Empathy as Foundation

In a candid and empowering conversation, a seasoned female attorney shares her insights on navigating the legal world as a woman. Her experiences highlight the challenges she's faced, the gender biases that persist, and the unique strengths that come with being underestimated.

1. The Credibility of Being a Woman:
The attorney acknowledges that in some instances, she's sought after for her legal expertise simply because she's a woman. This, however, doesn't bother her. In fact, she welcomes it, recognizing that her female presence brings a different level of credibility to the table.

2. Embracing Underestimation:
Being underestimated isn't a setback for her; it's a source of empowerment. She likens herself to a stealth bomber—quiet, unassuming, but strikingly effective. It's a reminder that underestimating her is a one-time mistake; she won't allow it to happen again.

3. Navigating Gender Bias:
Her journey through the legal field began in 1988 when there were relatively few women trial attorneys. She faced instances where colleagues would resort to subtle gender biases, like dropping a pencil to create awkward moments. Her response to these challenges is grounded in understanding the existence of gender bias and choosing her battles wisely.

4. The Power of Women in Law:
The attorney underscores the power that women inherently possess. She encourages women not to give away this power, even when faced with the temptation to appease male colleagues. She believes that women should hold onto their rightful seats at the table, earned through hard work and dedication.

5. Overcoming Gender Biases:
A significant part of her message is mentoring and providing opportunities for younger female lawyers. She recognizes that some women still feel the need to play up to men in their professional interactions. Her advice is clear: women should never undermine each other to placate male colleagues. They have earned their place, and no one should diminish their power.

6. Embracing Hard Work:
The attorney acknowledges that women often have to work harder in the legal profession, but she doesn't see this as a disadvantage. Instead, it's a source of strength. She's confident that her unwavering dedication and work ethic set her apart, ensuring she delivers the best outcomes for her clients.

In conclusion, this insightful conversation with an experienced female attorney provides valuable lessons on embracing underestimation, navigating gender biases, and harnessing the unique power that women possess in the legal world. Her message is a testament to the resilience and strength of women in the legal profession.


Speaker 1 (00:00):

You know, when I'm asked to come in on a case, I know sometimes it's because I'm a woman, and I'm okay with that because as a woman I come in with a lot more credibility than my male counterpart. And it's also fun to be underestimated. Because I say I that I'm like a stealth bomber, you know, underestimate me. I guarantee they won't do it a second time. But it's kind of fun to watch. I mean, I get tapped on the shoulder, you know, are you the court reporter? Can, can you be the court reporter for my next hearing? And one day I'm just gonna go, sure, I'm just gonna do this. But no, I won't do that. But there are some challenges. You know, I started practicing in 1988 and there weren't many women trial attorneys. You know, I had partners drop pencils on the floor, so I would, you know, bend over and pick them up and on. Something like that, you know,
You gotta give a degree of understanding and realize that there's a lot of gender bias and intimidation out there. But you need to pick your battles. People make mistakes. People will say things to you as a woman attorney that are offensive. They may do something like drop a pencil on the floor. But I actually love to be underestimated, and it means that I have a lot of power. As a woman, you have a lot of power. Do not give that power away. We are obligated to mentor, to provide opportunities for new, young female lawyers. Coming into the space throughout my career, and I've been practicing for over 34 years, is how some women play up to men because they think that since it's the man that's paying their salary, or it's the man that is their boss, or it's the man that's making decisions on, you know, what cases they can do or what they can work on and in, in a way they will undermine another woman in order to placate a man.
And I still see that sometimes, um, it's less and less. But until women understand that they don't have to do that, and that they have that rightful seat at the table, they've earned it. They worked hard for it. Don't give it away. As a woman, we do work harder. There's no question. I work way harder. I will outwork any man. And why? Because we have to. And I'm okay with it because the harder I work, the better outcome I'm gonna get from my client. And I know no one's gonna outwork me. Never give that power away, because the power you have as a woman is a power that no man can touch. And it's the power no one can take away from you.

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