How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

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asoularisen
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How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby asoularisen » Fri May 27, 2011 5:05 pm

How big of an impact can race, height, weight, etc. have in terms of finding employment and moving up the ladder (let's say in corporate law, since that's what interests me most)?

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YankeesFan
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby YankeesFan » Fri May 27, 2011 5:08 pm

Its been well documented that pretty people get promoted more and have a better chance of success. Beyond that idk...

071816
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby 071816 » Fri May 27, 2011 5:08 pm

I'm not sure how anybody could give you a meaningful answer to this...

delusional
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby delusional » Fri May 27, 2011 5:10 pm

The one person I know in biglaw is tall, thin and good looking. So there's a 1.0 correlation.

asoularisen
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby asoularisen » Fri May 27, 2011 5:11 pm

They could talk about their experiences in the profession? Give educated opinions? Seems simple enough...

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Moxie
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby Moxie » Fri May 27, 2011 5:15 pm

asoularisen wrote:They could talk about their experiences in the profession? Give educated opinions? Seems simple enough...


Well, obviously people prefer to work with attractive people. Otherwise, I'm confused by what you're asking.


CanadianWolf
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri May 27, 2011 5:17 pm

Ask Napolean.

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YankeesFan
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby YankeesFan » Fri May 27, 2011 5:17 pm

He was one sexy SOB, which is probably why he conquered Europe. He failed to take Russia cause he was short.

Clearly there is a correlation between looks, height, and ones ability to conquer a contientent during the middle of the 1800s.

asoularisen
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby asoularisen » Fri May 27, 2011 5:24 pm

Moxie wrote:
asoularisen wrote:They could talk about their experiences in the profession? Give educated opinions? Seems simple enough...


Well, obviously people prefer to work with attractive people. Otherwise, I'm confused by what you're asking.


I'm not asking for somebody to come out here and give me one, provably correct answer... But seeing educated opinions from various people in the field can give one an idea of how much a particular trait lowers their chances of success in a given field. Obviously, physical traits play a role in all aspects of life, but certainly there are fields where certain traits can be a bigger hindrance than in other, and I'm trying to get a feel for where law, specifically corporate, ranks in those fields, and which traits seem to most lower one's chances of success.

paulinaporizkova
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby paulinaporizkova » Fri May 27, 2011 5:26 pm

i'm sorry you were born ugly

asoularisen
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby asoularisen » Fri May 27, 2011 5:28 pm

paulinaporizkova wrote:i'm sorry you were born ugly


I wouldn't say ugly. I was more concerned with the racial aspect, less so with physical appearance, but I figured it all factors in.

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby fundamentallybroken » Fri May 27, 2011 5:35 pm

If any field has acheived racial transcendence, it's the law, so you don't have much to worry about.

That said, I hate working with attractive people. It's far too distracting.

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bjsesq
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby bjsesq » Fri May 27, 2011 5:36 pm

paulinaporizkova wrote:i'm sorry you were born ugly


Thanks. I will now attempt to attribute all my failures in life to being ugly, rather than any personality shortcomings.

asoularisen
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby asoularisen » Fri May 27, 2011 5:40 pm

bjsesq wrote:
paulinaporizkova wrote:i'm sorry you were born ugly


Thanks. I will now attempt to attribute all my failures in life to being ugly, rather than any personality shortcomings.


That was far from my motivation with this topic. I'm still an undergraduate; I wasn't making this topic in an attempt to make excuses, to not pursue law because of potential racial/physical biases, etc. I just wanted information. I don't see why people can't just give a mature answer and move on, rather than immediately getting presumptuous and throwing around "clever" one-liners...

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Moxie
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby Moxie » Fri May 27, 2011 5:42 pm

asoularisen wrote:
paulinaporizkova wrote:i'm sorry you were born ugly


I wouldn't say ugly. I was more concerned with the racial aspect, less so with physical appearance, but I figured it all factors in.


What do you mean: "concerned with the racial aspect"?

asoularisen
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby asoularisen » Fri May 27, 2011 5:44 pm

Moxie wrote:
asoularisen wrote:
paulinaporizkova wrote:i'm sorry you were born ugly


I wouldn't say ugly. I was more concerned with the racial aspect, less so with physical appearance, but I figured it all factors in.


What do you mean: "concerned with the racial aspect"?


As in, I'm less worried that any potential "ugliness" will hinder me; I'm a pretty average looking person with average features. But I happen to be brown and wanted to get a feel for how much of a hindrance that could potentially be.

flexityflex86
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby flexityflex86 » Fri May 27, 2011 5:46 pm

asoularisen wrote:How big of an impact can race, height, weight, etc. have in terms of finding employment and moving up the ladder (let's say in corporate law, since that's what interests me most)?

take someone like ben brofman who is probably the leading criminal defense attorney - he is very short, has a little gut and not the best face in the barrel, but he is not too chubby and takes good care of himself. looks probably matter more in law than they do in medicine because a lot of it is making a positive impact on many people (as is any office job), but i would argue there is a smaller gap in benefit between being amazingly good looking and average than there is between being average and morbidly ugly with the logic probably being if they can't commit to taking care of themselves how can they commit to a case?

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spacepenguin
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby spacepenguin » Fri May 27, 2011 5:46 pm

Looking at the profiles of various partners and associates at V10 firms, I wouldn't worry too much about looks.

Obviously being better looking will get you further all things equal, but things are never really equal (grades, personality, making it rain, etc.)

flexityflex86
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby flexityflex86 » Fri May 27, 2011 5:47 pm

asoularisen wrote:
Moxie wrote:
asoularisen wrote:
paulinaporizkova wrote:i'm sorry you were born ugly


I wouldn't say ugly. I was more concerned with the racial aspect, less so with physical appearance, but I figured it all factors in.


What do you mean: "concerned with the racial aspect"?


As in, I'm less worried that any potential "ugliness" will hinder me; I'm a pretty average looking person with average features. But I happen to be brown and wanted to get a feel for how much of a hindrance that could potentially be.

are you trolling? this is 2011, nobody cares what race you are. if anything being black would help you, because you could participate on any case, and some people might specifically want to have you (i.e. the ceo sued for racist hiring).

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20121109
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby 20121109 » Fri May 27, 2011 5:47 pm

asoularisen wrote:
Moxie wrote:
What do you mean: "concerned with the racial aspect"?


As in, I'm less worried that any potential "ugliness" will hinder me; I'm a pretty average looking person with average features. But I happen to be brown and wanted to get a feel for how much of a hindrance that could potentially be.


About the same effect race has in other aspects of your life. Some people may say some ignorant things, but I doubt anything overtly offensive will happen. It's not something you should even be thinking about like that, to be honest.

flexityflex86
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby flexityflex86 » Fri May 27, 2011 5:48 pm

spacepenguin wrote:Looking at the profiles of various partners and associates at V10 firms, I wouldn't worry too much about looks.

Obviously being better looking will get you further all things equal, but things are never really equal (grades, personality, making it rain, etc.)

something tells me the best way to get ahead in law is to be good at law.

good looks make everything easier from dating to getting a good seat at a restaurant - don't know how long a model is going to get kept on payroll if they don't know their shit.

asoularisen
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby asoularisen » Fri May 27, 2011 5:53 pm

The second half of responses are all genuinely informative. Thanks for the information, guys.

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PoorOrpheus
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby PoorOrpheus » Fri May 27, 2011 5:54 pm

It's not scientific but you could always go to a firm you're interested in, and take a look at the attorney bios which often include photos. Take note of who is an associate and who is a partner, and come to your own conclusions based on what you see because you're not going to get anything more specific than that.

FWIW, the firm I am summering at has a wide range when it comes to height, weight, and subjective attractiveness. So, here, it doesn't seem to matter too much at all. Outside of professional competence, likeability seems to be the most important trait a person can have.

Race/ethnicity is a completely different beast. Many firms actively recruit qualified candidates from underrepresented backgrounds (AA being one of them). The more important question is the partner-associate ratio. Take a look at the NALP numbers for firms you're interested in and they'll tell you (part of) the story for a firm or region.

mz253
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Re: How big of a role does physical appearance/race play in law?

Postby mz253 » Fri May 27, 2011 5:59 pm

everyone i know at biglaw is pretty, if not stunning.




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