Julia Ann Beasley and Danielle Ward Mason, lawyers in our firm, were recently included in a Business Alabama magazine article profiling female trial lawyers. The article, titled “Women on the Front Line,” notes that although the number of women lawyers in Alabama has increased almost 50% in the last 12 years, only a handful of the state’s trial lawyers are women. In the article, Julia and Danielle weigh in on a variety of topics including how female lawyers may be perceived differently than men by juries. They also describe the challenges of balancing family and work life. Every lawyer – male or female – has his or her own style, but the article concluded that there are definitely marked differences in how a female lawyer is viewed.
Danielle says she feels her ability to empathize with female clients in her work with Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) litigation is a plus, but is quick to point out that “advocacy skills are shaped more by personality than gender.” She notes there are many different approaches a lawyer can take in court, and she has seen the same ones executed by both men and women. Julia told the magazine that she agrees that it’s important to be yourself. She says juries don’t want to see a performance, but instead, they want the facts and they want a lawyer who genuinely is interested in the case and the client. It helps, Julia says, “to develop your own style in the courtroom.”
Julia represents clients in the area of Personal Injury. She says the most common feeling at trial is one experienced by all lawyers to some degree – and that’s apprehension. She told Business Alabama:
I think all lawyers feel that way because that trial is my client’s only opportunity to tell his or her story in court and let a jury decide the case. The courtroom is the only place where real life and serious – sometimes deadly – problems can be heard and resolved by a jury.
Julia and Danielle are very good lawyers who do outstanding work for their clients. They are a credit to the legal profession. It’s good to see them recognized in Business Alabama.
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