David Kirkpatrick

October 22, 2009

Wanted: sexy legal secretaries in Chicago

This is almost beyond belief, but the lawyer in question here — Samir Chowhan — has owned up to posting the original ad and follow-up email. I see a dim future for this particular esquire.

To paraphrase from “This is Spinal Tap,” it’s not “sexy,” it’s “sexist.”

From the WSJ Law Blog link:

The Legal Profession Blog reported on Wednesday about a strange disciplinary complaint filed against an Illinois attorney over an ad the lawyer reportedly posted on Craigslist. The attorney at issue, according to the complaint, Samir Chowhan, worked as a solo practitioner in an office with a handful of other solo practitioners.

The post, listed in the “Adult Gigs” section of the site, was entitled: “Loop lawyers hiring secretary/legal assistant.” It read as follows:

Loop law firm looking to hire am [sic] energetic woman for their open secretary/legal assistant position. Duties will include general secretarial work, some paralegal work and additional duties for two lawyers in the firm. No experience required, training will be provided. Generous annual salary and benefits will be provided, including medical, dental, life, disability, 401(k) etc. If interested, please send current resume and a few pictures along with a description of your physical features, including measurements. We look forward to meeting you.

According to the Illinois disciplinary complaint, an applicant shortly thereafter responded to the ad. The next day, the attorney reportedly responded with this email:

As this is posted in the “adult gigs” section, in addition to the legal work, you would be required to have sexual interaction with me and my partner, sometimes together sometimes separate. This part of the job would require sexy dressing and flirtatious interaction with me and my partner, as well as sexual interaction. You will have to be comfortable doing this with us.

If you think you’re comfortable so far, please let me know and we can proceed with the process.

The next step is to set up an interview. When are you available to interview? I am free to interview today. Please let me know what your availability is.

Lastly, we’ve actually hired a couple of girls in the past for this position. But they have not been able to handle the sexual aspect of the job later. We have to be sure you’re comfortable with that aspect, because I don’t want you to do anything that you’re not comfortable with. So since that time, we’ve decided that as part of the interview process you’ll be required to perform for us sexually (i didn’t do this before with the other girls i hired, now i think i have to because they couldn’t handle it). Because that aspect is an integral part of the job, I think it’s necessary to see if you can do that, because it’ll predict future behavior of you being able to handle it when you have the job.

If you’re still okay with everything, let me know what you’re availability is and we can figure out a time for you to come in and interview. Let me know. Thanks for your interest.

According to the complaint, the applicant complained to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, which then opened an investigation.

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