One of our personal injury cases has turned into an insurance bad faith case seemingly overnight. This makes me happy. I love insurance bad faith almost as much as I love insurance coverage. Although a lot of other projects have been waiting in my work queue, I fervently drafted a letter to an opposing counsel on the bad faith case. I was very proud of my three page, persuasive letter which was brimming with legal authority and thoughtful analysis.
My boss gave me good feedback and told me I was starting to sound like "Attorney X," a notorious bad faith attorney in our area. Looking back, I took way too much pride in that compliment. My letter was addressed to a partner at a Big Law firm. A couple days later, opposing counsel responded to my letter. Except he did not address his response to me. He addressed it to one of the male partners in the firm. What? MY name was on that letter. Why would he respond to someone else? I was pissed. I turned down the opportunity to made a snarky comment in a follow-up letter. I almost wish I had. But that's not really my style.
I don't consider myself to be a shining proponent of feminism. Obviously, I'm not against women being considered and treated as equals in the work place. I'm just not very militant about it. I wouldn't turn down a male coworker's offer to help me nail a frame on my office wall or help me carry a heavy box. I think chivalry is awesome, not anti-feminist. I don't necessarily buy into the argument that women across the board earn less than male counterparts in the same circumstances (I may be incorrect in my thinking but I just don't have very high regard for the statistics and "studies" out there - in general I always take statistics with a grain of salt). I don't think being considered a "nice" person is a bad thing for a lawyer (not necessarily a feminist issue but more women tend to be labeled as "nice" or "gentle" than men, in my opinion).
BUT. BUT. Even if I will never win a gold medal for my work in advancing the plight of women in this country, I still hate when male chauvinism creeps into the work place. If I do good work, I want it to be recognized and acknowledged as MY work. And even if I'm not a partner and even if I don't have as much experience as my opponents, I would hope they would have enough respect for me as a human to deal with me directly rather than completely bypass me for a higher-up.