WOMEN
10/24/2011 04:01 pm ET Updated Dec 24, 2011

Women Lawyers And Their Secretaries: An Emotional Sweatshop?

Of the thousands of words I've written about women in the law, not one contains the word "secretary" or "assistant" and that's just wrong.

Ask any lawyer. Nothing happens in a law firm - certainly nothing happens well - in the absence of experienced, professional, well-compensated legal secretaries.

For a woman lawyer like myself, it's a particularly egregious oversight to have completely ignored legal secretaries and assistants in a career-oriented blog for women.

My own willful blindness to women's issues in the office place is one of the reasons I was so impressed by law professor Felice Batlan's presentation on legal secretaries at last week's South Carolina Women Lawyers Association annual conference, as more thoroughly explored in her article If You Become His Second Wife You Are a Fool: Shifting Paradigms of the Roles, Perceptions and Working Conditions of Legal Secretaries in Large Law Firms.

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