Survey says: Do something about it

June 27, 2008
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Bar associations survey their members to find out everything from salary to time off to satisfaction with the county judges. They publish the results for the world to see and sometimes, news organizations like us report on the findings. But then what?

The Allegheny County Bar Association in Pennsylvania is taking the results of its 2005 survey regarding disparity in pay between the genders and enacting an Institute for Gender Equality. The institute will offer programs about various topics like mentoring and work-life balance, track its participants, and follow up with them for feedback. The programs will begin early next year.

Bar associations and legal organizations across the country publish numerous surveys every year indicating the difference in treatment, pay, and work lives for female lawyers as compared to their male counterparts. It’s great to see a bar association take a proactive approach to attempt to eliminate some of the issues discovered or reinforced in the surveys.

Indiana State Bar Association Women in Law Committee chair Angela Hopper said the state bar is in the infancy stages of a program with the ultimate goal of something similar to what the Allegheny County Bar Association offers. The Women in Law Committee surveyed members in 2006 and 2007 and gave the results to the Judicial System Committee. The plan is to conduct similar surveys every couple of years, compare the results, and see what kind of programs need to be implemented, she said. The goal is to eventually come up with guidelines to address any inequalities and problems facing female attorneys.

Unfortunately, inequality still exists between male and female workers in all professions, and that’s why there is a committee for women in the law. Hopper did offer some hope for female attorneys in Indiana: based on the most recent survey, Indiana – as compared to the surrounding states – overall is a good state to practice in. Let’s hope future surveys continue to reinforce that finding and assist in closing the gender inequality issues faced in the legal profession.
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  1. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  2. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  3. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

  4. My dear Smith, I was beginning to fear, from your absense, that some Obrien of the Nanny State had you in Room 101. So glad to see you back and speaking truth to power, old chum.

  5. here is one from Reason magazine. these are not my words, but they are legitimate concerns. http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/03/fearmongering-at-the-splc quote: "The Southern Poverty Law Center, which would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds, has issued a new "intelligence report" announcing that "an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) -- a 244% jump." To illustrate how dangerous these groups are, the Center cites some recent arrests of right-wing figures for planning or carrying out violent attacks. But it doesn't demonstrate that any of the arrestees were a part of the Patriot milieu, and indeed it includes some cases involving racist skinheads, who are another movement entirely. As far as the SPLC is concerned, though, skinheads and Birchers and Glenn Beck fans are all tied together in one big ball of scary. The group delights in finding tenuous ties between the tendencies it tracks, then describing its discoveries in as ominous a tone as possible." --- I wonder if all the republicans that belong to the ISBA would like to know who and why this outfit was called upon to receive such accolades. I remember when they were off calling Trent Lott a bigot too. Preposterous that this man was brought to an overwhelmingly republican state to speak. This is a nakedly partisan institution and it was a seriously bad choice.

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