20. Lisa Bloom, The Bloom Firm — Courage Unbridled: A Lifetime of Activism

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Lisa Bloom, owner of The Bloom Firm, is synonymous with high-profile cases that expose men in power for sexual misconduct. She has represented women in the Cosby, O’Reilly, and Epstein cases to name a few.

The Bloom Firm has fought for and won tens of millions of dollars for victims of discrimination, harassment, and abuse. She is a human and animal rights champion activist, three-time author, television host, and fierce trial attorney. Today we discuss leveraging social media for justice, how to reset when emotionally drained and the problem with celebrity worship – as it relates to justice.

What’s In This Episode?

  • Who is Lisa Bloom?
  • How does she recover when exhausted from an unending battle?
  • Was courage a learned behavior?
  • How can law firms train employees to fight victims of discrimination, harassment, and abuse with compassion?
  • How can lawyers leverage social media to get their message across?
  • How can attorneys fight against a racially biased system when it feels like they are on their own?
  • What is Lisa optimistic about?

Transcript

Lisa Bloom

A lot of times you just have to fake it

Sonya Palmer

When it comes to courage – your true feelings don’t matter.

Lisa Bloom

And faking it and you’re charging forward and doing what needs to be done, who cares, you just gotta take care of business and you gotta take care of yourself.

Sonya Palmer

According to a recent survey, only 19% of managing partners in US law firms are female. We’d like to see that change. Hello, and welcome to LawHER, the show where we celebrate the trailblazing attorneys and entrepreneurs who are changing the game for women in the legal field. Be inspired by their stories. Learn from their mistakes. And look forward to the future they’re helping build for the next generation of women in law. I’m Sonya Palmer, your host and VP of Operations at Rankings. The SEO agency of choice for Personal Injury lawyers. This is LawHER. Human and Animal Rights champion. Activist. Three-time author. Television host. Attorney. Lisa Bloom, the owner of the Bloom Firm, is synonymous with high-profile cases that expose men in power for sexual misconduct. She has represented women in the Cosby, O’Riley, and Epsitne cases to name a few. The Bloom Firm has fought for and won tens of millions of dollars for victims of discrimination, harassment, and abuse. We discuss, leveraging social media for justice, how to reset when emotionally drained, and the problem with celebrity worship as it relates to justice. Immersed in the fight for justice her entire life, Lisa share with us the first protest she organized when she was only in sixth grade. Let’s dive in.

Lisa Bloom

So I was at Robert Lewis Stevenson elementary school. This was back in the Pleistocene era when I was a child. And, uh, there was, um, a faculty-student, um, softball game, except that it was only for boys. And even though it said student, you know, girls, we were half the population, but I guess we just didn’t count in some way. So I thought that was wrong. I thought the girls should get to play. Even though I was not, uh, a good baseball player at all, but I had friends who were, so I talked to my mom, Gloria Allred, and said, you know, what should we do here? And she said you should organize. So, um, what we did. So we got the girls all together. We made homemade pick picket signs and said, this is sexist. And, um, we won and the school. Yeah, amazing. And the school decided to let girls play that year. And some of my girlfriends got to play and I got an early lesson in, uh, wow. Like you can organize, you can agitate for change and you can win. Like, that was amazing. At 11 years old.

Sonya Palmer

Absolutely amazing. For so many young girls, their mother is their hero and an exemplar of who they can be. Your mother, Gloria Allred is amazing and congratulations on her recent victory in the Bill Cosby case

Lisa Bloom

there’s no doubt about it. My mom has always been a fierce fighter for women and other oppressed groups. And just yesterday, uh, at age 80, she chalked up her latest trial victory on behalf of a woman named Judy Huff. Who sued Bill Cosby for sexually assaulting her when Judy was 16 years old, back in the 1970s. And it was a very hard-fought case. And my mom and her team, John West and Nathan Goldberg, um, won the case, and just yay. Bravo for them. Yeah.

Sonya Palmer

Amazing. Yes. Huge. Congratulations to her. So, was there a specific moment then growing up where you knew just like in your bones that bringing about positive change was gonna drive your life?

Lisa Bloom

Yeah. Um, I, I think I always kind of knew that I always felt very strongly and again, my mom was a big influence on me because this is what we talk about at the dinner table, the equal rights amendment, uh, right. To choose, uh, racial equality, uh, so I always knew that it was my job to contribute and to make a difference, although I was resistant to going to law school. So when I was in college, I volunteered at a battered women’s shelter. I worked with abused children. I also volunteered, um, in a homeless shelter, feeding, homeless people. And I did that in law school as well. And, um, I really thought about becoming a therapist or a social worker and helping people that way. But my mom convinced me to go to law school. I went and you know, the rest is history.

Sonya Palmer

You, you turned down a very lucrative kind of legal career to join and fight representing the powerless at your mother’s firm in California. And to do this type of work, one must be bold, creative, and willing to fight. How do you recover when you get exhausted? And it’s just a constant battle. Do you get exhausted?

Lisa Bloom

I do.I get, I’d say emotionally exhausted. I don’t get so much physically exhausted, but, um, it’s very stressful. It’s very hard. And you’re right. That, you know, the people on my side who represent the underdogs, we don’t make as much money as the people on the other side. And it’s funny people, one of the comments I just saw on social media, where I posted about my mom’s victory and somebody said, well, the lawyers are probably gonna take all the money in the Cosby. And I was like, you know, that’s so wrongheaded, first of all, lawyers on both sides should get paid for their work. Everybody should get paid for their work. And the way that ones on my side get paid is we take a contingency. We take a percentage only when we win. And if we. Uh, we get nothing. So it’s a, it’s a big risk financially. That’s a scary thing to a lot of lawyers, which I think is why a lot of lawyers don’t do the work that I do. Um, but to go back to your question, I, it’s very important to me to live a balanced life so fight really hard for my clients. And then I need a break and, um, it’s always something very physical. I’m a very outdoorsy person. I am hiking the Pacific crest trail right 2,600-mile trail that goes from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada. I’m doing it in segments. I just did a segment last weekend. So I’ve done about 500 miles of it. So I go solo, backpacking, and strap everything on my back and off I go about 20 miles a day. And it’s a great physical and mental challenge and breaks. I go at my own speed. I stop when I want I camp where I want, and I meet other hikers. Nobody knows who I am or what I do, nor do they care. Um, and we just have like these great real conversations on the trail. And that to me is a mental reset. And what’s great about it is I can just go do it really almost whenever I want.

Sonya Palmer

I really love that because we talk about rest and rest is really important, but I like that you seek just a different type of challenge. You know, like there’s this mental challenge and this tough fight and you go do something that is physically challenging and then also mentally challenging but in a different way.

Lisa Bloom

I’ve never been the kind of person who wants to go on vacation and like sitting on a beach, sharing, staring at the ocean, and drinking alcohol. That’s never been my thing.  I find it intensely boring. You know, I was there for about, you know, a short time and read if I have something interesting to read, but you know, the, one of the biggest challenges to me of practicing law is that most of it is inside. And I have to sit. I have to be at a computer screen and that’s not really my jam. I really like to be up on my feet. I like to be talking. I like, you know, if we could move the courts outside, if I could meet with my clients outside and we could be walking, uh, I would like it a lot better. I’m just a very outdoorsy person who likes to move. So when I’m practicing law, you know, which is most of the time I can work out for an hour or two in the morning. And kind of sitting the rest of the day. When I’m hiking on the trail, it’s flipped and I’m really just walking all day and maybe it’s just an hour or two of resting that really works better for me.

Sonya Palmer

Yeah, you, you should start that client meeting in the forest. just out

Lisa Bloom

They’ll any clients who want me to represent them and we will meet in the forest? you are in

Sonya Palmer

Yeah, to fight the way that you fight, requires unbridled courage, was courage, a learned behavior for you.

Lisa Bloom

It does take a lot of courage and, um, what I, I tell my clients who really are, are more courageous than I, because it’s for them. You know, I signed up for this. I always remember that they did not. Things happen to them and then they decided I have to stand up, even though I really don’t want to, even though I’d rather be a model or a secretary or, um, a security guard or, I mean, these are the kinds of the people I represent. That’s what they wanted to do. They didn’t wanna be a civil rights activist. So for courage, You know, I, I think a lot of times you just have to fake it and faking it and you’re charging forward and doing what needs to be done, who cares, whether you really feel courageous or not, you just gotta take care of business and you gotta take care of yourself. I have people coming after me all the time, threatening me, suing me, threatening to Sue me. And like, I just have to keep going because I believe in what I do. I think you’re right. I think sometimes. When we don’t have something that we want, we just fake it. uh, and if you pretend you go through the motions sometimes suddenly it’s like, oh, okay. Maybe I do have courage. Right. I mean, people who are brave, still feel fear. You know, we’re still human beings, we’re not robots. Um, and the other way I think I would say, I deal with like being nervous is just to over-prepare. And I, I think a lot of people say this, but I mean, when I go into argue a case, I need to know that case better than my associates, better than opposing counsel. Certainly better than the judge. I wanna know it backward and forwards. I do have the ability to read a lot of material and thousands and thousands of pages and make a lot of notes and retain what’s important and really knowing the case backward and forwards, um, makes me feel braver.

Sonya Palmer

Hmm. Yeah. Again, excellent advice being prepared allows you to kind of anticipate what’s coming, you know,

Lisa Bloom

I’m always amazed that attorneys are not prepared. I’m amazed when they come in and they don’t know the facts and they don’t know the law and they didn’t talk to their client and they’re just kind of winging it. I, I I’m shocked when I see that. And I see that a lot.

Sonya Palmer

Yeah. That would make me really anxious to walk into a courtroom and not know what’s going on. So, I couldn’t be that kind of attorney When disgusted by the legal system. When us Supreme court ruled in Bowers versus Hardwick that states could criminalize, consensual gay sex, you almost gave up the law. Why did you decide to stay?

Lisa Bloom

Yeah. So that was in the 1980s and I was in law school. I’ve been a big believer in gay rights. Since high school, I did a speech on it and went to the speech finals of my state on that. And so now I’m in law school and I spent a summer working at Lambda legal defense, which was an L G B T rights organization that worked on cases. At that time, it was legal for states to criminalize consensual adult gay sex. Which is just shocking and half the states did. And so Bowers versus Hardwick was a challenge to that law. Two men who had been arrested for having sex in their own home police officer peeked in the window, through the curtains, and arrested them. And it was a felony. Um, and I’ve worked on that case as a little baby intern. I mean, I had a tiny, tiny role. Um, and when that decision came down, it was right this summer after I graduated law school and was studying for the bar and the Supreme court said, yes, states can criminalize consensual adult gay sex. I thought. That’s it. I can’t be part of this system. I’m not doing this. This is disgusting. It’s a Supreme Court decision. How long is this going to be law? And, you know, I sat down in the streets in New York and protested and it was, uh, it was very dramatic and, um, You know, ultimately I decided I, oh, I’m gonna take the bar and I’m going to fight for civil rights for gay people and for everybody else. And, and that’s what I did, but, you know, I, I still feel it thinking about it now. still feel I disgusted with it. And of course, in 2003, Um, the Supreme court reversed that case. Thank God, which is actually pretty fast in terms of the Supreme court reversing itself. But you know, how many L G B T people had to live in fear, and how many were arrested a lot? Um, it was a shameful time for our country.

Sonya Palmer

Yes. Well, I am very glad that you persevered and decided to move forward with a legal career.

Lisa Bloom

Thank you.

Sonya Palmer

You also train teams to fight for victims at your own firm. You train your team on how to fight for victims of discrimination, harassment, and abuse. Can you walk us through what you do at your firm and how it can be replicated at other firms? How can other firms kind of prepare their teams?

Lisa Bloom

I have a team of about nine attorneys and half a dozen, uh, paralegals and other staffers. And. We fight these cases every day and we do well. And I think that’s because we know what we’re doing. So you have to have compassion for the clients and you have to fight hard with the other side and you have to work up every case as though you’re going to trial right from the beginning. So compassion for the clients. You know, our clients are traumatized. People, many of them are sexually abused or, uh, we represent black lives matter protestors who were assaulted by police. Um, and. These are people who are traumatized and they’re not going to tell us everything in the first meeting, they’re not going to trust us in the first meeting, even though they reach out to me because they have some faith in me, it just takes time for that to develop. And so we have to talk to them, not just once or twice, but over and over again. Um, eventually I think we do gain that trust. No cases, perfect. Clients have things to tell us that may be a problem. We always tell them there’s no fact that’s worse than a lie. So in a deposition, you just can’t lie. If there’s a bad fact, tell us, and let’s talk about it in advance. We’ll get it out. We’ll handle it. It’s fine. You just can’t cover it up or lie. So that’s kind of a summary about the compassion for clients fighting hard to the other side. I mean, we are in several big cases right now and we, you know, we represent plaintiffs, which means we have to be aggressive. We have to go, go, go. We have the burden of proof. We have to push, push push. The other side is always going to delay. Oh, you know, I stubbed my toe today. I need a six-month continuance, and it’s our job to nudge and fight and push. Luckily, that’s kind of my personality anyway. so that’s easy for me. go. Let’s go. Um, but you know, this isn’t about being nice or making friends with the opposing counsel. It’s about fighting hard for our clients. We want every piece of discovery we’re entitled to, and we’re gonna push and push until we get it. Um, so that’s just, that’s just some of it, you know, we have to know the law. We have a lot of, uh, we, we have weekly meetings, all staff meetings by zoom, and we do constant updates on the law and the developments in the law developments in psychology, especially around sexual assault. So that we’re all really super familiar with what we do.

Sonya Palmer

You mentioned you’re often dealing with people who have had very traumatic experiences and you have been very vulnerable in sharing your own lived traumatic experiences and allowing space for true empathy. in the process. Can you share how that has a fundamental way to heal?

Lisa Bloom

I was sexually abused many years ago when I was a child for four years by my stepfather and I didn’t report it for many, many years for about 10 years. Um, and, um, I understand that this is one of the biggest problems for sexual abuse victims is they take a long time to report it. And the defense in every case will always say, well, she didn’t report it right away. So she must be lying. She didn’t immediately run to the police at 11 years old or when her boss was assaulting her and therefore she must be lying. And so, you know, every time. We have to explain, we have to have experts. We have to bring in the research that that’s just not the way it works. I mean, in terms of my own healing, I would say that I started doing sexual abuse cases in my late twenties. And it was just honestly too soon. did the cases, but it was just too hard on me emotionally. Um, I ended up doing a different kind of work. Uh, and came back to it. You know, now I’m 60 years old. One of the things I always want women to know is that we get stronger as we get older. I promise you, you are going to get stronger when you get older. The twenties are a hard time. There’s a lot of anxiety. You don’t know what’s gonna happen in your life. You’re nervous about everything. You really settle down. And you do much better. The thirties, forties, and fifties, not just me talking about my own experience, although that is my experience. It’s, there’s a lot of data on this. And so like I have a friend who just turned 29 and she’s like, oh, I’m so old. I’m like, oh please, you’re gonna love your thirties, forties, fifties, sixties. You have so much to look forward to. So, you know, I mean, I think it’s a journey for all of us. We all have to figure out how to get where we need to be, how to be centered. We have to check our own emotions, you know, am I having a hard day? What do I need to be better? Um, uh, but I’m here at age 60 to tell everybody, uh, it definitely gets better. And, uh, you have a lot to look forward to.

Sonya Palmer

Yes. I, I love that and it does definitely get better. I think that needs said more often, again, from my own experience. When it has always just gotten better, you know, I don’t wanna go back to my twenties. No, I don’t wanna go back to high school.

Lisa Bloom

Right. High school. Forget it. Ugh, gross. God, God. What a, what a weird world that is?!

Sonya Palmer

Yes. Yes. Uh, it does require a significant amount of vulnerability, especially in leaders that are supposed to appear strong and tough, and know what they’re doing. Is there something leaders can do to share their stories appropriately with their teams?

Lisa Bloom

I think it’s a very personal decision. if you wanna share your personal story, um, I, you know, I haven’t gone into any detail with my team about my story. I don’t think it’s really all that relevant. And even with clients, I don’t really wanna talk about me, me, me, I wanna talk about them, but I will sometimes say you know, I, I know I get it. I’ve been there and it’s gonna get better. And, you know, for example, if they have a therapist, they don’t like, I’m like switch therapists, you know, there’s a lot of them Um, and. I mean, other than that, I, I, I think, you know, I’ve seen some attorneys really get personal with clients and really go deep into their own stories. And I feel like that probably isn’t the best practice. It, uh, it’s maybe a little bit oversharing, but I don’t, I guess it’s a personal decision that everybody has to make.

Sonya Palmer

I think that is good advice though, as, as when you’re sharing stuff like that, that you don’t have to be detailed, you can share as much or as little, uh, that would assist.

Lisa Bloom

Yeah.

Sonya Palmer

In a recent article from the guardian, the author says Lisa handles publicity the way a samurai wields, a sword. I wanted our listeners to learn from the master. However, not every lawyer will be on national television. Through the accessibility of platforms like Instagram and YouTube – your voice can still be heard. Here Lisa on how lawyers use can social media to their advantage.

Lisa Bloom

So I really like social media. Um, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s where the action is right now. Right. there’s a lot of hate on there too, but I mean, just block and ignore those people and get your message out of what you want to say. So for lawyers, I think. If you start posting and especially post videos, that’s what people wanna see, um, about your practice area and what you do and things you care about within your practice area. I mean, show a little passion. Most people are intimidated by lawyers. They’re afraid to call you and. They also, they wanna see that you’re authoritative and that you’re passionate. So I would pick one that also don’t be long-winded because people get bored. So I would say one-minute videos, that’s what I shoot for, and pick one topic and, you know, hit it and bring it home. If you don’t know what to talk about, if there’s something in your practice area, that’s in the news that you can talk about, doesn’t have to be your case. In fact, you have more freedom to talk under ethical rules. Cases that are not your case. Um, if it’s your own case, you’re limited. Um, and just get out there and, and start posting. And you know, some of the other attorneys in my firm who are young have started doing this and clients start contacting them. So, uh, you know, it doesn’t cost anything. And, uh, you know, if, if you knows, look into a camera and do a one-minute video about your practice area, um, you might ask yourself, uh, what the problem is because you should be able to do that.

Sonya Palmer

In addition to social media, are there other platforms that lawyers can use to amplify their voices and those of the powerless that they represent? Um,

Lisa Bloom

Well, you know, people do all kinds of things. So I had an attorney in my firm who was bilingual, English and Spanish, and he would do no, your. Uh, seminars for Spanish-speaking workers that were free, um, after work hours. And a lot of Spanish-speaking workers would come and he would break down what their rights were as employees in California. And he got a lot of clients that way. So, you know, don’t underestimate in-person meetings. They’re still out there. They’re still happening. People wanna meet, you bring a big stack of business cards, hand them out to people. Um, Those are still a good way of doing things. If you can be a speaker at any kind of event and talk about your work and what you do and why you care about helping people, um, AF and then hang around afterward, don’t make a B line outta there. Uh, and talk to people, hand out cards, you know, eventually, you’re gonna build up a, a good practice.

Sonya Palmer

I love that sort of a both digital social media, but then more traditional networking.

Lisa Bloom

Yes.

Sonya Palmer

Get out there. Meet people.

Lisa Bloom

Tell everybody you know, listen. My mom, Gloria Allred, when she started practicing law, 40 something years ago, right outta law school, started a firm with two partners. They had no clients, nobody had ever heard of them. She, we would be at a gas station literally, and she would stay at the gas station attendant. Hi, I’m an attorney. Here’s my card. She would say to the waitress in a restaurant. Oh, thank you for taking good care of us, by the way. If you ever need me here I am. Here’s my card. And I was a teenager. I was very embarrassed. Oh mom, why are you doing that? And now I see, you know, what she was building up a business and good for her and look at her today. She’s, you know, one of the best-known attorneys, I think in the world.

Sonya Palmer

Absolutely. Uh, it’s largely how my dad operated. He had his own insurance agency and wherever we went, Hey, you need some insurance.

Lisa Bloom

And, you know, people see you and they see that you care and that this is your work and you’re proud of it. And they may not know an insurance agent, or they may not know I attorney they hold onto that card and it can generate business.

Sonya Palmer

Yes. Very, very, very good. I’d like to touch on your books in both Think and Swagger, you outline toxic culture for both girls and boys. I’m curious. Uh, what changes have you seen since writing the books? Uh, have they been for the better or the worse?

Lisa Bloom

So thank you. So think was largely about the celebrity culture that we live in. I wrote it. 11 years ago, I think. And how it’s kind of taken over everything. If anything I think it’s only gotten worse in the last, uh, decade, and the Johnny Depp, Amber heard the case is a good example of that, of this sort of celebration of that case. And Johnny Depp is such, a list celebrity with so many obsessed fans. Had literally billions of hashtag justice for Johnny Depp posts and how they went after everybody. And they lined the streets and Amber herd said, you know, when she was driving into court, they people signs, you know, death to Amber herd and just vile, vulgar, disgusting comments about her. And so this, you know, celebrity worship in our culture. Has really escalated. And, uh, I think that’s a problem and we all have to push back against it in swagger. I talked about boys, as you say, and how to raise boys, notwithstanding all the pressures that are on boys. I still see that a, a great deal too, that boys are raised to, you know, be violent and tough and not have emotions and, and schoolwork doesn’t matter. And so, you know, girls are outperforming boys at every level. School and college and even graduate and medical law schools, you know, and that’s great on the one hand because girls are smart and working hard, but on the other hand, a lot of boys are getting left behind. So I, I think those problems, uh, really are still very much with us.

Sonya Palmer

You’ve used your platform to outline the injustice that was done in the Zimerman trial and the murder of Trayvon Martin in a book entitled Suspicion Nation, the Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why we Continued to Repeat it. You stated that the trial was unjust and racist and was disturbed that so few non-black people read the book or even seemed to care about racism. How can attorneys fight against a racially biased system when it feels like they are on their own?

Lisa Bloom

I think we have seen a little bit of improvement with the Black Lives Matter movement. Uh, really, uh, becoming so giant in 2020 and millions of people in the streets. And we did see more white people, particularly getting involved. And that was heartening to me. We’re now seeing, I think a backlash, and there’s a lot. The right-wing backlash to Black Lives Matter and trying to paint the whole movement. Like it was violent. And, um, you know, it’s all about the little microaggressions and, and that’s really what it’s about. Uh, it’s about very fundamental problems in our system. So how can attorneys do more? I mean, first of all, educate yourself about these issues. I think as a white person, you may have certain assumptions and you know, don’t assume that your life experience is the same as everybody else’s. I mean, I’ve literally heard white people say, well, you know, I never experienced racism. I’m like, uh, okay. uh, so you know, there’s a lot of great books to read. You can read mine, but there are a lot of wonderful other books to read YouTube videos and documentaries, and really educate yourself and then consider. What you can do in your practice. Can you take on a pro bono case, for example? Um, just took on a case, uh, yesterday of, uh, an African American man called the N-word a couple of times in his workplace. Uh, we see a lot of that. This is a case that, you know, it’s probably not a particularly high-value case. Um, but it’s, I think it’s important and we wanted to stand up for him and fight for him. And, you know, if it ends up being a pro bono case, you know, so be it and, um, There’s a lot of need out there. And I think once you educate yourself and you open yourself up to doing the work and helping people, uh, you’re gonna be rewarded. I will say that the African American community has always been so amazing and generous. And appreciative to me, like way beyond anything I deserve. And they just, uh, embrace me. They’re like, thank you for doing this case. Whenever I do a race discrimination case, um, it, it just, you know, they just want a little help, so let’s give it let’s, let’s use our use, use our talents, then let’s do it.

Sonya Palmer

Yes, absolutely. Are there, are there any organizations that attorneys or people, in general, can turn to for support?

Lisa Bloom

There’s the NAACP, um, the Inc fund as it’s called, which is the legal end of it. Uh, there’s Black Lives Matter. I mean, there are probably many, many organizations. Um, so I, I don’t think it would be hard for people to find them.

Sonya Palmer

And is there anyone that comes to mind that you see doing really great work in this space?

Lisa Bloom

Well, my firm does a lot of race discrimination cases around two darn horns, but we do a lot and we’ve been pretty successful at it. Um, and, um, you know, my mom’s firm obviously does race discrimination cases. I mean, I think there’s, there’s a number of firms that, that do them.

Sonya Palmer

Yes. If you could give one piece of advice that you could impart to young lawyers, what would it be?

Lisa Bloom

Know the case better than your opponent, um, handle your emotional health, make it a priority. I think. Probably the number one reason a lot of attorneys leave the profession is it’s too stressful. So they feel like they have to just work around the clock. They absorb all of the stress and they don’t know what to do with it. And then they give up, you know, I’m always hiring. Senior litigators for my firm. And they’re hard to find. It’s easy to find junior litigators, people who are like one to five years outta law school, but 10, 15, 20 years out, a lot of people, especially women leave the profession. So you gotta handle that. Um, I, I think it’s really important. You gotta figure out how you can manage the stress. Maybe you take on fewer cases. Maybe you take more vacations. Maybe you have an alternate thing you do that really makes you happy, whether it’s cooking or hiking or running or whatever it is. Um, but you, you have to, you have to manage the stress or you’re not gonna last.

Sonya Palmer

What are some bright points that you are optimistic about?

Lisa Bloom

I’m optimistic about people standing up for their rights and especially younger people. You have younger clients like in their twenties who come to me and them just immediately, like what, you know, I was sexually harassed. This is ridiculous. I’m calling a lawyer, I’m standing up for myself. A lot of the shame and self-blame and stuff is not there because they’ve grown up in a culture where like, this is just not acceptable. Right. So I mean,, that definitely gives me hope.

Sonya Palmer

What is next for you and your firm?

Lisa Bloom

Mmm. Gosh, I mean, we always have so much going on. Um, you know, one of the cases that we have been working on very hard is against the company Guess and Paul Marcano, who has been accused by many women of sexual misconduct. And we now represent two women in litigation. Unfortunately, they were forced into arbitration because of an agreement they signed for modeling, but you know, we’ll fight them on. Beaches, we’ll fight them in the streets. We’ll fight them. One of the famous winter and Churchill quote, we will fight them wherever we have to. And in this case, it’s arbitration, uh, we may be going to trial in the first one August 1st, which is only in about five weeks. We are ready. We would like it to go to trial. Then if it gets continued, uh, so be it, then it gets continued as the other side, of course, wants. And we don’t. Um, then we’ll, we’ll continue to fight it. That’s, that’s an important one that we’re working very hard on. I, I mentioned our Black Lives Matter cases. I think we have a trial date next spring, and one of them, um, you know, our clients were unarmed. They were shot by police rubber bullets at protests over police brutality, which kind of proved the point of the protests. And, uh, those cases are really important. I love representing activists because they are also very clear on what, you know, they want. There’s no internalized shame to get over. Like they know why they were there. And they’re pretty outraged about what happened. Um, so we have, uh, eight women we represent against the company act division, uh, which has a big sexual harassment scandal that it’s been embroiled in. And, um, one of those is already, uh, starting depositions today. And very proud of those clients and this company needs to shape up. They’ve had a lot of investigations from government agencies and they still, in my opinion, are not treating the women the way that they should be. So we’re gonna make them do that. So that’s just a little sampling.

Sonya Palmer

Just a little sampling. That’s a lot.

Lisa Bloom

Yeah.

Sonya Palmer

One more for you in Think one of the solutions that you have for learning, how to think again, is to read constantly and read the good stuff. What is the good stuff?

Lisa Bloom

So you can read a Trashy novel every now and then, but you should be reading things that are smart, that, uh, I think that makes you enlighten, make you a better person. If I think about the last thing I read, it’s David Sedaris’ new book. If you know, and he’s, he’s a humor writer, I wouldn’t say he’s particularly like. Made me a more enriched enlightened person, but he did make me laugh out loud. When I was listening to the audiobook when I was hiking 20 miles a day and that’s something else. Um, you know, I there’s, it’s a big planet. There’s a lot going on and we need to be aware. And, I called my book Think because I really want to encourage women, especially to think we have so many cultural messages that. What we look like is so important and our hair and our makeup and our clothes and our, you know, whatever. And it’s obviously none of that really is important and what’s important is in our what’s in our brains and how we’re using them. So I like to read things from both sides. I like to listen to, I listen to some right-wing podcasts, because number one, I wanna know what’s on the other side. Number two, I like, I’m a big girl. I can take it. Even if I don’t agree with most of it, you know what? Sometimes they do make a good point and I think, oh, okay. Okay. I, I hear that. I get it. Um, you know, I think we have to always be challenging ourselves, not just live in our bubble, not just hear what we wanna hear. Um, so that’s what I encourage people to do. Whether you’re reading, you’re listening, you’re watching.

Sonya Palmer

Completely agree. I think thinking, but also critical thinking, being able to listen to something and say, I agree with that. I don’t agree with that. is very important. So I try to do the same.  I will read and listen to things that I know I will not agree with.

Lisa Bloom

Good for you.

Sonya Palmer

yes. Any, books, uh, that have made a really big impact on you? Uh, over the last few years,

Lisa Bloom

Well, uh, it was more than a few years ago than I read it, but it just popped into my head Half the Sky, which is a wonderful book about women in the third world and the struggles that they face. Um, lately I’ve been reading a lot of books about climate change. Um, Bill Gates’s book was very good about climate change and, I think climate change is so important and we can’t turn away from it. I’m actually reading a book now about the psychology of why we can’t grasp it, and why we are turning away from it. It’s called Don’t Even Think About It. by a psychologist. Like we all, most of us who understand the science, understand that this is really bad it’s an existential threat and yet, like, are we spending all of our time fighting it? No, am I, no, I, I spend some time on this and then I turn to other things. It’s just the way the human mind works. And even when I’m out hiking and I can see the changes in our I see that this, the streams and the creeks are drying up. I can see that the bird diversity is very different than it was even two years ago. Why do we turn away from it. So those are some of the things that are on my mind right now.

Sonya Palmer

Courage may not come naturally – but as Lisa says: Fake it. Charge forward. Take care of business. And yourself. To fight tirelessly for the powerless, year over year, you have to care for yourself first and most. Find time to reset emotionally and physically. For Lisa, that means hiking in the wilderness. For you that could be a walk in the park. Or 20 minutes in the sun. Get outside and take a breath. Then get back to it. A big thank you to Lisa Bloom for sharing her story and unbelievable insights with us today. You’ve been listening to LawHER with, me, Sonya Palmer. If you found this content insightful, inspiring, or just made you smile, please share this episode with the trailblazer in your life. For more about Lisa check out our show notes. While you’re there, please leave us a review or a five-star rating. It really goes a long way for others to discover the show. I’ll see you next week on LawHER where we’ll shed light on how another of the brightest and boldest women in the legal industry climbed to the top of her field.

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