The profound Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.” Many legal professionals are alarmingly unaware that sexual harassment continues to cause serious issues in courtrooms and courthouses. In fact, sexual harassment still affects attorneys at all levels, including judges and named partners. In 2020, many of us became aware of two prominent Illinois legal professionals, an attorney and judge, who were charged with sexual misconduct allegations. As we move into 2021, sexual misconduct needs to be brought into the light so it can be eradicated to foster a legal community that promotes respect, safety, and equality.
In this article, Lindsay B. Coleman and Judge Debra B. Walker shine a much needed spotlight on the pervasiveness of sexual misconduct in the legal profession. In addition, they outline clear steps that can be taken to address uncivil conduct and ensure that the future of the profession is one of respect, safety, and equality. (Article edited by: Kelly T. Bennett)