Nasty Women and the Rule of Law

38 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2017 Last revised: 24 Jun 2017

Date Written: January 21, 2017


Lawyer bashing is a robust and accepted social tradition. But recent events create the impression that women lawyers face more than the generic suggestions of dishonesty, untrustworthiness, greed and adversarialism that typify anti-lawyer criticisms. Criticisms and attacks on women lawyers are personal and gendered, as well as being intense and hostile, in a way that differs from the generic, often humorous, and impersonal nature of traditional antipathy to the legal profession. And even when women lawyers are viewed positively, commentary focuses on their looks, clothes and families, in a way that is not the case for men. This paper identifies the reasons for and consequences of how we talk about women lawyers.

Keywords: Legal Ethics, Feminism, Lawyers

Suggested Citation

Woolley, Alice and Darling, Elysa, Nasty Women and the Rule of Law (January 21, 2017). 51 USF Law Rev 507, 2016-2017. Available at SSRN:

Alice Woolley (Contact Author)

University of Calgary ( email )

University Drive
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4

Elysa Darling

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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