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

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
Kohinoor
Posts: 2756
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:51 pm

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

Postby Kohinoor » Fri May 27, 2011 6:17 pm

PoorOrpheus wrote: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.

They may miss the most important part, but NALP is still hugely useful if only because it tells you what questions to ask.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273479
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 27, 2011 6:25 pm

are we talking about men or women here? for men i don't think it really matters.

User avatar
RVP11
Posts: 2774
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:32 pm

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

Postby RVP11 » Fri May 27, 2011 6:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:are we talking about men or women here? for men i don't think it really matters.


It matters for everyone.

User avatar
quakeroats
Posts: 1399
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:34 am

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

Postby quakeroats » Fri May 27, 2011 6:35 pm

Ten Cravath Partners chosen more or less at random:
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

plum
Posts: 291
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:21 pm

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

Postby plum » Fri May 27, 2011 6:37 pm

ok but wouldn't it be more relevant to focus on associates / ppl our age? i mean once you have experience and made partner your looks probably don't matter as much anyways.

User avatar
BackToTheOldHouse
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:03 pm

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

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Fri May 27, 2011 6:38 pm

Wow, Cravath just let you go ahead and use images of their lawyers on a forum like this? Cool . . .

Fark-o-vision
Posts: 590
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:41 pm

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

Postby Fark-o-vision » Fri May 27, 2011 6:43 pm

The photos indicate what I thought would probably be the reasonable conclusion to this debate--Attractiveness is only important insofar as you aren't a slob, don't have anything abnormal or horrifying about you, and look capable. Anything else will probably wash out between the benefits and costs.

For example, one of the lawyers in LA I was able to speak with discussed this issue in a very concise way telling me that he wouldn't give jobs to women because they're pretty, that kind of thing is for strippers, waitresses, and saleswomen. Another guy just answered with the statement that lawyers weren't a particularly attractive subset of the population.

TBH, the first guy was in his thirties, went to undergrad with me, and has no hiring power. Not sure if the second guy did or not. Also, most of the others I've spoken to have more or less echoed the second opinion.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273479
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 27, 2011 6:54 pm

i've blatantly witness hiring partners at my small firm make decisions based on looks/weight (mostly women). they were not ashamed of it either, and informed me that "ugly is not a protected class". now not everyone might be as honest as my old boss, but i assume this does happen elsewhere.

User avatar
JordynAsh
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:20 pm

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

Postby JordynAsh » Fri May 27, 2011 6:56 pm

Fark-o-vision wrote:The photos indicate what I thought would probably be the reasonable conclusion to this debate--Attractiveness is only important insofar as you aren't a slob, don't have anything abnormal or horrifying about you, and look capable. Anything else will probably wash out between the benefits and costs.

For example, one of the lawyers in LA I was able to speak with discussed this issue in a very concise way telling me that he wouldn't give jobs to women because they're pretty, that kind of thing is for strippers, waitresses, and saleswomen. Another guy just answered with the statement that lawyers weren't a particularly attractive subset of the population.

TBH, the first guy was in his thirties, went to undergrad with me, and has no hiring power. Not sure if the second guy did or not. Also, most of the others I've spoken to have more or less echoed the second opinion.


EDIT: RC failboat.

Fark-o-vision
Posts: 590
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:41 pm

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

Postby Fark-o-vision » Fri May 27, 2011 7:18 pm

My post wasn't very clear. Either way, this thread has prompted me to dig around a few law firms websites. It seems like "attractive" isn't altogether important (I've run into approximately 4 eights so far and I don't have particularly high standards), but being a fatty is clearly frowned on. Also, being ethnic--even having a clearly ethnic name--doesn't seem to be a big impediment.

071816
Posts: 5511
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:06 pm

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

Postby 071816 » Fri May 27, 2011 7:19 pm

quakeroats wrote:Ten Cravath Partners chosen more or less at random:
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage


hotties

Fark-o-vision
Posts: 590
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:41 pm

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

Postby Fark-o-vision » Fri May 27, 2011 7:21 pm

chimp wrote:
quakeroats wrote:Ten Cravath Partners chosen more or less at random:
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage


hotties


I think number four is the "Touch of Gray" guy.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

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

Postby rayiner » Fri May 27, 2011 7:27 pm

So one thing to note about one aspect of physical appearance, at least if you intend to practice in NYC or DC: the men here are short. After living in the south and midwest for the last 10 years it's quite stunning to get on a subway in NYC.

User avatar
PKSebben
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:35 pm

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

Postby PKSebben » Fri May 27, 2011 7:31 pm

BackToTheOldHouse wrote:Wow, Cravath just let you go ahead and use images of their lawyers on a forum like this? Cool . . .


The images are linked. The pictures originate from Cravath's server to your web browser. Please explain how this violates, uh, anything. tyia

071816
Posts: 5511
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:06 pm

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

Postby 071816 » Fri May 27, 2011 7:32 pm

BackToTheOldHouse wrote:Wow, Cravath just let you go ahead and use images of their lawyers on a forum like this? Cool . . .


Let you? Are you high?

User avatar
tooswolle
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:48 am

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

Postby tooswolle » Fri May 27, 2011 7:40 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.


This post made me feel like slapping the shit out of the op. I can definitely tell your an undergrad. Life in the real world doesn't really hindge on the certain looks you have or your skin color. I've been fortunate to find success in the corporate world because i=I'm charasmatic, smart/qualified and chill. Your skin color has no bearing on employment decisions and if it did you wouldn't want to work there in the first place. So how about you start focusing on being able to get to school first then worrying about employment.

asoularisen
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 9:18 pm

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

Postby asoularisen » Fri May 27, 2011 7:51 pm

tooswolle wrote:This post made me feel like slapping the shit out of the op. I can definitely tell your an undergrad. Life in the real world doesn't really hindge on the certain looks you have or your skin color. I've been fortunate to find success in the corporate world because i=I'm charasmatic, smart/qualified and chill. Your skin color has no bearing on employment decisions and if it did you wouldn't want to work there in the first place. So how about you start focusing on being able to get to school first then worrying about employment.


I made this topic just to receive information; stop being presumptuous. How about I start focusing on being able to get to school? I've already given my LSAT (I did so as a freshman) and received a 173. I haven't been in the real world, so of course I was curious and wanted information, I never implied that I thought discrimination was going to be a big deal, but I find it better to ask and get information than to assume. I'm not sitting here worried about discrimination in the world of law in lieu of actual preparation for law school. I simply was not informed on the subject and decided to get informed.

User avatar
tooswolle
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:48 am

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

Postby tooswolle » Fri May 27, 2011 7:54 pm

asoularisen wrote:
tooswolle wrote:This post made me feel like slapping the shit out of the op. I can definitely tell your an undergrad. Life in the real world doesn't really hindge on the certain looks you have or your skin color. I've been fortunate to find success in the corporate world because i=I'm charasmatic, smart/qualified and chill. Your skin color has no bearing on employment decisions and if it did you wouldn't want to work there in the first place. So how about you start focusing on being able to get to school first then worrying about employment.


I made this topic just to receive information; stop being presumptuous. How about I start focusing on being able to get to school? I've already given my LSAT (I did so as a freshman) and received a 173. I haven't been in the real world, so of course I was curious and wanted information, I never implied that I thought discrimination was going to be a big deal, but I find it better to ask and get information than to assume. I'm not sitting here worried about discrimination in the world of law in lieu of actual preparation for law school. I simply was not informed on the subject and decided to get informed.


Fair enough, your post just hit a nerve because it sounded like an assumption that being brown would be a hinderance. Perhaps at times it can be if you meet the wrong people but for the most part in the real world people don't care about the color of your skin. Maybe because I'm fom California I feel that way but it seems many of your cohorts "our generation" have grown up with that mind set. Hope that helps.

User avatar
Mickey Quicknumbers
Posts: 2177
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:22 pm

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

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Fri May 27, 2011 8:00 pm

I look damn good in a bow tie and I plan on playing that up as much as I possibly can.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273479
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 27, 2011 8:03 pm

After accepting my summer offer, one of the guys that hired me said in a joking manner that they almost didn't pick me, but did because I was the best looking. Then one of the women chimed up and said, no seriously, you were the best looking guy. I'm thinking they all had just come from happy hour or something and had beer goggles on lol. Posting this anon because I don't want any of my classmates to know this story...

071816
Posts: 5511
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:06 pm

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

Postby 071816 » Fri May 27, 2011 8:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:After accepting my summer offer, one of the guys that hired me said in a joking manner that they almost didn't pick me, but did because I was the best looking. Then one of the women chimed up and said, no seriously, you were the best looking guy. I'm thinking they all had just come from happy hour or something and had beer goggles on lol. Posting this anon because I don't want any of my classmates to know this story...


Someone's gettin' some ass this summer...

Anonymous User
Posts: 273479
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 27, 2011 8:11 pm

FWIW, I just started a Summer Associate position at a top firm and one thing that struck me is that, on average, the people are much better looking than the average population. Of course, people are dressing nicely and have money (which can help your appearance). Not everyone is attractive, but on average, The Beautiful People work at this firm.

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

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

Postby kublaikahn » Fri May 27, 2011 8:33 pm

chimp wrote:
quakeroats wrote:Ten Cravath Partners chosen more or less at random:
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage


hotties


The only take away from this photo lineup is that facial hair is acceptable only for those with premature baldness. Also know as, upsidedown head.

User avatar
PDaddy
Posts: 2073
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:40 am

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

Postby PDaddy » Fri May 27, 2011 8:48 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)?



All of it matters...a lot! It shouldn't, but it does. However, there are limits to the rule. All things being equal or near equal, better-looking people tend to have a leg up. On the flip side, Woddy Allen is going to beat John Stamos almost every time if he's clearly a better lawyer. I say "almost" because there are some real idiots in the profession who are unprincipled and stuck on their prejudices despite what is in their face.
Last edited by PDaddy on Fri May 27, 2011 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Mickey Quicknumbers
Posts: 2177
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:22 pm

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

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Fri May 27, 2011 8:50 pm

PDaddy wrote:
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)?



All of it matters...a lot! It shouldn't, but it does.

excellent, the return of PDaddy.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.