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This is not legal advice, which can only be given by an attorney admitted to practice law in your jurisdiction after hearing all of the facts and circumstances in a particular case.

Monday, July 30, 2007

At the Law & Society Conference in Berlin

I've been away at the Law and Society Conference in Berlin and it's been wonderful. Ich spreche kaum Deutche. (I hardly speak much German.) Eine tasse kaffee bitte. (A cup of coffee please.) Anyway, I went to some wonderful presentations on transgender issues and got to know some new people. There was one from Andrew Sharpe, whom I knew from his book entitled "Transgender Jurisprudence," and Dean Spade, who founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a project specializing in transgender issues in New York. I'll give more details on those presentations in my next post. I gave one entitled "Relationships between Transgender Non-Discrimination Law and Corporate Policies." I'm attaching a link to the powerpoint below.

My presentation, which can be found here, discussed the effect of law on the creation of corporate policy. It shows that the proliferation of corporate policies is only about one-third faster among Fortune 500 companies in jurisdictions with law. Of course, as someone in the audience pointed out, this only tracks the state of the law in the companies' headquarters, whereas most Fortune 500 companies operate in many U.S. jurisdictions, and so the effect can come not only from law in the headquarters jurisdiction, but also others around the country. In addition, I also found regional effects, in which the law made more of a difference in the North and West, but little difference in the South and Midwest.

My purpose in tracking this information is not to say that law makes no difference, but that, in addition to law, education and other social factors are highly important in creating corporate policy. As pointed out in another panel which I'll discuss later, law is a part of education and it provides a legitimization for new social processes without which education moves more slowly.

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