Erin Andrews, Esq.

Law Firm 10 Columns, Law Firm 10, Lawyer 50 Comments

Why is it that female lawyers feel the need to dress like asexual, feminist monks?  Seriously, what are we so afraid of, ladies?  Having men think we’re actually women?

Erin Andrews (and the masturbatory outbursts she provokes in 8.5 out of 10 heterosexual male sports fans) is perhaps the best example of the unique power a (reasonably) stylish, non-overweight, attractive woman wields in a male-dominated business.  Men love her and, surprisingly, even respect her.  More importantly, her career is blowing up.  If you ask me, ol’ Erin should be required viewing for female lawyers.  In fact, she should be our patron saint.

I suppose any of my naïve, Miranda Hobbes-ian illusions should have been eviscerated my first day of law school when I was introduced to my disheveled, frizzy-haired, makeup-less Contracts Professor.  But she was a high-brow, serious-minded Harvard academic.  Women like her aren’t supposed to look sexy.  Just smart.  Big Firm associates and partners, on the other had, are a different story.  Part of their job is to be stylish and au courant.  And they rake in enough money to stock their closets with Theory.  Maybe even Jil Sander.  Or so I thought.

After three years at Big Chicago Firm, I’ve come to the unfortunate conclusion that most female lawyers are horrible dressers.  Worse yet, they don’t care.  They almost take some sort of absurd, post-feminist pride in looking ugly.  The uglier you are, the smarter you are, which means the more successful you’ll be.  Right?

Wrong.  Not caring about your appearance is career-suicide.  Or at least career-idiocy.  Especially for young associates.  Looking good helps women advance.  In my experience anyway.  I’m no Gisele, but I definitely look good in clothes—and like it or not, I’m not afraid to wear suits that accentuate my long-legged, genetic good fortune.  Ask me, it’s no coincidence that I’m one of the only female associates whose name comes easily to the managing partner and is often invited to client dinners.  I’m pretty sure it’s not because I’m a better researcher or writer than the other 50 women lawyers at my firm.  I just dress better.

You might say I’m the Big Firm Erin Andrews.

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  • Bill Kocic

    I agree.  We think women like Erin Andrews are HOT because they can talk to us like one of the guys while preserving their intoxicating sexual allure; i.e., we know that when we take a babe like her home after the hockey game that she will give us a nite to remember.  That’s a far cry from the whiny, sloppy, dumpy and otherwise surly women we usually deal with in BigLaw.  For the most part, our days are filled with interacting with women (in the biological sense) who have no sex appeal, but more importantly, are not nice to deal with.  Most female lawyers dress in a frumpy manner, are generally condesending to men (other than the male partners they suck up to), and get incensed if they should even get a hint that you are looking at their sorry cleavage.  Yes, this post shows, from a woman’s point of view, what BigLaw women should emulate.  Now it’s true women won’t turn into Erin Andrews overnite, but they can make the effort, just like we men have had to become “progressive”.  Personally, I don’t like Erin Andrews’ teeth.  I prefer the more serious newscaster type, like Michelle Kozinsky.  Now that beeotch is smokin!

  • Anonymous

    You probably are the best of the worst, and that’s why you get to show up at the dinners.  Now show us what you’ve got so we can vote on you.

  • Anonymous

    If your looks were such an asset, you would be displaying your own picture instead of Erin Andrews’.

  • Bill Dickey

    Yea.  Put your picture up there.  We don’t care about your long legs.  And take your top off!

  • Anonymous

    Law firm ten equals LA/Manhattan 6.25.

  • Anonymous

    You men are awful.  None of you guys are Adonises.  All I see here are a bunch of balding guys with beer guts and hairy backs trying to pretend they somehow are entitled to the quality women that are reserved for the George Clooneys or Johnny Depps of the world.  When you guys start looking like that, maybe we’ll turn into starlets for you.  Until then, stuff it!

  • Gay Boy

    Amen, sister.  Not much eye candy for moi either.

  • BL1Y

    Most of the women I work with have a choice of two looks: unflattering or unprofessional.  I work in one of the few firms that is still business formal.  But, a lot of the women wear inappropriate tops, especially in the summer.  Some of them don’t even wear suits.  This is probably a good call though, as the ones who do tend to wear suits don’t know the first thing about buying a suit.  I don’t think they realize you’re not supposed to wear it off the rack.  Suits are meant to be tailored.  And for the record, bitter anonymous undersexed woman @6:38, I’m a pretty decent looking guy.  I’m no Clooney, but still good enough to hook up with hot girls from time to time (and trust me, it ain’t because of the personality).  And if I was a Clooney, I sure as hell wouldn’t be fooling around with the ever-expanding waistlines of law women.

  • Anonymous

    Bill, you’re a loser.

  • Anonymous

    You men are awful. None of you guys are Adonises. All I see here are a bunch of balding guys with beer guts

    That’s all well and good, but I haven’t seen too many articles where men argue that their long legs are a business asset. If women want to be judged on their capacity rather than their looks, they need to stop trying to fall back on their looks (“I’m the BigLaw Erin Andrews!) as soon as their abilities fall short.

  • Katie Apple

    I have to go with Law Firm 10—When you read these articles they are meant for your entertainment—so when LF10 says she’s accentuating her legs – what she means is that she’s not wearing some ill-fitting sack that makes her look stumpy!!  Men take this to mean that we are sexualizing ourselves to get ahead career-wise.  Bull.  Associates (women AND men) are paid a lot of money, clients pay a lot for attorney’s services and people should present themselves accordingly.  Your senior partner notices when your shoes aren’t shined, gentlemen.  Senior partner also notices when your slacks are too tight and you have a stain on your tie (you are NOT Southern Lawyer like Dustin Hoffman in Runaway Jury).  You must wear clothes that fit.  Brush your goddamned hair!  Tuck in that shirt.  And ladies – listen to your nagging mother and put on some lipstick!  And please spare me the feminist chants that you shouldn’t be judged on your appearance.  Because let’s face it – you are being judged – by senior partner, by junior partner, by your assistant and your clients.  Suck it up.  Looking pulled together does not make you less of a feminist or less of a lawyer, but what you present in the world of BigLaw (your physical appearance and confidence) matters.

  • BL1Y

    Ladies: If you ever have to ask yourself (or, god forbid, a co-worker) whether what you’re wearing is too slutty, it is.  Please learn how to look attractive and professional at the same time (I’d suggest taking your next paycheck to Thomas Pink).

  • Anonymous

    Oh, please–what she meant was quite clear, and it’s typical “post-feminist” chick B.S.–demanding to be taken seriously and treated equally to men when you don’t measure up performance-wise, and then trying to ride your average looks until you’re finally “asked to leave” or you find some guy to fall for the “stay at home mom” game so you can pop out a kid to park with the nanny while you shop all day.
    This is why so few women make partner–if any of you were REALLY hot (or–gasp!–good lawyers), more of you would have made it further. Actually, if you were REALLY hot, you wouldn’t have to be working at all. Do you think anyone cares enough about your mediocre looks to check your clothing and make up for anything other than the most minimal standards of appropriateness? LOL!

  • Shelly

    great article I can relate well. I certainly do not dress slutty just appropriate without looking frumpy.

  • BL1Y

    Shelly: Just to confirm your claim: If you remove your jacket are you still dressed appropriately? What about during the summer? Could you attend a lecture in an auditorium with stadium seating without exposing your underwear to the lecturer? Is the highest button you’ve done above the fullest part of your breasts?

  • Anonymous

    Asserting that one “dresses to accentuate my long-legged genetic good fortune” is not the same as just being “appropriate without looking frumpy,” and you know it. The author is (trying to) peddle her ass, and I seriously doubt if it’s out of concern for her “career,” since no one who would think of seriously advancing her career (in the law) gives a damn about her tired ass. The only people interested in her purportedly long legs would be the horny losers in her associate class, and partners looking for a side-whore. What planet are you broads on?
    Also, LOL@”Chicago BigLaw.”

  • Alex Hump

    There are so few good looking women lawyers out there that we ought to cherish the few we are able to find.  So far, we haven’t seen any pictures.  Since one picture is worth 1000 words, please have the writer of this article post a picture (modest), and we can vote ourselves as to whether she is a babe or a barker.

  • BL1Y

    @11:11: Not true.  As the article says, being attractive (and dressing to take advantage of this) can be useful to make sure partners think of you first.  In a large firm, most associates will blend together; the few that stand out will get better opportunities.  Attractive associates will stand out more, even to people with no intention of getting in their pants.  Of course, attractive associates also run the risk of standing out more when they screw up, and when they do, they’ll look like stereotypical airheads.

  • Anonymous

    “As the article says, being attractive (and dressing to take advantage of this) can be useful to make sure partners think of you first”
    Just because the article says that doesn’t make it true. I’ve been around a lot longer than most of you–so I know that good looks can help get your foot in the door. But if you’re looking to advance–not so much. If that were true then most law firm partners and senior business executives would be better looking.  Effective sucking up will always beat looks for anyone who wants to advance their career, male or female. A lot of people don’t want to face that, because they would prefer to rely on whatever their perceived “strength” is: smarts, work ethic, long legs, etc. But almost all people who become really successful do so through the exquisite quality of their ass-kissing.

  • BL13

    Thank you, BigLaw Erin Andrews! I’m not going to make the money I do and not dress like it. I don’t understand why some men would be bothered by a woman looking professional and groomed. I highly doubt, gentlemen, that any woman who reads this blog would advocate for a “slutty” work attire. Let’s grow up. Seriously.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. And why do brains and beauty have to be mutually exclusive? When did BL Erin Andrews every say that she didn’t perform well and relied completely on her looks? Don’t remember reading that one… Let’s face it, law is dominating by men and until men somehow shed their innate, primal desire to want to be around pretty girls, this is how it’s going to be. Go buy some heels and lipstick, ladies, you’ll like it : )

  • BL1Y

    BL13: I’ve had a coworker who regularly wore her shirts unbuttoned just past her breasts, a coworker who on more than one occasion has been afraid to be seen by partners because after arriving at the office she realized her skirt was far too short, several who (during the summer) cannot remove their jackets because their tops are inappropriate for work (they described their tops as “slutty”), and two who were concerned their dresses for a firm banquet were too slutty.  They thought a bit of slutty was appropriate for a firm dinner, so long as it just wasn’t TOO slutty.  So whether they’ll advocate for slutty work attire is irrelevant; they’re wearing it with or without the advocacy.

  • Anonymous

    “I don’t understand why some men would be bothered by a woman looking professional and groomed.”
    Again–don’t try to misrepresent what LF10 said here–which was NOT about “looking professional and groomed.”
    And attorneys ARE around pretty girls–they’re called young secretaries and the occasional hot paralegal. I don’t know any male lawyer who looks to female lawyers for attractiveness, because they know they will almost never find it–no matter how much money you spend on clothes, lipstick and heels. 99% of all female lawyers are plain at best, and I’m not talking about your outfits. I’m sorry you’ve deluded yourself into believing that being the hottest sow at trough is gonna get you somewhere, but it’s not. If you want to prove me wrong, all you have to do is point out all the “hot” women burning up the partner track at V10 firms. But you can’t, cause they ain’t there. Just be clean, neat and dress appropriately for your position, because you can’t compete on sexiness. You just can’t. It’s not an accident that Erin Andrews is a sports anchor–not a lawyer.

  • BL1Y

    @1:25pm: You have hot secretaries? Where do you work? Here almost all of our secretaries are middle aged or older, and none (including the younger ones) are attractive.  On the other hand, the paralegals are almost all very pretty.  I do have to disagree with how important wearing the right clothes/make up/hair can be.  Very few women are ugly.  Most are just too lazy to be pretty.  No purse can make up for an extra 20 pounds, but likewise being fit is wasted if you don’t know how to dress.  Plus, having great style is an attractive quality just like having a great sense of humor or being able to cook.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t say the right makeup/clothes/haircare wearn’t important–I said that for female lawyers professional and appropriate is sufficient, because almost all are just okay and nothing’s going to change that. If they want to try and be “attractive,” they can go for it, but the vast majority aren’t competitive on that level with a 23 year old paralegal; so the idea that they are going to “get somewhere” at work by showing their legs is kind of silly–and no one has yet pointed me to any real-life examples of female lawyers at top firms for whom this is not the case. And yeah, we have quite a few pretty young secretaries here, though they don’t tend to be as hot as the paras. But (sadly) even the 35-year old MILFs are mostly hotter than the lawyers, hotter even than the rare few female attorneys who actually know how to dress and present themselves. There just isn’t enough lipstick on Planet Earth to make most of these chicks anymore than passable–and that’s the one’s who aren’t whales.

  • BL1Y

    My firm has an attractive female partner who is in the upper management of her department.  She’s probably just around a 7.5, but gets an extra 0.75 or so because she dresses really well.  Our bankruptcy department appears to just be recruiting attractive women.  It’s not the same as getting promoted, but getting into a bankruptcy department instead of corporate or litigation is a big advantage over your peers.

  • Bill Tookas

    No mas!  I think we can all agree that women should do their best to look good (not slutty), and that we shouldn’t look to women lawyers for being sexy.  Legal Men are for the most part also relatively bland (plain), so unless something changes, we can all resign ourselves to legal mediocrity.  If we want to find HOT, we must look outside the ranks of the JD’s.

  • Anonymous

    You are a Gisele.  You go girl.

  • Kristin

    Someone told me to check out this blog because I am a bitter law student.  However, I have encountered more blatant sexism in the last 10 minutes of looking at this blog than I have encountered in my entire legal career.  I’m offended to say the least, and it might shock you all to discover that I am not ugly, plain, overweight, or lacking in style.

  • BL1Y

    Poor Kristin…no one’s had the guts to tell you how ugly, overweight and a bad dresser you are.

  • Anonymous

    Kristin – if you are in fact a bitter law student then your legal career hasn’t actually started yet. If the “blatant sexism” on this site offends you, just wait til you start practicing.

  • Thom

    I’m confused. I thought lawyers and law students were supposed to be busy?

  • Dustin

    great article it’s interesting to see this perspective

  • Larissa

    rock on law firm 10

  • Bitter Chick

    Great piece. Keep them coming.

  • Leslie

    I think its disgusting to be proud that you are the only female associate managers remember or invite to XYZ because you are attractive- not because you are the smartest, best writer, etc.  That is exactly what is wrong with women and also what is wrong with this boy’s club of a profession.  I am not saying we should not look nice, but I would rather be noticed for my writing or my litigating than how my suit accentuates my hourglass shape. 
    And, as for the response to Kristen’s comment, fuck you Bl1Y.  “Blatant sexism” is an awful truth that comes with the profession, but that does not mean it needs to stay that way.

  • 5th Year Dude

    You rule, Leslie.  Couldn’t agree more.

  • Billy Bob

    Leslie, I agree COMPLETELY.  Now spread your legs!

  • Tommy Bob

    Not that fast, Billy Bob–you have to woo the girl–like this:  “Yes, Darling, I agree with everything you say–why don’t you just rest over here while I get you a drink.  Here it is–now take a sip.  Nice….It’s hot in here. Let’s take our tops off….OK…now I’m tired.  Let’s lay down.  Want some more drinks…..It is ONLY now, Billy Bob, that you are entitled to go for the crotch.

  • NCR

    Taking pride in one’s appearance is a legitimate way to make a good first impression.  It’s the reason the we men wear $3000 custom suits and $700 shoes.  In the long run, this will not replace true talent or competency but it absolutely portrays an appreciation for presentation as well as an attention to detail.  A stylishly dressed woman would catch my eye the same way a beautiful suit would and, for the same reason models exist, the clothes make their best impression when worn by conventionally attractive men and women (this is why the modeling profession exists). These are the people that I would want sitting next to me at a client dinner and, while this alone won’t spell success, it certainly represents a tangible advantage.

  • Pacific Reporter

    Erin Andrews if hot!

  • ANonymous

    Damn hot!

  • tmboy

    Congrats you paid an obscene amount of money to have your boss pimp you out to clients.  If you wanted to get ahead like that you should have gone into stripping.  And don’t think that some people arent whispering about what you MAY be doing.  And when it comes time to get assignments is your name still the first one mentioned.  I’m sure that the women that came before you were stylish and toned it down for a reason, but hey don’t ask them why or take note that there may be a reason, you clearly know best. … what ever floats your boat.

  • acp

    The only ones complaining about the article here seem to sound like other female lawyers.  Why be afraid to use part of what you have (your looks) to your advantage.  Part of looking good is being confidant.  There’s a difference between looking good and dressing slutty.  For instance the author wrote about the Theory line, gorgeous clothes and NOT slutty.  It doesn’t take long to throw on some blush, brush your hair and find a suit that is cut and tailored to fit you.

  • Sam Samuels

    I wanna BANG you, Erin Andrews.  Call me.

  • P

    Erin Andrews doesn’t even have a law degree, you tools. She only has a BA in telecommunications.

  • exlaw

    I completely agree, use whatever God gave you.  Nobody wants to work with ugly people.  Im just like you

  • Fellow Law Firm 10

    P: If you had any ready comprehension, you’d realize the article points Erin Andrews’ domination in a similar, male-dominated industry. No one said she had a JD.

  • anonymous

    Kristin –
    Unfortunately, welcome to the profession. My experience in being an (female) attorney for the past 12 years is that most attorneys are a$$holes. I think it is a trait that serves the requirements of the job well, and many embrace it. The crude, disgusting talk here is pretty representative of most male attorneys’ thoughts, if not words. I’m not gorgeous, I’m not a slut, and I don’t dress frumpy, but I am a good attorney. The author of this article CLEARLY wants to be looked at as an object and wants attention for the wrong reasons. I get hit on by other attorneys on a regular basis, but I don’t appreciate it being when I am working in my role as attorney. After hours is different, but I want to be respected for my professional skills, not my legs. Besides, I would not in a million years date an attorney!!

  • Cates – Illinois Injury Lawyer

    @ anonymous
    most attorneys?