25. Reb Masel, Buchalter — Entertainment and Representation: How Social Media Elevates Women in Law

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Reb Masel doesn’t just entertain her 1.1 Million followers. The attorney best know for reading baffling public depositions on TikTok creates an outlet for legal professionals who often feel isolated. The litigation attorney at Buchalter demonstrates to young lawyer hopefuls that there is no one right way to be an attorney. We discuss leveraging social media as a platform for representation, privilege, and bringing others with you. On the path to becoming a lawyer, confidence did not come easily to Reb. And rock bottom had many basements. We discuss how her desire to be the best not just for herself, but for future clients pushed her through.

Whats in This Episode

  • Who is Reb Masel?
  • How is she using her following of over one million people on TikTok to create equity in the legal space?
  • When the “rock bottoms” of law school kept getting lower, what motivated her to keep going?
  • How does she manage a hobby with a potential workload of a full-time job?
  • How is she bringing other women with her?

Transcript

Reb Masel

Why Let’s talk about it In 2020, 62% of all lawyers were men, meaning that 47% ish were women, which is the highest that it has ever been. men are still the highest earners by far

Sonya Palmer

Equity partners in multi-tier law firms continue to be disproportionately white men. In 2021, 22.0% of equity partners were women and only 9.0% were people of color.

Reb Masel

Why is. Why is that? If you ask any female attorney, they’ll tell you why, because the people who have been in power and who are in positions of power have been, notably white men, statistically.

Sonya Palmer

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. Best known for reading public depositions on TikTok, Reb Masel doesn’t just entertain her 1.1 Million followers. She creates an outlet for legal professionals and demonstrates to young lawyer hopefuls that WHO can be an attorney doesn’t stop at Ally McBeals or Alexandra Cabot’s of SVU fame. We discuss leveraging social media as a platform for representation, privilege, and bringing others with you. On the path to becoming a lawyer, confidence did not come easily and rock bottom had many basements. Her desire to be the best – not just for herself – but for future clients pushed her through. Reb shares with us one of the experiences while in law school that best prepared her for life in the legal field. Let’s dive in.

Reb Masel

One Moo core competition that I did, with my partner, we advanced to nationals for, it’s called the Sal Quis international trademark association competition. And at the time we, had a couple weeks notice to, to learn trademarks and to do this, to write the brief, and to learn and to figure it out and do this competition. And at the time. My partner and I were both externing full time. And so we very much were shooting for the stars in this competition. But of course, we are competitive to our detriment The first rounds were hosted in eight different cities around the world. Ours was obviously in Los Angeles. So all of the law schools USC, UCLA, S D all of the ones, around here and then a few. In the Northern coast, came to LA to compete, to try to advance to nationals, which would be hosted in Washington DC. And several law schools had packed the court for lack of a better phrase. They had sent several teams and Pepperdine sent us and we were sleep deprived. We had barely had any time to prepare, we showed up and we said, we’re gonna give it our all. We winged it. And the kicker that we actually found out the day of was that actual federal district court judges from the central district would be judging. They were the only ones who were gonna be judging. it was arguing to people Whose entire job was this. And as a second-year law student, it was definitely not barred yet and definitely has not taken trademarks. we ended up winning. And advancing and, and we have photos where even it was a little, it was a little, our poker faces. One, one thing I learned poker face needed a little bit of work because actually award ceremony, when they called our name, typically, you would be very humble and stand up and, say, thank you. Andt. And I started laughing because we thought there’s just no way. There’s simply no way.

Sonya Palmer

Surprised

Reb Masel

thought, oh, we have it in the bag. We got such great feedback. The judges loved us. We flew to DC a couple of weeks later and had our butts handed to us. judges, like they were, trade essentially like trademark justices were it was as if we had never argued in our entire lives. That’s how it felt. That’s how they learned. That’s how they, that’s, how our feedback was. the lesson that I, learned that I was fortunate to learn early on was don’t get comfortable. You have no idea how another judge, another attorney, another jury, another anybody is going to take your argument. You don’t know a lot and a, about this area of law, about a lot of different things, about strategy, about all of this, and, putting your best foot forward should always change between the next step. So that was a great lesson that I learned. It was obviously an honor and such a great opportunity to be able to advance to nationals and do that.

Sonya Palmer

And I think it does translate to being a lawyer. Because the law is very strict, obviously it’s black and white and like your job, as a lawyer is somewhat that’s very structured and yet it can be very

Reb Masel

exactly and, any litigator will know, your client will give you new facts every week that you absolutely should have known on day one that you do not learn for months later because they said why did I have to tell you that? And you just have to sweat and, change the game calling.

Sonya Palmer

Change It Up. Yeah. I love it. So for aspiring lawyers having just been through law school, where would you put 80% of your energy, if you had to do it all over again

Reb Masel

I would do it exactly the same. If I did it over again when it comes to law school when it comes to how I approached law school, what I dedicated my time to, what opportunities I decided to take and that doesn’t have to do with me, knowing everything. I knew nothing. I am zero or 100 as my parents will tell you right out of the womb I am either 100% throwing myself into something or I am absolutely coasting. And so I told myself the day before loss orientation. Okay. I don’t know anything. I have no preconceived notions about what I’m going to learn, what lo type of law I want to be, or what law school is going to be like, but I’m just going to assume that it’s worse than what people have told me. It is, expecting the worst hope or the best. And I’m going to do my very best at everything that I do in law school. Because if I throw my all at something, at a class at a final at mour at LAR view, anything like that. And, I throw my all into it and I come out and I get a C average, then hell yeah, I gotta C average, I’m gonna own it because that was the best that I could do. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of. But I just didn’t wanna walk away from, the field and feel like I didn’t leave at all. On the field on the court. it led to a lot of physical, emotional, and mental unwellness, I will say, anyone who can say that they’ve, they gave it their all at law school and ended up doing well will say that it was the, one of the hardest things they’ve ever been to do that consistently for three years, the stamina and endurance alone is exhausting. And honestly, a feat. I don’t think that I could do it again, literally. But I would say that giving it my all the first time around and not underestimating it and just wanting to throw myself into it, not to beat someone else and not to just get a good grade, but to actually feel like I was the most prepared for this field, for the people that I would represent and advocate for later, they deserved it. The future clients deserved my all. Now, whether it would help me or not.

Sonya Palmer

That balance is very difficult to strike. So to have low expectations or no expectations, almost pessimism, but then also. Good attitude, confident, hopeful. That’s a very difficult balance

Reb Masel

Oh my, my rock bottoms had several basements. It was like, I kept building a wine seller. Are you kidding? I was not at all times, people. I have people on TikTok who comment on me a lot and ask me about it. Confidence and how to be secure in yourself. And I will absolutely not say here and say that I was this person throughout law school. I am also just extremely competitive. That was helpful to maintain, the effort that I put into things. But there were many, sad nights where I thought, what am I doing? This is a nightmare. This is awful. I can’t do this. I don’t think that I can do this. I. Am losing my mind. I had trouble sleeping my first year because I would just wake up in the middle of the night thinking oh my God, like before a final I would just wake up thinking, oh my gosh, like that really smart girl in the front row definitely is sitting more as she went to Dartmouth. Like I can’t, I can’t up compete and I’m over here doing flashcards. I freaking out. Not everything the final result, what it was great. I graduated in the top 10 in my class, which was awesome. I was able to do Mo court and be very success successful at it because the legal reasoning and writing course that Pepperdine law is particularly stellar. And it has a reputation, at least in the LA area and among LA law schools for being fantastic. I was able to, do well on law review get on law review, and feel really confident about my legal writing, which is obviously the cornerstone of everything that we do. And, as we like to preach to the law students, even though they roll their eyes, I say, no, I’m serious. , the final result of all of it is so great, but in the moment for aspiring attorneys, I would say. Just because your best isn’t someone else’s best, right? Your best was a B average or a C minus or whatever doesn’t mean that you are lesser or doesn’t mean that you won’t be as stellar of an attorney later on it simply doesn’t. If you can throw your all into something and be self-aware and know that there’s room for improvement, that is 90% of the battle that is being a lawyer.

Sonya Palmer

So you were clearly very motivated. Was law always on the table? Did you always wanna be a lawyer? ,

Reb Masel

I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was a kid. And then I learned that you had to take science like you had to be very, science related, which was a to my shock and horror. I was very, just threw me for a loop. Yeah, I didn’t. Know what I wanted to do going into undergraduate school. I went to UC Santa Barbara, go Gaos adored that school it’s a fantastic university, I loved it, and going into it, I, did great. My SATs had a great GPA. I got into UC Santa Barbara and that was like my w that was my win. And for me, and, for my family, when they would ask me what I wanted to do, all I. Was that I wanted to do school for as long as I could? I loved school. I was good at school. I knew I was good at school. I love learning. I love history and everything you ever learn is just a mini history lesson. When it comes, even if it’s like English or language or Spanish, it’s all history. And so I wanted to have fun in college and that is very much what I did. I changed my major a bajillion times. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I figured I’d just, go to grad school and get my master’s in history or get my Ph.D. and then figure it out from there. And I studied abroad. the spring of 2016? So the spring of my junior year in college and it was an international and global studies program at the university of Geneva. So it was taking courses at the UN and international environmental law in, at the w H O learning from people who were working on the during the aids crisis in the eighties. And it was so eye-opening and I really thought okay, maybe the legal world is something I can consider. And I literally flew home starting my senior year. It was June or July right before my senior year. And my roommate who ended up being my moot court partner in law school Talia at the time said, oh yeah, I think I’m gonna take the LSAT. And I said, Oh, maybe I should too. I could you not. That is how it is. And people said, if you’re good at reading and writing and in, in analysis, reading comprehension you should take the LSAT. So I thought I’ll take it. I’ll tell you four. I’ll take it. I’ll see if it works out because I knew I, needed to get, enough scholarship money to be able to afford law school. And I took it and it ended up working. So I literally knew I was going to law school a couple of months before the first day.

Sonya Palmer

When deciding how to best impact the world around you, the path forward may not be immediately clear. But when law school appeared as a means to that end, Reb went all in.

Reb Masel

I wanted to use what I was good at and what I loved to better other people’s lives and to make an impact that wasn’t just about myself. I wanted to bridge the gap between what I loved and what I was paid to. And I am very fortunate that I found that bridge, which was to become a lawyer. And I, during the entire time of law school, I never doubted that I wanted to be one because I, I showed up and I thought, why haven’t I wanted to do this all along? But also the great part about being an attorney is flip a U-turn anytime you want when it comes to the practice area when it comes to what you’re doing when it comes to, whether you’re practicing, whether you’re going into business whether you’re in the house, whether you’re a litigator, whether you’re defense, whether you’re a plaintiff, it’s just, career changes for me are like my bread and butter, my bread and ministry. I love knowing I can change my mind.

Sonya Palmer

And a lot of people do a lot of the women that I’ve talked to started in one area, they switched to this, they were working for a firm. Now they own theirs. So you do have a ton of op a ton of options inside of the legal industry. All right, let’s talk about TikTok. So for those who do not know which I imagine that number is getting smaller every day, you have a following of over 1 million on TikTok, and you’re probably best known for reading depositions that are as baffling as they are hilarious or tragic. Depending on how much faith in humanity you have. So take us back to that first spark of, oh, like this needs to happen.

Reb Masel

The day that I started it was called, the icon reading, iconic court transcripts, the court can transcript series, which a lot of people might know me for. It. The worst day of deposition was with a very hostile witness who was not happy to be there. He was, cursing at counsel when we were trying to ask him questions yelling at attorneys, and asking us, how do we sleep at night? And at that 0.2 hours in I’m thinking still pillowcase and AC on high let’s get it moving. And so he ended up, it was over zoom. It was just, it’s just, it was a very, it’s a very complex, very messy, very everything case. Whereas the associate, I was, doing a lot of the brunt work when it came to preparing for this deposition and filing the motions, and dealing with these witnesses and XYZ. And he, this witness ended up ending the deposition in the middle of it. Just saying I’m out-ending the zoom, which as everyone knows, especially, wherever you practice, at least particularly in California, You cannot do that without, sanction being, being rendered against you rented against that witness. And, resulting in you not being able to use that witness at a trial or that testimony, yadda. And so the screen went black and I was, and I saw the next like couple weeks of work flash before my eyes of knowing, the motions I would have to file, to continue it and all these things, to all this stuff. And so I. Was exhausted. It was like 6:00 PM. And I went to CBS and bought like $90 worth of stuff that I did not need. Like lotions and creams, whatever retail therapy. And I saw a pair of sunglasses that I personally do not think are cute on me at all, which is the irony. I dug my own grave cuz now I have to wear them for every video. And I bought these sunglasses and I went home and I just made this video talk like saying, I, I wish I could tell you guys. About the absolute DeBry that just occurred in this deposition, and even now, like I had that entire deposition has so many soundbites in it that I would, that really is just gold, but obviously, as we all know, confidentiality turn clap of which I can’t share it. So I thought. Let’s Google it. Let’s see if there are others that are public that I can read and make myself feel better that I’m not alone. And so I recorded the first video of me in those stupid sunglasses, reading a couple of hilarious, transcript excerpts that I found online. One of them being. An attorney asks a witness, oh, are you sexually active? And the witness responding? No, I just lie there. And those, it’s just, it just really makes the professional go around like it just and it’s an ode to how many attorneys have to sit through and go through and hear, and honestly laugh at amongst ourselves that we can’t share with others all the time. And also an anode to every poker face. A lawyer has had to pull off in scenarios Like that because we can’t tackle. We cannot laugh.

Sonya Palmer

I think everybody has bad days. Everybody has terrible days. You were like trying to comfort yourself with your CVS purchases. And then because of it, you’re able to not only just share your bad day with other people, but be inspired by this thing that now a million other people relate to.

Reb Masel

Yeah, I, I hun hundreds of thousands of comments and DMS. And views from so many attorneys and paralegals and legal assistance and law clerks and staff that are, that say, oh my God, thank you. Like I have so many, people emailing me submissions that are hilarious. And then so many more non-attorneys and people who aren’t in this field who. Genuinely send me the most heartfelt kindness messages about how these are, hilarious. And the hilarious is getting them through a bad day or how they’re like, I only downloaded this app so that I could see these right when they’re posted and, I just am extremely fortunate to be able to have a vehicle unintentionally, accidentally to just make people. Laugh and have a good time and also understand that not everything in court is just like a true crime. Docu-series podcast, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy. A lot of it is mundane menial stuff. I’m preaching to the choir here. But so much goes on. Either, some days, it restores your faith in humanity because some people are genuinely hilarious. And sometimes it breaks it down a little but I like not knowing what day you’re gonna get.

Sonya Palmer

Did you anticipate it would get this big?

Reb Masel

No, I don’t think anything. I, it’s overwhelming. To think about numbers. I did not become a lawyer because I enjoy numbers. That is for sure. I’m not a patent attorney either or a tax attorney, great. Great for me. When the first one, I think it was like the part it’s like part 15, which is already, so many parts 15 was the one that, now has like upwards of 8 million views or something like that, 2 million likes. Those numbers. I cannot wrap my head around it. I don’t wrap my head around it. I don’t like to I never would’ve anticipated it and I am still in denial. Absolutely. If you ask any of my friends, they’ll tell you that I am fully in denial. I just don’t imagine myself as an influencer quote, unquote creator, quote, unquote. This is quite literally my personal account and my hobby that some people happen to.

Sonya Palmer

So then how are you managing your time? You’re a lawyer and now you have a hobby that’s taking a lot of

Reb Masel

Yeah, I don’t, first of all, a lot of people, even some of my friends too who are lawyers or who are in law school, just finished the bar yesterday. Congratulations, genuine. Just did. Oh my goodness. I. They, have dabbled in, editing a TikTok or making a TikTok and they’ll text me and go, oh my God, how do you do this? I don’t understand. This took me three hours. This would be two hours. And I started makings when I was studying for the bar, which is. Ironic because most people would think, why would you spend that time doing it? And it was because my little sister is very gen Z. She was born in 2000. So she keeps me young and she humbles me violently. And she, when I was studying for the bar I’m studying, I’m waking, I was waking up, my routine was wake up seven, 7:00 AM. And I was studying, nine hours a day, six days a week. And at the end of those nine hours, I would. I would want to just do the mindless. I wanted to stop my brain. I just wanted to do something that was like trash TV or reality teacher or something. And so my sister would be sending me these talks. And of course, me being the stubborn millennial, I’m thinking I don’t, that’s a kid app. I don’t need to download it. And she would get frustrated and say, you just need to download it to open these tick TikTok. So I downloaded it. And of course, when I was done studying. Me and my five followers, my law school friends, I would just make these funny talks that were bar-related or something, or another related that were just jokes or, whatever. To pass the time and to give me again, a crumb of serotonin, like just happy for a second. And so because of that, I was able to learn how to make a video and then figure out the app very early on before things started happening, with it. And it started getting popular when around when I was sworn in February of 2021 I do a. Of the videos or filming and things at night. And they’re not like planned out. I know that sounds very irresponsible, but my life as a billing attorney is very planned. I know exactly what I’m doing for work that day and what I’m gonna be working on. And I have a meeting this, and I’m gonna finish this motion here and I’m gonna and so at night I’ll just be driving home and be like that’s a funny idea for a video and just go home and film it. And it’ll take me like 20 minutes, 30 minutes. And then I’ll post it the next day. So yes, it’s time-consuming, It’s genuinely something that I do in my free time. That makes me happy. In the same way that, anyone would be posting on Instagram. Or, anything else when, what we’re doing in our personal lives? I just think that because my account for whatever reason got very popular. especially among women who were able to see someone who looked like them or had the sense of humor that they had, or were as young as they were, or, had the valley girl accent and the vocal fry that they did. And the long hair, I get a lot of comments about that people. People women saying, I thought I had to cut my hair into a Bob to be an attorney. And I think, honey, where did you hear that? Like not saying that, there, there aren’t certain, dress codes in court and things and, having your hair back. I typically have my hair in a bun when I was arguing, but, I realized very quickly that this account was part of my job in the sense that. If I am not making the legal world a more inclusive and more open place where some things that were previously in the dark about law school about being a lawyer are now in the open. Then that is part of my job. Then that’s something that I should be able to do. I have fun with it. So that makes the time pass so quickly, but absolutely. I get a negligent amount of sleep as anyone can really do.

Sonya Palmer

Making the legal industry more inclusive, that’s a thing that needs to happen, but also just breaking the mold of what people think. An attorney, particularly a female attorney is supposed to act and look like a Bob humor, which I think is often undervalued in professional positions. You’re serious. You’re a lawyer. So when other people see oh, that person has a sense of humor. They’re funny, you’re talking about very tense situations. Being able to make someone smile during something like that is totally amazing.

Reb Masel

Absolutely. And I am a very loud proponent of being a person and being an attorney and attorneys who’ve practiced. Time and who have achieved, varying levels of success, I think will echo that will say that showing their clients that they are a person, that they are someone who ha who can be empathetic and who can understand, and who can listen and who can acknowledge the differences in their upbringing and their background from their clients or understand and acknowledge that they, even though they’ve done this for 20 years and they have 20. They can absolutely. Learn from someone who is just now entering the field, who might have a bright, fresh, new take on this area of law on this, burden-shifting analysis that they might not have thought of previously. Attorneys who have a sense of humor and who are able to find light in a lot of things and able to be more, not necessarily laid back as in not type a cause I’m the very type a person but just, Just taking things as they come and not taking themselves too seriously, end up being more successful. And absolutely as a trial attorney, being more agreeable and approachable and friendly in front of from, in front of a jury than someone who is rigid, attorney that we all think of, we think of to kill a mock bird, that kind of attorney who is just completely put together, doesn’t have any life outside of being an attorney. They are just in this courtroom and they leave and they’re a robot and they’re turned off and then they’re turned back on when they need to go into the courtroom. And that’s not the reality. I think of the women. In, in this field who in pop culture or otherwise who I had in my mind to look up to, or to think about and to see myself as, and I think of this now in hindsight, Because at the time, I wasn’t, I don’t think I was really thinking about it. I was just thinking as one does, as I do, cuz of who I am as a person like I’m gonna pave my way, no matter what gonna be fine. And you meet along the way in law school, in your, in practice. So many women who are like you who are of varying ages and races and degrees and backgrounds. And experience levels. And so you think oh, that’s fine. But for people who are thinking about law school and for people who aren’t yet decided, or for young girls, young teenagers who want to see someone other than just legally blonde in pop culture, who they can look up to. I didn’t realize until now how open. Of a space. There was to be filled by women who are in this field who have a voice who are varying, personalities and education levels, and practice areas. Because even if I’m just sitting on to talking about something completely irrelevant to the law, or just talking about my day or telling jokes, whatever. I’ve had hundreds, if not thousands of DMS from women and teenagers and girls that literally make me sob. Where they just say, I’m just so happy that I can be a person I’m so happy that I can be, you’re still a lawyer. That’s so cool. I, that, that blows my mind. And even though as practicing attorneys that don’t blow our minds cuz you know, we’ve, we know, I know a lot of me, I’m a copy and paste of a lot of different people there hasn’t been that. So to the extent that social media can open the door for so many other attorneys like me to show young girls and young women, that you can be many different things you can be multifaceted, and being successful, is extremely important.

Sonya Palmer

You are definitely onto something there because, in media books, TV, and film, There’s very little representation for female lawyers, to begin with. You mentioned legally blonde there’s a handful of court shows Ali McBeal. There’s very little representation to begin with. And that representation is very limited I’m not seeing it here in Hollywood, but I am seeing it here on social media TikTok. I. That’s a very true thing.

Reb Masel

Anytime I talk about issues in the law or social issues in our field, Specifically relating to being a woman in this field, when it comes to discrimination and harassment and, ridicule or constantly being asked if you’re the paralegal, every time you walk into a damn room everyone always says there are more women than men in this field. What’s the problem? Don’t you, isn’t everything fine? Doesn’t that fix that problem, right? Like I’ve genuinely had people tell me that with a straight face. Fine. Let’s talk about it in 20. In 2020, there were about 62% of all lawyers were men, meaning that 47% ish were women, which is the highest that it has ever been. Its historic high men are still the highest earners by far 78% of all equity partners in the United States are men. Why is that? If you ask any female attorney, they’ll tell you why, because the people who have been in power and who are in positions of power have been, notably white men, statistically, not an opinion, just an objective observation. And it’s not just with firms, 73% of all federal judges are men. 80% of those are white. There are just so many 70. Okay. 79% of elected prosecutors are white men. Or no are men and 95% are white. There are so many things in this field that are disproportionate to a degree that I don’t think the general public and most people believe they would believe, but they don’t see. And they don’t really recognize. And they don’t think of I scream this statistic from the rooftop that people that always shocks people is I say 5% of all attorneys in the United States are black 5%. That’s. Even though 30, what?

Sonya Palmer

Black women

Reb Masel

Thank you. Yes. 1% of black women. So when you have, shows like how to get away with murder, right? Anna Keating loves her friend’s center being an attorney and being a black woman. That is absolute. The minority in our field to a degree that some people would absolutely be floored and shocked at and want to be changed if they knew enough about it. And they and these numbers were broadcast everywhere. And, so many, the ABA comes out with studies every year, talking to women, talking to black women, asking, Latino women, any other denomination, any other ethnicity, any other race in this field, in addition to the what, like one, 2% that there are black women, it’s it? That number is. Is frighteningly small as well. They ask them, why do you end up leaving this field? Why do you end up, quitting your job at this firm or another? And it’s obvious, but also statistically because of the discrimination and the harassment and the treatment that they get because they are one of way too many who doesn’t look like them. And, I think. That being a white woman in this field is being someone who comes from privilege. I am very privileged to be a white woman. Absolutely. Especially because, we were the first ones who were able to get our foot in the door to be in this field, to starting off and being that. Has to absolutely come with the requirement that I am doing everything I can to put my foot in the door to leave it open for the next woman, black woman, Mexican woman, Latino woman, indigenous woman, or native American woman to come in the door. And, I am, might be, a naive young attorney I’m only a second year. At the very least, if a million people that follow me can have these numbers and statistics shoved in their face all the time and accompany that with encouragement for women who watch my videos who might be black women who might see, me talking about it and think, I wanna be part of them. I wanna make that number bigger. Then that is just as important as drafting a motion. That’s due to file tomorrow.

Sonya Palmer

A hundred percent, I think. What you mentioned about, why black women leave the legal industry? Why do they leave the profession? Why do women leave the profession? And I think the opportunity is also part of it. The statistic that this podcast was born on was that only 19% of managing partners in law firms are women so we’re at you’re at 50% now almost 50% of lawyers or women. Only 20% of them are managing the

Reb Masel

And anyone who’s here will tell you that it’s not for lack of experience or credential or worthiness these there are so many women, even in the firms that I’ve worked at, that I, firms that, that I’ve ex have experienced with where I’ve looked around and thought, yeah, there are women here. Who should not be in the position that they should be higher, they should be higher. And then, that does not even consider the fact that the number of men that I have met in positions of power at firms who, if they, were women, I would say that there. Experience and how do I put this slightly, their practice their unethical practices. Those would not have flown a woman would not have been able to do what they do and be in a partner position in my opinion, but because they are. Men in this field, are able to, be a little bit more loosey-goosey when it comes to a lot of things, than women have to be and are required to be, and are expected to be we have to be unemotional. We have to type a, we have to be rigid. We have to be perfect when it comes to the courtroom when it comes to all of these things and, to say that the 19%. Of all equity bars in us are women to say that, oh, that number’s, increasing or getting, the women who had to ha had to be that to be an equity partner. They had to do things that no man had to do to get there.

Sonya Palmer

As hard, 10 times harder. . And I also, like you said, about a privileged white woman. as you succeed and you move up, take someone with you.

Reb Masel

It gives me chills only because of everything that I am as an attorney. And as someone in this field and new and starting out, I am because so many women that I’ve met in this field have taken me with them when it comes to the way they think the way they practice, the way they treat other people, the way they treat office staff, the way they treat the court clerk, the way they treat the judge, the way they treat opposing counsel, I have watched, I have observed and I have been taken with them, even if they didn’t always know it. I am a product. A proud demonstration of every woman that came before me who told me and showed me how to do this in a way that preserves the respect and integrity of our field and profession, but also makes it known that we are women in this field and we are good at it and we can be good at it. Amen.

Sonya Palmer

Amen. Do you have a terrible deposition you could read for us or do you have a favorite one for us?

Reb Masel

The defendant. This was in court. The defendant says, judge, it’s ridiculous making a plant illegal. It’s like saying God was wrong. Judge. Mr. Jones. I am so sorry to tell you this, but making a plant illegal was the very first thing God did.

Sonya Palmer

Judge. That isn’t wrong.

Reb Masel

Judge is not wrong.

Sonya Palmer

Women like Reb offer a new perspective on law and how it is represented. As you climb the ranks, share your story, hold the door open, and pull others with you. We know that women and people of color are abysmally underrepresented in the legal field. But the new guard of summer associates in 2021 offers a glimmer of hope. According to the most recent Report on Diversity for US Law Firms from Berkley – the percentage of summer associates of color grew by nearly 5 percentage points to more than 41% of all summer associates in 2021. This is the largest gain in the 29 years that Berkley has gathered these findings. And, women made up over half of all summer associates – for the fourth year in a row. And one-quarter of all summer associates were women of color. The challenge remains that this diversity is mirrored at the partner level. To train and develop the new generation, it is imperative that the attorneys of today help close the gap and create a community in which diversity flourishes through decisive action. A big thank you to Reb Masel 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 Reb 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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