In an editorial that appeared on Aug. 8, 2017, in the New York Times, Shira A. Scheindlin, a retired Federal District Court judge for the Southern District of New York, wrote a compelling argument outlining the lack of women as first chair in major litigation. Titled “Female Lawyers Can Talk, Too” she spoke about her courtroom experiences, in part, by stating, “A senior partner in a large law firm would be arguing a motion. I would ask a tough question. He (and it was usually a man) would turn to the young lawyer seated next to him (often a woman). After he conferred with her repeatedly, I would ask myself why she wasn’t doing the arguing, since she knew the case cold.”
She spoke of sitting on the bench, listening to white male attorneys, while the woman remained silent. She also spoke about a report by the New York State Bar Association’s commercial and federal litigation section that observed that women were lead lawyers for private parties barely 20 percent of the time in New York’s federal and state courts at the trial and appellate levels.
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