Gender differences and law department management

Roll your eyes at this. In 1873 the all-male Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in Bradwell v. Illinois that women did not have the right to become lawyers: “The natural and proper delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life,” eight of the all-male justices intoned. The majority could not have dreamed of Justices, law firm managing partners, or general counsel who are women: “The paramount destiny and mission of women are to fulfill the noble and benign offices of wife and mother. This is the law of the Creator.” This incredible instance of judicial sexism came from the Am. Scholar, Vol. 76, Autumn 2007 at 88.

This blog has not skirted the managerial implications in law departments of gender differences (See my posts of Dec. 5, 2005 on differences as managers between the sexes; April 18, 2005 on Meyers-Briggs differences; June 6, 2006 on the general counsel of Graham Packaging; July 18, 2006 on more women becoming general counsel; Feb. 7, 2007 on men and anger; March 1, 2007 on WellPoint’s new female CEO, its former general counsel; March 24, 2007 on family-friendly departments; May 28, 2007 on Wal-Mart’s diversity and a reference to J.C. Penney; June 11, 2007 on male and female differences on power distribution; and Aug. 10, 2007 on the all-female team at Simmons Bedding.).

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