Sunday, January 20, 2013

SHOULD I HIRE A FEMALE LAWYER?


Why not?  Woman comprise 52% of the population. We are a majority of people, but not of trial lawyers.  The world is changing.  In the future, lawyers and judges will reflect the racial and ethnic makeup of society.

Let's look at the qualities of a good trial lawyer, of any race, gender, ethnicity or sexual preference. 

1.  Intelligent - a trait shared by some in all groups. 

2.  Creative - see one above.

3.  Dogged - see one and 2 above. 

4.  Brave, risk-taker -  more and more women have thrown off meek and deferential attitudes.  Women trial lawyers are as tough as men.  In fact, women trial lawyers may be a little braver than men because not only do they have to fight for their clients, they must fight in an area that was a traditionally male battleground. 

5.  Respected by judges - I can honestly say, women can earn the same respect as men. This is no longer the era where judges throw women out of court for wearing pantsuits.   I haven't been called "dear" or "sweetie" by a male lawyer or judge in many years. 

6.  Logical and quick thinking - ditto all above. 

7. Empathetic listener - here I suspect women have a lead over men. I get women are better listeners. 

8.  Someone both women and men jurors will trust. The old wives tale that "women don't like women" is untrue.  Sure, some women don't like some other women and it is the same for men.  I was told women jurors don't like women plaintiffs and that is hogwash. You simply cannot believe in broad generalizations. We are all people with experiences and prejudices. One cannot assign a global hatred by an entire gender.  That wives tale is poppycock (I love that word). 

9.   Honest, fair and ethical.  - see 1 above. 

10.  Caring and compassionate.  Lawyers work with clients like you.  If the lawyer doesn't care about you, don't waste your time with that lawyer. You deserve more than a hired gun. I don't know if women are better at this than men. I do think women make better mothers than men. But, I digress. 

I suggest that anyone looking for a lawyer, meet with the lawyer and ask:  was I listened to, do I respect the lawyer, do I believe the lawyer has my best interests at heart.  When answering those questions, I suspect most answers would be gender neutral. If not, you might explore your own gender-based views. 

Not all lawyers are created equal. Make sure you have a good fit. 

3 comments:

  1. I have never heard anyone say, "Gosh, I was going to hire this attorney, but didn't because it was a woman!!"
    This article seems to have been written by a feminist with a real chip on her shoulder. If someone didn't hire you it wasn't because you were a woman, but it's likely they felt you were not as qualified as someone else. They may have even hired another woman!!!
    Deal with it.

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  2. Be careful with Quality #8, particularly when there are female jurors. Sometimes a good looking female crime victim's worst enemy is an embittered, middle aged, female juror. This analogy is a bit dated, but the problem really hasn't gone away.

    When Gene Roddenberry showed his Star Trek pilot episode "The Cage" before test audiences, female viewers were overwhelmingly hostile toward the idea that the first officer of a starship was female. I know this was almost 50 years ago, but that aspect of female rivalry hasn't gone away. Many of the Steubenville gang rape victim's harshest critics are local females who worship the local football players.

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  3. The true answer to this quandary is that there isn’t one personality type or gender that is right for every custody or divorce case. In my mind, it’s important to find an attorney that you feel will help develop a comprehensive and well-devised litigation strategy for your case. The gender of your attorney should have very little impact on the final outcome of the litigation. What is important is to select an attorney who is both experienced and one that you feel comfortable with who understands your situation and will present it effectively in Court. So, in my opinion it’s much more important to hire a divorce lawyer who clearly understands your position, will be industrious working on your case, and returns your calls and emails timely. There are many good divorce lawyers who are male and good lawyers who are female throughout the Dayton, Ohio area.more information

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