Those following the Kristin Pagano saga felt assured that she would win. This nursing mom and law graduate from the University of Southern California had requested extra time during the Illinois Bar Exam to pump breast milk and breastfeed the infant. At first the IL Board of Bar Admissions denied the request. Media covering the story noted that the law was not on Pagano's side.
However this is era of third-wave feminism. In the court of public opinion, Pagano's request seemed reasonable and easy to comply with. In The Wall Street Journal, Jacob Gershman reports:
"The Illinois bar exam board is giving a nursing mom an extra two hours to complete the test after initially denying her request for more breastfeeding accommodations."
All institutions, ranging from BigLaw to employer Wal-Mart, will have to look more to public opinion than the law per se to establish human-resources and procedural policies. Women's needs are different from those of males.