Implicit Bias and the Gender Leadership Gap

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Feminism, Labor & Employment Law, Legal Practice, Legal Profession, PublicLeave a comment» on Implicit Bias and the Gender Leadership Gap
A woman carrying buckets looks up at a ladder leading to the sky; the ladders' rungs are labeled with the various opportunities that have been historically available to women, beginning with "Slavery" at the bottom and "Presidency" at the top.
E.A. Bushnell cartoon from the New York Times, October 1920

On April 29, 2019, I moderated a panel discussion for the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Diversity Counsel Program titled “Closing the Gender Leadership Gap.”  The following statistics were shared at the program.  According to a study by the American Bar Association, “A Current Glance at Women in the Law,” half of the students graduating from law school with a J.D. are women.  Yet, only 22.7% of law firm partners are women, 22% of state court judges are women, and 26.4% of Fortune 500 general counsel positions are held by women.  A significant barrier for women in the workplace is implicit bias.  After serving on this panel, I was curious to explore how the concept of implicit bias might contribute to the gender leadership gap in the legal profession.

Implicit bias is the term that describes how the subconscious mind categorizes people.  The concept was first developed by psychologists Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald in the 1990s.  Through the use of implicit association tests (“IAT”) Banaji and Greenwald evaluated the time it took for a participant to categorize concepts such as family or career with gender.  The quicker the applicant could categorize concepts, the stronger the implicit association.  The most frightening aspect of implicit bias is that a person may be consciously opposed to gender discrimination but may unknowingly discriminate against women due to an implicit bias that exists only in the subconscious mind.

Studies suggest that implicit bias may play a role in explaining why men are systematically preferred for positions over women.  For example, a Yale study demonstrated a statistically significant preference for men in the field of science.  The study involved sending a fictional resume to 100 faculty members at top universities.  The only difference was that 50 fictional students were named John, while the other 50 fictional students were named Jennifer.  Even though the candidates had identical experience and qualifications, faculty members were more likely to find John competent and were more likely view him as a suitable candidate for lab positions. Continue reading “Implicit Bias and the Gender Leadership Gap”

The June Bloggers Have Arrived!

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Marquette Law School, Public, Student ContributorLeave a comment» on The June Bloggers Have Arrived!

Let’s welcome our Guest Bloggers for the month of June.

Nicholas Wanic

Our Student Blogger of the Month is Nicholas Wanic.

Nick is from Crystal Lake, Illinois, a town which has recently become somewhat infamous in the legal community. Nick received his bachelors from Illinois State in Business Administration, but knew he wanted to go to law school long before he graduated high school. While here at Marquette Law, Nick has worked for the Honorable Joan Kessler of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and has worked with the Milwaukee City Attorney’s Office prosecuting ordinance violations and working on civil litigation including the recently resolved and much publicized Bird Scooters case. He was a finalist in the Jenkins Competition this past April and looks forward to representing Marquette at the Chicago Bar Association Competition this Fall.

He is currently working toward his litigation certificate and hopes to work in litigation and appellate practice after graduation. In his free time Nick enjoys painting, cooking, and golfing.

Our Alumni Blogger this month is April K. Toy.

April Toy

April is an attorney in Meissner Tierney’s commercial litigation practice group. April represents businesses, insurance companies and individuals in a wide range of civil matters including liability and insurance coverage. She also defends businesses against professional liability claims and advises insurers on extra-contractual claims handling issues, including bad faith and duty to defend issues.  April graduated from Marquette University Law School in 2010.

April is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association and Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee.  In addition, she volunteers at the Milwaukee Justice Center.

The Rewards of Being a Small Town Lawyer

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Legal Practice, Legal Profession, Public, Uncategorized1 Comment on The Rewards of Being a Small Town Lawyer
A path forward with trees on either side going through a forest.
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

When asked to write a blog for the Marquette University Law School blog, I was provided several general topics that I could have considered, as I have never blogged.  But it was also suggested that I have an interesting personal story:  I always wanted to be a lawyer in my hometown, a city with fewer people than are enrolled as students at Marquette.  I have always had a desire to return to Ashland, Wisconsin, and practice law, raise my family and live the lifestyle that I enjoy.  I don’t find my situation to be unique or interesting, but maybe that’s because northern Wisconsin is such a wonderful location that it pulls many people home, and my story isn’t unique among residents here.  However, someone who grew up in an urban area may be apprehensive that there will be “nothing to do” in a small town.  To that I say: only boring people get bored.  So rather than discuss a legal topic, I plan to discuss my legal practice, and why being a small-town lawyer is a fulfilling and interesting career.  The State Bar of Wisconsin has also recently encouraged small town practice and tried to connect new lawyers or those looking for a change with lawyers in rural areas. Small towns need lawyers.

I grew up in Ashland, located on the shores of Lake Superior, enjoying the big lake and the big woods (Chequamegon National Forest). In the summer and fall the activities were hunting and fishing, in winter it was hockey rinks and ski slopes, and the in the spring, well that was just mud season.  I have been teased for the pride I take in talking about my home, my high school, and the general area I grew up in.  Unlike larger areas, my high school represents my community and is smaller than most.  Ashland has just over 8,000 people and the county has just twice that many.  There was no other high school, so it represented us as an area.  It represents my home, so I take pride in its success and sorrow in its failures.

In law school I had academic success having offers from large firms and was a summer associate at one.  I graduated magna cum laude and moved back to Ashland the day after being sworn in to the Bar.  While my big firm experience was positive, I knew my long-term happiness was north.  When asked why would you want to live up there, my response was typically the same: “Why do you vacation in northern Wisconsin?”  To many people, Elkhart Lake was “up north,” while I consider Highway 8 to be the dividing line between north and south Wisconsin.   I find cities great places to visit on weekends but I find the small town is the place to live.   I think many lawyers would find small town practice rewarding both professionally and personally. Continue reading “The Rewards of Being a Small Town Lawyer”

Welcome May Bloggers!

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Marquette Law School, Public, Student Contributor1 Comment on Welcome May Bloggers!

Please join me in welcoming our guest bloggers for the month of May.

Tyler Wickman

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Tyler Wickman.   Tyler was born in Ashland, Wisconsin.  He is a member of the Wisconsin Bar and received his education at St. Norbert College (B.A., 2005 summa cum laude, majored in political science and education) and Marquette University (J.D., 2008, magna cum laude). While in law school, Tyler published in the Marquette Law Review and served as an academic support program leader. Also during law school, he was an extern for the Hon. William Griesbach of the Western District of Wisconsin, a law clerk for Hupy & Abraham, and a summer associate at Von Briesen & Roper.

Following law school, Tyler returned to his hometown of Ashland and has been with Dallenbach, Anich, & Wickman, S.C. for his entire career. His practice areas include criminal defense, family law, personal injury, municipal law, estate planning, business formation, and civil litigation, among others. He has handled jury trials and has argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Tyler lives in the Ashland area with his wife, Michaela, and their five children. He is living the dream with a beautiful family, in a beautiful area, with a satisfying career.

Karen Heineman

Our Student Blogger of the Month is Karen Heineman. Karen grew up in a small college town in western New York. She prefers to say that because no one understands what upstate New York refers to.

She graduated from Williams College with a degree in chemistry. Although her goal was to attend veterinary school, at the time there were only 27 schools (only 31 now, I think) with class sizes around 80, so there were/are few opportunities open to those pursuing that profession. She looked for back-up plans and took the LSAT with some thoughts of law school. Fortunately, she was able to pursue her primary goal, so the possibility of law school was dropped for the time being. She received her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Minnesota. Continue reading “Welcome May Bloggers!”

Risky Precedents: A Brief Overview of the 2018 Wisconsin Lame Duck Laws & the Separation of Powers Doctrine

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Public, Wisconsin Law & Legal System, Wisconsin Supreme Court1 Comment on Risky Precedents: A Brief Overview of the 2018 Wisconsin Lame Duck Laws & the Separation of Powers Doctrine

The Wisconsin Capitol in Madison, Wis.On December 14, 2018, outgoing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law three bills that were rapidly passed by the Republican-held state legislature during an extraordinary session following the November 7, 2018 election that resulted in Democrats winning each statewide elected seat. Along with serving various other goals of the Republican legislative majority, the trio of so-called “lame duck” laws were designed to curb the powers of incoming Governor Tony Evers’ administration before he took office in the following ways:

  • Transfer control over leadership appointments to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (“WEDC”) from the executive branch to the legislature until September 2019. Then-candidate Evers campaigned on disbanding the WEDC.
  • Grant the legislature power to intervene in lawsuits in circumvention of the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office when state statutes are challenged. This provision of the law provides for the use of taxpayer dollars to pay private lawyers to defend the interests of the Republican legislative majority.
  • Give the legislature the ability to sign off on and decide how to spend court settlements – a power traditionally held by the Attorney General’s Office.
  • Provide the legislature the power to permanently block any regulations written by the state’s numerous administrative agencies, which are part of the executive branch.
  • Require the executive branch to get permission from the legislature to make any policy changes within the state’s health care and public benefit programs.

Since December 14, 2018, several lawsuits have been filed raising various legal challenges to the measures imposed by the lame duck legislation. One of the primary legal challenges to the lame duck legislation is constitutional in nature – i.e., that much of the new legislation’s limiting effects on the executive branch violate the principle of separation of powers embodied in the Wisconsin Constitution. Continue reading “Risky Precedents: A Brief Overview of the 2018 Wisconsin Lame Duck Laws & the Separation of Powers Doctrine”

Timbs v. Indiana: SCOTUS Hits the Brakes on Major Source of Revenue for States & Municipalities

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law & Process, Public, U.S. Supreme CourtLeave a comment» on Timbs v. Indiana: SCOTUS Hits the Brakes on Major Source of Revenue for States & Municipalities

Police Vehicle from Manchester, New HampshireStates and municipalities have increasingly relied on fines and forfeitures as a means to raise revenue, and the ability of law enforcement to impose fines and forfeitures for various criminal and civil offenses has largely gone unchecked by the federal government until recently. The United States Supreme Court’s February 20, 2019 decision in Timbs v. Indiana significantly limits the once broad leeway states and municipalities have enjoyed in imposing fines and forfeitures. Under Timbs, law enforcement must now be additionally cautious not to impose fines and forfeitures that are far out of proportion to the gravity of the offense committed. Continue readingTimbs v. Indiana: SCOTUS Hits the Brakes on Major Source of Revenue for States & Municipalities”

Our March Guest Blogger is Here!

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Marquette Law School, Public, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Our March Guest Blogger is Here!

Attorney Brandon Jubelirer from the waist up stands in front of a sunlit window with his hands in his pocketsPlease join me in welcoming our Guest Blogger for the month of March.

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Attorney Brandon Jubelirer.  He is currently an associate at Hawks Quindel. His law practice primarily consists of litigating a wide variety of worker’s compensation matters on behalf of injured and wrongfully terminated workers. Before joining Hawks Quindel as an associate, Attorney Jubelirer served as a law clerk with the firm for over a year and a half. Throughout his legal education, Attorney Jubelirer also interned for a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, served on the board of directors for the Marquette Labor & Employment Law Society, and performed pro-bono service for the Sojourner Family Peace Center’s Domestic Violence Clinic in connection with Marquette University Law School. Attorney Jubelirer graduated cum laude from Marquette University Law School. Prior to entering law school, Attorney Jubelirer earned his B.A., cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with a double major in political science and history. He also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Honors College program.

We look forward to your posts.

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Legal Education, Legal Practice, Marquette Law School, PublicLeave a comment» on It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Jamie Yu after finishing first marathon
Jamie Yu, after finishing her first marathon.

It’s February, which means that for many long distance runners, it is time to emerge from winter hibernation, sign up for the next race, and begin the long and thankless training process. While some would not agree, I, as a lawyer and a long distance runner, have found that the training process for a marathon eerily mirrors the path to becoming a lawyer.

I signed up for my first marathon, somewhat foolishly, during my second year of law school, the race coinciding the first semester of my third year. As I embarked on the first long run of my training schedule, I was filled with excitement and anticipation. Like a 1L, I felt invincible and ready to take on the challenge.

However, as the weeks passed and my mileage, and long run distances increased, so did my frustrations and anxiety. What seemed like a fun adventure was turning in to a daily chore, and my love for running was quickly being replaced with dread.

But when I stopped in at the running shoe store for yet another pair of running shoes, I saw a shirt with the phrase, “It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint…Trust the Process.” Continue reading “It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint”

Our February Bloggers Are Here!

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Marquette Law School, Public, Student Contributor, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Our February Bloggers Are Here!
Headshot of attorney Jamie Yu.
Attorney Jamie Yu

February is upon us, and it is time to welcome our Guest Bloggers of the Month.

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month for February is Jamie Yu, Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated. Ms. Yu joined Baird’s legal department as an intern in 2013 and joined the Baird legal team full time in 2015. Ms. Yu’s primary areas of responsibility include advising Baird’s Fixed Income Capital Markets and Investment Banking business and providing general legal counsel to a variety of areas throughout the firm, including data privacy. Prior to joining Baird, Ms. Yu worked for three years in Taiwan as a legal assistant and translator. Ms. Yu received her J.D. from Marquette University Law School in 2015, where she was the editor-in-chief of the Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review, an Academic Success Program leader, an admissions ambassador, and a Student Bar Association student mentor. She received her B.A. in political science and international studies from Case Western Reserve University in 2009.

Stduent Scott Lyon, dressed in a suit, stands in front of a bookcase holding law books.
Scott Lyon

Our Student Blogger of the Month for February is Scott Lyon.  Scott is currently a 3L at MULS. He graduated from Emory University with a BA in Economics in 2013. Before law school, Scott taught at-risk youth at a high school in Cook County, IL. Scott currently participates in the MULS Prosecutor Clinic. He interned at the Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel through the MULS Supervised Fieldwork Program in 2018 and spent the summer of 2017 in the Marinette County Circuit Court, Branch 2, clerking for Judge James Morrison. Scott focuses his studies on criminal law and litigation. He is the President of the MULS Student Chapter of the Federalist Society, and he participated in the Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition. Scott is proud to attend MULS with his younger brother, Eric Lyon, who is also currently a 3L.

Please join me in welcoming our Guest Bloggers.  We look forward to your posts.

Crypto Liability v. Popularity

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Cryptocurrency, PublicLeave a comment» on Crypto Liability v. Popularity

BitcoinSince 2014 the government has engaged in several prosecutions of Bitcoin exchanging institutions and managers.  Of the charges typically brought in these cases, one relates to the legal requirements surrounding any transactions greater than $10,000, whether involving Bitcoin or not.  In order to conduct such transactions, among other things, the managing institution likely has to be licensed in some fashion under state law, the customer’s identity must be known, and the institution has to report the transaction. These requirements have been imposed with strict liability.  According to the Department of Justice and many federal judges, Bitcoin is subject to these requirements.

The opposing view is that Bitcoin is not a currency and therefore not contemplated by these regulations.  That question, after four years in the courts, seems to remain up in the air.  Continue reading “Crypto Liability v. Popularity”

Welcome Our January Bloggers!

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Marquette Law School, Public, Student Contributor, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Welcome Our January Bloggers!
Headshot of attorney Daniel Murphy standing in front of a window.
Attorney Daniel Murphy
Student Foley Van Lieshout

We start off the new year with two guest bloggers.

Our Student Blogger for the month of January is Foley Van Lieshout. Foley is a current 1L at Marquette University Law School. She graduated cum laude from Lawrence University in June 2018. She majored in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Ten of her relatives attended Marquette University Law School, but she is the first guest blogger of the family. Foley hopes to focus her studies on criminal law and litigation while at Marquette. She is currently a member of the MULS Association for Women Lawyers and the Federalist Society.

Our Alumni Blogger for the month of January is Daniel Murphy, a recent graduate of Marquette University Law School. Dan provides the following self-introduction:

“After graduating from Marquette Law School in 2016, I was hired  by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.  I had participated in the Prosecutor Clinic there working in the Violent Crimes Unit on Drug Team 1 assigned to Judge Timothy Witkowiak’s court. As a newly minted Assistant District Attorney I was fortunate to start in that same position. Judge Witkowiak rotated in January of 2017.  Since that time, I’ve practiced in front of Judge Janet Protasiewicz.  As a member of the Drug Unit, I prosecute felony level drug and gun crimes. My job mainly consists of charging cases, reviewing search warrants, providing discovery, and litigating motions and trials.  My case load fluctuates but is typically around 90 cases. In addition to my normal responsibilities, I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to work closely with a group of officers assigned to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Group. Those officers work longer term, more complex investigations.  Through that portion of my work I’ve rode along with officers for take downs and search warrants, I work with the officers on planning investigations, and I help wade through legal issues that crop up during the investigations. I thoroughly enjoy being an ADA in the Violent Crimes Unit.  The work is challenging and exciting.  My colleagues at the DA’s office are excellent attorneys and supportive teammates.  I’ve learned an enormous amount about criminal prosecution in my short time there. My personal life has also seen a significant change since graduating law school with the birth of my son, our first.  And life continues to get more (happily) complicated as my wife and I are expecting our second child, a girl, any day now.  We are very happy with our small but growing family and fortunate to have the support of many close friends and family.”

Welcome! We look forward to starting off 2019 with your posts.

Racial Discrimination in Wisconsin Jury Pool Practices

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law & Process, Federal Criminal Law & Process, Judges & Judicial Process, Poverty & Law, Prisoner Rights, Public, Race & Law, Wisconsin Criminal Law & Process1 Comment on Racial Discrimination in Wisconsin Jury Pool Practices

A courtroom is filled with women dressed in long black dresses and wearing hats.
Crowd of women register for jury duty after gaining the right to vote, Portland, Oregon, 1912.

“It requires little knowledge of human nature to anticipate that those who had long been regarded as an inferior and subject race would, when suddenly raised to the rank of citizenship, be looked upon with jealousy and positive dislike, and that state laws might be enacted or enforced to perpetuate the distinctions that had before existed.” – Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U.S. 303, 306 (1879)

As ominously foreshadowed by the Supreme Court in 1879, current state and federal laws and practices continuously present disadvantages to people of color. Removed from enslavement and the oppressive nature of the Jim Crow Era, today many of the participants in our justice system and in politics are blind to discrepancies within this nation’s criminal justice system and erroneously believe that the black defendant enjoys the same rights as the white defendant.  The black defendant is seldom given a jury that racially represents him or her, and this lack of representation is a product of case precedent, judicial reasoning, and discriminatory practices. In Wisconsin, these discriminatory practices take the form of both state and federal jury pooling procedures. As such, the purpose of this blog post is to draw attention to the disproportionate jury pooling practices in Wisconsin circuit courts as well as federal district courts in our state, and to provide a forum for debate on this important issue.

Federal Jury Pooling in Wisconsin and the Depleted African American Voting Population

The right to a jury is so critical to the makeup of our system of justice that the Constitution mentions juries in four different sections. However, while individuals have a constitutional right to a jury, the pooling and selection of such juries is not always constitutionally executed. Both the Eastern and Western District Courts of Wisconsin have jury pooling practices that raise constitutional concerns due to the disproportional impact that those practices have on black criminal defendants. Continue reading “Racial Discrimination in Wisconsin Jury Pool Practices”