Last evening, I spoke to the Robert Van Pelt American Inn of Court here in Lincoln. Years ago, I served as the Inn’s administrator, so I was happy to return to speak to the group about blogging.
I used a live hook up to the Internet, a big screen and a projector. I went through some posts, as well as a “behind the scenes look” at the blogging platform I use. I hoped to illustrate why I think that blogging can be a good thing for the bench and bar, and particularly the federal courts. My theme: It is all about transparency.
I touched on about 10 posts including a post entitled On being a dirty old man and how young women lawyers dress. A spirited discussion about the “dirty old man” post ensued.
It was fascinating, and the discussion was almost entirely fueled by comments from women. One female judge, who is not a prude, commented that the post generated so much heat because it highlighted a truth about inappropriate wearing apparel in court. On the other hand, a very experienced female trial lawyer said the post hit a nerve because it highlighted another truth, that is, women lawyers carry heavier burdens than men in the courtroom. One astute questioner wanted to know my target audience and my primary message. I said the audience was young female lawyers, and the importance of understanding that in the courtroom, “It is not about you.” She seemed skeptical.
Recognizing that this group was predisposed to be nice to me, I don’t pretend that last night’s discussion was representative of the views of anyone, women or men. But, I can say the topic remains one of significant interest to judges and lawyers. In other venues, the topic–how lawyers (both men and women) dress in court–deserves respectful discussion. However, having touched the third rail once with painful consequences, I don’t intend that this blog is the place to engage in such a discussion. As Linda Richman used to say, “talk amongst yourselves.”