Franci Neely’s Big Law Ladyship in Addressing Problems Women Lawyers Face

Philanthropist and corporate attorney, Franci Neely, feels favored to be hired among the early six lawyers of a Houston-based firm, Susman Godfrey LLP. The firm has been receiving praise from the public for its remarkable efforts in the court settlement of a defamation lawsuit for Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News. Franci joined the firm in 1979 as the first lady lawyer and later became a lady partner in the firm until she retired from working as a lawyer.

A short time after Franci Neely joined the firm, Steve Susman, the founder, hired another lady, Jo Wilson. Steve had a strong faith in his lawyers and gave them the first chance to exercise their legal careers. Franci believes she was lucky not to experience any gender bias other lady lawyers faced in the 1980s. However, as a lady, she had the demanding task of breaking the glass ceiling in big law.

Franci Explains the Challenges Ladies Face in Legal Profession

Franci Neely says that big law is stressful, and litigation is the most stressful area. She explains that lawyers need to prepare a schedule for matters. Instead, the court systems and judges prepare schedules that often change unpredictably. Neely gives an example of a trial where the jury listened to a trial for about two weeks and later recessed the case for one week as he took his kids on a scouting trip. She believes a trial in progress should only be stopped if there is an emergency. Further, Franci explains that stopping a trial cause financial and mental dagame to the litigants.

In the past, women faced many challenges while trying to make a living in the legal field. For instance, women were treated differently based on compensation in Susman Godfrey LLP. However, Franci Neely was the firm’s most straightforward lawyer and always backed up what she thought was right. She had the courage to face her judgments even before she found someone to back her up.

Neely, however, was more relaxed about her financial compensation. Also, she never sought influence from her partners regarding the matter. She believed that various firms treated women differently. She also hoped that women lawyers in a firm should confidently speak on equitable treatment and compensation regarding tasks and case assignments. Further, Neely believed women should collaborate to claim respect and fair treatment.

In her legal career, Neely feels proud of representing a lady whose three male partners pulled her out of their partnerships wrongfully. She says the judge and jury agreed that the male partners behaved illegally.

Conclusively, although women faced many challenges in their legal careers in the past, Franci Neely is a strong lady who claimed equitable treatment and compensation for women lawyers in the field. Therefore, Neely has made remarkable contributions to minimizing women’s challenges in big law.

Kalvin Abbas
the authorKalvin Abbas