“Risk-averse by trade, most attorneys easily recognize the line between appropriate and inappropriate professional conduct. But when dealing with clients, law firms are sometimes willing to blur that line.
Numerous women told The American Lawyer affiliate Corporate Counsel that sexual harassment by clients is not uncommon in the legal industry, with stories ranging from uncomfortable comments to repeated unwanted propositions to assault.
Women often don’t report these incidents, fearing retaliation or lack of support from their firms, many of which do not have policies against client harassment.
Women who did tell someone at their firm about business development-related harassment often had their concerns dismissed. That’s what happened to one female lawyer, who preferred to remain anonymous, when she reported an experience of inappropriate conduct to a firm colleague.”