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May 19, 2010 4:30 PM

The Careerist: Pretty Enough for This Job Market?

Posted by Vivia Chen

To the list of insecurities that already plague job applicants (not going to a first-tier law school, failure to make Law Review, or the inability to get excited by golf), you can now add physical beauty--or the lack thereof. Contrary to what your mother might have told you, looks count. 

In a recent National Law Journal editorial, Stanford Law School professor Deborah Rhode makes the case that attractive people get preferential treatment in the job arena, and that this amounts to a form of discrimination that can be as insidious as racism or sexism.

Women, in particular, says Rhode, pay a heavy price for this emphasis on the superficial. She warns that discrimination based on looks is creating job inequities in the legal sector.

Let's be honest, law has never been a profession known for good looks, whether among male or female attorneys. But lawyers' tenacity and smarts put them on top of the heap. In a perverse way, law is more of a meritocracy than many other professions.

So how exactly does Rhode see this playing out in the law?

Click here for more on this from The Careerist.


The Careerist, a new blog from ALM media's LawJobs.com, takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. Day in and day out, American Lawyer senior reporter Vivia Chen will dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. Visit thecareerist.typepad.com for this fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

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