Columbia Law School Lecture: “Intra-Law Firm Disputes and Why You Don’t Read About Them”
Previously this month, RPJ pre-law staff were invited to participate in a negotiation workshop at Columbia Law School organized by its International and Comparative Law Programs, and took First Prize! On Tuesday, RPJ made another reappearance at the Law School, this time for a lecture of our own. Partner Helen D. (Heidi) Reavis was invited to present a lecture on “Intra-Law Firm Disputes and Why You Don’t Read About Them,” discussing the trending in intra-law firm litigation and dispute resolution, and the evolution over time in open public court brought by aggrieved Associates and then Partners under various federal, state and local laws.
In her talk, Heidi explored multiple legal cases wherein lawyers have brought a variety of discrimination, unequal pay and retaliation cases based on gender, race or sexual orientation. She discussed how such cases have historically been rare due to a combination of industry norms and firms utilizing their knowledge and power through NDAs and mandatory arbitration to make such cases especially difficult to bring in the courts. She ended her lecture with an urging to the crowd, which included RPJ Legal Assistant Cleopatra Elrashidy, to employ their legal tools to speak out as young and future attorneys and advocate for themselves and others who find themselves in compromised situations but fear employer retaliation.