For female lawyers seeking advice about fashion and style, Corporette.com is a must-read. Many ATL readers are already familiar with this excellent site, which we link to often. If you’re not aware of Corporette, a self-described “fashion and lifestyle blog for overachieving chicks,” check it out here.
Corporette — which has been around for almost two years, since May 2008 — receives approximately 850,000 pageviews a month. It has received shout-outs in the New York Times, the National Law Journal, and Glamour, among other outlets.
Since the site’s inception, the writer has remained anonymous. Based on the use of “we” on Corporette, we’ve always assumed there were multiple authors.
As it turns out, there’s just one writer behind Corporette. And today, after almost two years of writing under a pseudonym, she has decided to come out of the blogging closet..
Interestingly enough, Corporette is a lawyer. Perhaps you know her?
Her full name is Katherine Vogele Griffin (although her nom de blog will be Kat Griffin). She graduated with honors from Georgetown Law, where she served as executive editor of the Georgetown Law Journal, and litigated media and First Amendment cases at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, home of the legendary Floyd Abrams. After practicing at Cahill for six years, she joined the Media Law Resource Center, a media-related nonprofit organization, where she is currently a staff attorney.
In addition to her impressive legal career, Kat Griffin has a journalism background as well. She received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and she worked in the magazine world before going to law school.
We sat down to chat with Corporette aka Kat Griffin about her blog and her decision to emerge from anonymity.
ATL: How did you decide to start Corporette?
I started the blog when I was a fifth-year litigator at Cahill. By then I had figured out my own style, but earlier in my career, I did have a hard time adapting my own personal style to Biglaw culture. I felt there was a need for a site like Corporette in the market.
Nobody was talking about beautiful suits, about how to dress attractively but in a truly professional environment. Or they were giving bad advice. I was reading magazine articles telling me to wear miniskirts and gladiator sandals to work.
I started the site to see if I could get a dialogue started in a safe, anonymous environment. The great thing about Corporette today is that I’m not the final word on any of it. If I come up with bad advice, readers will let me know. There’s frequently much better advice than mine in the comments. We have everyone from law students to partners to judges who are commenting.
I wish the blog had been around when I was coming up through the ranks. I think it would have been helpful.
ATL: And why have you decided to reveal yourself as a blogger?
Opportunities have started coming my way. For example, I’m promoting an event series with InStyle and AK Anne Klein, and it’s kind of hard to host an event series anonymously.
ATL: How much have you told your readers thus far about your identity?
I’ve revealed very little to my readers about my background. I’ve previously said I spent several years “working near Wall Street.” I always thought the blog would be needed by any woman working in a professional and conservative office, whether lawyers or bankers or consultants.
There are a lot of lawyers among my readers. The community for lawyers has really grown on the blogosphere, through sites like Above the Law and Lawshucks and Ms. JD. For consulants and MBAs, that audience is a little harder to nail down.
I haven’t been completely anonymous. Some friends and co-workers have known about my blogging at Corporette for a while.
ATL: So if your colleagues at the Media Law Resource Center know about Corporette, we gather that your “coming out” won’t be a problem at your day job?
Not at all. When I applied for the MLRC job, Corporette was on my resume. When I interviewed with the chairman of the MLRC board, we ended up talking about pantyhose polls.
MLRC is a membership organization for the First Amendment community, and in my work I focus on digital media law. So doing some blogging myself actually helps me in my day job. It gives me a better understanding of why things like inbound links and search engine optimization are really important. It helps me recognize the technology and legal issues that MLRC members face.
ATL: With deals like the InStyle / Anne Klein coming in, as well as advertisers like Carissa Rose and MySkins, do you have any plans to expand yet, either in terms of content or staff?
I haven’t really thought about expanding yet. I started off doing two posts a day, and now I’m up to three. In terms of staff, for a while I couldn’t add staff because of the ad network that I was in. But now I can, so it’s a possibility.
ATL: As an expert on fashion and style for professional women, what were your thoughts on the recent controversy over the City Bar of New York event aimed at offering make-up tips for women?
I think billing it as a “make up event” is probably where they went wrong, particularly when the expert was known for her work on TV. Make-up on TV is very different from make-up in the office.
I think that men and women do both need advice on dressing professionally, but I think people tend to target these things towards women because the potential for error is so much greater for women. Men can slap on a button-down shirt, flat-front pants, a belt, and a pair of decently polished shoes; they walk out the door, and they’re in business. I don’t think that same approach would work for most women.
These things aren’t easy to talk about for women in a professional environment. It does happen sometimes when women get sat down and told they’re dressing inappropriately, but it’s not fun for either side.
ATL: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Congratulations on all of your success thus far, as well as your “coming out” as a blogger, and good luck!
ATL readers: To learn more about Kat Griffin and Corporette, click on the link below.
Big News — And Introductions [Corporette]
Earlier: Biglaw Women, Do You Even Know How to Use Make-Up?
Biglaw Women, You Will Not Get Help with Your Make-Up