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Sexual harassment in the workplace grabbed the attention of the media in 2017 with revelations about powerful men like Harvey Weinstein. The #MeToo movement has placed a spotlight on the structures in business, education, government, and the legal profession that allow those in power to abuse their authority.
This half-day conference, sponsored by the Jacob Burns Center for Ethics in the Practice of Law at Cardozo Law School and the Cardozo Women's Law Initiative, a Cardozo student group, will focus on structural change in the legal profession.
The conference will focus on two issues:
First – what are the range of options available to lawyers who are asked to lend their professional skill and expertise to clients who have, or are likely to be accused of misusing positions of authority and power or tolerating such conduct in the workplace?
In other words, should a lawyer ever tell their client – and their firm – that their professional skills will not be used for certain types of client ends? What options are available to a lawyer in situations where they are concerned with perpetuating abuse of power at a structural level?
Second – assuming that law firms are also sites of harassment, are there any special steps that lawyers can take to protect vulnerable members of the legal community (especially women)? Do the rules of professional responsibility already provide tools that go beyond federal and state employment law? Should firms and other employers adopt uniform policies that go beyond either the law or the rules of professional responsibility?
Cardozo Dean Melanie Leslie, a specialist in non-profit law, will deliver a keynote address, followed by two panels.
Confirmed panelists include:
The Honorable Lorna Schofield of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Professor Stephen Gillers of NYU Law School
Professor Bradley Wendel of Cornell Law School
Cara Greene of Outten & Golden
Gabrielle Tenzer of Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP
Ally Coll Steele, Founder of The Purple Campaign
Follow along with this conference and hear from attendees by following the #LawandMeToo hashtag on Twitter.
Links to CLE articles:
Stephen Gillers, Guide for State Courts Considering Model Rule 8.4(g)
Roberta Kaplan, Times Up for Lawyers Too
James Stewart, David Boise Pleads Not Guilty
Ally Coll Steele, Why I left My Corporate Legal Job to Work Full-Time on #MeToo
Stephanie Russell-Kraft, Big Law’s Moment in Corporate America’s #Me Too Reckoning