Anisha Patel and Iris Elijah overcame longer odds than most to become successful lawyers, and both have endured their fair share of sleights.

It would usually happen when they arrived early for a hearing or deposition.

“I’ve walked in with a male colleague of mine, both dressed to the nines, and I’ve been mistaken as a court reporter or a paralegal,” Patel said. “Not that there’s anything wrong with either of those professions — I’ve been a paralegal — but I’ve worked very hard to be where I am.”