“Women as Litigators: Abilities vs. Assumptions" by Lynn Hecht Schafran

If you are being watched, leave now!

August 1983
  • Fairness in the Courts
  • National Judicial Education Program
  • Publication
Originally published in TRIAL in August 1983.

Society is still so steeped in gender-based stereotypes about the "true nature" and "proper roles" of women that it often is difficult for those with whom women litigators come into professional contact to deal with them as individuals, on the basis of ability, rather than on the basis of assumptions. These assumptions are false, lead to insulting behavior, and directly undermine women litigators' credibility, professionalism, and ability to represent their clients.

Judges and lawyers should be required to examine their stereotyped assumptions about women litigators and accord these lawyers the same respect given their male colleagues.