The Arabic word for “lawyer” is “muhami” (masculine) or “muhamiyah” (feminine). The word roughly translates to “the protector” because our role as lawyers can be broken down to just that: protecting the rights and interests of our clients.
With that in mind, I would argue that society has always viewed women as carrying the burden of being “the protectors”. They have customarily been viewed as the primary caregivers for their children; tasked to protect their families. Mothers and mother figures build families and maintain traditions including teaching language, making meals and singing to their children. This same thankless and undervalued work is what protects cultures. Women also spend more time than their male counterparts volunteering and tend to take on more roles that protect and promote community values.
Most work done by women as “protectors” often goes unnoticed and unrecognized. However, if women are “the protectors” in all aspects of life, the reasoning extends that women should be natural lawyers. Lawyers are customarily respected, their opinions are valued and their efforts are recognized.
To all female lawyers or law students who have been told that this profession is not made for women: choose to challenge this mindset and remind them that you are a muhamiyah, always will be, and with that you deserve the same treatment as their lawyer on retainer.