Almost every Big Law firm is on this list, except for You-Know-Who! Count them: 160 law firms made it to Human Rights Commission’s index for promoting LGBTQ workplace equality. Of those, 127 firms got perfect 100-point scores—pretty damn impressive.
This year, the intriguing question isn’t which firms are on the list but which ones aren’t. One firm jumped out for its absence and that’s—yes, you guessed it! Jones Day!
That’s perhaps not shocking, considering that some of Jones Day’s alums are active in championing anti-LGBTQ measures for the Trump administration. As I’ve reported, some have staked out high-profile anti-gay positions, like siding with the Colorado baker who’s refusing to make wedding cakes for gay marriages, or arguing that employers have the right to fire people for sexual orientation.
To be fair, Jones Day is not the only Am Law 100 not on HRC’s gay-friendly list. There are a few more that are conspicuously absent:
• Cahill Gordon & Reindel
• Cozen O’Connor
• Jackson Lewis
• Jones Day
• Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith
• Williams & Connolly
I have no reason to believe that these firms are hostile to LGBTQ lawyers. For whatever reason, they just didn’t bother to fill out the HRC survey. Maybe they knew their LGBTQ policies aren’t up to snuff. Or maybe they just don’t care. Or maybe their PR/marketing person forgot.
Hey, what about moi for federal judge? Maybe his legal brilliance is escaping me, but I honestly think many of us are better qualified to be a federal judge than Brett Talley. (He’s Donald Trump’s nominee for a federal district judgeship in Alabama.)
First of all, most lawyers I know are better at filling out forms than Talley. I’m talking about how he totally failed to disclose that he’s married to a senior lawyer to the White House Counsel on his judgeship questionnaire. His wife is Annie Donaldson, who’s a former Jones Day associate. (Anybody who’s anybody in the Trump administration legal team has a Jones Day pedigree.)
That omission came out after the Senate committee voted to push his nomination forward. But who cares about veracity these days? It’s so 2016.
So let’s go back to his qualifications. You might recall the American Bar Association gave him a rare “unqualified” rating. That’s not illogical, considering that his legal experience has been minimal. A 2007 Harvard Law School grad, Talley practiced law for about three years and has never tried a case. (Even I practiced for five years.)
So what else is in his arsenal of qualifications? His blogging. Apparently, he’s got lots of strong views. In the aftermath of the Newtown elementary school shooting, for instance, he came out in defense of the National Rifle Association, pledging to support it “financially, politically and intellectually.” His views got him in trouble with Democratic members of the Senate Committee who questioned his impartiality as a future judge.
Let me just interject here that I think I’m already more qualified than Talley. Not only have I practiced law longer than he did, but I blog for a living, and people get angry about my writing, too. So why doesn’t someone nominate me for the federal bench?
Alas, Talley might have an edge over me because he’s a super blogger. BuzzFeed reports that Talley has written 16,381 posts on TideFans.com under the name BamainBoston—writings that he also failed to disclose to the Senate. According to Slate, “BamainBoston posted on that site more than three-and-a-half times per day for more than 12 years. Among the subjects that interested him: Alabama football, ‘the first KKK,’ Roe v. Wade, and sex between a babysitter and a 14-year-old.”
What range of topics! Talley does seem unusually prolific. If he gets in trouble for these posts and he fails to get confirmation, I’m sure he can always get a gig on an online news site where his output will be appreciated.
How magnanimous. I don’t know how the Department of Justice brought this case with a straight face in the first place, but it did. As you might recall, a 61-year-old woman who laughed out loud during Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearings in January was arrested.
Here’s the backstory, according to Politico: “[Desiree] Ali-Fairooz, an activist with the organization Code Pink, was convicted of disrupting Congress when she let out a laugh while reacting to Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby that Sessions’ record of ‘treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented.’ She was found guilty in May, and was told she faced up to six months in jail.”
The good news is that the DOJ come to its senses and dropped charges against the woman. Yay! Pathetic that we have to cheer for what never should have taken place.
Talking about the obvious. Our sibling publication The Legal Intelligencer posed this question: “Why Millennial Lawyers Aren’t Flocking to Top Pa. Cities.”
I won’t get into to the analysis except to ask this: Is this really a mystery? Sorry to be a New York snob, but in my book, if you’re in your 20s and the world is your oyster, you’re not going to head to Pennsylvania. Actually, if you’re in 40s or 50s, it’s likely not your top choice either.
My next appearance: Women in the Workplace—What’s Holding Us Back? (I’ll be doing a girl-chat with Lauren Smith Brody, author of “The Fifth Trimester,” about work, parenting and the whole mess. I promise to keep it breezy.)
The Cornell Club of New York
Nov. 30, 2017 — 8 to 9:30 a.m.
(Sponsored by The New York Women’s Bar Association Foundation Inc.)
Here’s the link for the tickets to my event at Cornell Club: