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MCLEs That Matter

Meet the Founder

Renee  Stackhouse is a business owner and trial lawyer in San Diego, California. After graduating magna cum laude from law school, she was shocked to enter the legal profession only to be asked “Do you take dictation?” and to find that “Can you make me a cup of coffee, honey?” and “Are you the court reporter?” would be phrases she would hear repeatedly while practicing law. As a new lawyer, Renee was flattered when more than one established trial lawyer expressed interest in mentoring her, only to find out that mentoring wasn’t exactly what they had in mind (#metoo). During closing arguments in a trial, opposing counsel once told the jury not to find in favor of her client “because she [Renee] was cute.”

Renee has experienced showing up to trial call only to have a random male lawyer approach her and ask if she’d like him to try her case for her -not knowing the facts or the client. She’s sat in Law & Motion hearings, to have male lawyers sit next to her and tell her -unsolicited- that she was arousing them. She’s had judges tell her that she could pump her breast milk in the jury room on breaks, only to have the clerk deny the request… so she ended up breast-feeding in the court hallway. She’s had a judge call her thoughtful, calm sentencing advocacy a “diatribe.”

Because of these experiences (and so many more), Renee quickly gravitated towards involvement in her local women’s bar association, Lawyers Club of San Diego. She then took her advocacy and volunteerism state-wide to California Women Lawyers, completing her term as President of the organization September 2018. She began Chairing the National Association of Women Judges‘ Mothers in Court Committee in 2019. Through her volunteerism and activism, she learned that these situations were not unique to her. Renee’s goal is to make sure that women lawyers everywhere know they’re not alone in what they’re experiencing and to try to help level the playing field by talking about these issues and helping each other overcome them.

Throughout her career, Renee has been called upon as a public speaker on legal topics and for motivational purposes. Through MSheLE, Renee is able to blend her speaking expertise with her passion of advocating for women.

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