Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another Country's Struggle for Equality

Although it is clear that the playing-field is not yet level for American women pursing legal careers, at least we are allowed on the field.

A good reminder of all the opportunities that women have in this country is a news story posted just today on Arab Women Lawyers Face Difficulty in Pursuing Careers.

The story talks about the difficulties facing all lawyers in the Saudi kingdom, but emphasizes how women are probably the worst off because they are not hired for necessary training jobs at firms.

“Women lawyers are not welcome in the Kingdom’s courts at all,” [one woman] said, adding that as a result she is forced to operate through male representative.

Instead of having the job opportunities available to male law school graduates, most women specialize in contracts or real estate, or work for the government.

Monday, February 8, 2010

MWL Winter Event

Save the date! MWL's 2010 Winter Celebration is taking place on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010. The celebration will feature dinner, a silent auction, and a keynote address given by Civil Rights Attorney and Harvard's first tenured black woman professor Lani Guinier.

Registration and information can be found here. This appears to be a speaker you will not want to miss--her credentials and publications sound absolutely fascinating:

In 1998, Professor Guinier became the first black woman to be appointed to a tenured professorship at Harvard Law School. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, she was a tenured professor for ten years at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Ms. Guinier came to public attention when she was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993 to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, only to have her name withdrawn without a confirmation hearing. Ms. Guinier turned that incident into a powerful personal and political memoir, Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice.

While a member of the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Ms. Guinier investigated the experience of women in law school, leading to the publication of a book, Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School and Institutional Change. She and her co-authors found that women were not graduating with top honors, although women and men came to the school with virtually identical credentials.

The author of many articles and op-ed pieces on democratic theory, political representation, educational equity, and issues of race and gender, Ms. Guinier has written The Tyranny of the Majority (Free Press, 1994) about issues of political representation; Who’s Qualified? (Beacon Press, 2001) written with Susan Sturm about moving beyond affirmative action to reconsider the ways in which colleges admit all students; and The Miner’s Canary (Harvard Press, 2002), written with Gerald Torres about the experience of people of color as a warning or “canary” signaling larger institutional inequities.

A graduate of Radcliffe College of Harvard University and Yale Law School, Ms. Guinier has received numerous awards, including the 1995 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession.