I Want to Use My Feminine Wiles to Get Hired

You always hear about women having an advantage in law firms—from a minority standpoint, that is.  How can a decent-looking female lawyer use her feminine whiles to snag a job offer?  Or should she not do that? 

Seems like if you got it, use it.  But I’m interested in hearing Ex-Bitter’s response.  Thanks!

First off, I’d advise you to be more careful with the words you use.  Or, at a minimum, start consulting Dictionary.com.  Decent-looking female lawyers should use their feminine “wiles,” not “whiles.”

Second, if you have to ask how to use your damn wiles, you’re probably not going to be very good at it, so don’t even try.  You can’t coach cool… Or sexy… Or intrigue… Or funny.  The guy who tries too hard to be funny usually isn’t.  Know what I mean? 

So, if I were you, I wouldn’t try to double down on the whole “femme fatale lawyer” thing.  Just work hard, stay productive and be a solid firm citizen.  But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress stylishly, stay in shape, and otherwise “own” the whole feminine thing.  Just don’t think about it too much or try too hard.  Or it will be transparent—and embarrassing.

Good luck.

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You always hear about women having an advantage in law firms—from a minority standpoint, that is.  How can a decent-looking female lawyer use her feminine whiles to snag a job offer?  Or should she not do that? 

Seems like if you got it, use it.  But I’m interested in hearing Ex-Bitter’s response.  Thanks!

First off, I’d advise you to be more careful with the words you use.

Ex-Bitter is a former big firm lawyer who now doles out advice to anyone who asks. Got a question? Email it to advice@bitterlawyer.com. Or read more Advice from an Ex-Bitter.

12 Comments

  1. Chick Litigator

    February 19, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Is this a joke? You can look feminine and pretty in the work place. Call me crazy, but I think there’s nothing wrong with female lawyers actually looking like women. But please don’t try to use your sex apppeal (however much or little you may have) to get a job. You won’t be taken seriously and will be a joke for the rest of your career. And I totally agree with Ex-Bitter – if you have to ask how, you haven’t got a clue.

  2. Smurf

    February 19, 2010 at 5:51 am

    I recommend a J. Crew chambray popover!

  3. BL1Y

    February 19, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Diet and exercise, because if you’re like the average female lawyer, your femininity isn’t nearly as wiley as you think.

  4. Craig

    February 19, 2010 at 7:19 am

    If you are just decent looking, short of blowing the right people, there is not much you can do.  The whole women have an advantage thing is for attractive women that men have no choice but to gravitate towards.  Like Ex-Bitter wrote, if you don’t naturally have that, you can’t really develop it.

  5. Chief Interviewer

    February 19, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Men with enough biz to hire associates ought to do themselves a favor and hire attractive women not named Alma who will either have an affair with them or leave to have kids and avoid partnership problems.  And why shouldn’t wmen prey on the male’s desire for a fantasy associate?  Its just the same lookism that prevails in other areas.

  6. Alma Federer

    February 19, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I vehemently disagree with the above post.  I am considered highly attractive, and beautiful by many lawyers, yet I have NEVER used my beauty to my advantage.  I have always understated my looks and work VERY hard so that the hiring people have had absoluteley no problem in deciding to hire and promote me based on my WORK ethic, not on my looks.  There are so many men who think that I got where I am based on my looks.  But guess what, I got into law school, passed the bar and got my jobs based on my merit, not my looks.  I will have to admit that being beautiful probabley did not hurt me, but I have had to work twice as hard to prove that my bosses did not hire or promote me just because I am beautiful.  I understand that some women also will bash me, but I think that is because they are jealous that I can be so smart and so beautiful at the same time.  But I do not fault them for holding that against me.  All I can say (to myself) is too bad.  No one said life is suppossed to be fair, and I have been very lucky in most respects, and I hope to still be able to find and be successful with the right guy who will appreciate all I have to offer him, and all he should have to offer me.  But some of you dummies will NEVER understand, and fooey on you!

  7. Chick Litigator

    February 19, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Alma, get over yourself.

  8. Hannah Palindrome

    February 19, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    “…if you have to ask how to use your damn wiles, you’re probably not going to be very good at it, so don’t even try.” TRUE!!! This woman is really P.A.T.H.E.T.I.C!  What a Loser!

  9. Guano Dubango

    February 20, 2010 at 5:26 am

    Hello everybody.  I have just returned from a business trip to Scranton.  I met a nice woman, but she tried to use her wiles (strange saying) to get me to be her boyfriend.  I did not appreciate it.  I would like a woman who is coy, yet a sexy tigress, a good lawyer, yet also interested in being a good wife and mother.  If I am not able to find such a woman here, where should I look?  I do not see LF10 or Alma even responding to my overtures.  How about Hannah Palindrom or Chick Litigator?  Are either of you qualified for me?  Please to advise.

  10. Stan the Man

    February 20, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Feminine Wiles?  Ugh!  Stanky!

  11. Chief Interviewer

    February 20, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Why should a smart woman lacking Alma’s alleged looks deny herself the same advantage?  Why should a smart woman allow a less smart one to gain an edge by pandering to men? Why not touch a man’s elbow, smile at him suggestively, or say “you’re so forceful,” and allow him to wonder of a job offer would let him be even more forceful?  And if I were a smart woman at a firm I’d encourage the men to hire attarctive younger women-they won’t be able to do the work, the men will get reprimanded and I’d slide in while the competition was crippled.

  12. Bill

    February 21, 2010 at 5:46 am

    I wouldn’t want to have some female lawyer trying to imitate Megan Fox.  It just doesn’t cut it, and for the person trying to be sexy, forget it.  The day you look like Megan Fox is the day you won’t need to apply to be a lawyer.  If you do look like her, WTF are you doing practicing law?

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