Mar 14

Give Nothing to Harassment

The unwanted harassment in legal industry is caused by power imbalance. It does not just occur between drunk men and junior women sexually. It is much wider. While it is generally acknowledged any form of harassment is unacceptable, the problematic behaviour from those in power is generally silenced as a topic to keep peace with those with power.

With the recent news on the issue of sexual harassment in law, some law firms have taken the stance to mange this by changing the rules on social drinks within the firm. However, I do not believe this is something that can be addressed by policing alcohol or entertainment in law firms. Unless we are willing to address the power imbalance and having the problem individuals made accountable, we will continue to be too weak and powerless to stand for our principles to have a safe and healthy work place. The toxic culture of tolerating poor behaviour of the powerful ones in law must be stopped. This is not just an issue for the law firms, but one for the whole industry including our lawmakers, judges, and academics.

We are all trained to discern these things and the access to just and fair treatment should be guaranteed for all. No one should be treated unfairly, whether it is in the form of sexual, or other harassment. No members of our profession should be treated badly for their age, background, or gender. We are skilled to fight for these principles for clients. Our treatment for one another within the profession should not adopt a different standard.