Monday, November 19, 2018

Committee on Women in the Courts to survey attorneys on gender fairness

The New York State Judicial Committee on Women in the Courts is conducting a poll of lawyers, judges and court personnel to examine gender fairness and steps necessary to eliminate gender disparities in the courts:

The Committee has been working with experts to develop and distribute the survey, which will be emailed to a large, random sample of attorneys who have been admitted to practice law in New York State. Those attorneys selected will be able to complete the survey online. Their responses will be confidential and aggregated with others who respond. The Committee is also working with the State’s various bar associations to raise awareness about the survey and encourage attorneys, if selected, to participate.

The survey will address the experiences of attorneys and other court users. Some survey sections cover a broad range of experiences that may be encountered in the court system regardless of the survey participant’s practice area. Other sections ask about specific areas of practice and substantive law, such as family law, matrimonial law and criminal law.

Among the more general questions, the survey will query participants on whether and how gender affects courtroom interactions, the courthouse environment (sexual harassment) and fee-generating appointments and assignments. The survey also contains questions regarding the availability and impact of courthouse children’s centers ̶where litigants and other court users can safely leave their children while they attend to court matters ̶baby-changing tables in public restrooms and lactation facilities.

Survey participants will be instructed to select the responses that best reflect their opinions based upon their own recent experiences or direct knowledge while handling matters in the New York State courts. At the end of each section, respondents will be given the opportunity to offer comments and suggestions.

For more on the survey, click here.