I want to start the blog by sharing with you the purpose for the blog and how I hope to realize that purpose.
I will be celebrating trailblazers in our field by posting interviews with women criminal defense attorneys from around the country.
I will be highlighting the great work that women continue to do by posting information about current cases and trials from around the nation that women are involved in.
Finally I will be sharing some of my thoughts and research on issues of importance to women in our field and also inviting other women that I have found inspiring in both areas of business and law to do the same.
I want this blog to be a step in developing a strong community for all women who specialize in criminal defense. Community cannot exist alone and it requires willingness on all of our parts to contribute. I hope we can share with each other information such as who is in trial, who is out there doing great work, and that we can share of ourselves for those that will follow. I welcome all participation.
This blog was created to consistently shed light on the great work that women criminal defense attorneys have done and continue to do around the country. We’re working to create community for women who specialize in criminal defense. We want to start building on images and narratives of women in this field so that a lasting picture can be painted. Women are taught not to brag and boast but this has the effect of leaving a void in our own story. I want to change that.
That being said, this blog will never be a space where our male colleagues are made to feel unwelcome or excluded. Many of my business relationships are with men. Many of my mentors have been men. I am indebted to these men for sharing their experience and talents with me so that I could become a better lawyer. It didn’t matter to them that I was a woman. It mattered to them that I was a damn good lawyer, worthy of their advice. It has always been my attitude that I wanted to be the best lawyer in the room, not the best woman lawyer. I know that many successful women criminal defense attorneys share this sentiment. We are a unique breed. We are often the toughest and most fearless person at the table.
I must confess though that I wondered if distinguishing myself from my male colleagues was a good idea. But then it occurred to me, who was I kidding? Did I really think I was getting away with avoiding the fact that I am a woman? The fact that I had to stop and ponder the question spoke volumes to me. It is this very silence on the topic that prevents women criminal defense attorneys from having the richest conversation that we can about our role in this field. It is this very silence on the topic that prevents us from celebrating and highlighting women that are doing great work defending persons charged with crimes. I want to end that silence. I believe that this discussion will not set us apart as some will fear but will only enrich the entire profession, women and men alike.
Women litigators in general have a wide range in a courtroom. A woman can touch her client without looking strange to communicate something non verbal to a jury. A woman can cross an emotional or vulnerable witness without looking like she is beating up on him or her. A woman can be tough on a witness without becoming a bully. A woman can be emotional before a jury without being perceived as weak. The tools of persuasion are different for women and men and focusing on these differences and learning how to use these different skills will only enhance us all. The point is for all of us, women and men alike, to be the best lawyers we can. This will only serve to help our clients and strengthen our profession.