Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I Hope She Sues

Over at Above the Law, there is an email from an associate who was recently terminated by Paul Hastings.

Now, I have never experienced a miscarriage (mostly because I am male). However, having worked for a smaller, pettier firm, I know what its like to be told that the work is good and then to be blindsided by performance review which bears no relation to reality. The performance review that says the attorney has failed in numerous areas, but there is no empirical evidence to back up the assertions.

Carolyn Elefant, over at thinks this was the wrong response (she also suggest that she blogged about it, even though I can not find that this associate did). I disagree. Now, I am not an employment specialist, but I don't think this is going to hurt her case. Of course, Paul Hastings is not going to rescind their termination of her employment (law firms never admit to errors against their own employees).

I have to say, I wish I could have written this email when I was leaving my former firm. However, unlike this unnamed associate, I did not have enough in the bank to do that.

Mrs. AngryBell has this to say, "I want to be on that jury. They do this to women all the time in big firms. As a man, you can be mediocre and make partner. As a woman, one little misstep and you are gone. Every time Paul Hastings opens their mouth, I would just add another zero to that judgment."


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comment at my site and your post. In my post, I did suggest that the firm's conduct might have been unlawful and that the associate should consult a lawyer about those issues. I realize that firms do behave unlawfully - they discriminate based on gender and race - and assume that they'll escape liability because lawyers won't sue. Also, it would not have been a big deal if this associate sat down with the lawyers face to face and told them how she felt.

I know that many people wish that they'd written this type of stuff, but truth is, you are better off having let the moment pass.

Anonymous said...

Actually what I said was that "In a law firm if you have a penis and are mediocre you have a good shot at partner, but if you are a woman -- you have to be eight times as good and even then you don't stand much of a chance unless you are willing to make unreasonable, inequitable sacrifices." To the associate at Paul Hastings -- you should sue and I hope I'm on your jury, because I'd be happy to add at least 5 zeros to whatever demand you had in mind. -- Signed Mrs. AngryBell