Hot people have all the luck

How's the job hunt going?

Are you a female law student? Have you put on a few pounds during your time in law school? Would you like to be reminded that fit, attractive women have better employment opportunities?

Then maybe you should consider transferring to Cardozo Law School. The Cardozo Health and Fitness Club is holding a networking lunch, but the flier makes it sound like they’re staging an intervention for fat chicks.

The Health and Fitness Club is forcing me to ask: Are Cardozo women really ready to whore themselves out to potential employers?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law School Group Urges Female Students To Get in Better Shape”

Earlier this month, your Above the Law editors had a little debate about whether attractive people make better lawyers. Apparently a couple of economists asked a similar question a decade ago. Jeff Biddle and Daniel Hamermesh published a paper in the Journal of Labor Economics in 1998 titled Beauty, Productivity, and Discrimination: Lawyers’ Looks and Lucre.

Gavel bang to University of Florida law professor Daniel Sokol, for pointing us in the direction of the article. It’s a fascinating read. We learned that:

* lawyers in the private sector are more attractive than those in the public sector;
* ugly looks-challenged people clerk;
* litigators are the most attractive attorneys, and that regulatory lawyers are the least attractive.
* being really, really, super good-looking makes men more likely to become partners, but makes women less likely to become partners; and
* attractive lawyers bill at higher rates and make more money.

The economists looked at law school graduates from the 1970s and 1980s. They created a control group by focusing on the graduates from just one law school, referred to as “Law School X” in the paper: “a highly selective institution that has typically matriculated and graduated between 300 and 400 students each year.”

We spoke to Professor Hamermesh this week about his research into how being hot helps lawyers’ careers. It’s not hiring partners who are solely to blame for this, though. The selective pressure comes from lawyers’ clients. Hamermesh shared his insights, and also revealed to us which law school provided his lovely guinea pigs…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Attractive People May or May Not Be Better Lawyers, But They Do Get Paid More”

legally blonde attractive lawyers.jpgWomen’s Health recently had an article about how pretty people have an advantage in this world. D’uh. In other breaking news, strong people have an advantage when it comes to beating the crap out of others.

Still, the Women’s Health article has a money quote that every lawyer — especially an unemployed lawyer — should note:

Job recruiters have come to learn that sending aesthetically pleasing candidates gets a better reaction from their clients. “I’ll write ‘This person is attractive’ on the applicant’s cover letter before passing her on,” admits a professional who does hiring in the legal field.

“Whether they admit it or not, many employers feel that having pretty female employees will reflect well on their firm.”

This seems like a good time for ATL editors to opine on hotness and career success in the law….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Are Attractive People Better Lawyers? An ATL Debate”

Back in March, we reported on stealth layoffs at Davis Polk & Wardwell. Stealth layoffs are usually seen as an effort to maintain high attorney utilization rates — and high partner profits. But at genteel, WASPy DPW, long known for its passive-aggressive kinder and gentler firm culture, profits come second to pulchritude.

Everything is beautiful at 450 Lexington — the offices, the stationery, and yes, the attorneys. DPW has long been known for hiring based on beauty as well as brains. So we suspect that their recent stealth layoffs were just an “office beautification” project: lay off the less attractive associates, to increase the average hotness of the remaining lawyers. (Lord only knows what the denizens of the recently closed Frankfurt office looked like.)

A few years ago, we wrote about Davis Polk’s reputation for hiring aesthetically appealing attorneys in the New York Observer:

Bar Belles: According to Rob, a 2L at NYU, one firm that’s in demand this season is Davis Polk & Wardwell. Why? “I’ve heard they have good-looking associates.”

Some things never change. When I interviewed a decade ago, Davis was already known as a bastion of beauty on aesthetically challenged Lexington Avenue. It was the firm of choice for the prom queen and king of my law school class — the editor in chief of the law journal, a luminous doll-like beauty with a vast family fortune, and her Abercrombie-handsome future husband. They were joined at Davis by enough comely Asian females to cast Memoirs of a Geisha.

And hotness matters more at Davis Polk these days, now that their redesigned website features attorney photos (for some, but not all, of the lawyers — perhaps it was an “opt in” regime?). From an observant tipster:

Have you noticed that Davis Polk’s new website has pictures of attorneys? Weren’t they once afraid of stalkers? Glad they’ve gotten over that. Or perhaps their associate corps is simply uglier now.

We think not. If you visit the Davis Polk — er, DavisPolk — website, and surf through the attorney profiles, you’ll still find hotties to spare.

Evidence of hotness, plus additional analysis, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Davis Polk’s Website Makeover: Now With 100 Percent Way More Hotties!”