That’s the question I was asked as I was paying for my lunch at Ram’s Horn today. (Hey, don’t knock it. A breakfast-lunch is delicious.) Apparently if you carry a legal pad and some papers with you, you must be an employee of a law firm or other legal organization.
Now, I know the guy wasn’t trying to be sassy or cute, but at the same time I felt a bit peeved. I am a damn lawyer. Granted, I’m young, but I couldn’t help but think this had something to do with the fact that I am a young woman. I’m usually not quick to see these gender-biases in my own life, but I just have a feeling that if I were male, this comment would have been different.
This is the first time I have looked so young as to be confused for someone not my senior. It’s a weird thing, but most often people think I’m older than I am. Not so much for my appearance, but because I don’t act my age. I’m an old soul, I suppose. But this comment took me by surprise. Do I work for a lawyer? Yeah–me. (Truth be told, I work for five partners who are lawyers, but that’s a technicality.)
I’m still kind of dumbfounded. I should probably just drop it from my brain and think about other things (like the mountain of work I need to get done by tomorrow), but I can’t seem to shake it. I often get this feeling like I’m playing pretend. It’s faded some over the year since I started here, but some days it’s hard to believe that I am, in fact, a lawyer. Some days, I just feel as if this is an out-of-body experience where I’m watching myself dress up and push around papers for effect’s sake. I wonder if the young version of me were to see me what she would think.Am I cool enough for her? Am I what she wanted to be?
But in any event, no matter what she would think, the truth is I am a lawyer. For better or for worse, I have thrown my hat into the legal ring.
And I’ll be damned if I let some Ram’s Horn cashier take me down a peg because I’m young or female.