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Addressing the Gender Divide in the Courtroom

By Kellie Lerner and Chelsea Walcker

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Former U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin recently published an opinion in the New York Times titled “Female Lawyers Can Talk, Too,” in which she criticized the gender imbalance of lead counsel appearing in courtrooms. Judge Scheindlin specifically discussed her 22-year experience on the bench observing male attorneys who assumed the speaking roles in court proceedings, even when it was clear that their female associates were more familiar with the case. Judge Scheindlin’s article reverberated throughout the legal community because it profoundly described the experience of so many female lawyers. Although many law firms are working diligently to narrow the gender gap in the legal profession, Judge Scheindlin’s article underscores the critical role that judges—and clients—can serve to ensure that female attorneys receive equal opportunities to lead in the courtroom.

The New York Law Journal

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