Lawyer-Hot or Hot-Hot?
October 20, 2008 by Legal Tease
I should’ve known better. I should’ve just left the pimping to the professionals and none of this would’ve happened. But it did. It started this past weekend when I was having brunch at City Bakery with my newly single, ex-BigLaw friend, Max, and I suggested a perfect set-up for him: She’s a fourth-year in my firm, cute, funny, just transferred in from the Paris office and doesn’t know anyone. Max’s first question, of course:
“Is she hot?”
“Well, I guess. Yeah. Definitely. She’s adorable.”
“What, like, a 7? Or are we talking 8, 9?”
Gross. “I don’t know, Max. A ‘7,’ maybe? Whatever. She’s hot.”
He cocked an eyebrow. “Yeah, but is she lawyer-hot or hot-hot?”
“Is she hot for a lawyer or hot for a, you know, real person?”
I wanted to smack him, but he had a good point. The girl—Paris girl—is indeed one of the more attractive people at the firm. But stick her on your average street corner in New York or L.A. on a Sunday afternoon and she probably wouldn’t turn as many heads as she does at the firm. If any. Smack-worthy or not, Max was right: The metric for hotness definitely changes the second you walk out the door of your firm.
So, of course, this got me wondering: How do I stack up—inside the firm and outside? I mean, I’m a few light years away from being, say, a supermodel, but people don’t necessarily scream and run in the other direction when they see me walking down the street (or at least the hallways of my firm), either. What does that make me? A Lawyer “5”? “6”? A Real World “4”? How do you even quantify something inherently unquantifiable in the first place?
I asked Max what he thought my magic number would be, suggesting that I was maybe a Lawyer “4.”
He actually recoiled, grimacing, and looked at me as if I’d just suggested he chop off his penis and save it for dinner.
“Jesus Christ, you’re not that bad. Lawyer 4 is…is…” He shuddered. “Lawyer 4 is Steve Buscemi in drag.”
“Oh. OK, well thanks—“
“Give yourself at least a 5.”
Give myself at least a 5. Excellent. Thanks, Max. I’ll do that. And then I’ll give myself a bathtub and drown myself in it. I mean, my God, are things that bad? I admit that working at the firm has drastically reduced my ability to care about my clothes, my looks and my, well, overall physical self, but am I now really just one step higher than…Steve Buscemi in a dress?
I said goodbye to Max, vowed never to set him up with any person ever again in my lifetime, and left City Bakery feeling more depressed than usual. But then it hit me: Max’s theory has an upside, doesn’t it? I work at a law firm, and, as Max so charmingly pointed out, we’re graded on a pretty steep curve once we get inside the building. And I may not be at the very top of that curve, but I think (hope? pray?) I’m a respectable distance from the bottom, too. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but—at least in this one warped, sad little way—it looks like working at the firm has actually made me more attractive. I felt, if not better, then at least comforted. Until I got to work the next day.
Sitting on my desk as soon as I walked in was the just-delivered copy of the new first-year facebook—the one the firm hands out every Fall showcasing the pictures and vital stats of the newly arrived crop of first-year associates. Within a few hours of its hitting their desks, most of the firm’s veteran associates comb through it and note who the hottest prospects are, for work and for play. And I admit, I’m no different.
Just as I started flipping through the facebook, I noticed my buddy, Pete, standing in my doorway, laughing. “You beat me to it,” he said, waving his own copy of the facebook at me. He sat down and we did a page-through, scoping out potential targets. Asian guy from U. Chicago who clerked for the Fifth Circuit and likes opera and competitive chess. Whatever. Perky blonde girl who used to be in the Peace Corps before getting her JD/LLM at NYU. Pete was intrigued, but put off by the Peace Corps thing. Preppy-looking, cute-ish Stanford guy who used to be an i-banker before law school and enjoys cooking and international travel. Hmm, dog-eared that page. So far, though, there was no one out of the ordinary—no one we hadn’t already seen a hundred times over at the firm. At every firm. And then we saw page 32.
Staring back at us was the smiling face of a truly, truly gorgeous girl. An objectively, real-world, glossy-magazine hot girl. Not lawyer-hot. Hot-hot. Long wavy hair, creamy skin, perfect smile and huge, wide-set pool-blue eyes. And just in case that wasn’t enough, she’s double-Yale, worked at Vanity Fair for two years in between degrees, and is interested in “photography” and “exploration.” I’d never seen anyone like her at the firm, or hell, in a five-block radius of the firm.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Pete laughed, grabbing the book out of my hands to get a closer look. “Damn, she’s hot.”
“Yeah, for a lawyer,” I snorted, looking down at my shirt and realizing I had a small piece of bacon stuck on my left boob from this morning’s breakfast.
Pete raised his eyebrows and shot me a quick look. “For anybody.”
“I guess. It’s just a picture, though.”
“Yeah, a hot picture.” His eyes were actually starting to glaze over.
“It could be Photoshopped.” I grabbed the book back. “Look, see, she has absolutely no lines on her face at all—”
“Maybe she didn’t actually go to law school…?” Pete wondered aloud, not even remotely listening to me, trying to figure out how such a perfect creature could possibly be working at a law firm. As a lawyer.
Before I could offer an answer, he was already up and halfway out the door.
“What floor’s she on again?”
He smiled and ran his hands through his hair. “Got an errand on thirty-eight,” he laughed. And then he was gone.
So, there it is, friends. We’re screwed. Or rather, I’m screwed. I don’t even know this girl and I already want to push her down a stairwell. I thought things were bad at the firm before, but I least I took comfort in knowing I was swimming a little ahead of the curve. But when a girl like this shows up, the curve gets totally blown to hell. Bill Gates has shown up at the science fair and my gutsy little papier mâché rendering of a microchip is looking a little rough around the edges. Now, thanks to this new chick, this Goddess, Esq., I can’t even enjoy being a Lawyer “5.” Now, I have to get used to being relegated to a Lawyer “2.” That, or lateral to a different firm.
Preferably one with a Steve Buscemi fan club.