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Legal Commentary

: Prawfs

Women Lawyers on TV

By Dan Markel, Ethan Leib, Rick Garnett, Matt Bodie, Paul Horwitz , Steve Vladeck, and Orly Lobel

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This year's 50 Best Law Firms for Women survey is out (a good resource for students among other things).  An accompanying article provides a timeline of "TV's Leading Women in Law."  I'm not sure this subject has the appropriate gravitas for a real problem: the article and survey report that attrition rates for women at major law firms is about 76% by the fifth year and that 42% of women lawyers leave the profession at some point in their careers.  But I did take a quick look.  The premise is that "in pop culture, female lawyers are often powerhouses in their careers but struggle to fit family in - if at all."  Here's a sample:

1993-1999: Sylvia Costas, NYPD Blue.  Sylvia was a crusading ADA who fought to save her marriage to alcoholic detective Andy Sipowicz.  After a maternity leave, she returned to work only to be killed in a courthouse shooting.

1997-2002: Ally McBeal, Ally McBeal.  As a 28-year-old Harvard Law grad, Ally could only dream of babies.  However, her hallucinations turned real when her 10-year-old daughter, the result of an egg-bank mix-up, showed up on her doorstep.

I guess we have to look for our role models elsewhere....

Full post as published by Prawfs on August 13, 2008 (boomark / email).

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