Other Writing by Margaret Klaw
Why A Feminist Family Lawyer Wrote A Novel From A Male Perspective
I come from a world of women. Three sisters, two daughters. No brothers, no sons. I co-founded an all-women law firm. I’ve spent my whole career working with other women lawyers, practicing family law. I am surrounded by women friends and trusted advisors. I sobbed...
On Monday, May 5th, I was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court. I wish I could say it was because one of my cases is headed there and I needed to get admitted in order to argue before the Justices, but that’s not the reason. Here’s why I decided to do it: It’s...
I wrote a book. It was released this week. I feel like I’ve traveled to another country. Except for brief stints as a waitress, housepainter, office temp, and counselor at a battered women’s shelter, I’ve been a lawyer my whole working life. I have a vocabulary and a...
I’m a closet country music fan. No one suspects me. I’m thoroughly urban, born and raised in Manhattan, transplanted to Philly. I’m not religious. I’ve never driven a pick-up truck. Or worn cowboy boots. But ever since my husband put...
Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl
What makes a parent? Should the answer be determined by biology or nurture? And what about the overlay of race or ethnicity–should that play into the mix? The U.S. Supreme Court is tussling with these thorny questions in a case involving the adoption of a...
What’s in a Name
During a recent trip to Europe, German friends who have a new baby made reference to the fact that gender-ambiguous names are “not allowed” in Germany unless a second name is added which clarifies the gender. What do you mean “not allowed,” I asked? You know, the...
One Little Lie
I was sitting in court yesterday, thinking about the incredible waste of time, money and resources one little lie can cause. My client has custody of his teenage daughter. She decided, as teenagers will, that life at her Mom’s house was more exciting, so she went...
Just when I thought I had handled cases involving every possible riff on the concept of marriage, I found out I’m wrong. To date, I’ve missed polyamory. Or at least the open, admitted-to variety. I’ve certainly heard from clients about affairs which are ongoing and...
If you’re interested in knowing how much money people make and how they spend it, you’d love my job. I’m an expert on what people in different professions earn, and I have an easy familiarity with the borrowing and spending habits of my fellow...
A woman called me the other day who wants to get divorced. Which initially sounded fine, since that’s what I do. But upon further discussion, turns out it’s not fine. Turns out I can’t get her divorced and neither can anyone else: she’s stuck in a marriage that she...
Buyer’s Remorse, a/k/a “The Call”
It’s like a dance. I know the rhythm and the moves. It goes like this: I suggest a settlement proposal to my client. Let’s call him Guy and let’s say I recommend we make the following proposal: Guy’s wife gets the house, Guy keeps his 401k, and Guy pays Mrs. Guy...
As an unofficial expert in the field of matrimony, I have come to believe that I, unlike many of my clients, am good at being married. I should know – I have two spouses. One is my husband, whom I met on my first day of college and have been married to for 28...
In the deep trough of a Brooklyn night
my grandbaby finally sleeps
beating heart to beating heart
lulled by a whisper: crimson and clover, over and over, over and over
the skinny cat slips by
an upstairs tenant leaves for work
the fat cat heaves and purrs, hungry for breakfast, hungry for the times before
in the next room, my daughter sleeps
I feel her dreaming
the sun around which we orbit