The Columns

WLSO Symposium Explores Stereotypes in Law Practice

— by on October 23rd, 2015

This month, the Women Law Students Organization at Washington and Lee University School of Law will host the 2nd Annual Lara D. Gass Symposium on Women in the Law.

This year’s symposium is titled “Dare to be Different: Stereotypes of Power and Practice.” The event will take place Friday, Oct. 30 from 2-5:30 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall on the campus of Washington and Lee University. The event is free and open to the public.

The symposium will feature three panel discussions. First, “Power in the Law: Who Will Follow a Strong Woman?” will examine the disproportionate percentage of men in high partner-level positions and the challenges that women face in being seen as mean or aggressive when acting with authority. Second, “The Perfect Fit: Advantages (and Disadvantages) of Different Practice Areas” will consider stereotypes and their accuracies for lawyers interested in different legal fields. And finally, “Dispelling the Single Career Myth” will explore the career arcs of several women attorneys and busting the myth that a new lawyer will work in only one practice area.

WLSO is promoting the symposium through the organization’s blog, Juris Sophia. The site currently features a post by symposium panelist Nanda Davis. Davis, who started her own practice after law school, writes about her experiences as a female lawyer and the lessons she has learned.

The annual WLSO symposium is named for Lara Gass ’14L, who spearheaded the first Women Law Students Organization panel on women in the law before passing away in a tragic car accident during her third year at Washington and Lee Law School. Juris Sophia also features a moving remembrance of Gass written by the Hon. Rebecca Connelly ‘88L, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Virginia.