A U.S. District Judge in the state of Nebraska has caused outrage with a sexist and misogynistic blog post with the title “On being a dirty old man and how young women lawyers dress”. Judge Richard ‘Dick’ Kopf of Nebraska who writes the blog “Hercules and the Umpire“, urged female lawyers to wear less revealing clothes because, well, because he’s a dirty old man who is distracted by attractive women! In the post, Dick writes;
“True story. Around these parts there is a wonderfully talented and very pretty female lawyer who is in her late twenties. She is brilliant, she writes well, she speaks eloquently, she is zealous but not overly so, she is always prepared, she treats others, including her opponents, with civility and respect, she wears very short skirts and shows lots of her ample chest. I especially appreciate the last two attributes.”
Kopf has also laid out the following rules for young women lawyers to follow when considering how to dress for court:
• You can’t win. Men are both pigs and prudes. Get over it.
• It is not about you. That goes double when you are appearing in front of a jury.
• Think about the female law clerks. If they are likely to label you, like Jane Curtin, an “ignorant slut” behind your back, tone it down.
Judge Kopf (67), who was nominated by former President George H.W. Bush in 1992 (no surprises there), launched his blog last year and quickly gained a following for his candid insights into the legal process. His most recent blog post has aroused ire among female lawyers the world over as a result of the demeaning and distasteful comments. How is it, that, in 2014, a Federal judge can get away with writing this sexist nonsense!? We’re just glad we aren’t practising in the state of Nebraska – we can’t imagine many female lawyers feeling comfortable stepping into his courtroom anytime soon!