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Looks and Bias

Two good posts about why looks matter to clients and lawyers and judges and jurors: One, and two.  Unfortunately, looks matter in ways many of us aren't even aware of.

A good friend is a high-powered patent lawyer.  She has decision making power, and a lot of discretion.  She is also young, a racial minority, and is comely.

At a recent CLE, an ugly and condescending white prick behind her in line said, "Um, this is the line for lawyers getting CLE credit."  I guess she didn't look the part.  After all, minority women aren't lawyers!  My friend is much nicer than I am.  She politely corrected him, although I imagine he went to tell his other friends about the "uppity" minority woman he just encountered.

When I asked for the lawyer's name so that I could post it on my blog, thus alerting the entire world to the lawyer's racism (even if it's subconscious), she rebuffed me.  Alas.