Does gender matter when choosing a New York matrimonial or family law attorney? Kleyman Law Firm Divorce Lawyers In Brooklyn and Manhattan offer their opinion.
Though the gender of your attorney ultimately makes little difference–in the courtroom or the boardroom–the fact remains that gender plays a role in the attorney-client relationship. The role it plays, however, is largely subjective, and will most likely vary based on the individual client. Attorneys will tell you that you will find a pretty good balance of male and female attorneys practicing in Kings County. This was not always the case. For many years, lawyer sin general were mostly men. That drastically changed over the years as women began to show how effective their advocacy skill can be in this area of the law. Today, the Brooklyn bar counts a fairly balanced number of male and female divorce lawyers in Brooklyn. But are there a good reasons to select a male or a female divorce attorney?
Consider, for example, the patient who has a gender preference when choosing a doctor: the patient might feel uncomfortable crossing gender lines, and opt to only see doctors who are of the same gender. Similarly, a client might have strong feelings one way or the other regarding the gender of his or her attorney. As women tend to be perceived as nurturing, female attorneys tend to be an attractive option to wives and mothers who have experienced abuse – be it psychological, physical, or both – probably because they are looking for some modicum of comfort, having come from a situation which has offered very little. On the other hand, that same woman might find herself drawn to the more stereotypically firm and authoritative demeanor of a male attorney, since a woman who finds herself coming straight out of an abusive relationship might not yet have adjusted to the possibility that she is “capable” of making her own decisions.
Some divorce lawyers in Brooklyn think that men might prefer a female attorney for what might be perceived as “strategic” reasons. If they are seeking a divorce because they cheated on their wife, for example, they might feel that a female advocate would make him “look better” in front of a judge. Of course, fidelity has little to nothing to do, anymore, with divorce and family law: though one of the traditional grounds for divorce was adultery or abandonment, a New York divorce will almost without question be brought under DRL 170(7) grounds (more commonly referred to as “no fault”).
The bottom line is, regardless of gender, you must select an attorney with whom you feel comfortable sharing the most intimate details. In the matrimonial and family law profession, especially, emotions tend to run high, as the stakes can seem insurmountable and the issues presented are often heart-wrenching. As experienced divorce lawyers in Brooklyn, we recommend choosing someone you ultimately trust irrespective of their gender.