WOMEN LAWYERS AT WORK by Elinor Porter Swiger


Email this review


Swiger reports on twelve high-achieving women lawyers--a congresswoman, a former cabinet member, a state Supreme Court justice, and a state bar association president among them--with emphasis on their hard work and high positions and how they manage both demanding careers and home responsibilities. Most, it turns out, excelled early, had parents with high expectations for them, and are now blessed with supportive husbands--many of them also lawyers, many (overlapping) ""gourmet"" cooks, and one who buys his wife's clothes and insists that she limit her speaking engagements to 100 a year. Most of Swiger's subjects agree that no particular college major offers better law school preparation than the next, but all stress the importance of learning to write. All routinely bring hours of work home at night; the mothers among them attend all school functions involving their children but never PTA (amen); and one woman ordered her station wagon by phone as she hadn't time for tire-kicking. With all this attention given to the mechanics of handling the various careers, almost nothing emerges of their substance--we're given no idea of the political positions or social viewpoints even of those labeled reformers or political activists. And not all working mothers would be impressed to hear that one woman often washes her own hair or that another, with a live-in nurse and a housekeeper, herself performs the ""duty"" of shopping for home furnishings. Nevertheless the time and effort they all give to their jobs is bound to make an impression--and that in itself should make a realistic point.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1978
Publisher: Messner