Women in Law Face Obstacles + 3 Black Women Who Started Their Own Firm

It is a sad truth. Women in law are highly discriminated against, particularly in regards to higher positions. (Minority lawyers are as well. Now, imagine if you are a women of color in the profession?) Meanwhile, majority of the workforce is older, white, and male hence the term “Good Old Boys Club”.  Though some firms are making efforts to increase diversity, the problem is still very present and change has a ways to go.

Even though the Civil Rights Act of 1964, “outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,” it is really unfortunate to see that women legal practitioners have to face these issues even today. This discrimination is [not] just unique to female lawyers. Minority attorneys such as African American, Hispanic and Asian American attorneys too face similar challenges.

According to the California Minority Counsel Program, although the percentages of minority and women associates have increased over the past few years, only a small percentage of these legal professionals became a partner at their firms.  – Source: Rachel Oliver, Esq. on Ms. JD.org

Women in law Refusing to succumb to the obstacles:

While this is true, some women in law are not having it. Some women refuse to let the Old Boys Club shut them out or negate them. Some women have gone over the obstacle by creating their own firms. Keli Knight, Yondi Morris, and Jessica Roddick are three black women  in law who did this, for example:

“All right slaves, get back to work.”

Yondi Morris-Andrews was sitting at a table, working on a document review in 2012, when she heard the partner utter those words. She was the only black person in the room and he was addressing a number of attorneys, so it wasn’t a racial thing, but the utterance definitely made her uneasy.

“I looked around because I assumed that someone would say something,” says Morris-Andrews, of Chicago. “I knew then that that culture was not for me and that I wasn’t just offended because I was a black person. It offended me that it didn’t offend anyone else. I knew I needed to get out.”

And she did. After tweeting about needing to start her own firm, Morris-Andrews connected with two other millennial-aged, black women attorneys and Knight Morris & Reddick Law (KMR) Group was born. They’ve since worked with high profile clients such as Derek Rose and top chefs they can’t name but you are sure to know. – Source: NBC News

As of October 2016, the KMR law group is four years old and growing.

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