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Gender Inequity in the Courtroom

In this episode of Trying 2 Win, Sara Lincoln and Tricia Derr, founders of the Charlotte-based minority and women-owned law firm, Lincoln Derr, share their decades-long experiences of gender inequity in the courtroom, which include stories of confrontation and conflict, as well as champions and allies. Sara and Tricia discuss their most raw, eye-opening accounts during depositions and trials. Specifically, in this episode, they expose the harsh realities of how women lawyers are treated by opposing counsel and even judges — and how not much has changed over the course of just a few decades. Both women have turned that challenge into opportunity: "In our space we're unique... wear it as a badge of honor." At the same time, they encourage other women to speak out and tell their stories of discrimination in the courtroom. "The more women are willing to share these stories, that will give more power [to women] to move forward in their career... strength in numbers!" Tricia said.

Show Notes

Men in the Mix

In one of the recollections discussed in this episode, Tricia talks about unsolicited advances and bullying in the profession — including one specific account in which an important client initiated an uncomfortable encounter, and her boss (a man) had her back. A powerful initiative by the American Bar Association offers insight into the ways men can help advance women and address the disparities they face in the legal profession. Men in the Mix is a toolkit of content including discussions, reports and statistics that promote gender equity and allyship. "The primary purpose of Men in the Mix is a) to better understand why some men hesitate to join or support "women's groups" and b) to give women additional tools and best practices for encouraging men to join the conversation on advancing women in the legal professions," according to the ABA.

Originally published Apr 20, 2021

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