Spotlight On: Genesis Fisher

Genesis Fisher When I graduated from NYU Law twelve years ago, I could not possibly have imagined how beautiful and resilient the friendships I formed would become, and what an important part of my life they would be.  (That handsome man in my lawyering section – how could I have guessed we would one day get married and have two children together??)  But one of my great joys has been welcoming my friend and brilliant colleague, Genesis Fisher, to the world of entrepreneurship this year. Genesis and I became friends through the public-interest crowd and a capital defense fellowship we were fortunate enough to take together, helmed by the brilliant, esteemed, and preternaturally kind Tony Amsterdam.  Genesis went on to become a public defender, as many of us did.  Through the years she spent defending her clients in Brooklyn, she developed a thick skin, the lawyer version of street smarts (court smarts?), and amazing litigation skills.  Talking to Genesis about our jobs, she was never one of those jerks who sat around complaining about her clients or adversaries.  She was always thoughtful, always observing, analyzing, and listening.  She took the time and energy to really understand where her clients were coming from. BTW, she’s also super fun, and definitely way cooler than me.  One time she and some other friends were over at my place, and we were having a dance party with my daughter Zohra (Sadia wasn’t born yet).  I noticed Zohra quietly watching Genesis’s moves and then going off into the corner by herself to practice them.  – Read More “Spotlight On: Genesis Fisher”

What’s the “Mother Court” You Ask?

Crumiller Badge Image The “Mother Court” is known officially as the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. While the exact origin of the nickname is unknown, it is supposed that it comes from the fact that not only can this court trace its origins to the Judiciary Act of 1789, but it predates the formation of the U.S. Supreme Court. For avid “Hamilton” fans – Aaron Burr was one of the first attorneys admitted to practice before the “Mother Court.” (We dare you to say Aaron Burr with a mouthful of peanut butter sandwich!) Want to read more about The Mother Court? Check out this excerpt on the ABA’s site.

Catching up on 2018 – and What’s to Come!

2018 Sparklers This morning, I took a moment to pause and reflect on my life as it stands.  When I think about what’s most important, of course, I think of my family first (Zohra is six now!  and Sadia is three!).  But loving them, and providing for them, comes pretty easily.  Naturally, they are irascible at times, but by and large they are kindhearted, curious, creative, and boundlessly energetic.  “Children strive lifeward”, as Dr. Ned Hallowell – my favorite author on children – likes to say. But anyway, I digress. The harder part about parenting is the responsibility I feel to show them what it means to make the most of my potential and to make the difference I want to see in the world.  It’s been almost three years since I created my law firm dedicated to fighting gender and pregnancy discrimination in the workplace and fighting for the rights of NYC tenants.  Am I proud?  Eff yeah.  We have done incredible work; we’ve helped dozens and dozens of people get to a better place in their lives, and we’re only getting started. My favorite part about thinking about my law firm is the security I feel in the knowledge that every single person on my team has a genuine desire, first and foremost, to help our clients.  As employment and L&T litigators, we face difficult situations every day.  Worse, we are all a bunch of quick-witted hotheads with strong opinions about virtually everything, and we all like to argue.  But I never doubt, for even a second, that each person on my team has our clients’ best interests in mind.  – Read More “Catching up on 2018 – and What’s to Come!”

Pregnancy Discrimination Around the World: Mandatory Pregnancy Tests??

medical test Just last month, a City College in the Phillippines issued a policy requiring all female dentistry, nursing, and pharmacy students to undergo pregnancy tests.  If the test comes back positive, the student may be prohibited from certain classes.  In the memo announcing the policy, the school requested that the deans from each school provide a list of female students, and noted the cost of the test would be added to those students’ fees. The  Gabriela Women’s Party released a powerful statement condemning the policy as discriminatory. The school, of course, defended its policy by saying it was designed to protect the students.  Nobody wants to endanger unborn children.  So what’s the harm? Remember that Women are Human Beings My own nifty #lifehack for evaluating whether a policy is discriminatory is to remember that women are human beings.  Pretend for just a moment that pregnant women aren’t just vessels or incubators.  Remember for a moment that over 90% of women are sexually active, and that only misogynists think women should be punished for sex.  Make a wild guesstimate as to how many surprise pregnancies during college are wanted. A woman who has a wanted pregnancy has every right to protect her pregnancy and to make informed choices about the timing of her courseload.  If we remember that women are people, we can assume that a pregnant woman is logically concerned about the health of her unborn child and will take all appropriate measures to protect it.  We don’t need paternalistic laws mandating this behavior as though the pregnant woman were a petulant child in need of guidance and structure from the wise government bureaucrats. But I think what we all know is that laws like this have absolutely nothing to do with protecting unborn children.  – Read More “Pregnancy Discrimination Around the World: Mandatory Pregnancy Tests??”