"Girlfriends of the Court"

Posts Tagged ‘Women’

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.

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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?

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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?

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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…

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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:

Something to chew on: Stories & Links from Twitter.

In Career, Education, Social Media on March 31, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Some interesting stories and links we found on Twitter:

Via @VaultLaw: Does your personality mesh with being a lawyer? http://t.co/I8A2jAL

Women outnumber men on every social media network: Johanna Blakley – The Age http://t.co/hYJYt39

Via @NCWIT: Women Entrepreneur Role Models: Who Would You Name? http://t.co/VU9F5Zp (and Law Role Models?).

Via @feministing: Not Oprah’s Book Club: The Flipside of Feminism: “To the modern woman, work is the meat of her life” http://t.co/VOq3I7H

Via @GdnLaw: After the latest round of white, male appointments, Erika Rackley calls for a more diverse UK supreme court http://t.co/yLgVAiT

Via @ChasLicc No, women are not leaving male-dominated industries simply to have babies http://bit.ly/dUj6Lz

Finally, we are building a list of Australian law women on Twitter. So far the list is here. Any more suggestions? Please include yourself. Reply to us below, or @amicae1 on twitter.

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.

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).

 

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