My last numbers indicate that there are 57 people on SoloSez who market themselves as criminal defense attorneys. Eighteen of those are women. According to google math, that is approximately 31% which doesn’t seem too horrible. However none of those women lives near me or works near me so I am still going to have to put on my cup and play with the boys until I find my forever someone.
In the meantime, I invite you to check out a book that I happened across during my quest to find female criminal defense attorney bloggers: Emotional Trials – Moral Dilemmas of Women Criminal Defense Attorneys. If a person, in this day and age, asked me if I felt I was betraying my gender by representing men accused of sex crimes I think I might throat punch them. We all get the question “how can you defend those people” and there are some great answers to that question, from “I have no soul” (courtesy of Carol from Public Defender Revolution) to various discussions about the constitution, rule of law, etc. Those come at you from a, I guess you could call it a gender-neutral perspective, everyone wonders how you can defend someone accused of rape, or murder or whatever. Or, do people really think “oh, you are a guy, you totally GET rape so its easy for you to defend someone accused of that”.
Originally, I was dead set against reading this book, but now I think I might. I’m curious to see what feminists think of what it is we do.
In the introduction to her book the author states that there are loads of female criminal defense lawyers (it looks like most of the ones she interviews are public defenders) because criminal defense is viewed as the lowest form of courtroom work. Actually, she said that a particular sociologist ‘established’ that, which to me means its a fact. Not in the my fact versus your fact and the jury is a trier of fact sort of way, but in the sciency sort of way where they’ve done their due diligence and they know its true.
So I have to stop, once again, and ask: Really? The lowest form of courtroom work? OK, so we’ve all heard of James Sokolove, but who is more famous and more revered? Johnny Cochran? James Sokolove. Johnny Cochran (RIP) would outrhyme and out try James Sokolov and his lousy ads any day of the week. No one wants to grow up to be James Sokolove or Ronni Deutche. Give me a break. Lowest form of courtroom work? Puh-lease!
Ok, but back to the book. I’ll read it and give you, my now 9 readers, a thumbs up or down. But I will tell you this much, I don’t have a moral dilemma. I am not suffering. I don’t hold my head in my hands and fight back the tears over my failure to hold up my feminist views. I don’t lose sleep at night because I choose (hopefully someday again) to represent people accused of horrible things and I certainly feel that I do my gender a favor by playing this game with the boys.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go get that cup.