Gender Trials Emotional Lives in Contemporary Law Firms

ISBN-10: 0520201086
ISBN-13: 9780520201088
Edition: 1995
List price: $31.95 Buy it from $0.01
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Description: This engaging ethnography examines the gendered nature of today's large corporate law firms. Although increasing numbers of women have become lawyers in the past decade, Jennifer Pierce discovers that the double standards and sexist attitudes of  More...

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Book details

List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 1995
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 2/15/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 276
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

This engaging ethnography examines the gendered nature of today's large corporate law firms. Although increasing numbers of women have become lawyers in the past decade, Jennifer Pierce discovers that the double standards and sexist attitudes of legal bureaucracies are a continuing problem for women lawyers and paralegals. Working as a paralegal, Pierce did ethnographic research in two law offices, and her depiction of the legal world is quite unlike the glamorized version seen on television. Pierce tellingly portrays the dilemma that female attorneys face: a woman using tough, aggressive tactics--the ideal combative litigator--is often regarded as brash or even obnoxious by her male colleagues. Yet any lack of toughness would mark her as ineffective. Women paralegals also face a double bind in corporate law firms. While lawyers depend on paralegals for important work, they also expect these women--for most paralegals are women--to nurture them and affirm their superior status in the office hierarchy. Paralegals who mother their bosses experience increasing personal exploitation, while those who do not face criticism and professional sanction. Male paralegals, Pierce finds, do not encounter the same difficulties that female paralegals do. Pierce argues that this gendered division of labor benefits men politically, economically, and personally. However, she finds that women lawyers and paralegals develop creative strategies for resisting and disrupting the male-dominated status quo. Her lively narrative and well-argued analysis will be welcomed by anyone interested in today's gender politics and business culture.

Preface and Acknowledgments
Gendering Occupations and Emotions in Law Firms
The Gendered Organizational Structure of Large Law Firms
Rambo Litigators: Emotional Labor in a Male-Dominated Job
Mothering Paralegals: Emotional Labor in a Feminized Occupation
Women and Men as Litigators: Gender Differences on the Job
Gendering Consent and Resistance in Paralegal Work
Conclusion
Appendix 1. Articulating the Self in Field Research
Appendix 2. Lawyer Jokes
Notes
References
Index

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