about the ‘incremental disadvantage’ faced by under-represented groups in legal practice. Lots of little lost opportunities eventually add up to a big disadvantage. Interesting in this light is a study by Nancy Leong and Jennifer Mullins which finds that fewer female than male students publish case notes in US law Journals. It might not seem like an issue but scholarly publications are relevant to later employment and promotion opportunities.  The authors also include some practical suggestions for addressing this issue.

See  Leong, Nancy and Mullins, Jennifer, An Empirical Examination of Gender and Student Note Publication 1999-2009 (March 8, 2011). Available at SSRN:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1781149

A related link is this one from Freakenomics: “Why Don’t Female Economists Blog?” Matthew Kahn explores the disparity. http://t.co/9F2UMY9

Is the same true for Female Lawyers/Academics? What do you think?

thinking about making flexible work practices work

In Balance, Career, Journals, papers, women on March 28, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Last year Victorian women lawyers released another installment in their series of practical reports on flexible work practices, “Do you Manage”. This report looks at support for flexible work practices by partners and managers. Click here.

Considerable focus on this issue is warranted given the somewhat sobering assessment of such practices in the study by Margaret Thornton and Joanne Bagust, reported in ‘The Gender Trap: Flexible Work in Corporate Legal Practice.” Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 45, No. 4, pp. 773-811, 2007; ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 08-15.

The concern is that flexible work practices should be a real career pathway not a dead end.

If Justice is a woman, how come there are so few in legal practice?

In Judiciary, law, Photography, women on March 27, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Yale professors Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis have written a book titled ‘Representing Justice’ on the changing face of justice; images of Madame Justice are shown here, and the review in the Guardian is here. We have always wondered why if Justice is a woman, how is it that so few women practicing in law can find the right ‘balance’ (That’s what the scales are for right?). What do you think?

Hearsay: Events

In Career, Employment, Opportunities, Public Lecture, Social Media, women on March 25, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Life as a Government Lawyer: A conversation with Vanessa Twigg

Join the Victorian Women Lawyers for a straightforward conversation on an issue that is far from simple and straightforward: pay and progression challenges faced by women lawyers in government,Wednesday 6 April 2011 1pm-2pm. Click here

‘Will the Revolution be Tweeted? The Role of Social Media in Promoting and Protecting Human Rights’ –  Lunchtime Seminar on Tuesday 5 April 2011, at 472 Bourke Street Melbourne.

Presented by the Human Rights Law  Centre and the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law:

Speakers (more)
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Law Student’s Mentoring Scheme~Open!

In Barristers, Internships, Judiciary, law students, Opportunities, Solicitors, women on March 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Victorian Women Lawyers and Victorian Women Barristers  invite all female second-final year Law students to participate in the 2011 Law Student Mentoring Program.

Now in its fourth year, the Program has developed into a celebrated vehicle for encouraging the next generation of female lawyers to gain valuable insights into the legal profession. This year, registration will occur online via the website: www.vwl.asn.au with registration open until 8 April. The invitation is here:  2011 Female Law Student Mentoring Program Info Flyer

Don’t Miss These:

In Advocacy, Career, law, Meeting, Opportunities, Public Lecture, Social Media, women on March 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Life as a Government Lawyer: A conversation with Vanessa Twigg

Join the Victorian Women Lawyers for a straightforward conversation on an issue that is far from simple and straightforward: pay and progression challenges faced by women lawyers in government,Wednesday 6 April 2011 1pm-2pm. Click here

‘Will the Revolution be Tweeted? The Role of Social Media in Promoting and Protecting Human Rights’ – Seminar on 5 April 2011

The Human Rights Law Resource Centre and the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law  present
Professor Sarah Joseph, Director, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
Simon Sheikh, National Director, GetUp!
Jonathan Green, Editor, The Drum, ABC
Alex Pagliaro, Refugee Campaign Coordinator, Amnesty International Australia

Date: 12.30pm – 2.00pm on Tuesday, 5 April 2011

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Journals We Like

In Education, higher education, law, law students, legal education, women on March 23, 2011 at 6:44 pm

The Australian Feminist Law Journal publishes critical, postmodern and feminist writing on practices of legality and justice, broadly conceived.

The Alternative Law Journal is an Australian, refereed law journal focusing on

• social justice, human rights and law reform
• critique of the legal system
• developments in alternative legal practice
• community legal education

Law in Contex is a peer-reviewed socio-legal journal,  that examines key legal questions in the context of broader issues on topics such as:

  • rights protection
  • anti-terrorism
  • patents
  • dispute resolution
  • competition policy and law
  • gender
  • race
  • people with disabilities
  • refugees
  • citizenship
  • the judiciary
  • jurisprudence.

The plight of Law’s Supergirl

In Barristers, Career, Education, higher education, Judiciary, law, law students, legal education, Solicitors, women on March 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm

From Supergirl to Invisible Woman: The divide between student perception and professional reality in corporate legal practice by Melissa Castan and Jeannie Paterson in the Alternative Law Journal 2010

Young women are prominent and successful at Australian law schools, yet women remain under-represented in the senior echelons of the legal profession. In this article the authors examine factors affecting the attrition of young women lawyers from corporate legal practice, and make suggestions regarding the responsibilities of law firms and law schools to address this issue… (Long version here).

 

Hello world!

In Barristers, Career, law, law students, legal education, women on March 23, 2011 at 6:05 am

Welcome to Amicae Curiae, A blog discussing the role of women in the law, in legal education, as students as academics, and within the legal profession. What does Amicae Curiae mean? Literally it means girl friends of the courts. For more on what and Amicus Curae is read this.

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