Freedom to Be Me Freedom to Be Me

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					                                                                                   For clarity purposes, subjects are referred to
                                                                                   using pronouns reflecting the genders they
                                                                                   were born as when referring to events that
                                                                                   took place before they made their choices to
                                                                                   change their physical genders. Otherwise,
                                                                                   they are referred to using pronouns reflecting
                                                                                   their current genders.

                                                                                   voices in today’s transgender
                                                                                   community, boldly demanding
                                                                                   acceptance and equality for all; and
                                                                                   their stories, though spotted with
                                                                                   struggle and pain, are stories of
                                                                                   inspiration and freedom that serve to
                                                                                   illustrate how the legal profession is
                                                                                   leaving its traditionally stuffy demeanor
                                                                                   behind and evolving into a profession
                                                                                   where all are welcome.

                                                                                   Phyllis Randolph Frye

                                                                                   Phyllis Randolph Frye, a transgender
                                                                                   lesbian attorney in Houston, TX, has
                                                                                   been through her share of battles, but
                                                                                   the easy, nonchalant way in which she
                                                                                   looks at life shows that they’ve only
                                                                                   served to make her stronger.


Freedom to Be Me:                                                                  Five feet and 10 inches of outspoken,
                                                                                   voluptuous woman, Frye is more than
                                                                                   a little intimidating…and not just
Transgender Attorneys in                                                           because she used to be a man. Frye
                                                                                   is one of those people who just seem

the Legal Workplace                                                                to know who they are and what they
                                                                                   were made for--one of those people
                                                                                   who make you want to scramble hastily
                                          By Charisse Dengler and                  toward your dreams in a slapdash
                                                     Flora Pappas                  attempt to catch up with them.



T
          he World Professional         successful attorneys were born the         Frye, born Phillip, grew up as a young
          Association for Transgender   wrong gender. In other words, at           man, complete with Eagle Scout
          Health defines gender          very young ages, all of them realized      badges and a buzz cut. However, Frye
dysphoria as “a condition in which      that their psychological identities        knew as early as six years old that he
one’s identification and desire to       didn’t match up with their
live as a member of the other sex       physical identities. Upon
is deep-seated, unavoidable, and        this realization, each has          “In fact, he said, if anything, he is
overwhelming.” For Phyllis Randolph     dealt with his or her gender        more respected in the legal field
Frye, Shannon Minter, Mia Yamamoto,     dysphoria in varying ways,          now that he is a man.”
and Joann Prinzivalli, these words      and all have gone on to live
couldn’t ring more truly.               happy and fulfilling lives.
                                                                                   was different from other boys, that his
All four of these well-respected,       Theirs are some of the best-known          mind was telling him he was a girl.

42     |    February/March 2007                                                                            www.jdjournal.com
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                                                           up leading him to          money from the government. A year
Resources and Support Groups                               realize that he wanted
                                                           to live. In 1972,
                                                                                      later, he began hormone treatment.
                                                                                      Over the following six years, the
To find out more information about the transgender          Frye met and fell in       hormones helped to create a soft,
community or to locate a transgender support group in      love with a woman          rounded woman where a muscular man
your area, visit these links:                              who was confident           had once been, and Frye couldn’t have
The Transgender Law and Policy Institute                   enough in herself and      been more pleased. However, unlike
www.transgenderlaw.org                                     so completely in love      some transgender people, Frye stopped
                                                           with the person Frye       there, opting not to go through with
Transgender Forum’s Community Center                       was that she didn’t        sex reassignment surgery.
www.transgender.org                                        even mind his cross-
                                                           dressing; she told Frye    Frye entered law school at the
Susan’s Place: Transgender Resources
                                                           that with all the things   University of Houston in September of
www.susans.org
                                                           wrong with men of the      1978 as Phyllis. While in law school,
National Transgender Advocacy Coalition                    time, she felt pretty      she founded a student organization
www.ntac.org                                               lucky.                     called Law Students and Friends of
                                                                                      Gays and Lesbians*, was elected as
The Renaissance Transgender Association, Inc.               During their time         a representative to the Democratic
www.ren.org                                                 of wedded bliss,          Party’s state party convention, and
TransGenderCare                                             Frye finally began         helped to do away with Houston’s
www.transgendercare.com                                     making his permanent      cross-dressing law; but even with
                                                            transition into Phyllis,  these accomplishments under her
National Center for Transgender Equality                    and that’s when his       belt, she was still not able to find a
www.nctequality.org                                         professional troubles     job. In fact, it wasn’t until 1986 that
Transgender Law Center                                      began. Fired from his     she was approached by a client who
www.transgenderlawcenter.org                                job at S&B Engineers      was looking for a gay attorney. That
                                                            when news of his          phone call led to the placement of an
Transgender at Work                                         transition became         ad for legal representation in This Week
www.tgender.net/taw                                         common knowledge,         in Texas, a magazine for the gay and
The National Center for Lesbian Rights: Transgender Frye embarked on                  lesbian community, and the rest, as
Law Project                                                 what turned out           they say, is history.
www.nclrights.org/projects/transgenderproject.htm           to be a long period
                                                            of unemployment,         Frye has no regrets about the choices
                                                            during which his wife    she made in her life that led her to
While this realization is never an easy
                                          supported the two of them. After Frye      where she is now. “It has been a most
one to explain to others in your life, it
                                          was denied job after job after job, both   interesting journey with some tears,
was particularly hard for a young man
                                          Frye and his wife agreed it was best       hurts, and struggles and with many
raised in San Antonio, TX, during the
                                          for him to start the voice lessons and     wins, successes, and joys. I have
1950s to talk about.
                                          electrolysis that would help transform     opened doors for a lot of people,” she
                                          Phillip into Phyllis.                      said.
Throughout the next 28 years of his
life, Frye played the part of a man the   Met with harsh                                                 25 years after
best way he knew how, going on to         opposition by both        “I’ve seen more love and             graduating from
join the Army, get married, and have      sets of their parents,    affection and beauty than law school, Frye
a son. Behind closed doors, though,       Frye’s ex-wife, and       I could’ve even imagined             is an attorney
Frye found himself cross-dressing, a      their neighbors,                                               at Nechman,
habit that eventually led to the demise                             existed before my
                                          the couple plowed                                              Simoneaux, and
of his marriage, his discharge from the   on, leaning on each       transition.”                         Frye, PLLC, and
army, and his attempted suicide.          other for support.                                             has won countless
                                          In 1977, Frye                                                  battles on behalf
However, strange as it may sound, it      enrolled in the University of Houston’s    of the transgender population; and
was his attempted suicide that ended      business school in order to receive        she’s still fighting. In addition to

44    |    February/March 2007                                                                             www.jdjournal.com
                                                    end discrimination toward the         transgender partner.
  Male-to-Female Sex                                transgender community.
                                                                                          “Rarely have I met anyone with

  Reassignment Surgery                              “The public needs to learn
                                                    that this is not ‘a change,’ but
                                                                                          Phyllis’s discipline, problem-
                                                                                          solving ability, and commitment to
  1. The penis is cut open from the head to         instead it is ‘a correction,’”        accomplishing her goals. She is a
     the base.                                      she said. “The only choice            tireless advocate for her clients and
  2. The skin is peeled away from the penis         we have is when to finally             those whose goals she champions,” he
     and turned inside out.                         correct--to become who we             said. “Her life’s story speaks for itself-
  3. With the penis now inverted, the               always have been. The best            -I feel blessed to have had the chance
     opening is sewn back up to create a            immediate victory is an end to        to know and work with Phyllis, a true
     vagina.                                        job discrimination. If you have       hero of our community.”
  4. Another opening is made in the newly           a job, you can slowly but surely
     created vagina, and a small stub of            survive the rest.”                    To this day, Frye said, she still
     erectile tissue from the penis is then                                               has to deal with a certain level of
     pushed through the opening and                 John Nechman, a partner at            discrimination, especially when she
     becomes the clitoris.                          Frye’s firm, first learned of Frye      is in a new situation with new people
  5. Another opening is made underneath             in the 1980s when he came             who do not know her story.
     the new clitoris, and the urinary tube is      upon an article about her in a
     pushed through this opening.                   German newspaper. The article         “Every new situation is a struggle
  6. The muscles in the lower abdomen               actually motivated                    because I never know who the bigots
     are then lifted a bit, the new inverted        Nechman to return
     penis is pushed up into the proper             to Houston and              “I know of hundreds of other
     vaginal position, and the muscles are          become an attorney.         lawyers who are transgender and
     repositioned around it.                        He first met Frye
                                                                                deeply closeted because they feel
  7. The newly created vagina is tied into          while in law school
     place with surgical wire until it heals,       years later when he         they will lose their legal business or
     which takes an average of one week.            became involved with        their legal jobs or be asked to leave
  8. The patient then has a six-week recovery       Houston’s association       firms [if they come out].”
     period before the new vagina is ready for      of GLBT attorneys.
     sexual intercourse.                            When asked how he
                                                                                          are,” she said. “This is why I either go
                                                    felt about having a transgender
  Female-to-Male Sex                                individual as part of his firm,
                                                    Nechman said it was a “non-
                                                                                          out of the closet or drop strong hints
                                                                                          shortly after meeting new people or

  Reassignment Surgery
                                                                                          being in new situations. Like when
                                                    issue.”
                                                                                          childhood situations come up, I relate a
                                                                                          story of when I was in the Boy Scouts.
  There are two common ways in which a              “It is no different than having a
                                                                                          That usually causes someone to ask me
  vagina is surgically made into a penis. In        black attorney or a senior citizen
                                                                                          to clarify or to ask someone else on the
  many cases, a metoidioplasty is performed         attorney or a wheelchair-bound
                                                                                          side.”
  before a phalloplasty.                            attorney working at our firm,”
                                                    he said. “I am not claiming to
                                                                                          When asked how she feels about the
handling her caseload, Frye also puts               be blind to what makes others         discrimination she experienced in the
together “Phyllabusters,” her usually        unique, but these qualities do not           past, Frye said it was very hard and
semi-weekly email packed full of issues      define who a person is[; rather, they]        made her very bitter. For this reason,
pertaining to transgender people, and        are a part of the amazing mosaic that is     “I gear my life to insure that it does not
she runs TRANSGENDERLEGAL.                   humanity.”                                   happen to others,” she said.
com, a website detailing her personal
story and providing the general              Nechman went on to talk about how            Even though Frye gives the legal
public with links to information on          lucky he feels to be working with Frye       profession credit for evolving and
transgender legal issues, all in an          on a daily basis and to be at one of the     making a place for her, she thinks it has
effort to educate the public on and           only law firms in the nation to have a        a long way to go before everyone feels

www.jdjournal.com                                                                             February/March 2007           |     45
comfortable being himself or herself.   closeted because they feel they will lose   that he’s good at it. With a friendly
                                        their legal business or their legal jobs    Southern accent, he tells his own story
“I know of hundreds of other lawyers    or be asked to leave firms [if they come     in a way that invites you to tell yours.
who are transgender and deeply          out],” she said.
                                                                                    Minter, born a woman, is a transgender

 Metoidioplasty
                                        In fact, Frye, who is known as the          attorney armed with a J.D. from
                                        “Grandmother of the National                Cornell Law School who has received
                                        Transgender Legal and Political             numerous awards for his legal
 1. The clitoris is enlarged to         Movement,” has met many closeted            work on behalf of same-sex couples
    about five centimeters in            attorneys over the years as she has         and the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and
    length by hormone treatment         traveled around speaking at various         transgender community. In fact, in
    and moved forward to where a        conferences and gatherings.                 2004, he was one of 18 recipients of
    penis should be.                                                                the Ford Foundation’s “Leadership
 2. The urethra is lengthened and       “Over the past two decades, I have had      for a Changing World” award, a
    rerouted to come out the end        literally hundreds of people who would      distinguished honor that recognizes
    of the newly enlarged clitoris.     buy me a drink, chat in passing, or slip    leaders who are working to bring
 3. The labia majora are sewn           me a note to say that they admire my        about positive and lasting change in
    together to create a scrotum.       courage and are lawyers and are also        their communities and comes with a
 4. Silicone testicles are then         TG but are terrified to come out for         hefty $100,000 monetary prize. Each
    attached to the newly created       fear of being fired from their firms or       year, the Ford Foundation awards
    scrotum.                            losing judicial appointments or losing      between 15 and 20 individuals who are
 5. Metoidioplasty patients can         whatever job they hold or losing their      integral parts of bringing justice and
    achieve erections due to the        spouses or kids or being discriminated      hope to their communities through
    erectile tissue present in the      by their church or whatever,” she said.     strong leadership skills and innovative
    clitoris.                           “The list is long of the reasons that       programs and ideas.
                                        people are afraid and remain miserable


 Phalloplasty
                                        but closeted for most of their lives.”      Born and raised in a small town in
                                                                                    East Texas, the female Minter, like
                                        Frye thinks the solution to creating a
                                                                                    most transgender people, knew she was
 1. A large portion of skin is          more understanding, accepting legal
                                                                                    different at a very young age. Minter
    grafted from the arm or leg.        profession is for all people to boldly be
                                                                                    described living with this knowledge as
 2. The skin is rolled into a tube,     themselves, with no apologies and no
                                                                                    both confusing and difficult and said it
    made to serve as a urethra, and     fear.
                                                                                    got even worse as time went by.
    sewn into place where the new
    penis will be.                      “When more of us come out, so it will
                                        be,” she said.                              “As a younger child, it was a little easier
 3. Nerves in the tube of skin are                                                  to disregard the fact of having a female
    then connected to the nerves in                                                 body, since before puberty, young boys
                                        Shannon Minter
    the clitoris so that sensation is                                               and girls tend to be physically similar,
    preserved.                          Shannon Minter is a humble,                 at least to all outward appearances, and
 4. An erectile prosthesis is then      easygoing guy--the kind of guy who          girls often can get away with ‘acting
    inserted into the penis so that     makes you want to spill your guts           like boys,’” Minter said. “But even as a
    sexual penetration is possible.     because somehow you just know you           young child, I remember being very sad
    Some prostheses require             can trust him. As Legal Director of         sometimes and confused about being a
    pumping systems to inflate the       the National Center for Lesbian Rights      girl. I would play with the boys all day
    penis. Others have levers that                          (NCLR) in San           long, but when they had camp-overs, I
    enable the penis to stand or lie                        Francisco, CA,          had to go home rather than be the only
    down.                                                   Minter spends           ‘girl’ in a tent full of boys.”
 5. The labia majora are sewn                               a great deal of
    together to create a scrotum.                           time listening and      “When puberty came along, however,
 6. Silicone testicles are then                             understanding,          the real pain set in,” Minter continued.
    attached to the newly created                           and you can             “It was a torturous experience to
    scrotum.                                                immediately tell        acquire secondary sex characteristics

46     |    February/March 2007                                                                            www.jdjournal.com
                                           During high school and college,             awkward to be going through such
  Christine                                Minter identified herself as a lesbian.      a visible change and difficult to go
                                           It wasn’t until she attended law school     through a period of time in which my
  Jorgensen’s Story                        and interned with the NCLR that she         outward gender was ambiguous. I
  Christine Jorgensen is famous for        was introduced to transgender people        so much wanted to be seen as male,
  being one of the first individuals        and began to identify with them. It         and yet for the first couple of years,
  to undergo sex reassignment              was during her last year of law school      I would sometimes still be ‘read’ as
  surgery in the world. Born George        that she really began to look at her        female. Nonetheless, it was amazing
  William Jorgensen, Jr., in 1926,         gender dysphoria issues and explore         and wonderful to see the testosterone
  Jorgensen grew up in New York            the various options that were available     and surgery taking effect. I remember
  City. In his early adulthood, he         to her. In 1996, she decided to begin       a feeling of tremendous happiness and
  began to hear things about sex           hormone therapy, and in 2000, she           calm, like finally coming home.”
  reassignment surgery and looked          underwent sex reassignment surgery.
  into the process for himself. Upon                                                   With regard to his professional career,
  deciding that he did indeed want         When Minter made the decision to            Minter said he has not faced any sort
  to go through with the surgery,          permanently transition, she made            of discrimination. In fact, he said,
  Jorgensen chose Dr. Christian            it a point to take the time to talk to      if anything, he is more respected in
  Hamburger in Denmark to                  every person with a significant role         the legal field now that he is a man.
  perform it. Afterward, he took           in her life and help prepare him or         Almost seven years later, Minter
  on the name Christine as a small         her for the changes that would take         couldn’t be happier with the results
  tribute to Dr. Hamburger.                place; and Minter encourages
                                           any individual thinking of           “Fighting for the underdog--and
  Jorgensen’s stardom began when           transitioning to do the same.        believe me, transgender people
  New York Daily News ran a story          Upon discussing the issue            are underdogs--is like fighting for
  publicizing the sex reassignment         with her boss at the NCLR,
                                           Minter was pleased that she
                                                                                the whole population of oppressed
  surgery; and from that point on,
  Jorgensen, living as Christine,          met little opposition. In fact,      people at a given time.”
  became a widely recognized               she and her boss ended up
  spokesperson for the transgender         learning about the process together as      of his transition. When asked what
  community. She went on to tour           they both gathered information and          three words best describe him, he said,
  and speak at various events about        asked questions about the changes that      “grateful, happy, and excited about the
  transgender issues and became an         were to come.                               future.” Now happily married with
  actress and entertainer later in her                                                 one daughter, Minter has a zest for life
  life. She is also well known for her     However, the support that Minter            that is evident and quite contagious.
  autobiography, Christine Jorgensen:      received at the NCLR was not
  A Personal Autobiography.                mirrored by her family at first,             “Every day, I look in the mirror and am
  Jorgensen died of cancer in 1989 at      something that she had been afraid          overjoyed to see a man looking back,”
  the age of 62.                           would happen. In fact, there was a          he said. “Prior to transitioning, I hated
                                           long period of time during which            to look at myself and would avoid
that I desperately did not want to have.   she did not speak to her family. The        mirrors and cameras like the plague.
My coping mechanism, like that of          period of silence ended when Minter         Now I am far too fond of looking at
many other transsexual people, was to      went home after the death of a family       myself in mirrors! In all seriousness,
dissociate from my body. I felt like       member, post-transition. At this time,      though, it is very nice to feel good
an alien in my own skin. As a result,      he was able to heal his relationships       about my physical appearance after
                                           with his family; and he said that being     feeling so bad about it for so long.”
I would do anything to feel numb,
                                           able to hug his grandmother after all
whether that was become obsessed with
                                           the time apart was something he’ll          In his current position as Director for
studying in order to take my mind off       never forget.                               the NCLR, Minter is able to lend a
everything else or, eventually, drinking                                               helping hand to gay, lesbian, bisexual,
to the point of blacking out. For me,      When asked to describe his transition       and transgender people on a daily basis,
adolescence was often a terrifying and     period, Minter said, “It was an             serving as not only their lawyer but
painful experience.”                       awkward yet wonderful time. It was          also their friend. When it comes to the

48     |    February/March 2007                                                                              www.jdjournal.com
future of the transgender community,        she couldn’t be happier with.              which did not go well. To this day, one
Minter has high hopes.                                                                 of her brothers will only refer to her
                                            After getting his undergraduate degree     by her male name, and another of her
“I would like to see transgender people     at California State University, Los        brothers won’t speak to her or come
accepted as simply ordinary men             Angeles, Yamamoto went into the            to family events that she attends. Her
and women who have been given an            Army and then went on to law school        attitude toward her brothers’ reactions-
unusual medical challenge but who           at the University of California, Los       -and every negative reaction she has
are ultimately no different in any           Angeles. Upon graduation from law          encountered or will encounter in the
fundamental way than anyone else,” he       school, he longed to go into legal aid     future--is incredibly understanding and
said. “Most transgender people I know       work and got his first legal aid job        forgiving.
simply long to be given the chance to       with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los
do the same things most of us want          Angeles. However, after a couple of        “To be perfectly honest with you, I
to do--work, marry, raise children,         years, he realized it wasn’t for him and   really don’t mind upsetting the bigots,”
contribute to our communities. I truly      headed to the public defender’s office,      she said. “In a sense, bothering those
believe that if people knew even a little   where he said he was dazzled by the        people makes it all worthwhile. I
bit more about transgender issues,          work. Currently, Yamamoto owns her         expected a lot more rejection and
they would be far more accepting and        own firm and continues to spend her         ridicule than I got, and these few little
supportive.”                                days fighting for the underdog.             bits and pieces of negativity, they do
                                                                                       nothing but make me laugh at this
Mia Yamamoto                                “Fighting for the underdog--and            point. It’s so completely wonderful on
                                            believe me, transgender people are         the plus side of it that these guys are
Mia Yamamoto, a criminal defense            underdogs--is like fighting for the         just comic relief, even my brother.”
attorney in Los Angeles, is a               whole population of oppressed people
                                            at a given time,” she said. “Where else    Yamamoto began dressing like and
                                            should people be? That’s the way I         living as a woman in her 50s. When
                                            always looked at it. Where else should     asked why her transition took place
                                            I be? This is exactly where I should       so late in life, she said she was trying
                                            be.”                                       to put it off
                                                                                       as long as
                                            Yamamoto said she knew from the            she could in
                                            time she was five or six years old that     order to avoid
                                            there was a discrepancy between who        the hurt and
                                            her brain told her she was and who her     confusion it
                                            body told her she was.                     would bring to
                                                                                       the people in
                                            With three older brothers and a family
                                                                                       her life and the
                                            that encouraged a culture of violence,
                                                                                       strain it would
                                            Yamamoto knew he didn’t fit in.
                                                                                       put on some
                                            When his sister was born and began
charismatic fast-talker with a fantastic                                               of her relationships with loved ones,
                                            to grow and mature, he realized he
sense of humor and a generally                                                         as well as her relationships with her
                                            was more like his sister than any of his
euphoric outlook on life. Having                                                       clients.
                                            brothers.
just been named “Criminal Lawyer
of the Year” by the Century City Bar                                                   “Being a trial lawyer, you have so many
                                            “Growing up, I always had the feeling
Association, Yamamoto is flourishing                                                    people depending upon you--their lives
                                            of the mismatch and just dreaming and
professionally, as well as personally.                                                 and their futures--I didn’t feel like I
                                            hoping and praying that you’ll wake up
                                            in another body,” she said.                had the right to just transition on all
Yamamoto, born Michael, underwent                                                      these people that were counting on
the last of her sex reassignment            It was in 1952, when the Christine         me,” she said. “At some point, though,
surgeries last November at the age          Jorgensen story made headlines, that       even that consideration was basically
of 62. She said transitioning into a        Yamamoto realized there were other         leveraged out by my need to do it.”
woman was a decision that was a long        people in the world like him. This
time in coming for her and a decision                                                                 CONTINUED ON PAGE 82
                                            realization led to family discussions,
www.jdjournal.com                                                                         February/March 2007           |     49
SURGICAL ILLUSTRATION CAPTIONS
MALE-TO-FEMALE GENDER REASSIGNMENT

A. Breast augmentation with implants

B. Skin incisions on underside of penis, perineum
   Testicles removed (orchidectomy)

C. Vaginal cavity dissected
   Penis degloved; skin removed, inverted, and turned into
   vagina with balloon stent inserted
   Penis removed except for small portion of glans and
   some skin around it, creating neoclitoris with hood
   Nerves and blood vessels leading to glans preserved to
   allow for sensation
   Urethra shortened

D. Neoclitoris and hood created
   Catheter in urethra leading to bladder
   Balloon stent in new vagina

Patients often have reconstructive surgery on their faces to
feminize them (implants, rhinoplasty, Adam’s-apple shaving, forehead reshaping, etc.) and liposuction.


FEMALE-TO-MALE GENDER REASSIGNMENT

A. Breast reduction and nipple reduction

B. Incision around urethra and clitoris to allow for lengthening urethra
   Clitoris enlarged after hormone treatments

                                                                C. Clitoral hood lifted to detach suspensory ligament of
                                                                   clitoris from pubic bone (metoidioplasty); allows neopenis
                                                                   to be released further
                                                                   Catheter in urethra

                                                                D. Closure of vagina and extension of urethra using vaginal
                                                                   flaps and labia minora to create neopenis that can void

                                                                E. Testicular implants inserted into labia (after tissue
                                                                   expanders are used in labia majora)

                                                                Patients may also elect to have hysterectomies, remove their
                                                                fallopian tubes and ovaries, and/or remove their vaginas.
                                                                Phalloplasty is an alternative to metoidioplasty; a penile
                                                                implant is used in conjunction with the phalloplasty for greater
                                                                functionality.

50     |   February/March 2007                                                                                www.jdjournal.com
                                                              Legally Thin
   H          i, Kelly,

              I received your email today
   and read through it. Thank you so much.
   You are so brave. I admire your ability
                                              eat a big meal, I worry that my stomach
                                              is sticking out. I eat minimally during
                                              the day if I have a date that night
                                              because I want to be able to eat more in
                                              front of other people so that they won’t
                                                                                           maybe your honesty is inspiring. It does
                                                                                           kind of feel good to tell someone, even if
                                                                                           you don’t know me.
                                                                                                                             - Devon

   to talk openly about this. I still have    pester me about my small appetite. It’s
                          trouble admitting   like I have to prove that I don’t have a     anyone feel stressed, helpless, and
                                              problem because then I can deny that I
                                              ever did.

                                              During the toughest part of my               screaming into the night, seeking
                                              experience with anorexia, I weighed
                                              about 90 pounds, and I am 5’8’’. I           temporary yet all too dangerous
                                              have never been overweight, and I never
                                              wanted to be thinner. In fact, I was         world of legal studies and practice,
                                              made fun of for the way I looked and
                                              lost many friends who were unwilling to
                                              be associated with someone who needed
                                              help. That just made everything worse.

                                              I was just so depressed that I had
                                              no motivation to care for myself. I
                                              didn’t just stop eating; I stopped doing     Days after Kelly* completed law
                                                                                           school in New York, she began
                                              everything good for me. I would study in
                                                                                           to study for the bar, just as any
                                              the library at lunchtime because I knew
                                              people were watching to see what I
                                              would eat or not eat. I put no effort into
                                                                                           she kept up her strict schedule
                                              my appearance. I never wanted to hang
                                                                                           of BAR/BRI training, studying,
 Amy D. Ozier,                                out with my friends. I took multiple
                   PhD, RD                                                                 weightlifting, and cardio exercise,
 Assistant Profes
 Nutrition Dietet
                   sor                        showers per day because I was always
                  ics & Hospitality
Administration                                cold. Whenever I did eat something,
School of Family                              the food felt like poison in my body. My
                   , Consumer &
Nutrition Science                                                                          during this time, she felt like the
                    s                         stomach would feel sick, and my gut
Northern Illinois                                                                          only thing she could do was study
                   University
Dekalb, Il                                    would rumble. Inside, I was screaming
                                              for help, but I denied my problem with
   to myself and others that I mistreated     fervor. I even denied it to myself.
   my body, destroyed my sense of self, and
   tortured my family.                        Even now, when people ask me if I have
                                              ever had an eating disorder, I usually say   For Kelly, controlling calories often
   Although I consider myself basically       no. And to this day, I HATE the feeling
   healed from my own experience, I still     of being full. I avoid big meals and just    her daytime calories to 1,100 so that
   notice mild lingering behaviors that       graze all day. I don’t really know why I     she could eat a big dinner but would
   remind me of my struggle. Whenever I       am compelled to tell you this. I guess       be so hungry by dinnertime that she
   www.jdjournal.com                                                                          February/March 2007          |       51
would eat too much and sometimes                                                   eating disorder? According to Kelly,
purge to compensate for her inability                                              it was stress, the need to control

                                         and Obesity Program at Northern
                                                                                   the desire to control her body at
and how much my hip bones stuck                                                    all times and not only when she is

                                                                                   experience, Kelly remarked,“I wish
                                                                                   that I had been more gentle with
spent studying for the bar, Kelly lost
                                                                                   weight and gotten so thin because
took the bar exam, she injured her
                                         differ from those with bulimia
Before she began working in the
                                         other words, the sufferer might
now employed, Kelly did a whole                                                    that stress and low perception of
                                         quantities of food without purging        social support could forge a strong
                                                                                   link between law school and eating

got fat? It was a scenario she was
                                         article in the Journal of the American
From that point on, Kelly dreamed up     Dietetic Association
                                                                                   began in college when she, like
                                                                                   many college students, gained the
                                         Although Ozier explained that
                                         obesity itself is not an eating
                                         disorder, the epidemic of obesity
                                                                                   which was horrible because I had
                                                                                   always been
                                         thinks that there needs to be more
By the time winter rolled around,        research into the psychological
Kelly had reached her thinnest point     issues behind this and other eating       my family is
but then began to slowly gain weight,    disorders, particularly focusing on
                                         the ways in which people use food to
                                                                                   “So that kind
                                                                                   of left an
                                         In spite of the facts that she has
                                                                                   impression
                                         successfully completed law school,
                                         passed the bar exam, been hired by
the time and kept a detailed record
                                                                                   The
wedding, when her chaotic world                                                    impression
                                                                                   left by her
regained a bit of the weight she had
lost and has since struggled mentally    to get pregnant and struggling with       comment,
with not being as thin as she once                                                 once             Mark J. Heyrman
                                         the idea that she cannot be thin if she                    Faculty Director of Clinical
                                                                                   combined         Programs
admitted,“and think to myself that                                                 with the         University of Chicago Law
                                                                                                    School
                                                                                   growing          Chicago, Illinois
                                                                                   stress of

52     |    February/March 2007                                                                        www.jdjournal.com
college, led Jane into a spiral of       When asked whether she felt that
                                         the college atmosphere had anything       If Exercise Is So
                                         to do with her struggle, the answer
Jane experienced the exact coupling                                                Good for You, How
of stress and a lack of social support   “I mean, I know there are a lot
that Ozier indicated as a major risk                                               Could I Be Doing
                                         I think it had a lot to do with this      Too Much?
                                                                                    Everybody needs some exercise
                                                                                    to stay in shape and maintain a
lose the small amount of weight                                                     healthy weight. However, if you
                                                                                    are using exercise as a means to
                                                                                    purge after an eating binge or
                                                                                    to cancel out the food you have
spree, during which she would often                                                 eaten, there is a possibility that you
                                         In the beginning, she experimented         may have exercise bulimia. Like
Aid between exercising and going to      with purging a few times but found         anorexia, exercise bulimia is an
                                                                                    expression of the need for control.
                                         is one of the complexities of eating       Other warning signals include:
Ozier said that she was not aware
                                         mental disorders, but sufferers like       • Scheduling your life around
correlations between law school          Jane are often expecting results           your exercise regime.
                                                                                    • Canceling appointments or
or the legal profession and the
                                                                                    skipping work/school to fit in your
                                         of whether she was compelled
                                                                                    workout.
based on her knowledge about the         by mental disturbance, stress, or
                                                                                    • Pressing on through sickness or
causes of eating disorders, she said
                                                                                    injury to exercise.
that she absolutely thought the                                                     • Exercising for multiple hours
psychological stress of law school                                                  every day.
could be a contributing factor,          And now that Jane is the thinnest she      • Not taking any time out to rest.
especially if a student already has                                                 Too much exercising can be
                                                                                    dangerous. Exercise bulimics can
                                         looks while admitting that she is “in      suffer from:

                                                                                    • Lingering fatigue.
                                                                                    • Dehydration.
Ozier continued to explain that                                                     • Arthritis.
                                                                                    • Heart conditions.
                                                                                    • Exercise-related injuries, such as
                                                                                    stress fractures, strains, and sprains.
Food becomes something they              concerned, and I guess that would be       • Low body fat.
                                                    not care what I look like,”     • Amenorrhea (missing a
said that certain factors predispose                                                menstrual cycle for three months or
certain people to eating disorders,      next breath, she spoke of the physical     more).
                                                                                    • Osteoporosis.
weight/shape concerns, sexual abuse,                                                • Reproductive difficulties.
                                                                                  said that she might as well be
                                                                                  anorexic because people expect her

collide with the extreme stress of law                                            that the intellectual and academic
                                         As a former runway model, Jane
www.jdjournal.com                                                                    February/March 2007           |     53
not seem to realize she is a part                                                   As legal professionals suffering from
                                                                                    eating disorders, Kelly and Jane may
                                          concealing her problem, eating only
said, she feels singled out for the way   enough, she said,“so that no one          experienced psychiatrist and Chief

                                          At 130 pounds, she fears that, were
                                          she to try to gain a little weight, she
                                                                                    with regard to eating disorders
The Socratic method of teaching law,
                                          that she will not let her weight dip
a method that encourages ruthless                                                   whose area of expertise is eating
                                          below 130, fearing the suspicion of
competition between students, is, in                                                disorders, has started and managed
                                          her peers but not necessarily the
                                                                                    eating disorder treatment programs
among the other students at her

of many of her classmates at her law      admitted, and she strongly agreed
                                          with the suggestion that while she        counseling with students suffering
                                          claims to want to get better, she truly
of high stress has caused countless       fears healing because she thinks that     are known as “eating concerns
numbers of them to turn to drugs,
alcohol, and eating disorders or
                                          without concern for the way they
                                                                                    According to Kadison, there are
                                                                                    almost always at least two law
known as suicide week, so named
for an incident that occurred just                                                  high percentage when one considers
a few years ago, in which a student

                                                                                    law students seemed particularly
becoming more aware of the
                                                                                    disorders, due most likely to a
counseling and is sending out mass
emails to students, begging them to                                                 in law education and personality
                                                                                    traits that, while they produce
                                                                                    good lawyers, probably increase
But is this support extended to
those for whom eating disorders
are the manifestations of anxiety?                                                  Kadison noted that distorted eating

clear support structure to assist law      Richard Kadison M.D.                     undergraduates but that “the kind
                                           Harvard University Health
school students with eating disorders,                                              of people who go to law school are
                                           Services
it is a wonder that more law students      Cambridge, Mass.
are not reporting these types of

                                          look and that her concern for the
report on her own law school, this
                                                                                    better at caring for others than at
                                          law school and her impending legal
Jane has always had a reluctant           career approaching, this fear seems
awareness of her problem, but that                                                  Just as the struggles of Kelly and

54     |    February/March 2007                                                                          www.jdjournal.com
                                                                     disturbed eating
 Anorexia Nervosa Affects Both                                       patterns and
                                                                                           program that helps those with eating
 Men and Women.                                                      Kadison said that
                                                                                           professor of law and Faculty Director
                                                                     people who go to
 Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric diagnosis used to describe        law school often
 an eating disorder characterized by low body weight and             suppress their        of Chicago Law School, has been
 a distortion of body image. Anorexics attempt to control            personal needs
 their body weight through voluntary starvation, purging,            to focus on the
 vomiting, excessive exercise, diet pills, or diuretics.             intense demands
                                                                                           Describing the work that he and his
 Some of the psychological and emotional manifestations of
 anorexia are:                                                       explained that
                                                                     people with eating    that the school has actually had a
 •   Distorted body image.                                           disorders similarly
 •   Self-evaluation based upon weight and external                                        on behalf of persons with mental
     appearance.                                                     focusing on their
 •   Perfectionism.                                                  own needs and
 •   Low self-esteem and self-efficacy.                                focus more on         disorders are widely considered
     An anorexic’s interpersonal and social skills are affected by:   anticipating the      to be mental illnesses, and part of
                                                                     needs of those
 •   Poor or deteriorating performance at school/work.               around them           a state statute “which prohibits
 •   Withdrawal from existing peer relationships.                    and trying to
 •   Deterioration of family relationships.                          accommodate
                                                                                           policies, against persons with mental
 Physical manifestations of anorexia include:                        This correlates
                                                                     precisely with
 •   Extreme weight loss.                                                                  included eating disorders in the list
 •   Starvation symptoms, including reduced metabolism,              Jane spoke of to
     bradycardia (slow heart rate), hypotension,                     “do more, be          generally referred to as “Mental
     hypothermia, anemia.
 •   Lanugo hair growth on body.
 •   Impaired immune system function.                                he admitted that
 •   Pallid complexion and sunken eyes.                              he was unaware
 •   Fluid collection in ankles during the day and around            of any direct         lawyers, mental health professionals,
     eyes at night.                                                  research into the     and others to clarify existing laws
 •   Constipation.                                                                         about substituted judgment and
 •   Very dry or chapped lips.                                       eating disorders
 •   Decreased circulation.                                          among law
                                                                     students, Kadison
Jane were connected with times                                       agreed that based     decide whether to order treatment
of stress in their educations and                                                          for someone if that person, because

                                               who suffer from anorexia, bulimia,
disorders may be connected to the
                                                                                           This statute has been used
                                               Despite substantial testimony
                                               indicating that law students and            administration of psychotropic

rigor, high expectations, and the high
                                               not all effects of studying law are         laws allow courts to rule on other
been cited as factors contributing to                                                      kinds of treatment for people who

www.jdjournal.com                                                                             February/March 2007         |      55
lack decisional capacity because of a                                                 is used as a coping mechanism for

mental retardation, or other factors     to the statute that includes forcible
                                         feeding as one of the treatments             There are underlying issues that
                                         regarding which courts can make
                                         decisions for people without

at hand is whether a hospital or         is under consideration for 2007,             disorder sufferers, food is simply one
doctor can “forcibly feed someone

doctors are reluctant to do that         Ozier said that if she had one thing
                                                                                      of an eating disorder, the attempt to
                                         to tell people, it would be that
                                                                                      control food intake often leads to a
                                         eating disorders are not about
reluctant to rule on this subject, and
                                         and managing eating disorders,               sufferer can no longer truly control
                                         including BED, she said, it is critical to   his or her own relationship with
                                         address all aspects of eating, including
                                         nutritional, psychological, physical, and




56     |    February/March 2007                                                                           www.jdjournal.com
                                                                                                  By Heather Newton

                                                               working hours;         Methamphetamine, in particular,
                                                               extreme jobs           is fast becoming one of the most
                                                               involve working        abused drugs in this country. It is
                                                               at least 60            being used and abused in a range
                                                               hours per week         of chemical states by teens, college
                                                               in addition to         and graduate students, middle-aged
                                                                managing at           housewives, truck drivers, and even
                                                                least five more        highly paid attorneys. Crystal d-
                                                                performance           methamphetamine hydrochloride
                                                                pressures, such       (commonly known as “crystal meth,”
                                                                 as required          “crystal,” or “meth”) is the crystalline
                                                                 physical             form of methamphetamine, a highly
                                                                 presence in          addictive stimulant drug often used
                                                                 the office at          recreationally as a party drug.
                                                                 least 10 hours
                                                                  per day, tight      Crystal meth induces a state of hyper-
                                                                  deadlines           alertness similar to that induced
                                                                  demanding           by drinking a cup of coffee yet
                                                                  fast-paced          compounded many times over. As
                                                                  activity,           work pressures rise and attorneys
                                                                   unpredictable      are forced to work harder for longer
                                                                   flow of work,       periods of time, statistics are showing
                                                                   high level of      a corollary rise in illicit drug use.
                                                                   responsibility,    According to data released by Quest
                                                                   and round-         Diagnostics, a national drug-testing
                                                                   the-clock          company, crystal meth use in the
                                                                    availability to   workforce is becoming more common,
                                                                    clients.          and the drug is poised to surpass
                                                                                      cocaine as the illegal stimulant of


A
        mericans have a penchant for     While these factors make some jobs           choice.
        all things bigger, better, and   “extreme,” they are all in a day’s
        faster. To fuel our lusts for    work for the average attorney. Some          One bright, talented, and troubled
extreme sports, extreme makeovers,       attorneys throttling through their days      attorney learned the hard way that
and extreme homes, thousands of us       and nights at breakneck speed love           working in a law firm can require a
make extreme commutes of 90 miles        the ego boost and adrenaline rush of         price that can be neither fueled nor
or more one-way to arrive at extreme     this go-go-go mentality. Others are          suppressed by any amount of drugs.
jobs. In the article “Extreme Jobs:      burning through their emotional,             Rich Merritt was a Captain in the
The Dangerous Allure of the 70-Hour      physical, and spiritual reserves to meet     United States Marine Corps who was
Workweek” published in the December      superhuman demands. Still others             living a double life. Merritt was gay,
issue of the Harvard Business Review,    have reached beyond the black and into       and while he had not openly disclosed
authors Sylvia Ann Hewlett and           the red, leaning on drugs, alcohol, and      his homosexuality, he appeared in
Carolyn Buck Luce write that extreme     other addictions to fuel the workplace       eight adult films for gay men that were
jobs demand more than just brutal        frenzy.                                      produced while he was on active duty.
www.jdjournal.com                                                                        February/March 2007           |     57
                                            While Merritt was able to hide his          working at a major law firm with
                                            drug use during law school, things          renewed vigor. “I did great there,”
                                            began to spin out of control after          Merritt said. “I liked my job, I liked
                                            he began working full time. “After          my coworkers, I liked my clients,
                                            only practicing for four months, I          I liked my secretary. I had a great
                                            began to realize I hated what I was         experience.”
                                            doing,” Merritt said. “The hours, the
                                            pressure—I knew I wasn’t going to           However, Merritt had written a
                                            make it.”                                   memoir about his experiences as a
                                                                                        gay military officer, his drug use, and
                                            In a tailspin, Merritt attempted suicide,   his brief involvement in porn, and
                                            and in the wake of that attempt, he         when the book was being finalized
                                            sought treatment in a hospital. Merritt     for publication, Merritt gave a copy
                                            said that the loneliness of working long    of the prepublication galleys to his
                                            hours in a quiet office left him feeling      supervising partner. Merritt had
                                            like he had no support and nowhere          decided to personally let the partners
                                            to turn for help. “In the military, I       at Powell Goldstein know about the
                                            worked with sometimes 100 other guys        book, rather than leaving them to find
Just weeks before he was honorably          as a team, and we had to work together      out through the press. Merritt said he
discharged in 1998, The New York            to accomplish tasks,” Merritt said. “As
                                                                                        gave them the galley sheets on a Friday,
Times Magazine published a cover story      an associate, I would walk into my
                                                                                        knowing that the book would not be
profiling Merritt, entitled “The Shadow      office in the morning, and I would be
                                                                                        released for another three months. He
Life of a Gay Marine.” Merritt’s            totally alone—sometimes I wouldn’t
                                                                                        figured this would give the partners
picture appeared on the cover, although     even talk to anyone for almost the
                                                                                        plenty of time to read the book, discuss
his face was hidden under his salute.       whole day.”
                                                                                        the options for dealing with any media
                                                                                        attention that might ensue, and then
With his double life threatened but still   Merritt said that he realized he was
                                                                                        reach a consensus about how to handle
intact, Merritt entered the University      never going to get better and thrive
                                            in the big firm environment. He              the situation. However, Merritt said,
of Southern California School of Law                                                    the following Tuesday he was fired.
hoping for a fresh start and success as     quit the firm and went to work for a
a prominent attorney. However, while        friend who had a small legal practice.
                                            In the smaller, friendlier, more casual     Merritt said he was both shocked and
Merritt was in law school, two articles
                                            environment, Merritt began to heal          disappointed by his termination. “I
that blew his cover appeared in The
                                            from the wounds of his past. He quit        felt it was a ‘damned if you do, damned
Advocate, a news magazine profiling the
                                            drinking alcohol and using drugs, and       if you don’t’ situation,” he said. “I told
gay community. One article exposed
                                            his depression gradually lifted. He         them about the book, and I was fired,
Merritt’s identity as a former gay
                                            worked there for a year, and then his       but if I didn’t tell them, it might have
Marine officer, and the other revealed
                                            friend had to let him go for financial       been worse. I think they panicked and
his appearances in gay porn.
                                            reasons. At the same time, Merritt          overreacted when they should have just
Merritt said the exposure was               learned that his father was battling        let the situation unfold.”
devastating. He sank into a deep,           Lou Gehrig’s disease, so he moved to
clinical depression and began using         Atlanta, GA, to care for him.               While Merritt, on one level,
drugs, including ecstasy, cocaine, and                                                  understands why Powell Goldstein
crystal meth, to cope. As the pressures     In Atlanta, Merritt accepted a              fired him, he continues to feel that
of law school mounted, so did his           permanent staff attorney position            the firm made a bad decision. “What
drug use. Yet in spite of his growing       at Powell Goldstein. Although his           is ironic is that I was using drugs
drug habit, Merritt managed to land         previous experience working at a            while at a firm and sought treatment
a position as a summer associate at a       major law firm had been difficult,             for suicide but didn’t have a problem
major law firm, perform well enough          Merritt said, the momentum he had           with the firm,” Merritt said. “But the
there to receive an offer of full-time       gained over the last year coupled with      book, which represented a cathartic
employment, graduate from law               the more relaxed culture at Powell          and healing process for me, caused a
school, and pass the bar exam.              Goldstein allowed him to approach           problem with my firm.”

www.jdjournal.com                                                                          February/March 2007          |     59
Merritt said he felt somewhat                “I started as an occasional user, buying,   dangerous.
disillusioned by the dismissal of his        taking drugs, staying up late, or
efforts to recover from his past while        sometimes staying up for days and then      “With lithium batteries, I had to
maintaining a career at a major law          crashing,” said Noe. “But the longer        peel apart the batteries to pull off the
firm. However, he has moved on and            I used, the more I needed to get that       silver strip and get to the lithium,”
is now in New York doing contract            ultimate rush and ultimate high.”           said Noe. “Sometimes the batteries
work for a major law firm while                                                           would break apart in my hands and
developing a career as a writer. He has      Over time, Noe said, she began looking      fizzle, and the lithium would burn my
an agent, is working on his next book,       for ways to get drugs for less money        hands. Looking back, that was such a
and is healthy, having left his drug use     and on a more consistent basis. She         hazard, but at the time, I didn’t think
in the past.                                 had dated guys who distributed drugs        about what I was doing. My mind
                                             and cooked meth, and from them she          was clouded, so I didn’t have the best
Merritt is not the only young person         learned to make her own drugs. “At          judgment. I was in my first year of
to have turned to drugs as a means of        the time, the more I used,                  law school, and money was tight, so it
coping with the stressors of law school                                                  was just a way of making quick money,
and the difficulties of life as a young                                                    and I knew that if I didn’t cook it, I
associate. In 1999, when Merritt                                                         couldn’t afford it, so that took my fears
was just entering law school in                                                          away of handling hazardous substances,
California, a troubled young woman                                                       and I knew the guys I got the recipe
named Catherine Noe was also                                                             from knew how to make it. Looking
entering law school miles away at the                                                    back now, I just thank God because I
Salmon P. Chase College of Law at                                                        could have killed myself.”
Northern Kentucky University.
                                                                                          After Noe quit making anhydrous
Facing the pressures of law school                                                        ammonia meth, she began buying
and the negative pull of drug-abusing                                                      large amounts of Sudafed and other
friends, instead of moving forward into                                                    over-the-counter medications to
the bright future as a tough-minded                                                         obtain pseudoephedrine, one of the
prosecutor she had always dreamed                                                           main ingredients in crystal meth.
of, Noe spiraled downward into the                                                           Pills containing pseudoephedrine
dark world of crystal meth addiction.                                                        are crushed, boiled in denatured
She had dabbled in drug use as a high                                                        alcohol and water, and then dried
school senior and had pled guilty to                                                          to separate the pseudoephedrine
misdemeanor charges for possession                                       the more        from the other ingredients. Noe said
of marijuana and a pipe and served 60        I needed,” said Noe. “I couldn’t get        that she would routinely buy pills
days of jail time. In college, Noe said,     enough, and meth was expensive, and I       in Northern Kentucky, where she
between working two jobs, managing           wanted the cheapest way to get it in the    attended law school, and bring them to
schoolwork, and trying to stay awake         quantity I needed.”                         her home in Southwestern Kentucky
to study, she began experimenting with                                                   on weekends to cook them down into
meth and found she liked it.                 Noe’s boyfriend gave her the recipe for     meth. “I thought it was neat, from a
                                             meth, and she was a quick study. The        chemistry perspective, that we could
“I first used meth in a 20-ounce bottle       recipe called for the use of anhydrous      mix these chemicals to make something
cap mixed with Diet Coke, so it was a        ammonia, a toxic and dangerous              that felt so good,” Noe said.
liquid shot,” said Noe. “I felt euphoria,    fertilizer used to supply crops with
love at first use. It was not an instant      the essential nutrient nitrogen, and        While Noe was still able to obtain
addiction, but I loved the feel of it, and   lithium from batteries. Noe began           large quantities of pseudoephedrine,
I had wanted to lose weight. It took         cooking her own anhydrous ammonia           legislation was being implemented at
away my appetite, and I lost weight,         meth, which is different from crystal        both the state and federal levels that
which I wanted to do.”                       meth, but eventually abandoned              would limit the amounts of certain
                                             the recipe because obtaining the            medications that consumers could
By the time she entered law school,          anhydrous ammonia was too difficult           purchase in an effort to curb the
Noe was using meth almost every day.         and handling the lithium was too            proliferation of neighborhood meth

60     |    February/March 2007                                                                               www.jdjournal.com
labs. The current federal standard, as      any friends from school, and I never        to jail. Facing far stiffer terms as a
of January 2006, restricts the amounts      went out after class with anyone. I just    repeat offender, Noe was scared, and
of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine            wanted to go home and use or be with        in a moment of lucidity, she decided
an individual may purchase in a             other drug users.”                          to turn her life around. This time, she
designated time period, and it requires                                                 headed to rehab. She checked herself
that such products be stored in such a      Although Noe graduated with her class       into Volta, a 28-day state residential
way as to prevent theft.                    in May 2002, her legal career hit a         program in Hopkinsville, KY, and
                                            roadblock. Two weeks before Noe was         began the long, slow journey back to
Although these legislative measures         scheduled to take the Kentucky bar          sobriety.
did little to slow down Noe’s habit,        exam, she was informed that the bar
something else did. Noe’s boyfriend         examiners had discovered that she had       “I thought I did drugs to feel good,”
was arrested on drug charges, and she       not been honest on her bar application      Noe said. “But in reality, it was to
stopped using meth for a while after        about her past drug charges, and she        escape my past and my feelings.” After
he was sent to jail. “I was scared,” said   was told she had to wait until the next     her stint in rehab, Noe clung to her
Noe. “I didn’t want that to be me, so I     year to reapply to sit for the exam.        new drug-free life. She religiously
laid off meth for a while.”                                                              attended Narcotics Anonymous
                                            Frustrated and bitterly disappointed,       meetings, going twice a day for the first
In spite of her drug use, Noe continued     Noe said she disappeared for days on        90 days. She also got a sponsor and
attending law school. While her grades      a drug binge. However, things got           cut off communication with her former
bottomed out, she was not failing her       worse before they got better. Following     friends who remained drug users.
courses. Although she turned away           up on a tip from an informant, police
from meth after her boyfriend’s arrest,     searched Noe’s home a few weeks later       Although Noe faced an uphill battle
she didn’t stay away from drugs for         and found drugs. Noe was arrested           when it came time to find a job with
long. Within weeks, she began using         on drug charges, and she wound up           her record, she was eventually hired
cocaine, which she said was easier to       going in and out of jail for charges and    as a law clerk at Kentucky Legal Aid
find in the Cincinnati suburbs where         probation violations, serving a total of    in Paducah. Now clean and sober,
her law school’s campus was located.        six months in jail.                         she regularly speaks at various venues,
                                                                                        telling her story. She has been asked to
In spite of her persistent drug use, Noe    When she was finally released in             speak at a function hosted by WHAM,
said, no other law student, professor,      February 2005, Noe headed back              or War in Harrison County Against
or career counselor ever confronted her     home—to the very places that had            Meth, a grassroots antidrug campaign
about her habit. “I hid it well,” said      gotten her in jail in the first place. The   launched in Harrison County, IN.
Noe. “The first year of school, I was        temptations were more than she could        She also volunteers with KYLAP, the
high on meth, but the second and third      bear, and Noe once again began using        Kentucky Lawyers Assistance Program,
year, I was never high in class because I   meth.                                       to help other law students and lawyers
couldn’t get ahold of meth anymore. I                                                   struggling with similar addictions.
would roll a joint in my car or do coke     But this time, with more at stake, Noe
after class. I thought I was doing well     realized that she could easily head back    Noe said she is sympathetic when
because my senses were                                                                              she hears stories of other
heightened, but being high                                                                          young attorneys or law
and staying up for long                                                                             students who have lost
periods of time, it affected                                                                         their ways in hazes of drug
short-term memory.”                                                                                 addiction. She readily
                                                                                                    acknowledges that the
“I missed lots of classes my                                                                        pressures of law school
second and third year of                                                                            and building a successful
school,” Noe continued. “I                                                                          career as an attorney can
was a loner. I wanted to                                                                            be destabilizing. Crystal
isolate myself, and I only                                                                          meth, she said, can be
associated with people                                                                              particularly tempting for
outside of school who                                                                               overworked attorneys
                                 Lawyersand Meth.CATHERINENOE                                     because it enables users to
were users. I didn’t make
www.jdjournal.com                                                                          February/March 2007         |     61
                                                                                  By Charisse Dengler



                               H                         Project
                                        Runway and America’s Next
                                        Top Model got you itching to
                               jump up off your thrift store couch
                                 and strut your stuff? Do you
                                                                       Brewton left her job in fashion public
                                                                       relations in search of something

                                                                       was looking for a job in which she
                                                                       would be surrounded by intellectual
                                    often feel like your own little    people who were working toward
                                                                       something that would make a
                                      Clinton Kelly walking around
                                                                       characteristics in mind, she came
                                             to wear? Why not take
                                              a hint from Baylor

                                                  Brewton and stage    “The world of fashion, lifestyle,

                                                      law school       shallow, and some of the people
                                                      fashion show?    you tend to encounter are not the
                                                                       type of people I wanted to spend
                                                        Brewton, a
                                                       2L at Baylor    “While it was so much fun, it might
                                                     Law School,
                                                     worked in         there is not much of a challenge
                                                     fashion public
                                                      relations        interesting challenge and is more
                                                      before
                                                       entering law
                                                        school, and
                                                         these days,   school fashion show was in the
                                                          she jumps    making when she read about it in law
                                                           at any                                  Osler’s
                                                           chance      Razor. Upon reading the news, she
                                                           she
                                                            gets to    combine fashion and the law, a law
                                                            combine    school fashion show sounded like the
                                                            her
                                   fashion

                                   she graduates in 2008, she hopes
                                                                       fashion show was staged by two
                                      litigation or entertainment      female law student models (one of
                                                                       which was Brewton herself) and two


64   |   February/March 2007                                                                www.jdjournal.com
                                                                                                                 Fashion
judged by a panel of three female law
professors, three male law professors,                                            black or brown mock croc), and feel
                                                                                  free to adorn yourself with jewelry as
dean, and a practicing attorney from
                                                                                  earrings or diamond studs will do the


                                                                                  Males: For men in the courtroom,
                                                                                   Brewton suggests dark suits, white

                                                                                   in mind that while light blue shirts
In addition, slides with examples                                                  are acceptable, white shirts are
of inappropriate attire were
shown, and the panel commented



                                                                                   Brewton steers women toward
donated by Ann Taylor Loft and                                                     understated jewelry, clothing in
                                                                                   muted colors, and the one word
some of her own clothes, which
she said she felt were comparable
to or better than the Ann Taylor
                                                                                   be plenty of time for prancing
                                                                                   around in your absolutely fabulous
The show was broken up                                                             minis and sequined tanks after the

courtroom, client meeting, daily

dinner with a partner/client, and                                                  little cashmere can go a long way
                                                                                   toward upping your style factor,

the group of law students, faculty,      captures the highlights of the fashion
and family members grew silent in                                                 the models wore turtlenecks in
                                                                                  chocolate browns and charcoal grays,

                                                                                  shirts in rich hues, sassy pencil skirts,
foot in front of the other, she paced
and turned, stopped and stared,

                                         Courtroom

“Professor Mark Osler opened with        Females: For women in the
                                         courtroom, Brewton suggests a dark
                                                                                  Males: When it comes to men and
intro speech on fashion in the legal
community and the purpose behind                                                  fan of the classic combination of a
the show and in general what your
                                         also points out that a skirt should      shoes, and a belt that coordinates

                                                                                  picking out shirts and ties, Brewton
come into play for a young lawyer        both trendy and comfy in a pair of                      CONTINUED ON PAGE 87

www.jdjournal.com                                                                    February/March 2007          |     65
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                                                                                                      By Mary Waldron




                                                               After speaking      courtroom? Today, increasing numbers
                                                               with a few          of women in law are attempting to
                                                               attorneys,          juggle different judges’ preferences for
                                                                law students,      dress when they enter the courtroom,
                                                           and judges, it has      wondering, “Should I wear a skirt,
                                                                                   or will the jury be staring at my legs
                                         become apparent that there are some
                                                                                   during my opening remarks? If I wear
                                         misunderstandings and discrepancies


W
              ith no official dress-code                                             pants, will the judge find me to be
              standard established for   throughout the United States regarding    underdressed?”
              U.S. federal and state     fashion in the courtroom.
courts, many judges are taking it upon                                             In 1999, Limp Bizkit’s “Nookie”
                                         Fashion Objection!                        was the most popular rock song of
themselves to create and enforce their
                                                                                   the year, MySpace.com was officially
own sets of rules based on what they                                               launched on the Internet, President Bill
                                         When it comes to women’s fashion,
deem acceptable in their domains,        there is a myriad of stylish yet classy   Clinton was acquitted by the United
whether it is sensible or flat-out        courtroom-attire options--pantsuits,      States Senate in his impeachment
discriminatory. Where should the line    blouses and skirts, dresses; the          trial for--well, everyone knows what
be drawn? Who should make the call                                                 that was all about--and two women
                                         combinations are endless. So why
                                                                                   lawyers in a Seattle, WA, courtroom
regarding acceptable and unacceptable    are women still getting admonished
                                                                                   were admonished for wearing pantsuits
dress in the courtroom?                  for how they are dressed in the           rather than skirts.
www.jdjournal.com                                                                     February/March 2007         |    67
                                                                                                                     Fashion
                                                                for Burrage.          courtroom,” said Ulrey, who attended
                                                                After Arends and      law school and worked as a lawyer in
                                                                Ulrey explained       Boston.
                                                                their side of the
                                                                issue, Burrage        There are still many courts and district
                                                                agreed to allow       attorney’s offices on the East Coast that
                                                                them to appear        are actively enforcing dress codes that
                                                                for the remainder     prohibit women from wearing pants.
                                                                of the trial in       One of these locations is in Orange
                                                                pantsuits--but        County in New York. “Skirts and
                                                                only this one         dresses--no pants at all,” confirmed the
                                                                time. They would      receptionist at the district attorney’s
                                                                be expected to        office.
                                                                appear in skirts
                                                                or dresses in the     About 2,500 miles away in Missoula,
                                                                future.               MT, Jenny Cochrane, a 3L from the
                                                                                      University of Montana experienced
                                                                Later on, though,     a similar incident, although she was
Wait…huh? That’s right. Page Ulrey,
                                          Burrage sought advice from 49 other         reprimanded for not wearing pants.
a deputy prosecutor, and Cindy
                                          superior court judges in her county, all    While working on her clerkship at
Arends, a public defender, had just       of whom disagreed with her outdated         a federal courthouse, Cochrane was
finished a day in the courtroom at the     courtroom fashion philosophy.               approached by her general counsel,
King County Superior Court with           Burrage later withdrew her comments.        who commented that her dress was
Judge Jeanette Burrage presiding.                                                     “not professional enough.” Her skirt
Both women were wearing very “put         “I think lawyers should be allowed to       fell an inch or two above her knees,
together” pantsuits and dress shoes       be individuals and to have a certain        and this was in the heat of summer.
when Burrage pulled them aside after      unique style that’s their own. I think
the morning court session.                you also do need to show proper             “After that point, I wore things that
                                          respect for the court, but I think to       didn’t show my skin. I didn’t change
As Ulrey recalls the incident, Burrage    say that for women, wearing pantsuits       the level of professional attire I wore
said something to the effect of “In my     means not showing proper respect for        at all, but he still told me a couple of
courtroom, I require that men wear        the court is a very antiquated idea and     times how very professional I was, so
suits and ties and women wear skirts      is really not fair to women,” said Ulrey.   I realized that the only thing he really
or dresses, and I’m going to require      “I feel more confident and more like         wanted was that I didn’t show my skin.
that both of you, in the future, in my    I’m there to be heard versus to be seen     I just wore pants from then on,” she
courtroom, wear skirts or dresses.” She   and taken a little bit more seriously       said.
continued, saying that she wanted to      wearing a pantsuit, personally. I think
see something more “formal” in the        that if I were in a jurisdiction where      The Devil Really Does Wear Prada
courtroom. When Arends heard this         pantsuits weren’t allowed, it would be
demand, she told Burrage that she         a real difficulty for me. I would feel        According to an anonymous lawyer
was no longer inclined to appear in       pressured to be someone I’m not and         from Nassau County, NY, Nassau
her court again. Ulrey actually would     to dress in a way that’s not terribly       County District Court Judge Lea
not have been able to comply with the     comfortable for me.”                        Ruskin makes her rulings based on
demand simply because she did not                                                     how well she likes what the defendant
own a skirt-suit combination. If she      Although this sort of reaction to           is wearing. Defendants who appear in
needed to wear one the following day,     something as “risqué” as a pantsuit         court dressed in business wear allegedly
she would have to rush to the nearest     is quite rare on the West Coast these       tend to be given lighter sentences and
mall after work instead of focusing on    days, it is actually quite common on        fines than those who show up in jeans
strengthening her case for court.         the East Coast. “It’s pretty common on      and t-shirts.
                                          the East Coast, and other places near
Apparently Ulrey’s black, tailored Ann    the East Coast, for judges to require       Once, this anonymous attorney’s
Taylor pantsuit was not formal enough     skirts or dresses to be worn in the         colleague arranged an experiment to

68     |   February/March 2007                                                                             www.jdjournal.com
                                                                                                                           Fashion
test this theory, which many of the             dress worse show less respect for the       Nassau County, in which capacity she
county’s lawyers also entertained.              judicial system, deserving a higher bail    managed all areas of prosecution, from
When his female client showed up in             amount.”                                    arraignments to trials. One would
Ruskin’s court wearing a high-fashion                                                       think she’d have some sympathy for
designer outfit and Prada shoes,                 “She’s out of her mind, but she             those on the other side of the bench.
carrying a Prada purse, she pleaded             makes it easy to practice defense law
guilty to an A misdemeanor, for which           in Nassau County,” the anonymous            Perhaps Ruskin was an Italian fashion
Nassau County judges usually sentence           attorney said.                              designer in a past life, or maybe she
probation. The well-dressed defendant                                                       aspired to be a fashion editor but just
walked away with a conditional                  David Corson, an attorney for the           never made it. Either way, her passion
discharge.                                      Nassau County District Attorney’s           for fashion seems to have bled onto her
                                                Office who has appeared before Ruskin         judicial career, potentially making a
“Everybody knows her policy. Nobody             many times, can also bear witness to        mockery of the system.
really talks about or says anything--we         Ruskin’s antics. “Yes, I’ve noticed
all just kind of get a kick out of it,”         that, and I’ve heard of it through          Sandals and T-Shirts and Skirts, Oh
                                                the grapevine,” he said. Like the           My!
the Nassau County attorney said. “I
                                                anonymous attorney, Corson did not
first noticed it when I was an assistant
                                                seem to be bothered by the issue. “She      So what’s all the fuss about? Why not
district attorney, and I thought it was a
                                                can be pretty strict, but she is one of     have judges and lawyers wear sandals
little strange, to say the least, but as I’ve
                                                the better judges on the stand,” he         and skirts in the courtroom? And
continued to practice, to be perfectly
                                                explained.                                  while we’re at it, why not have the
honest, I’ve found opportunities to
                                                                                            judge go without a robe on Fridays? In
take advantage of it. I make sure that
                                                Ruskin began her career in the late         contrast with all of the fashion “laws”
when my clients appear before her,
                                                1960s after graduating from Arcadia         in American courtrooms, the dress
they look good--they dress in their best
                                                University with a bachelor’s degree         code in American Samoa seems to be
finery.”
                                                                                                  the most laid-back and hassle-
                                                                                                  free. Mark Hales, the Assistant
Supposedly, Ruskin’s taste in                                                                     Attorney General of American
clothing does not waiver; if                                                                      Samoa, said that a visit to the
defendants are dressed nicely, she                                                                courtroom is like a day at the
rarely deprives them of minor                                                                     beach, as Hawaiian t-shirts,
sentences. The attorney went on                                                                   lavalavas (rectangular cloths worn
to say, “I’ve seen her take multiple                                                              like kilts or skirts), and sandals
DWI [Driving While Intoxicated]                                                                   are staples of every lawyer and
offenders, particularly females who                                                                judge’s wardrobe.
are extremely well-dressed--I’ve
actually seen her make comments                                                                  American Samoa’s high court
from the bench complimenting                                                                     rules are as follows: “All attorneys
them, on the record, no less, that                                                               and court personnel whose
the court reporter’s taken down-                                                                 duties are in the courtroom
-and she ends up giving these                                                                    shall be neatly groomed. Except
people extremely light sentences                                                                 as hereinafter provided, legal
as compared with the other judges                                                                counsel must wear a shirt, tie,
in the courthouse, and this is a                                                                 and long pants or, in lieu thereof,
consistent, consistent practice of                                                               a shirt, tie, and lavalava. On
hers.”                                                                                           Fridays (Samoan Day), male
                                                                                                 counsel may wear an ula (beads)
It has even been said that Ruskin                                                                in lieu of a tie. Female counsel
uses this method when assigning                 and Hofstra University School of Law        must wear dresses, pantsuits, or skirts
arraignments, setting bail based on             with a Juris Doctor. Before she slipped     and blouses.”
the subject’s attire. She allegedly             on her judge’s robe in 1996, Ruskin
justifies this by saying that “those who         served as Assistant District Attorney for   “No one wears a suit. The only time

70      |    February/March 2007                                                                                 www.jdjournal.com
                                                                                                                   Fashion
you see a suit down here, you know        composed females become
that they are an off-island lawyer,”       utterly frumpy. Gone are
Hales said. Maybe mainland-American       the nice, feminine styles
courtroom fashion should take a few       of clothing, and they have
hints from American Samoa’s tropical,     been replaced with baggy,
relaxed trends.                           unflattering suits. This
                                          change seems shocking to me
“Talkin’ ’bout My Generation…”            and has led to my realization
                                          that older generations view
Concern about dress in the American       appropriate, professional
courtroom has even manifested itself to   dress very differently than
law students and young professionals      my generation does.”
who are just starting to merge into
the legal field. It seems that many of     Dabbas hopes that the
them have their own ideas about which     rest of his generation
fashions should be permitted in the       can get it together
courtroom and which ones should be        and not be influenced
overruled.                                and brainwashed into
                                          following the outdated
Zak Dabbas, a student at Case Western     and unbecoming fashions
Reserve University School of Law in       of the older generation.
Cleveland, OH, has observed that          “Nobody will take you
the fashion trends and styles in the      seriously in the business
courtroom seem to be several              world if you look
                                          ridiculous--maybe with
                                          the exception of Donald
                                          Trump,” said Dabbas.
                                                                                     dressing
                                          Danielle Bilotto, a new lawyer who has     appropriately while
                                          been practicing in the Chicago area        maintaining a sense of style. Current
                                          since last May, also considers herself     fashion trends do conflict somewhat,
                                          a sharp dresser in the law community       but I think if you are savvy about it,
                                          and is a bit annoyed with the irksome      you can make a fashion statement
                                          fashion trends that have been shoved       in the courtroom along with your
                                          down the throats of many lawyers.          opening statement in addressing the
                                          According to Bilotto, the clothing         judge!” she said.
                                          colors seen in court are like “a morbid
                                          rainbow--black, navy, gray, brown, and     “I want people to recognize me,”
                                          maybe a dark olive green if someone is     Bilotto continued. “I want to make
                                          ‘pushing the limits.”                      a lasting impression on a judge, jury,
                                                                                     and opposing counsel so that I can
                                          Bilotto said she finds that her sense of    build my reputation. I want to be
                                          style can sometimes be challenged or       remembered as a good attorney so I
                                          compromised by the boring and drab         can continue to expand my client base.
                          years behind    garb that she sees around her in the       As silly as it sounds, things like how
what is actually happening in the grand   courtroom; nevertheless, she is still      you dress and how your business cards
scheme of the fashion world.              able to pull together a professional yet   and marketing material look do make a
                                          trendy and captivating appearance. “I      difference. No one will pay attention
Dabbas has noticed a bit of a trend in    don’t think going all out like Reese       to the face behind some ‘suit’--they
his women classmates’ dress: “When        Witherspoon’s character in the movie       all look the same--but if you dress to
firms visit our school to interview,       Legally Blonde is the route to take;       impress, your face will be noticed and
normally well-dressed and beautifully     however, I see nothing wrong with          your name will be remembered.”

www.jdjournal.com                                                                       February/March 2007         |     71
D
If you are a male in the state of
                                        encourages female jurors to dress

                                                                              something to be said for the idea that



cheerfully informing you that your
                                        While Brassard admitted that he
presence is requested for jury
duty, you may be met with more
                                        retired) colleague, Superior Court
                                        Judge Robert Barton, he said he did   Senior Analyst for the Knowledge
                                        not know of any other judge who

                                                                              According to her, many people

                                                                              set foot in a courtroom before,
Superior Court bench for more than
a decade, asks the male jurors in his                                         their websites explaining dress code
72     |    February/March 2007                                                                   www.jdjournal.com
                                                                                                               Fashion



                                                                                decisions that are “going to affect

sense because courts require public
                                         said that his dress requests are       were allowed to dress sloppily,“what
The idea is to promote respect,          more like suggestions or preferences


                                         he would kick someone out for not


focus on not wearing a particular


                                         some people cannot afford neckties,    said he does not think the dress
                                         which is why his suggestion to wear
                                         one is phrased as a request and he     are any stricter than they are in
                                         only mentions dress once, at the
                                                                                are asked to wear “comfortable
Dress codes are open to

                                         not mandatory, Brassard estimated
                                         that about 95% to 98% of male
                                                                                law, he has not seen a juror dress
                                         to take more seriously and more
                                                                                noted that sometimes jurors do not
For instance, in New York, jurors                                               wear enough clothing in the summer
are asked to “dress in a manner                                                 because it can be extremely hot in

jurors in Massachusetts are asked to

dismissed if their clothing is deemed    had compliments from a number of       my experience, most jurors dress


states, jurors are encouraged to dress
                                                                                he could not recall any instance in

                                                                                or blatantly inappropriate, Lum has
and tie are not required,“business       afford professional business attire
                                         make a concerted effort to dress as

Are most people capable of correctly                                            which I think is a little too informal,

Brassard said that he thinks people                                             courtrooms, and comfort is a major
would dress inappropriately if he
did not suggest wearing professional

the request, he said, some jurors                                               the Director at the Public Defender
came to court wearing sweatpants
                                                                                              CONTINUED ON PAGE 87

www.jdjournal.com                                                                  February/March 2007          |     73
CALIFORNIA
CORPORATE
COUNSEL




FIRST EDITION
ATTORNEY RESEARCH GROUP
                                                                                                           By Mary Waldron




T
         his intriguing tale is part       she’s picked up by the sheriff because       thinks Grady has already found the
         memoir, part novel. Before        she’s carrying marijuana in her purse-      treasure and launches a no-holds-
         chapter one even begins,          -almost two and a half pounds of it--       barred fight to get it back.
Merritt warns us upfront, “This book       which is nothing compared to the four
isn’t journalism. It is filled with made-   and a half tons--yes, tons--packed away     And then there’s Tail Pipe, an
up individuals, composite characters,      in her storage locker…but that bit of       emotionally wounded Vietnam vet who
and descriptions that do not match         information gets revealed a little later.   continually confesses to everything
anything in the real world.” Why,                                                         he has ever done in order to move
then, it is shelved within the true                                                       up to the next rung in his 12-step
crime section at the bookstore is a                                                       program. All that keeps him going
bit of a mystery. But taken with a                                                        is his love for Jolene, the well-read,
large grain of salt, A Fool’s Gold is                                                     know-it-all secretary for Silk &
enjoyable reading.                                                                        Associates who was hired on as part
                                                                                          of a prison work-release program.
The story unfolds along the                                                               As their attorney, Merritt manages
Oregon coast during the 1980s.                                                            to win many cases--sometimes by
Merritt portrays himself as a                                                             dumb luck--but not without almost
young lawyer who takes his first                                                           being indicted himself.
job working as an associate for
Portland attorney Thaddeus Silk.                                                          Legend has it that a magnificent
After Silk dies from a heart attack,                                                      treasure left by shipwrecked vessels
Merritt inherits his firm. What                                                            is buried in the shadow of Oregon’s
appears to be good fortune quickly                                                        Neahkahnie Mountain; A Fool’s
turns sour as Merritt is left with                                                        Gold charmingly recounts the
the unpleasant task of cleaning up                                                        numerous versions of the story.
the mess Silk left behind--both                                                           Along the way, the book also offers
literally and figuratively.                                                                a surprise lesson on the history
                                                                                          of Spanish trade and an easy-to-
It turns out Silk had long been                                                           understand explanation of the trade
under surveillance by both the                                                            winds that adds an unusual element
Oregon bar and the local D.A.’s                                                           to the tale’s backstory.
office. It seems they suspected
him of engaging in a number of                                                            Throughout A Fool’s Gold, Merritt
questionable activities, including                                                        weaves an absorbing fable about
fencing Spanish treasure long rumored                                                  learning the ropes, treasure hunts,
to have been buried along the Oregon       Grady Jackson is an eccentric, bull-        and Oregon history. Conservative
coast.                                     headed treasure hunter who insists that     readers should be warned that the
                                           clues to the location of the missing        book warrants a mild “R” rating for
One of the oddball characters              treasure can be found in ancient            language and some humor relating
inhabiting this adventure is Merritt’s     mythology and in the Bible. Grady           to male anatomy. While there is
very first client, Abby Birdsong, an        needs Merritt to represent him in           no sex or violence, there are rather
aging hippie pothead who dribbles a        his ongoing fight with the state for         poignant conclusions to the lives of this
trail of suspicious seeds wherever she     permission to dig up the beach in           collection of societal rejects. A Fool’s
goes. She calls Merritt for help when      search of said treasure. The D.A.           Gold is an entertaining diversion.
www.jdjournal.com                                                                         February/March 2007         |     75
Nevada
By Tom Horne




In this issue, our editor-in-chief travels to Nevada for a fascinating look at the world of legal brothels…and all the misconceptions that both attorneys and laymen have about them.




W                 as Sin City, where
                  budding attorneys                                                                 JD Journal
                                                                                                                            famous one of all: the Chicken




perfectly legal to gamble, guzzle Jack
and Coke on public sidewalks, and                             courtesans in their lingerie, so I had
smoke inside restaurants, one of                                                                                            general managers, (clandestine)
                                                              fairest and most balanced way I could
                                                                                                                            the working girls, it operates similarly

In spite of the hundreds of yellow
                                                                                                                            This report is not meant as an
and escorts and despite the incessant                         Pahrump lies in Nye County, about                             endorsement of the prostitution
peddlers handing out explicit hooker
                                                                                                                            the more I looked for seedy aspects
                                                                                                                            of this business, the more I found
the way), you cannot legally pay for
                                                              lost time after inching through all the                       bordellos sort of fall into the same
                                                                                                                            social category that cigarettes and
                                                              I found the typical fast food chains,
                                                              gas stations, and
                                                                                             “Tough job? Yeah right! If you believe that
                                                                                             we’ve got some beach front property for you
sounds silly enough to be the butt of                         The unusual things
                                                                                             in North Dakota!”
many jokes, but the city of Pahrump,                          I found were the                                            --JD Journal Staff

76        |      February/March 2007                                                                                                                      www.jdjournal.com
but they are fully legal businesses,     they want is companionship and        The most common misconception
                                                                               about bordellos, she said, is that men

The difference I found is that there                                           explain that the girls are contractors
                                                                               with homes and businesses of their
                                         the courtesans currently working

suing a tobacco company, and we          guy who came in yesterday, and I      them, they come to the Chicken
all know about the serious nature                                              Ranch to work for a few months or

There is a gigantic market for           me in the lounge and led me into
attorneys in tobacco and alcohol
litigation, but this is not so for       own room at the ranch where she

                                         me to take a seat on her bed, and     she said, but the next day, they were
                                                                               out the door, telling her,“I thought


It took a few phone calls to gain


to tour other bordellos, but my




                                                                               If a woman chooses to be a
time shift manager (what we might                                              prostitute, working in a legal brothel
commonly call a madam) and worked                                              is astronomically preferable to


she said, adding that she took the job

                                         her work in the adult industry as a
                                                                               sense of camaraderie that the girls

Now, after being in the industry
                                                                               this family element that keeps the
nothing meek or gullible or shy about                                          contractors/prostitutes coming back


                                         On the day I met with her, she wore
                                         sweatpants and no makeup, and her
faced drunk and expecting a freebie      hair was pulled back in a simple


she explained, the men are just lonely                                         began as an illegal escort and worked
                                                                               for years in the area after running


www.jdjournal.com                                                                 February/March 2007        |       77
                                                                                       turn, and then the madam asks the
fact, while I was there, a gentleman         was also a sense of regret about her,     customer which woman he would
selected her out of a lineup of much
younger women, perhaps because

exuded her sexuality and showed                                                        She took his hand gently and led
off a body that was incredible for a         are literally spelled out on a printed

                                                                                       with Rose right before the customer
                                             has the money and as long as the          came in, so I had to delay our

told me a customer with a toilet             when a man rings the buzzer at            Meanwhile, as I awaited Rose, two
fetish had offered her $100,000 for
                                             (madam) welcomes the man into the
my talk with Rose was much more                                                        once again and formed their lineup,

                                                                                       It turned out that only one of the
                                                                                       men was interested, and his buddy
                                             alerts the girls throughout the ranch     went out to the attached saloon


job that saps the aspirations of young       Back in their bedrooms, the girls get     customer came in, and our talk was
                                             ready and form a line in a hallway just   interrupted when Rose went out to

                                             still waiting patiently while helping
                    not consider
                                                                                       of what happened between Rose
                         in this job,        A curtain parts, and the girls stand
                                             before the customer side by side,         that the girls take the men into
                             As I                                                      their bedrooms and then start the

                                             expect to see in this profession:         begins by asking the man what he


                                                                       lots of

                                                                           They
                                                                                       and I discussed, but the rates at the


                                                                                       an act and a price are agreed upon,

                                                                                           lady walks her customer back to
                                                                                                the front parlor, where the
                                                                                                      madam escorts him




  toilet fetish!”
talked with her, she came across as          introduce
                                        --JD Journal Staff

78     |   February/March 2007                                                                              www.jdjournal.com
                                 hours
per day, 365 days per year, a fact that   out that Cathouse often shows the

women come and go frequently,
she said, and that makes creating a

also responsible for getting the girls    the prostitutes, while ignoring the
their mandatory STD tests and for
ensuring that enough women are

on peak nights of the week like           other hand, a documentary is being
                                          made for the Sundance Channel that
                                          will indeed capture the real world
                                                                                permit to be a legal prostitute) each

                                                                                  All of the girls must be aware of




                                                                                  And what about attorneys as
                                                                                  clients? Well, the girls cannot go

                                                                                  explain that male attorneys are just

                                                                                  known to pop into the bordello




                                                                                  the JD Journal
                       The Original Chicken Ranch Menu
                                                                                by sampling any of the wares at the
In the local community, the brothels      Pahrump is also an interesting case
are accepted, and citizens generally      for any law student because of its
                                                                                someone retorted,“Yeah, but
Chicken Ranch and some other              said that the issue of licensed
brothels are located on an isolated       bordellos would be decided by its
                                                     counties
schools or other places that kids         and would be based
                                          on population
complaints from newer residents
                                          brothels are not

                                          They cannot list their
                                          rates on websites, for

                                          must be 21 years
                        Cathouse is
                                          adhere to a strict


www.jdjournal.com                                                                  February/March 2007        |        79
                                           Kingdom and then China, which           audience, it became clear that she
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15                                                             embodied the end result of the
collapses neatly into its small,

                                                                                   the education that she began so
                                           including Turkey, Nigeria,Angola, and

                                           dealerships that year were located in
it contributes to a comfortable and                                                happy ending, Cardela works

More than 140 meters of welding go                                                 describing the events leading up to
into the production of each handmade       On the south coast of England, there    IJM’s intervention, Cardela paused at
                                           is a manufacturing plant, and this      the part where her aunt’s boyfriend




                                                                                   to her rescue and stood beside her
                                           CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23
suspension, and comfortably insulated                                              that she could stop if she couldn’t
body, the manufacture of each              it’s a very restorative process for
Drophead Coupé is a remarkable
                                                                                   stepped back up to the podium
effort requiring more than 350 hours
                     the hood, pillars,    journey for these girls, but that
and bumpers of this model match
                                                                                   Sean Litton: “I was thinking, ‘What
                                   steel
is optional, as are leather or mohair            *        *       *        *

extra chrome, and more detailed
                                                                                   thought--and more than many of us
                                           other International Justice Mission
                                           staff member as she ascended            challenged the stunned crowd to
                                           to the podium to speak at the           get involved and donate to IJM’s
                                           organization’s annual Washington,
to assist with parking and pulling out
                                           dressed in a crisp business suit and




                                           Cardela took the stage, standing
“marks the next chapter in our                                                     For more information about IJM
                                           tall despite the 1,000 sets of eyes
                                                                                   and ways to contribute, please visit
                                           glanced back at Sean Litton, her
leads us in a more informal direction,

In the coming years, other new             at her, and she began to share her      CONTINUED FROM PAGE 34
models will strengthen the company                          loquacious crowd                                        The


                                                                                   fact that women are entering the
United States, followed by the United      telling her story to a captivated       legal profession en masse heralds the

80     |    February/March 2007                                                                         www.jdjournal.com
coming of a new era, and in this era,                                              Rhode explained,“Some of the most
those who formerly held the most                                                   egregious cases of sex harassment
                                          taking proper courses of action when
to address issues of appropriateness,     things go awry (when women are

                                          it also affects the assignment process
With regard to sexual harassment,
                                                                                   In order to address power issues,
segregation in a particular work
                                                                                   Randolph made sure that she inserted
larger population of women in the         it is often limited and somewhat         herself into male excursions so that
profession will bring more equity in                                               she would be seen as an equal and not

                                          the people we talked to said that
Currently, the structure of the legal                                              “There were times when I noticed
                                                                                   all of the male associates were out
                                          committees they were being assigned

                                                                                   Or they were going out to drink or
conducted by the Defense Research
                                          National Director and participant in
Institute (DRI), of those women                                                    people who otherwise might be a

                                                                                   like they are and they are just like you

reaching positions of leadership and

                                                                                   for Brightline Compliance, an
Rikleen, a partner at Bowditch &
                                                                                   and organizations on handling sexual

                                                                                   matters, elaborated,“People choose
an institutional structure that is a
                                          In fact, according to the DRI study,
                                                                                   harassment against and other forms
while conducting research for
her book is a matter that affects
all other facets of organizations:        or take other positions, all of which    as someone of equal status, he or
                                                                                   she will no longer act inappropriately

“What still is lacking is the
institutional focus on and commitment                                              Although Tysman did not win her suit
to the management of the people in                                                 against Masry & Vititoe4, she said she
                                          into the profession is not the only
leaders are chosen because they
are great lawyers and they are great
                                          reluctance to acknowledge the


mechanisms to manage in a fairer way      to confront rainmakers because they
and to manage in a way that really pays   do not want them to go elsewhere,        are experiencing discrimination or
                                          taking their business and clients with


www.jdjournal.com                                                                      February/March 2007         |     81
                                                 means I’m going to have an operation.         She also admitted that she’s always had
step forward and just keeps her mouth            I’m going to go through all this stuff         an assertive personality, which she feels
shut and carries on with life, the next          here, and I have to do this thing. I’m        generally discourages confrontation.
                                                 sorry. I have to go through transition.’      She thinks this characteristic of
the same thing happen to her, and the            And they would say things like, ‘Oh,          her personality makes her a perfect
                                                 no shit. That’s really interesting. No        spokesperson for the transgender
                                                 problem.’”                                    community.

                                                 Yamamoto said she’s still amazed at           “It’s just like I’ve always felt,” she said.
                                                 the acceptance and lack of opposition         “I don’t mind being sort of a lightning
                                                 she receives every day of her life from       rod for the bigots, actually. As long
                                                 everyone from judges and clients and          as I know what direction the bullets
                                                 police officers at the jail to her friends, a   are coming from, I’ll know where to
                                                 reality that inspires what she describes as   duck. I’m certainly strong enough and
begin to join the profession in large            euphoria.                                     verbal enough to handle it, I feel. So if
                                                                                               anybody’s going to have to put up with
                                                 “I’ve seen more love and affection and         it, it should be me, probably.”
                                                 beauty than I could’ve even imagined
address the issues that are quickly              existed before my transition,” she            “It’s not like I like taking on stuff
                                                 said. “I guess preparing for the worst        like that, but if you think about it,
particularly those that concern the              made everything so much more vividly          somebody that can talk and somebody
power discrepancies between men                  benevolent that I walk around in a lot of     that can advocate and somebody who’s
                                                 euphoria, frankly.”                           basically a warrior is the person it
                                                                                               should fall to,” she said. “There are a lot
as a whole to uphold the laws it                 “Before transition, I was a very cheerful     of people who can’t do it. They’re just
                                                 person, but I wasn’t happy,” she said. “I     too afraid to do it, or they haven’t got
1
                                                 was the kind of person that makes the         the words to fight back.”
 According to the DRI study, as of 2003, only
                                                 best out of everything, but I remember
16.81% of partners in law firms were women.
2                                                feeling very strongly, the older I got,       Joann Prinzivalli
 As quoted in the article “Sexual Harassment:
What if It Happened at Your Firm?”               that if I didn’t transition, I was both
3
 Some names have been changed to protect         phony and a coward--two of the things         Joann Prinzivalli is a witty woman with
those involved.                                  that I really kind of dislike in this         an old soul who believes that helping
4
 The jury did award Tysman $120,000 for          world--and being both of them was             others is one of the most important
slander, as well as $650,000 in attorney fees.   kind of depressing.”                          things one person can do for another.
                                                                                               Chief Counsel for Kensington National
                                                 “It would be a disservice to the whole        Title Services, Prinzivalli is also a New
                                                 transgender community if I was putting        Yorker through and through.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 49
                                                 some kind of a gloss on it that was
When the male Yamamoto began
                                                 making it sound better than it is, but it     Born and raised as Paul, Prinzivalli lived
approaching his clients about his
                                                 really has been that way,” she said.          in Brooklyn, NY, until the age of 10,
upcoming transition, though, instead of
                                                                                               when he moved to Staten Island, where
the hostility he was prepared for, he was
                                                 When asked if she has experienced             he lived for 25 years until moving to
met with supportive acceptance.
                                                 any sort of sexual discrimination in          Westchester in 1985. Prinzivalli grew
“I have three murder cases--one of them          the legal workplace now that she is           up in a lower-middle-class Italian-
is a capital murder case--and some of            a woman, she said she can’t put her           American family. He had an older
these guys are pretty tough guys with            finger on any specific instances and            brother who passed away as a baby
really very macho and gangster-type              made reference to the fact that what          before he was born and a younger
backgrounds, and they were amazingly             may be seen as unwanted attention by          brother who passed away in 1997 at 41
compassionate and supportive,” she               other women may actually be seen as           years old of complications from AIDS.
said. “I would have these conversations,         flattering attention by someone who is
and I would usually say, ‘I’m going to be        new to being a woman and wants to be          Prinzivalli received his bachelor’s degree
going through a gender change. That              appreciated and viewed as such.               from St. John’s University, Staten Island,

82      |    February/March 2007                                                                                       www.jdjournal.com
in 1975 and his J.D. from St. John’s       he would be kicked out of the house.          Upon leaving the seminary, Prinzivalli
University, Jamaica Queens, in 1978.                                                     went on to college, where he double-
In 1979, he was admitted to the New        Prinzivalli went on to St. John’s for his     majored in psychology and business,
York State Bar and has served as general   undergraduate and J.D. degrees. As            planning to work in advertising. The
and chief counsel for several banks and    Paul, he spent three years studying to        1975 recession inspired him to take the
title companies around New York City.      be a priest at Saint Charles Borromeo         LSAT, and afterward, when he won a
                                           Seminary, a Roman Catholic seminary           scholarship to law school, he decided to
Prinzivalli knew as a child that he was    on Flagg Place in Staten Island.              become an attorney.
different. Beginning at age four, he
frequently dressed up in his mother’s      Throughout his entire education, with         Fresh out of law school, Prinzivalli
clothing.                                  the exception of law school, Prinzivalli      got a job with Barone & Passarello, a
                                           went to Catholic school and felt called       small firm on Staten Island. There, he
“The truth is, when I was four years       to a religious vocation from an early age.    got to try his hand at the areas of law
old, that’s when I realized that I was     During his youth and adolescence, he          he described as “rather fascinating,”
misclassified. I didn’t know about          also served as an altar boy.                  including real estate and title insurance
anatomical differences; the only thing                                                    work. From there, Prinzivalli went
I knew is that little girls wore dresses   When a representative from the Saint          on to work for John Hall, handling
and had long hair, and little boys wore    Charles Vocation Club came to speak           the same types of issues. After
pants and had short hair, and that I       to his sixth-grade class, Prinzivalli began   that, he made the move in-house to
was misclassified and should have been
                                           to think that becoming a priest might         work as Assistant General Counsel
the long-haired, dress-wearing type,”
                                           help with the struggle he was facing          for Westchester Federal, a savings
Prinzivalli said.
                                           with regard to his gender identification       institution. He was later promoted to
                                           issues. However, Prinzivalli later            General Counsel when his predecessor
At the age of six, he was caught by his
                                           decided against this path when his            retired. When Westchester was bought
father wearing his mother’s clothing
                                           gender issues continued to plague him.        by another company, Prinzivalli worked
and stopped dressing up until the age
                                                                                         in a number of title insurance positions
of 12.
                                           “After nearly three years at the seminary,    before becoming Chief Counsel for
When he was 17 years old,                  I realized that I really was not going to     Kensington National Title Services, the
Prinzivalli read Christine Jorgensen’s     be able to reconcile my gender issue          position she is currently in.
autobiography and realized he was not      with becoming a priest,” Prinzivalli said.
alone. As a way of reaching out, he        “While I continue to feel the vocation        “Being a part of the legal community
told his mother that he needed to see a    to the priesthood--even today--that           today is as interesting and challenging
therapist.                                 is not something I could do within            as it was when I first started practicing,”
                                           the Roman Catholic Church, which              Prinzivalli said. “I like my work. I
“I am standing in the bathroom dressed     does not ordain women as priests              enjoy helping other attorneys through
in my mother’s clothes with the door       and made it clear in a ‘sub secretum’         the maze of different issues they may
closed, and I am arguing with her,”        document issued by the Congregation           encounter in a real estate transaction.
Prinzivalli said. “She gets to the point   for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2000         There is always something fascinating
where she says to me, ‘You have to tell    that persons who are transsexual by           to discover that might be hidden in an
me what’s wrong with you; otherwise        nature are not welcome in any aspect of       abstract of title.”
you can’t see a shrink.’ I opened the      Roman Catholic religious vocation and
door and said, ‘Well, Mom, it’s because    are permitted only to be members of the       With regard to his pre-transition
you may have a daughter instead of a       laity.”                                       personal life, Prinzivalli met his ex-
son.’”                                                                                   wife shortly after starting work as an
                                           Prinzivalli, who was asked to leave the       associate at his first law firm, and the
His therapy only lasted for six months.    Church when he began transitioning,           two were married within nine months
The therapist explained to Prinzivalli     stays active religiously by organizing and    of their meeting. They have four
that as Paul, he could not be a            preaching at the nondenominational            children together, three boys and a girl,
transsexual because he wasn’t a gay man    annual International Transgender Day          now ages 26, 24, 19, and 13. His ex-
and that any cross-dressing needed to be   of Remembrance services in White              wife knew one year into the marriage
done very discreetly because, if caught,   Plains and surrounding areas.                 about his cross-dressing.

www.jdjournal.com                                                                            February/March 2007          |     83
“I thought I was going to give it up and      he is and help others feel comfortable        “At every abstract company I have
that it wouldn’t be a problem anymore-        with who they are, Prinzivalli testified at    been with since starting transition,
-figured I would get married and have          a public hearing in favor of transgender      management and employees either
a family,” Prinzivalli said. “After a few     inclusion in the Westchester County           know I am transgendered--the title
months, I was back to it. I realized that     Human Rights Law. It was then that            industry in the New York metropolitan
she might come across my things, so           he was “outed” by the local Fox News          area is small enough that my situation
I had to come clean and let her know.         outlet. Following this public hearing,        is not a secret--or they don’t; but I have
She was basically fine with it as long as      his company had two separate board of         never had a problem with coworkers,
I was quietly doing it at home with no        directors meetings, as he was an officer        customers, clients, or any of the
one around.”                                  of both the parent company and the            attorneys I deal with on a daily basis,”
                                              New York subsidiary. One month later,         she said.
For 20 years, they were married without       Prinzivalli was fired.
problems, until Prinzivalli, still living                                                   However, there was a Chief Clerk
his life as Paul, began to feel the need to   “They said it was because of                  of the Appellate Division, Second
be himself in public.                         performance issues, and that’s not true,”     Department, who flat-out refused
                                              Prinzivalli said. “I believe they didn’t      to change her name on the Roll
“The big problem when I started to be         know how to handle it.”
                                                                                            of Attorneys, even though she had
out in public was the Big E--you know,
                                                                                            prepared everything correctly. She tries
E for embarrassment. My ex-wife was           After Prinzivalli filed court papers citing
                                                                                            not to let it bother her, though.
embarrassed about how Joann would             discrimination, the company settled
reflect on her,” Prinzivalli said.             with her for an undisclosed amount of
                                              money; and Prinzivalli, now living as         “The only time I get reminded of this is
When Prinzivalli began living life as         Joann, pressed forward. She went on           when I get my biennial statement from
Joann in the public eye, the almost-20-       to file for a legal name change and all        the Office of Court Administration,
year marriage hit the rocks. The couple       of the required personal identification        which comes with my former name on
spent a year in therapy, but it did not       documents.                                    it, and which I correct by hand every
help.                                                                                       two years,” she said.
                                              “Armed with a changed Social Security
“So the divorce happened,” Prinzivalli        card and a new driver’s license, I was        Prinzivalli, now living full-time as
said. “She picked up the kids and left        able to get employment without a              Joann, suppressed who she was for many
me. Then she had me thrown out of             terrible problem--even though I have          years and is now living a happy life. She
my own house so she could move back           made sure my resume includes enough           is still practicing law in the state of New
in. I was court ordered not to see my         information on it that an interviewer         York as Chief Counsel for Kensington
children. At this point, I was not living     will know that I have some connection         National Title Services. She lives with
as Joann. I was still suppressing, living     with the LGBT community,” she said.           her partner, Trudy, in Westchester and
as Paul, and wanting my true self,                                                          actively works with the gay and lesbian
Joann, to live free.”                         Her first job after transitioning was as       communities of New York City.
                                              Of Counsel to Cadwalader, Wickersham
In August 1999, after the divorce             & Taft’s real estate department.              In Conclusion
proceedings began, Prinzivalli spoke          Cadwalader, the oldest law firm in the
with his employer about the upcoming          nation, prides itself on its commitment
                                                                                            While the walls that these four
life transition he would undergo, from        to diversity within the firm, and
                                                                                            attorneys have scaled might make you
Paul to Joann. Explanations of things         Prinzivalli enjoyed her time there
                                                                                            feel vicariously weak in the knees, it’s
as simple as bathroom procedures were         immensely. However, after the attacks
outlined to make sure that everyone           on September 11, the firm downsized,           important to keep in mind that without
would have options if he or she was           and she was forced to move on.                bad, there would be no such thing as
uncomfortable with the change. The                                                          good. One could not exist without the
company asked Prinzivalli for some time       When asked if she has been discriminated      other. What this means is that while
in order to prepare fellow employees.         against in her work as an attorney            these individuals may have experienced
                                              because of her transition, Prinzivalli said   more hurt and anger and frustration
In keeping with his strong ambitions to       she has not received any discrimination       than most people have experienced-
help himself feel comfortable with who        with regard to her practice.                  -and than most people ever should-

84     |    February/March 2007                                                                                    www.jdjournal.com
-they have also had the privilege of       are billable-hour requirements.              However, many of these same law firms
experiencing more love and acceptance                                                   quietly raised their billable requirements
and understanding than some of us ever     Further, bonuses, salary increases,          and slashed bonuses, as well. For several
will in our entire lifetimes.              and partnership chances are all tied to      years, the funding demands for bloated
                                           billable-hour benchmarks. And there is       salaries were satiated, but recently,
In a world where “different” often          no incentive for this system to change       firms have begun to raise salaries
means “wrong” or “bad” or “strange,”       because those who have the power to          again. Today, incoming associates
these attorneys are talking about          make fundamental changes within the          straight out of law school, many of
tolerance and freedom and challenging      legal industry—top partners at top law       whom have never held full-time jobs,
everyone they meet to do the same. As      firms—are the ones profiting most from         now command starting salaries of
                                           the current labor pyramid. For instance,     $150,000 plus bonuses but pay dearly
a result, they have seen minds opened,
                                           according to Cameron Stracher’s Wall         for their incomes by taking on billing
hearts thawed, relationships healed,
                                           Street Journal Online article “For Better    requirements reaching 2,200 to 2,400
hope restored, and freedom found in a
                                           Law Careers: Cut My Salary, Please,” “a      hours per year.
profession that is notorious for being
old-fashioned and traditional.             young lawyer who bills 2,200 hours at
                                           $250 per hour generates $550,000 for         The demands of keeping pace with
                                           the firm, only $145,000 of which pays         such requirements are tremendous. At
                                           his salary.” The difference, after settling   2,200 hours per year, an attorney would
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 62                     firm expenditures, goes to the partners,      have to bill slightly more than 40 hours
that could result in a malpractice suit                                                 every week of the year. However, unless
                                           who can earn $1 to $2 million per year.
or disbarment. Other issues arise                                                       an attorney is strapped to an IV and a
from the personality characteristics of                                                 catheter and never checks a personal
                                           This system, which makes economic
those typically drawn to the practice of                                                email account or does a personal web
                                           sense to law firms, makes little sense
law. Those with overachieving, type-                                                    search, he or she cannot possibly bill
                                           for young lawyers. This is because,
A personalities can be high-strung,                                                     every minute of time spent at the office.
                                           historically, every salary increase has
anxious to please, and terrified of
                                           been tied to a corresponding rise in
failure.                                                                                As a rule of thumb, Stracher says,
                                           billable-hour requirements. In the mid-
                                                                                        400 extra billable hours translates
While many attorneys are able to           1980s, lawyers were expected to bill         to about 600 more hours at work or
successfully navigate these issues and     around 1,600 hours per year. By the          approximately two to three more hours
build satisfying careers and personal      1990s, that figure had jumped to about        in the office each day. At 1,800 hours,
lives, not all lawyers are able to         1,800 hours per year. But as salaries        lawyers must frequently work late into
maintain their stability, and some of      crept up, so did billables. In 2000,         the evening. At 2,200 hours, lawyers
these promising young associates turn      as a result of the dot-com explosion,        might as well move cots into their
to crutches—drugs, alcohol, or other       almost every lawyer who wanted to            offices. The big firms realize this and
escapes—to help them make it through       work was employed, and the dearth            have converted their offices into micro-
their days.                                of young associates left law firms and        communities, complete with gyms,
                                           start-up companies creating even greater     showers, cafeterias, ATM machines,
The pressures of the legal industry have   incentives to lure fresh faces.              coffee bars, vending machines, and sick
been well documented. According                                                         rooms with cots and cold medications.
to Benjamin Sells’ groundbreaking          In January of 2000, Silicon Valley
book The Soul of the Law, in which         firm Gunderson, Dettmer, Stough,              Yet the one factor that law firms have
he explores the demands of the legal       Villeneuve, Franklin & Hachigian             yet to automate is the human factor.
industry and their affect on the            boosted first-year associates’ wages by       Thus, the attorneys who are performing
psyche of legal professionals, attorneys   45% in a bold effort to attract new           soul-draining tasks for hours on end are
statistically have higher rates of         talent and retain its best associates.       generally young associates in their early
depression, substance abuse, and suicide   The move reverberated throughout             to mid-20s, fresh out of law school, with
than the general population. In spite of   boardrooms from coast to coast, and          no real work experience. These same
these well-publicized woes afflicting the    one law firm after another bowed to           young associates are also frequently
legal industry, the pressures attorneys    the trend and hiked up compensation          trying to balance their billable-hour
face have only intensified—salaries for     packages. This trend became known as         requirements with six-figure student
attorneys are higher than ever, and so     the “Gunderson effect.”                       loan debt and the demands of life in

www.jdjournal.com                                                                           February/March 2007          |    85
fast-paced urban environments, as well       help them relax after long days at the      and was educated and would never be
as the other developmental stressors they    office.                                       in the class of people whose lives were
face as young adults—getting married,                                                    crumbling around them,” said Dorst.
buying a home, having children, and          Dorst, a former District Attorney for       “But then I was unable to stop. Now,
watching parents age.                        San Bernadino County, found himself         when I get a call from someone who
                                             addicted to crystal meth after he began     needs help or who has a friend who they
The strain of all of these compounded        socializing with clients who routinely      think is using, I call them right away
pressures is often blamed when               used and dealt the drug. “I never           and keep calling them, even if they push
attorneys reach for crutches to help         thought I would become addicted to          back initially, because early intervention
them get through their days. “The legal      crystal meth,” said Dorst. I had used       is critical to stopping the inevitable cycle
industry lends itself to alcohol and drug    cocaine occasionally for 15 years and       of addiction.”
addiction, suicide, job dissatisfaction,     never became addicted to it. But the
and a host of other problems,” said          strength of the drug is amazing. Crystal    Janet Piper Voss, Executive Director
Susan Reigler, Clinical Director of          meth is particularly alluring for lawyers   of LAP in Chicago, said that her
Lawyers’ Assistance Program (LAP),           because it can keep you up for hours        office is also making a strong effort to
Inc., in Chicago, IL. “The hours,            and give you a Superman feeling so that     speak with law students to help thwart
the work expectations, the culture of        you think you are doing more than you       addictions in the early stages. “Our
drinking, the mentality of working,          actually are. But then, very quickly, you   goal is to help law students, as well as
working, and then working some               get trapped in a cycle where you need       attorneys and judges, by reaching out
more—all of these things wear a person       to use the drug, and you can’t get off       to students early in their legal careers
down, and then we see the rise in            because you know that you would have        and planting a seed so that they know
personal problems and addictions.”           to disengage from the practice of law for   we are here if they need help or if their
                                             months in order to have the time to get     colleagues need help,” said Voss. “We’re
In response, many states and bar             off the drug, sleep, and recuperate from     already seeing a response, as we do have
associations have acknowledged the           its effects.”                                students coming for help with problems
problem and have begun to strengthen                                                     with stress, sleeplessness, and drug and
their resources to help attorneys            Dorst said that as his use of crystal       alcohol addictions.”
struggling with personal problems            meth increased, his career began a
regain their senses of balance and self-     downward spiral. He left his Assistant      To assure law students and attorneys
control. Every state bar association has     DA position and began a solo practice       that they have a safe place to go for
some type of assistance program that         in which he essentially traded legal        help, Voss said that by law, LAP
helps attorneys find the resources they       services for clients who in turn kept him   provides the same level of confidentiality
need to deal with their problems in          supplied with a steady supply of crystal    between law students and attorneys and
healthy ways and overcome substance          meth. Yet in time, his habits caught up     LAP staff members or volunteers that
abuse. Some states even have non-profit       with him. Dorst was arrested on drug        exists between lawyers and their clients.
organizations that have been developed       charges and wound up surrendering           “We are diligent about this issue,” said
to assist legal professionals who are        his law license and spending time in a      Voss. “If someone calls with a concern
struggling with substance abuse issues.      California state prison.                    about themselves or someone else, we
                                                                                         explain our confidentiality guidelines
For instance, in California, an              Eventually, Dorst got clean and now         right away. We’re 26 years old, and we
organization known as The Other Bar          finds meaning and purpose in his work        have not had a single instance where
provides confidential counseling and          at The Other Bar. He has learned the        someone’s confidentiality has been
referral resources for California lawyers,   hard way that reaching out to people        breached.”
judges, and law students grappling with      who are just beginning to dabble in
alcoholism, substance abuse and other        drugs is critical to helping them avoid     When attorneys or law students reach
personal problems. According to Greg         the havoc that full blown drug addiction    out to LAP for help, the program
Dorst, one of The Other Bar consultants      can wreak in the lives of even the best     provides an initial assessment and
who himself is a former attorney now         attorneys.                                  resources, said Voss. “We generally meet
in recovery from drug abuse, attorneys                                                   with the individual, either in person or
tend to reach for drugs and alcohol to       “I was considered one of the better trial   by phone, to make an initial assessment
either keep them going in the face of        attorneys in San Bernadino County,          of the problem. Then we try to get
relentless billable hour demands or to       and I thought that I had self-control       them referred to a treatment program,
86     |    February/March 2007                                                                                  www.jdjournal.com
either outpatient or residential. We have     right on track and wouldn’t do anything     be shy about adding a little color
wonderful resources, and we are very          wrong,” Noe said. “Students and
good at being able to link an attorney to     attorneys have a hard time admitting        these people are your coworkers,
a treatment program that can provide the      that they have a problem because of         and you will be seeing them on
right help.”                                  pride, and they need to learn to ask for
                                              help. But the public also needs to know     your best interest to make sure your
While lawyers at large firms can usually       that lawyers and law students do have
get help by taking medical leave and          problems, and yet they can overcome         heels are not the main topics of
having treatment covered through              these problems.”
medical insurance, attorneys in smaller
firms or in solo practice often face
tremendous challenges when trying to
                                              CONTINUED FROM PAGE 65
kick their habits. In such cases, the staff                                                Brewton once again chooses classic
at LAP tries to help in any way possible      warns, men should stay away from
to assist attorneys with learning to care     shirts in wild colors and/or ties with
for themselves and their needs for health     graphics such as cartoon characters,
and balance.                                                                              some things should go without saying,
                                                                                          Brewton admonishes men not to wear
“Attorneys don’t always take very good        One of the models representing this
care of themselves—they don’t balance         category in the show donned black
their lives, and we want to help them         slacks, black shoes, a black belt, a blue
do this,” said Reigler. “Part of our goal     shirt, and a tie with an understated
as a Lawyers’ Assistance Program is to        design on it, owning the runway like        comfy duds for Monday night football
change this trend by helping lawyers          he just stepped off the pages of the
take care of themselves.”                     latest GQ

Although they face uphill battles,            subtle colors, stripes, and simple,
attorneys can overcome addictions to                                                      Females: For women, the perfect
drugs, said Reigler. “With lawyers, if        is, after you factor in that winning
they still have a job or a circle of family                                               with a partner or client is summed
and friends, they can make it to recovery.
                                                                                          up in three simple words: little black
Lawyers do tend to be highly accountable
people, by and large. Doctors and
                                                                                          you own one, and this is the perfect
lawyers, unlike some professions where
there is less accountability, do have more
                                                                                          Brewton warns against dresses that
to lose, and they have something inside
of them that can keep them pushing
forward. I am always astounded by
people in recovery; it’s so impressive to
                                                                                          Males: Men should plan to wear nice
see someone pull through a dark place.”       modest skirts, or slacks paired with
                                                                                          and a tie if the restaurant requires
Like Reigler, Noe acknowledges that           spaghetti straps, anything tight or
even within the legal industry, there is
                                              short, spike heels, jeans (unless you
help for attorneys who want it and who
                                              absolutely must wear them), and your
will reach out for assistance. However,
Noe also acknowledges that the public
can at times be slow to forgive attorneys
                                              model epitomized casual style in black
who make missteps.
                                              city shorts, a white top, a red belt,       women to follow the same guidelines
“The public can look at members of the                                                    as they would if they were going to
legal profession and assume that they’re

www.jdjournal.com                                                                             February/March 2007        |       87
                                         unapologetic that the FBI sent a

                                         Records, warning the band to watch
                                                                                  McCartney wrote this song with his
                                         play in three acts, is broken down       new band,The Wings, it distinctly
                                                                                  reminds me of that train scene in The
 not boast the best lyrics (its chorus
                                                                                  the rock quartet is chased by their
                                         prosecute police for their injustices

 the faster drumbeats, and a hilarious                                            on the run, is ambiguous enough that
 sound sampling of a police siren,                                                it can be about a band of musicians
                                                                                  running away from their celebrity

                                         importantly, it brought gangsta rap to




66 754 7330


 94     |   February/March 2007                                                                       www.jdjournal.com
                                   Miscellaneous




                                          BESTSY PU Z Z L E
  SUDUKO
COMICS




www.jdjournal.com   February/March 2007   |        95
                                      Miscellaneous



CROSSWORD PUZZLES




  96      |    February/March 2007   www.jdjournal.com
                                                            section
CHINA                                       industries for forty years and is seeking    entirely confidential.
                                            an attorney with approximately ten           Contact: Deborah Acker
IP Transactional Attorney                   years of experience in federal and state     650-940-9300
Hong Kong, China                            matters involving the manufacturing,         dacker@bcgsearch.com.
Hong Kong office is seeking 2000-             labeling, advertising and marketing,
2001 for IP Transactional practice.         taxation, distribution and sale of alcohol   Business/Real Estate Attorney
Experience with IT required. Applicant      beverages, and related practices. The        Napa Valley, California
must have fluent Mandarin language           applicant should have a background           Napa Valley firm is seeking a junior- to
skills. Admission in NY and PRC             in regulatory compliance, winery             mid-level attorney with at least two
preferred, but NY applicants without        and hospitality operations, labeling,        years of experience with clients in
PRC qualification will be considered.        trade practices, distributor and broker      acquisitions and divestitures, corporate
Must come from Wall Street or Magic         relations, and franchise laws. All calls     and real estate transactions, and
Circle firm. All calls are entirely          are entirely confidential.                    financings.
confidential.                                Contact: Deborah Acker                       The preferred applicant should have
Contact: Danice Kowalczyk                   650-940-9300                                 some exposure to restructurings, joint
212-232-0400                                dacker@bcgsearch.com.                        ventures, strategic alliances, legal due
danice@bcgsearch.com                                                                     diligence, and contracts, including
                                            Civil Litigation Attorney                    negotiation and drafting. All calls are
UNITED STATES                               Napa Valley, California                      entirely confidential.
                                            This Napa Valley firm is seeking an           Contact: Deborah Acker
Midlevel Land Use Attorney                  junior- to mid-level Civil Litigation        650-940-9300
Napa Valley, California                     Attorney with at least two years of          dacker@bcgsearch.com.
Well-respected firm is seeking an            experience handling civil litigation
attorney with at least three years of       matters. The preferred applicant             Estate Planning Attorney to Practice
experience in land use and real estate,     should have a broad range of general         Napa Valley, California
including exposure to development           civil litigation experience, including       Napa Valley firm is seeking an attorney
and related entitlements, financing          commercial, real property, and land          with ten years of experience in estate
and structuring, environmental issues       use disputes. All calls are entirely         planning and administration. The
and compliance with CEQA or NEPA,           confidential.                                 preferred applicant should have a
government concessions and tax              Contact: Deborah Acker                       background in drafting and planning,
credits, and historic preservation. The     650-940-9300                                 with an emphasis on tax analysis
matters will include residential, winery,   dacker@bcgsearch.com.                        including lifetime and postmortem tax
vineyard and commercial acquisitions                                                     planning, family business succession
and developments. Applicant should          Senior Business/Real Estate Attorney         planning, charitable gift planning,
have a background in analysis of zoning     Napa Valley, California                      and estate administration. All calls are
ordinances, obtaining variances, permits    This firm is seeking an attorney with         entirely confidential.
and approvals, and site plan approvals.     approximately ten years of experience        Contact: Deborah Acker
All calls are entirely confidential.         with exposure to entrepreneurial and         650-940-9300
Contact: Deborah Acker                      institutional clients in acquisitions        dacker@bcgsearch.com.
650-940-9300                                and divestitures, corporate and real
dacker@bcgsearch.com.                       estate transactions, and financings.          Director of Leasing
                                            The preferred applicant should have          Los Angeles, California
Senior Alcohol/Beverage Attorney            a background in restructurings, joint        Prominent REIT seeks a Commercial
Napa Valley, California                     ventures, strategic alliances, legal due     Leasing Attorney with 5-10 years
This firm has been serving the               diligence, and contracts, including          experience of commercial leasing
California wine, restaurant, and hotel      negotiation and drafting. All calls are      transactions with large law firm or

www.jdjournal.com                                                                            February/March 2007         |     97

				
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