March 24, 2005
First Ally McBeal, Now This?
Posted by Christine Hurt

How ironic that after weeks of discussion women blawgers, I happened upon a review in the freebie law student rag The National Jurist of this book, Sisters-in-Law:  An Uncensored Guide for Women Practicing Law in the Real WorldSisters

Although the title suggests a serious book addressing real issues that women attorneys face, the book is more Ally McBeal than "Real."  First, the title (and concept) is a knock-off of a great , irreverent series for hip moms, Girlfriend's Guide, written by Vicki Iovine.Girlfriend

More importantly, though, this paragraph, talking about women at law firms, sets feminism back thirty years:

Despite the increase of women in our profession, men just can't don't understand us. Admittedly, we can be emotional, high strung, controlling, and overly sensitive. But hell, we've got good reason -- not only must we battle our raging hormones, we also must try to understand, nurture and at times even manipulate these guys.

For the record, I have had my hormones under control since high school, and I never manipulated anyone, male or female, in my law practice (or anywhere else that I can recall).  I know, people will say that it is in jest and all in fun, and I shouldn't take it so seriously.  ("Feminists have no sense of humor!")  But I don't see funny books about guys practicing law that give advice on how to date people at your law firm.

The book is written by three women, Lisa G. Sherman, Deborah L. Turchiano, and Jill R. Schecter, all 1993 law school graduates (like me).  None are listed in Martindale, although the excerpt suggests that they are still practicing law privately.  I would like to know what they are doing, because the excerpt has frequent references to "Manolos" and "Ferragamos," which are not part of the usual associate's wardrobe!

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