#Metoo campaigner, public lawyer Zoe Lawton has set up another blog to get men to sign on to end harassment in the legal profession.
Lawton’s initial blog calling for accounts from lawyers who had experienced harassment and bullying in the legal workplace. She claimed criticism from several quarters of the blog, saying she had been blacklisted by some government departments over the blog, details of which have been sent to the Law Society.
Already over 50 men have signed up to the sought pledge, although very few are senior lawyers.
“It would be great to see some leadership from the top so that younger men feel more able to sign up to the pledge and speak out about sexual harassment in the profession more generally,” Lawton told Stuff.co.nz.
Within its first 48 hours the pledge was signed by almost 50 men. A large portion were law students, with very few from the upper echelons of the law profession, although Kensington Swan’s CEO Charles Spillane and Lowndes Jordan’s Rick Shera (below right) were among the early signatories, along with barrister Jeremy Bioletti.
“I think students are perhaps more likely to share this kind of content on social media. It will be interesting to see which are the predominant age groups in a couple of weeks but after 48 hours there is a good mix of students and lawyers.”
Stuff reported that they had asked the major law firms if their senior male partners had signed or would sign the pledge.
Simpson Grierson refused to comment while at Russell McVeagh – where the worst of the sexual misconduct allegations have swirled – Joanna Comerford said she was unaware if senior partners had signed the pledge, but they were free to do so.
Buddle Findlay’s Olwin Kleve said the firm had no knowledge of the new blog.
Chapman Tripp’s Alexandra Yovich said: “Anyone at the firm can respond or contribute via any of the forums and channels that have been established, including by signing the pledge if they wish to.”
Bell Gully’s Karen Chan said its staff were welcome to sign the pledge.