Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies


The following paper argues that legislation and law societies inadequately protect female articling students, and women in law more broadly, from sexual harassment. Previous research from students’ personal reports and survey responses outline the barriers, workplace bullying, and misconduct commonly experienced during the articling term. The paper begins with a review of the inadequacies in professional codes of conduct. The analysis considers the Butterfield (Re), 2017 LSBC 2 decision from British Columbia, which describes a female complainant sexually harassed by her principal during her articling term. Feminist Legal Theory, Marxism, and Cultural Law concepts emphasize sexual harassment as a disempowering force that excludes women from meaningful workplace participation. Principles from Cultural Law and meaning-making theories are applied to excerpts from Butterfield and are used to discuss the ignorant attitude towards sexual harassment survivors. The arguments put forth insist that the interactions between inadequate governing structures, gender hierarchies, and cultural norms sustain barriers to equitable work environments for women in law, especially at the inception of their careers.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.