Dickerson Oxton - March 2020

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MAR. 2020

ANIMAL BITES

CAR ACCIDENTS

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

One Step at a Time

BICYCLE/ MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS

LESSONS FROMWOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

Seeing as March is Women’s History Month, I would be remiss if I didn’t take the time to give thanks to the trailblazers who have inspired me and my career. These women faced incredible uphill battles to do the work they loved, and while the road to equality still winds on, they made it that much easier for my generation to chase our dreams. The least I can do is say thank you. Austen. While her writing and wit are entertaining in their own right, it was the context of her authorship that really grabbed my attention. To be a woman in 19th-century Britain, where women weren’t even allowed to sign contracts, and still make a living as a novelist was no small feat. And yet, despite the legal and societal hurdles she faced, Austen became one of the most widely read authors of her time, all while she peppered her books with sharp criticism of the world she lived in. That is bravery. And, of course, women in law have always been a major inspiration for me. While their philosophies are very different, I find myself looking up to both Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Despite the political gulf between them, both of these women held their own against intense During my undergraduate years, I was an English major. Books and language were my world, yet one author in particular stood out to me: Jane

scrutiny to prove that women can be more than just lawyers and judges; they can sit at the highest levels of the justice system. That’s a far cry from where we used to be. At a women’s lawyers conference last year, a speaker brought up a 19th century Illinois Supreme Court ruling which flat out stated, “Women can’t be lawyers.” It was a stark reminder of how far we’ve come since those days but also raised an important point. This case was one of very few instances where officials outright stated a woman couldn’t practice law. Other states didn’t have such explicit laws or rulings because they didn’t need to. Social pressure, stigma, and internalized sexism were powerful forces that held women back from seeking these careers — discrimination doesn’t have to be overt to have an impact. It’s this more covert, subtle sexism that women still face today. Just in law alone, there are skills female lawyers have to learn just to stand a chance in a courtroom. Everything from how you dress to how “aggressive” you argue a case is going to be scrutinized by judges and jury members. These are obstacles men in this profession just don’t have to think about. Despite these and many other hurdles, women find success in this field — more and more every year.

BRAIN & SPINAL CORD INJURIES

I personally look up to a friend and mentor, Rosemarie Riddell Bogdan. Rose has been practicing for 27 years, becoming a partner at her firm during a time where that was almost unheard of. Her leadership and the strength she carries herself with are both something anyone can aspire to. So, while we still have a long way to go toward gender equality, I have hope. There are women out there right now making a difference, picking up the torch from the previous generation, and carrying it forward for our children. My daughter Heidi still isn’t at the age where she really knows what she wants to be when she grows up, and that’s okay. Regardless of whether or not she chooses to follow her father and me into law doesn’t matter; the only thing I care about is that whatever her passions are, she can pursue them uninhibited by the hurdles women face today. That may seem like a distant dream, but as Ruth Bader Ginsburg reminds us, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”

BURN INJURIES

CONSTRUCTION INJURIES

NURSING HOME ABUSE

SLIP & FALL ACCIDENTS

BOATING ACCIDENTS

TRUCK ACCIDENTS

–Chelsea Dickerson

PHARMACEUTICAL & DRUG INJURIES

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