Paulette Brown, Past President of the American Bar Association, participated in an American Bar Association panel speaking on sexual harassment in the legal workplace and the #MeToo movement. Brown explained that she believed that many incidents of sexual harassment in the legal industry are never brought to the attention of managers, at least in part because the legal community remains small and contained. As a result there is a persistent concern among victims of retribution or a professional freeze-out when they go looking for their next job.
Brown also voiced concern that the legal industry is narrowly focused on lawyers, and not all employees, in its interpretation of the #MeToo movement. She noted, “Sometimes people will think because they’re not a lawyer, they don’t have the same kinds of rights lawyers have, and are not able to access the system or processes for complaints. A lot of them are female, heads of their households, and that is going to make it so much more likely they’re not going to report any form of sexual harassment, which makes them in a sense much easier prey.”
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