Reed Smith Law Firm: Did Female Attorneys Trade Sex Favors for Assignments?

At Pittsburgh law firm Reed Smith, female attorneys had to trade sexual favors in order to get assignments - allegedly.

That's what female law partner JoEllen Lyons Dillon contends in a gender discrimination lawsuit filed last Monday against Reed Smith.

Why this can blow the legal profession into a million bits is this: The law firm game operates on what's called 'billable hours.' If you don't pile up enough of those in a year, you could be fired. If you meet your quota of billable hours or exceed it, you are likely to keep your job, receive a bonus, and be considered promotable. More senior or more powerful attorneys in the firm make it possible for you to build those hours by assigning you work.