A friendly looking apatosaurus has divided Los Angeles attorneys into two camps: those who find the symbol for the county bar association's senior section insulting, and those who think the offended lawyers are missing the joke.
"When we were looking for a logo, we looked at the owl for wisdom, the elephant, even the donkey, but settled on the dinosaur because it's ancient," says Harry L. Hathaway, of counsel at Fulbright & Jaworski, who cofounded the L.A. County Bar Association's Senior Lawyers Section in 2008. "One thing that's important as you get older is that you retain your sense of humor - and don't turn into a grump."
Jane Shay Wald, partner emeritus with Irell & Manella and past president of the Century City Bar Association, says she recoiled the first time she saw the group's newsletter bearing an image of the creature formerly known as brontosaurus. In a March 2013 article for the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, she described the logo as a "harmful stereotype." Wald says she knows dozens of veteran attorneys who dislike it.
But Ed Horowitz, chair of the senior section, says he hasn't heard complaints from other section members, who number more than 1,100. (In fact, one-third of California lawyers are over 55.) The section even trademarked the logo, designed by an LACBA staffer, to prevent other groups from copying it.
"It's ours - let them come up with their own humorous logo," says Horowitz, who calls meetings to order by snapping shut the mouth of a plastic dinosaur. "You get to a point in life where it's helpful not to take yourself too seriously."