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When There Are Nine

When asked at an interview when there would be enough women on the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously quipped “when there are nine.” After all, Ginsburg elaborated, nearly two centuries,  no one batted an eye when the gender composition of the High Court - or any court, for that matter - was entirely male. Insead, we accepted it as normal.  So why wouldn’t the same apply to an all-female bench?
Across the conference circuit, particularly in industries dominated by men (including legal),  there’s a movement towards the elimination of the “manel” - or male only panel.  And while at least anecdotally, I’ve noticed a shift towards more gender-balanced panels in the legal profession, we still haven’t achieved the analogue of Justice GInsburg’s aspiration for the bench:  the normalization of  an all-female panel for a mixed-gender event. 
When my co-captain Jeena Belil and I began organizing the, we both assumed that we’d populate our panels and keynote slots with all women, with diversity in age, race and practice area.  Yet we also envisioned a conference open to men and women, because the topics that we’ll address - ranging from running a remote practice, to marketing when we can’t meet in person or balancing it all - apply equally to all genders. 
The doesn’t have male speakers because we wanted to amplify and elevate women’s voices and normalize all-women panels.  We never thought that all-women panels might somehow convey that the content isn’t relevant to men or that they are not welcome to participate.  And indeed, if the tables were turned, and women never attended conferences with manels, most women lawyers, particularly those of my generation, would have gotten out in the world.
Although many men have enthusiastically supported the, we still have a long way to go before an all woman bench - whether on the court or at a conference - becomes entirely routine and unremarkable. In Justice Ginsburg’s honor, let’s start now. 
Time is running out to register for the and to lock in the $39 rate for conference swag and a full recording of all sessions.  Click on the image below to sign up now. Here’s the final schedule.

How to remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg?  Exactly the way she wanted:

"I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability."
Here, I share are my thoughts on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy.
Copyright © 2020 Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant, All rights reserved.

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