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The American Bar Association has found that “women are now a permanent and integral part of the legal profession, comprising 24 percent of the nation’s lawyers.” Readers of The Recordercertainly wouldn’t get that impression, however, if they relied on the paper’s profiles to reflect those facts. According to the June 1 feature of “Top Real Estate Attorneys” in The Recorder, “If you need a lawyer to help you with a commercial real estate transaction in the Bay Area, you have a lot of great choices.” Sadly, though, the narrow field you selected to profile does not reflect the diversity and accomplishment of a significant part of the real estate industry — namely, the numerous female attorneys who have spent countless years practicing at the top levels. Without taking away from the very talented group that you profiled, the article gives an incomplete picture of the industry. Of the 28 attorneys mentioned in the article, only two were women, and these only mustered an “honorable mention” — there was not a single picture of a woman attorney in the article. Half of the partners in the real estate group at our firm [Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass] are women, and my talented colleagues consistently sit across the table from, and compete successfully for business with, the attorneys mentioned in the article. Numerous San Francisco female practitioners have received national, state and even international recognition for their expertise. They are represented in prestigious industry groups such as the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and Lambda Alpha International, and are included in the various “who’s who” lists of lawyers. Why aren’t they in The Recorder? How could Caryl Welborn, for example, be relegated to footnote status? What about Susan Reid? I suspect that the result is due in large part to two factors. First, it may be that The Recorderdid not include sufficiently diverse voices in the industry specialist groups that it chose to interview. Second, although the headline advertises “Top Attorneys — Real Estate,” the publication chose to focus on one area of the industry, and only on private law firms. Much of the diversity in the real estate bar is in other areas. Many transactional lawyers such as Karen Cook (Presidio Trust) and Janet Norris (University of California) serve on the public side. Other outstanding transactional attorneys are practicing in-house at real estate companies — for example, Susan Taylor (Equity Office Properties Trust), Vanessa Washington (Catellus Development Corp.) and Jackie Moore (Divco West Properties). While it is good to see the important work of the real estate industry and many of my talented colleagues being highlighted, I hope that future profiles better portray the varied professionals who make up the vibrant and vital industry in which I am proud to work. Tay Via San Francisco Editor’s note:To create our list we interviewed 26 brokers, asset managers, in-house counsel and other real estate experts. While we personally would liked to have seen better gender( and racial) diversity in our profiles, we felt fairness required that we rely strictly on the choices expressed by these experts. Seven of the 26 experts we interviewed happened to be women. They recommended a total of 35 attorneys for our list — 31 men and four women. You can send Letters to the Editor to The Recorder, 10 United Nations Plaza, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102; by fax at (415) 749-5549; or at [email protected].

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