I am happy to present to you idealawg's second Legal Highlight. And I send my sincerest thanks to her for participating. Please click back to the first of the Legal Highlights to learn about the Legal Highlights process and the reason behind this feature which focuses on what is right and working well in the legal profession.
Here are the responses of today's Legal Highlight Kimberlie K. Ryan to the seven questions:
1) Think about your recent experience in the legal profession and of a specific incident or event that made you feel extremely satisfied or proud. Give a brief description of the incident or event. The reasons I felt satisfied or proud were . . .
While working on a multi-plaintiff discrimination lawsuit, I contacted
one of my clients, who just couldn't seem to get me the documents I
needed for discovery. I had been feeling frustrated with her because I
was getting lots of heat from the other side. When I pressed her as to
why she was having difficulty, she told me that as a single mother, she
and her 4 children had become homeless, so all of her papers were in
boxes in her car. She had been too embarrassed to tell anyone. The
seriousness of my task hit home again. We ultimately obtained a very
large settlement. One of my most special moments practicing law came
when my client called me a couple of months later to thank me for
"giving" her and her children a home. With her part of the settlement,
she had been able to buy her first home - where all of her kids even
had their own rooms. She also took in another homeless child. It made
me realize again how we can really make a profound difference in the
lives of the clients we serve, and I felt very proud and satisfied with
the impact of our legal profession and my role as an advocate.
2) I attended law school because . . .
My mother inspired me to go to law school. My mother (a capable,
strong, and beautiful woman and the only female in upper management in
her company during my formative years), endured sexual harassment and
discrimination on a continual basis. As a young teenager, I saw
firsthand the invidious effects of harassment and how it impacted my
mother, who just wanted to go to work and do her job without being
demeaned and degraded because she was a "girl."
As strong as she was, I saw the frustration and the distress caused by the blockades wrongfully set up by a workplace culture condoning hostility toward women. I vowed
then that I would do whatever I could to fight for equality for women in
the workplace. My mother instilled in me the confidence and courage
necessary to take on the challenge.
3) I would recommend the practice of law because . . .