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Think Lauren Bacall, not Marilyn Monroe

 
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tatee View Drop Down
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    Posted: Oct 27 2013 at 4:32pm

Sexist Law Firm Memo Tells Women Lawyers ‘Don’t Giggle,’ ‘Don’t Squirm,’ And ‘Practice Hard Words’

By Ian Millhiser on October 27, 2013 at 9:00 am


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Clifford Chance, a massive, international law firm employing thousands of elite attorneys, distributed a memo entitled “Presentation Tips for Women” that was better suited for a middle school forensics class than for graduates of the world’s leading law schools. Worse, interspersed between rudimentary pieces of advice such as “Stand up” and “Don’t wave your arms” are a series of often-gendered suggestions that call into question whether one of the world’s largest law firms understands that professional women are fully capable of dressing themselves.

Among the words of advice offered to every single female associate at Clifford Chance are “Don’t dress like a mortician,” “Wear a suit, not your party outfit,” “If wearing a skirt, make sure audience can’t see up it when sitting on the dias,” and — in an odd reference to six year-old sexist news coverage of then-Senator Hillary Clinton — “No one heard Hillary the day she showed cleavage.”

Nor did the memo stop at advising professional women how to dress. Some other choice words of advice include “Don’t giggle,” “Don’t squirm,” “Practice hard words,” and “’Like’ You’ve got to Lose ‘Um’ and ‘Uh,’ ‘You Know,’ ‘OK,’ and ‘Like.’” In a dated pop cultural reference that’s likely to send many lawyers under the age of 40 to Google in order to remind themselves who Lauren Bacall is, the memo also advises women lawyers to “Sound Your Age” and to “Think Lauren Bacall, not Marilyn Monroe.”

The memo was apparently drafted and distributed by Clifford Chance’s Women’s Committee, leading Above the Law’s Staci Zaretsky to label the memo an “alleged woman-on-woman crime.”

This memo is the second high profile black eye for this particular firm in the last year that raises questions about whether women will be treated with dignity at Clifford Chance. Last November, a female associate quit the firm with a departure memo laying out a timeline of her typical day as a working mother in a big law firm. The day began at 4am with “Hear baby screaming, hope I am dreaming, realize I’m not, sleep walk to nursery, give her a pacifier and put her back to sleep” and ended at 1:30am the next day with “Finally go to bed.” Along the way, she has to get her kids ready for daycare, work a full day, microwave chicken nuggets for dinner, put the kids to bed and then begin work again at 9pm at night.

So if Clifford Chance’s associates don’t manage to look like a youthful Lauren Bacall every day they show up to work, it might have something to do with the fact that they were up past midnight frantically trying to draft a memo that’s due the next morning, all while their kid is lying in bed wondering why mommy never has time to read them a bedtime story.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/10/27/2841901/sexist-law-firm-memo-advises-women-lawyers/

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oh_so_moody View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote oh_so_moody Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 27 2013 at 4:38pm
Hence me remaining in Corporate Healthcare vs. Working in a box firm post graduation.

This is disgusting though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PeacefulOne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 27 2013 at 7:16pm
The advice that is bolded should apply to any professional, so I have not problem with it.
No one would take a male atty seriously if he showed up in shorts and sneakers and sounded like some surfer dude, so I think the same thing should apply to all professionals.
 
That said, women professionals who have children do have it doubly hard, trying to manage a family and work.  They have to be twice as good, to get half the respect. Unfortunately.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Queenbeeach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 28 2013 at 1:37am
Originally posted by PeacefulOne PeacefulOne wrote:


The advice that is bolded should apply to any professional, so I have not problem with it.
No one would take a male atty seriously if he showed up in shorts and sneakers and sounded like some surfer dude, so I think the same thing should apply to all professionals.
 
That said, women professionals who have children do have it doubly hard, trying to manage a family and work.  They have to be twice as good, to get half the respect. Unfortunately.


It should apply to anyone but it is only aimed at women which is the problem. I wonder if there is a male equivalent at the firm, some how I doubt it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Cocoa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 28 2013 at 8:50am
LOL, I thought this was a Lauren Bacall appreciation thread.... in the 90s she reminded me of my grandma.

Oh, I agree that this should apply to everyone
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sang Froid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 28 2013 at 8:57am
The memo was written by women for women.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote nekamarie83 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 28 2013 at 9:16am
Originally posted by Cocoa Cocoa wrote:

LOL, I thought this was a Lauren Bacall appreciation thread....
This.

Then I walked in to find to find women selling each other out. Smh.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 28 2013 at 12:42pm
Originally posted by Cocoa Cocoa wrote:

LOL, I thought this was a Lauren Bacall appreciation thread.... in the 90s she reminded me of my grandma.

Oh, I agree that this should apply to everyone


thread jack?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote chinadoll77 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 28 2013 at 12:58pm
Sometimes it has to be said...You wouldn't believe how some people act & dress in professional settings somethings shouldn't require a reminder, or memo.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FarraFace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 28 2013 at 3:23pm
So basically, it's 2-5 heauxs in that firm that don't know how to act/dress, and nobody wants to be the one to tell them that people are calling them ditzy tramps behind their backs.
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