Compensation is easy to quantify, but respect is not. But this openness can be a double-edged sword—coming out comments might be viewed as inappropriate or worse, which can result in greater isolation. Each lesbian lawyer has a subjective way of assessing intangibles, yet each intangible has a practical application in how they self-identify at work. For some, these issues only come into play once a job decision has been made. It was generally understood that senior management expected the change in policy to be "in name only" and management did not intend to execute any other action, or any training, once the change was made. Some heterosexuals incorrectly presume that everyone else is also heterosexual, and may be oblivious to the possibility that there are lesbian and gay lawyers in their office. Some lesbian lawyers point to opportunities to do pro bono work on behalf of the LGBT community as the perk that keeps them happiest in their positions.
Lesbians in the legal workplace today continue to deal with issues of isolation and a lack of support.
Lesbian Lawyers: Survival in the Workplace
For many lesbians, coming out is a treacherous and long process. Of course, personal subjects are often discussed among colleagues and staff. The Department of Justice refused to sponsor the gay pride awards after years of support. In some instances, even where sexual orientation is included "on paper," there is a lack of sincere managerial commitment to diversity. Law students at The Catholic University of America have been unsuccessful for years in their attempt to develop a gay straight alliance. Having the opportunity to discuss awkward exchanges with others who have had similar experiences is the best way to sail through uncomfortable workplace interactions.
Quantitatively, almost all lesbians look to see whether a corporation or firm's written nondiscrimination policies include sexual orientation before even considering applying for a position. As she become more comfortable with her new colleagues at her new workplace, she began to bring her domestic partner, a young "out" associate, to large formal work sponsored social events. Of course, personal subjects are often discussed among colleagues and staff. Defining Intangibles and Fostering Loyalty: This bias often takes shape against lesbians and gays in the form of derogatory remarks. However, many corporations, and especially the larger firms, are becoming genuinely welcoming to lesbians—for those women lucky enough and marketable enough to get those positions.