Bar Codes documents twelve years in the lives of a group of Ontario women lawyers. Shakespeare's Portia provides an overarching metaphor, reminding readers of women's attempts to ?t into an unfamiliar culture. Sometimes the simple act of robing can enhance a woman lawyer's identity and grant her legitimacy. Like Portia, she is transformed from "unlessoned girl" to wise counsel. However, women also face a countervailing image, that of the powerful professional gentleman symbolizing excellence. Women encounter the norms of the legal culture when they enter law school and repeatedly throughout their careers - in institutions anchored in masculine customs. Because competing work and family responsibilities continue to burden professional women, time is a strong theme in this book. Temporal stress reflects concerns about family and friends, periodic sleep deprivation, and the constant pressure of overloaded schedules. Time is a form of social capital, a gendered resource that favours men in the profession.Professional practices affect women's career paths, and this book examines ways in which careers are sometimes broken, twisted, or attenuated, adding to mounting evidence of marked gender differences in opportunities for advancement. Bar Codes will appeal to scholars in gender, law and society, the sociology of work, not to mention women lawyers.
Jean McKenzie Leiper is Professor Emerita at theDepartment of Sociology, King's University College, University ofWestern Ontario.
Acknowledgments 1 Introduction: Recognizing the Codes 2 "The Portia of Our Chambers": Voice, Robes, andReputation 3 Educating Women in the Law: Becoming Gentlemen? 4 Caught in the Time Crunch 5 Choreographing Daily Life: Clocks, Calendars, and Cycles 6 Careers and Curricula Vitae 7 Cracking the Codes Appendix: Where Are They Now? Notes Bibliography Index