22 PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARAN TEE A SIMILAR OUTCOME A T TORNE YS SELEC TED TO SUPER LA WYERS WERE CHOSEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROCESS ON PAGE 32.
Vladeck (’ 78): They had interview week where firms
came to the campus, and literally one firm said to
women who had signed up that women would not
be appropriate. ... This would’ve been 1977 or so.
DOWN TO CASES
“Honey, you sure do such pretty tabs”
Kane (‘ 63): Women were paid about $3,000
less than male graduates. Men were paid
$14,000 and we were paid $11,000. Luckily for
me, I ended up with a small firm and they had
me drafting a brief the first week I was there.
They ended up asking me if I could type—and I
could—but they didn’t have me typing.
Robfogel (‘ 67): In Rochester, I got a job at the
city corporation counsel. It turned out that was a
serendipitous opportunity for me. I wanted to be a
corporation-side labor lawyer. The corporate counsel
actually turned to me and let me be part of the
negotiations. A private firm would never have let me
have that opportunity six months out of law school.
Chepiga (‘ 73): I got out in ’ 73 and I was offered
a full-time teaching position in ’ 76. Between
’ 73 and ’ 76, there was a realization that they
needed women professors. Go figure.
Hoffman (’ 71): I was the first woman professor
at my law school in Seattle. For many women
students, I couldn’t do any wrong.
Voce (‘ 69): Some of the clients indicated they
didn’t want a woman on their team—they felt
we couldn’t negotiate enough, we were going
to go off and have babies anytime. Then I
rotated into tax and ... the clients didn’t care.
They expected tax lawyers to be weird anyway.
Kane (‘ 63): I went down to the Eastern District
of New York, and my senior partner introduced
me to the chief judge, who said, “Honey, you
sure do such pretty tabs [on your briefs].” I was
pretty stunned, I have to admit. They were nice
tabs. But the idea was, “What else would I be
Alter (‘ 64): I remember going to court and the
judge thought I was somebody’s secretary. I
remember a judge once pinched me on the rear
end and said, “I think you’re cute.”
BIG CASES, BIG MOVES
“I am a boss”
Riesel (‘ 69): Having by default moved into
the public sector, because the private sector
was really not open to women, I found myself
with a job that enabled me to argue regularly
before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and
three times before the United States Supreme
Court. The last case I argued there, I was seven
months pregnant. The Supreme Court bench
is really almost at eye level; and while you
couldn’t see I was pregnant while I was sitting,
when I stood up it was very apparent. I heard
Justice White lean over to Justice Burger [and]
say to him, “Do you believe this?”
Hoffman (‘ 71): One case involved a suit against
The Pierre hotel, across from Central Park,
which refused to serve two women at the bar.
One of them worked for the ACLU women’s
rights project; the other was an assistant
district attorney in New York. The theory
was that women shouldn’t be served at bars
because they were seen as hookers. The Pierre
was defended by a very prominent professor of
law from Cornell University who taught in the
law school as well as the hotel-management
program and had written these treatises on
hotel law. They lost. The testimony was really
quite amusing, because they had no idea—
until, actually, discovery—that these women
were professional women and not hookers.
Riesel (‘ 69): The second time I was on maternity
leave, I had a scheduled trial that would have
resulted in cutting my maternity leave short. I
asked the judge for a month’s extension so I could
have my full maternity leave and so I could have
time to prepare for a three-month criminal trial.
He denied my request. He said to me, “You can
bounce the baby on one knee and the documents
on another.” So I did.
Voce (‘ 69): I have always been on the planning
part of things. “OK, Company A wants to acquire
Company B: What is the most tax-efficient way
to do it?” I did a lot of stuff between Japan and
the U.S. And you think the guys here had trouble
dealing with women? There were a couple of
instances where, after meetings, they were going
to go out to dinner, and they would ask George
[my law partner] if they had to invite me. George
would say, “No, you don’t have to invite Mary; but
if you don’t invite Mary, then I won’t go either.
We’ll go out to dinner by ourselves and that’ll be
fine.” They got the message. They just made sure,
instead of going to a sexy nightclub, they’d go to
a nice dinner.
Alter (‘ 64): I went over to the water cooler
and one of [the male lawyers] said, “Can
you get your boss to get me some aspirin or
something?” I’d just become a partner and I
said, “I am a boss.”
L-R: Alter, Robfogel, Chepiga and Voce fought battles just to get on the playing field. “I remember going to court and the judge
thought I was somebody’s secretary,” Alter says. “I remember a judge once pinched me on the rear end and said, ‘I think you’re cute.’”