Federal Judge Enjoys Ogling Lawyers Who Dress Like 'Ignorant Sluts'


But those aren’t his words, you see. He’s just paraphrasing other female lawyers and, um, Jane Curtin.

Writing on his personal blog, US District Court Judge Richard George Kopf proudly holds court (heh) about lady lawyer attire on a personal blog post entitled — I kid you not — “On being a dirty old man and how young women lawyers dress.” He writes this in response to Amanda Hess’ history of how people dictating what female lawyers should wear, which used this post to prompt the trip down memory lane.

My favorite part of Kopf’s self-aggrandizing horndog routine is the way in which he recounts the following anecdote, as if that ends the debate once and for all:

Around these parts there is a wonderfully talented and very pretty female lawyer who is in her late twenties. She is brilliant, she writes well, she speaks eloquently, she is zealous but not overly so, she is always prepared, she treats others, including her opponents, with civility and respect, she wears very short skirts and shows lots of her ample chest. I especially appreciate the last two attributes.
In a recent case involving this fine young lawyer every female law clerk in the building slipped in and out of the courtroom to observe her. I am not exaggerating. I later learned that word had gotten around about this lawyer’s dress. Acknowledging that the lawyer was really good, the consensus of the sisterhood was uniformly critical. “Unprofessional” was the word used most often. To a woman, the law clerks seethed and sneered. They were truly upset.

Buried within the lecherous and paternalistic tone is a fair point — lawyers should learn how to dress professionally, and for women, that may mean wearing longer skirts and higher cut tops. But there’s a more mature and respectful way to do this — not by embarrassing every female Loyola law student for example in a school-wide memo, and not by taking to the Internet to talk about how one of your colleagues gives you a hard-on, saying that on the other hand she is an “ignorant slut,” and then throwing your female colleagues (and randomly, an actress who has nothing to do with this) under the bus by protesting that you’re just repeating what they’re saying.

It’s embarrassing that this guy is a fucking federal judge. Is the gender double-standard in law so pronounced that a man of Judge Kopf’s supposed stature can write shit like this without feeling any shame? Without being in danger of others “seething and sneering” behind his back for his good ol’ boy sexism? I feel bad for any woman who has had to work with this guy, as well as his daughter, who Judge Kopf breathlessly describes as “tall, beautiful and statuesque,” then telling a story about publicly embarrassing her for wearing a low cut dress to a wedding.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin