About midway through a New York State Bar Association panel on the challenges of retaining and advancing women attorneys, Margaret Ling, a veteran real estate lawyer, told the story of how she’d once toiled for months on an important matter only to be told by her male superior before a vital, well-attended matter meeting that “you are to sit there and you are to say nothing.”
As her then-superior tried to portray himself as the leading and most knowledgeable attorney on the matter, numerous Redweld folders filled with Ling’s work were spread across a meeting room table, she recalled. Ling complied and said nothing, but shortly after the meeting ended, a top-ranked superior on the West Coast, who’d attended the meeting virtually, phoned her and asked if she was the lawyer who’d done all the work. He also asked Ling, she recalled, why she had allowed the other lawyer to take the credit for all that she’d produced.
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