Holidays and Seasons, Romance and Dating, Sex, Weddings

Valentine’s Day Advice from Above the Law

lawyerly candy heart.jpgThe legal blogosphere has been shot in the heart with Cupid’s arrow.
Here at Above the Law, we’re turning into matchmakers. The Texas Lawyer is telling us about lawyers in love. Am Law Daily is profiling Biglaw power couples. And Avvo has a guide to dating lawyers, claiming that you lawyerly types are a hot commodity on the meat market:

Surveys show lawyers are among the most datable professions.

Here’s one of Avvo’s 10 tips for pleasing a lawyerly lover:

Make love notes long and confusing
Brevity and clarity make lawyers feel uncomfortable and agitated, much like normal people feel at the DMV. For example, don’t say, “Let’s head back home early for some fun.” Instead say, “Let’s return early to the domicile for some malfeasance.”

Your Above the Law editors have dated plenty of lawyers, and one of us even married one. We’ll share our lawyer-dating backgrounds and offer upsides, downsides, and advice, after the jump.

Your Above the Law editors dish on dating. We give you our credentials and offer one piece of dating advice, as well as the upsides and downsides of dating lawyers.
Romantic credentials: Has dated several Vault 15 firms; longest relationship: Skadden Arps.
Turn-ons: NYU Law. I’m on alumnus number four.
Turn-offs: Wearing a name tag at firm functions
Advice: When people talk about a lawyer being “a catch,” they’re usually talking about the rich ones, and not those slaving away at a legal services firm on a paralegal’s salary. So how do you meet the catches? Avvo is right with this advice:

Fish where the fish are: To meet a lawyer, you need to be in a lawyer-rich location.

For those of you in Biglaw, you’re already there! Take advantage.
Some say you shouldn’t date colleagues, but there are so many upsides: someone who’s interested in your work, who understands your ridiculous hours, and who cares about the office gossip. Plus, you can share an inside joke with the billing code you use for in-office romps.
If you don’t have a law degree but want to meet lots of Biglaw types, I recommend getting a gig writing for a well-known legal blog.
Upside: Major upsides to dating Biglaw lawyers: They’re super smart and make six-figure salaries.
Downside: As lawyer-turned-therapist Will Meyerhofer pointed out in his psychoanalysis of the legal profession, lawyers are risk-averse. Putting your heart out there is one of life’s biggest risks. Expect an unusual amount of emotional distance until the relationship’s terms have been fully ironed out.

Romantic credentials: Married to a lawyer. Not an adulterer.
Turn-ons: Boobs.
Turn-offs: Republicans.
Advice: Don’t ask a practicing attorney about a funny “legal issue” you thought up that is totally outside the lawyer’s practice specialty. Tax lawyers don’t give a damn about the latest celebrity gossip trial in the New York Post. Also, don’t ask a practicing attorney about a legal issue within their area of expertise. If they really felt like working, they’d be back at the office, not on a date with you. In fact, just don’t talk about the law at all with a lawyer. Look pretty and chew with your mouth closed.
Upside: Lawyers are kind of the ultimate low-maintenance relationship. First of all, they’re never around, so they don’t have the time to cramp your style. Also, lawyers are thankful for any gesture of human kindness you make in their general direction. They get none of it at work, so any kind of “I know you’ve had a long day, so I picked up the place a little” moment goes a long, long way. Much farther than it does with people who expect to be treated respectfully.
I guess what I’m saying is: lawyers are easy.
Downside: Any argument you have will be terrible. Count on it. Male and female attorneys fight with extreme logic and intellectual rigor on their side. Have you ever fought about whether the argument calls for rational basis review or strict scrutiny before you argue about what inappropriate thing was said at a dinner with friends? Have you ever had an emotional point dismissed as “non-responsive”? Has anybody ever shouted “but you can’t prove damages,” after they concede poor judgment in staying out till 5:00 a.m.? I’ve done all these things, or had them done to me. If you’re not prepared for all of that, date a doctor.

Romantic credentials: A lawyer who has dated more other lawyers than he cares to remember, from partners on down to junior associates — and maybe even a law student here or there….
Turn-ons: Youth, beauty, neurosis (so I can feel like the normal one).
Turn-offs: Earnestness (thankfully in short supply among lawyers, a wickedly cynical bunch).
Advice: When dating a lawyer, don’t be afraid to walk away from an argument. Sometimes concession is the better part of valor. As noted by Elie, supra, lawyers take no prisoners; we always want the last word. See, e.g., how our commenters constantly correct us, then get in turn corrected by other commenters. If you both want the last word, the argument never ends.
Upside: Lawyers are often whip-smart and wickedly funny. If you get off on engaging, entertaining conversation, with maybe a tinge of bitterness — think dialogue from a Woody Allen film — then dating an attorney might be for you.
Downside: Here are a few possible drawbacks to dating an attorney:
(1) unifying your finances with someone who may have six figures’ worth of (non-dischargeable) debt;
(2) getting hitched to someone who, after paying off that law school debt and making partner, might trade you in for a newer model (and who probably knows a really good divorce lawyer, who will minimize your settlement); and
(3) as noted by Kash, lawyers are often unwilling to commit (perhaps because we see both sides to every proposition and like to keep our options open — this is why many of us went to law school).

But let’s not dwell on the negative. This is a holiday about love and romance and happiness.
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, from your friends at Above the Law!
How to Date a Lawyer [Avvo]
Lawyers in Love: Four Couples Reveal How Their Lifelong Partnerships Succeed [Texas Lawyer]
Big Firm Love [Am Law Daily]
Earlier: Getting Back Together with ATL Courtship Connections (Calling all single New York lawyers….)

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