ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amelia Clegg is the 2022 winner of the prestigious American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize for Writing, a competition designed to promote scholarship in the area of professionalism, ethics, civility, and excellence. The award, which comes with a $5,000 prize, recognizes Clegg’s essay “All Lawyers Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others: Incivility Towards Female Attorneys from within the Legal Profession.”
The winning essay calls attention to the legal system’s sexism against women attorneys. Drawing on empirical data, case law, and anecdotal evidence, the paper argues that male attorneys and both male and female judges exhibit strong animosity toward women. This animosity takes the form of both nakedly hostile sexism and so-called “benevolent” sexism, which expresses views about women that seem positive on the surface but have stereotypical beliefs at their core. Media depictions of female lawyers, whether in the news or Hollywood, create the “fertile soil in which sexism continues to thrive and grow,” Clegg writes. The consequences include sexual harassment, a significant pay gap, and an exodus of women attorneys from the profession. “Sexism against female attorneys,” Clegg writes, “should be viewed as professional misconduct and a breach of professional ethics.”
Clegg is an associate at Blank Rome LLP in New York and specializes in general litigation.
She earned a degree in classics with honors at the University of Oxford and completed her English legal training in London, where she practiced as a barrister. She finished her pupillage at 23 Essex Street and accepted tenancy in those chambers, where she prosecuted and defended criminal cases. She completed a long secondment with Baker & Partners in Jersey in the Channel Islands, where she worked on offshore litigation. Clegg came to the United States as a Thouron Fellow to earn an LLM at the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Carey Law School. At Penn, Clegg served as associate editor of the Journal of International Law. She was a law clerk at Blank Rome before becoming an associate.
Clegg is a member of the New York American Inn of Court. She serves on the American Inns of Court’s National Advocacy Training Program Alumni Advisory Council and as a member of the Editorial Board for The Bencher, the American Inns of Court’s flagship magazine. Clegg is also a member of the New York City Bar Association and The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.
The American Inns of Court, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, inspires the legal community to advance the rule of law by achieving the highest level of professionalism through example, education, and mentoring. The organization’s membership includes nearly 30,000 federal, state, and local judges; lawyers; law professors; and law students in nearly 370 chapters nationwide. More information is available at www.innsofcourt.org.