Across the Atlantic, women were called ‘honey’

Published 14th March 2016

I began practicing law as a litigator for a Wall Street law firm in 1979. I was often the only female attorney in a courtroom of 100 lawyers, was regularly addressed as “honey” and asked to get coffee, and wore suits that looked like a man’s except for the skirt. My only female colleague was told when she became pregnant that she had made a ” life choice and it wasn’t in favor of the law.” The first time I argued a motion in a case between a famous composer and his ex-wife, I was sure that I had lost when the composer’s attorney and the judge (both male of course) began reminiscing and singing the composer’s songs(!). I will be forever thankful to the judge’s female law clerk, who gave me a sympathetic look and undoubtedly wrote the judge’s opinion that gave me the victory on the motion. 37 years and six jobs later, I’m the general counsel of a non-profit corporation with revenues of $75 million and 1500 employees, so as the saying goes, I guess I’ve come a long way baby!

Newsletter Sign Up
Get the latest updates on the First 100 Years Project and join our journey.