October 11, 1993 |
Sex bias pervades the nation's justice system, affecting women as lawyers, litigants and employees, a panel of top jurists told a gathering of 250 female judges meeting in Philadelphia over the weekend. Women are treated unequally both as lawyers and in judges' decisions, and stereotyped myths and biases skew everything from personal-injury damage awards to prison sentences and decisions on alimony and child support, the jurists said. "This is a problem perceived by virtually all women in the legal profession and very few of the men," said U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour of Seattle.
January 8, 1996 |
Numerically, women have made enormous strides in the influential, male-dominated profession of law. Twenty-five years ago, only one of every 33 lawyers was a woman. Today nearly one of every four lawyers and nearly one in two law students are women. Women hold powerful legal positions as never before. Two are Supreme Court justices. The U.S. attorney general, several of her top assistants, and hundreds of corporate general counsels are women. Moreover, these developments have helped bring about changes in the way the law treats domestic violence, child support, gender bias and sexual harassment.
January 19, 2013 |
While thinning out a bloated file cabinet in my study recently, I came across a totally obscure and unintentionally prophetic piece I had written in 1973. It was about how Philadelphia lawyers dressed for work. At the time, I was the editor of a new weekly tabloid that the Philadelphia Bar Association published and distributed to all members. I occasionally wrote lighthearted editorials for the paper, called the Retainer. An example was that piece I found, headlined "Cut the Noose!"
November 6, 1991 |
Did he or didn't he? Weeks after Clarence Thomas was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice, the question of whether he sexually harassed a colleague is still hot (witness the current issue of People magazine). Widener University sociologist Janet Rosenberg may have the answer. At least, she may have answers to one of the most bedeviling aspects of the controversy: If law professor Anita Hill was telling the truth, why didn't she blow the whistle when the harassment happened?
September 28, 1989 |
In a set of guidelines believed to be the most comprehensive of their kind in the nation, the Philadelphia Bar Association yesterday called on the city's law firms to grant substantial maternity benefits to women lawyers and additional benefits to both male and female lawyers who are parents. Bar officials said the guidelines, which were unanimously approved by the Board of Governors of the 11,500-member professional association, came in response to dramatically increasing numbers of female lawyers in Philadelphia and concerns that they were experiencing career problems because of parenting demands.
May 17, 1995 |
SOMETHING'S FISHY ON INTERSTATE 79 A load of catfish heading for a new home in an Ohio lake spilled onto an interstate in Mink Shoals, W.Va., yesterday when the truck crashed. Traffic was disrupted for three hours. No one was injured. The truck's driver, Ricky Scarberry of Chesapeake, Ohio, had picked up 4,000 pounds of fish in Maryland. They were to be used to stock a lake in Chesapeake, said Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputy Jim Meddings. Scarberry struck a tractor-trailer parked on the side of Interstate 79, and a fiberglass fish tank spilled its contents.
May 9, 1999 |
When the first women entered the male-dominated law profession in Philadelphia some 50 years ago, they followed a dress code: No suits. The female lawyers, according to reports, didn't want to look too aggressive in pursuit of justice. But in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, aggressive is good. While corporate America may have embraced casual Fridays, a prudish jurisprudence still rules in Lynne M. Abraham's office. Soon after she took office in 1991, she laid down the law: No pantsuits.
August 4, 1993 |
It was a very rare female law graduate who found employment as an attorney 30 years ago when Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O'Connor graduated from law school. They did not. Both placed at the top of their classes at highly regarded law schools - Ginsburg at Columbia and O'Connor at Stanford - but neither was offered work as a practicing attorney. A great deal has changed since then. The historic moment when the two women appear among the robed justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will be a tribute to their intelligence, perseverance and hard work - and also to the battles waged and won by a handful of female lawyers, law students and sympathetic male colleagues.
November 23, 1992 |
Patricia Burke Henss, 64, who practiced law while raising five children - and sometimes joked that she should write an autobiography called "Diapers in My Briefcase" - died Saturday at home in Philadelphia. After graduating from Temple Law School in 1953, she set up as a single practicioner in Havertown, specializing in family law. There were only a handful of other female lawyers in the county, and few if any colleagues who were balancing careers and families. "Back in those days, there were not many others for her to learn from," said her husband, Norman C. Henss, a lawyer in Philadelphia.
February 14, 1997 |
They had a "most eligible lawyer" contest in Center City last night. Not that lawyers make the best dates. At least not according to many of the lawyers who were at the contest - including the guy who won the male lawyer category. "I have never dated a lawyer," admitted Gerald McCabe, 32. "I'm scared of them. I know myself. Lawyers are too argumentative. " Not a single lawyer last night argued that point. "Lawyers are not spontaneous, they're analytical," observed Kevin Dougherty, who believes he wisely chose to marry a non-lawyer.