Can Dating A Female Lawyer Actually Be Fun?

dating a female lawyerPerhaps no other profession is associated more with being argumentative, competitive, and aggressive than lawyers. And among all the different kinds of lawyers, litigators / trial lawyers¬†are especially¬†known for being that way.¬†While men of many professions¬†are expected to be the aggressive go-getters, who don’t let anything stand in their way toward success, promotions, and professional and financial victories, the same qualities often make women intimidating to women men and simply¬†much¬†less attractive and less desirable sexually and as relationship material to others.

I have known a number of very accomplished men, who could not possibly be intimidated by any woman’s success. Those guys would¬†would refuse to even go out on¬†one date with a woman, as soon as they found out that she was a lawyer.¬†They didn’t¬†want to know anything else about her, but they would immediately assume a lot of things about who¬†she is¬† – that she would challenge them on everything, she would be arguing all the time and she would¬†be insisting that she is always right and that she would be too busy to go out and spend time together¬†anyway, so why even bother and go out¬†with her.¬†Call it stereotyping or unfair bias, but that was their response.¬†I even knew one assistant director of admissions at a¬†law school who told me that after dating one lawyer, he was never going to date a lawyer again. When I asked why, he said: “come on, like you don’t know what lawyer girls are like” while¬†rolling his eyes.¬†His responses¬†suggested to me that my question was rhetorical and that I shouldn’t be asking¬†him something so obvious.¬†I was amazed to hear those words from¬†someone who was paid a lot of money to market legal profession as an exciting field of work¬†for everyone, including women. Having heard him speak to the new class of admitted students, he sounded very convincing to me. Even when he was talking to a group of new female law¬†students during the break, I couldn’t detect a trace of cynicism in his words.

Does this mean that all women lawyers are competitive, ultra-feminist, and¬†“in-you-face” bitches?¬†Of course not. Like any generalization out there, this one has exceptions. Some female lawyers are indeed really difficult to get along with or date, and¬†legal profession is probably “blessed” with that type of women¬†more than just about any other industry. However, there are female lawyers out there who are as feminine as any guy would¬†want his girlfriend or wife to be.¬†These women often come from stable traditional families, and they were brought up to be and behave as a woman¬†certain way that neither law school nor legal work could ever change. Moreover, these women-lawyers are aware of the harshness that legal profession can bring into a woman’s behavior and attitude. They dislike that kind of behavior in women as much as the men do¬†and they consciously resist becoming that way.

Finally, these women believe that you don’t have to be super¬†aggressive to do well as a woman-lawyer, especially in your personal life, and they know that a gentle touch is often stronger and more effective than any tough fist. They treat law and their legal work academically – they approach is as science and they treat every case they handle not as some kind of find where they have to win at all costs but as an academic problem which they are trying to solve in a way that would be favorable to their client.¬†Some of the more talented female lawyers that I know act exactly that way. This doesn’t mean they are weak. On the contrary – they will work longer and harder than anyone else, but their work isn’t accompanied by unnecessary harshness in their demeanor and in their interactions with their adversaries.

Imagine meeting a woman who is both, as feminine as you would like a woman to be, but at the same time she also possess the wit and the sharpness to her personality that lawyers are known for. I know – it’s a tall and¬†a rare order, but these kind of female lawyers are out there. Therefore, dismissing a woman as a potential dating or relationship material just because she is a lawyer without knowing anything else about her is premature and might make you miss out on a great¬†woman who is both feminine and exceptionally smart.

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15 Comments

  1. @ Kurt – unfortunately that’s true. I sometimes can’t help but conclude that legal profession and especially some specific fields, such as litigation are incompatible with the core notion of femininity.

  2. Unfortunately your experience is very typical with some exception. Sometimes it looks like at least some areas of legal work, such as litigation, are simply incompatible with the very notion of being feminine.

  3. I dated a lawyer briefly for 2 months. She was exactly what your article says – argumentative, challenged me on everything and a total bitch overall. It turned me on in the beginning but as time passed by it was exhausting and draining. The final straw came when she totally emasculated me one day. The next day I gave it back to her and she couldn't handle it. She worked long hours, had poor ways of handling stress. Drugged herself to sleep often. Drank in excess often and was irresponsible with her personal life. Sleeping with guys she met in clubs. She was super competitive and on fast track to becoming a partner.

  4. @Anna K

    Not at all. We much appreciate your perspective and encourage free, open exchange. As long as it's not empty insults, anything goes here.

    You are totally right. I have heard how some women, under the guise of being feminine and traditional end up being spoiled "desperate housewives" concerned with image and status and trying to cover up their boredom with shopping, vanity, etc…

    Unfortunately, arrogance, status, image, etc… are labels that often attributed to lawyers and doctors in general. But… this is good news for some people – it's good news because it makes it easier to stand out as someone who is different who is better. One of the things I like to hear the most, is when someone tells me: "I would have never guessed that you are a lawyer." ūüėČ

  5. @PracticalH:

    You are obviously right that there is a lot of space in between. I just felt the need to point out at the other side of the spectrum, that's all.

    I even took the time to re-read the comments again, and I don't think I offended anybody… if I did, then it wasn't on purpose.I don't have anything against stay at home moms. My mom is one too! I simply don't like people who take advantage of other people. Maybe I got a bit emotional. I am still wondering how come what I said was perceived as aggressive.

    You're right, in Eastern Europe lawyers aren't known for the same aggressive behavior as the ones in the US… they're pretty much known for their corruption. It's the 'Why even argue, when you can solve it with money' mentality.

  6. @Anna

    So many of us look at the extremes – calculating sharks v stay home moms who never want to work a day in their life. We might be forgetting that there is quite a bit of space in between, where a woman could combine being smart & educated while remaining feminine and not abandoning at least some of her major traditional roles.

    You don't need to be shocked. It's all in your hands. The prejudice is well known and like many other stereotypes, it has reasons for it. It won't take you long to meet "in yo face" lawyer – both male and female, but it's completely in your hands to not become one.

    In Eastern Europe, lawyers don't have the same status and are not known for the same behavior so it wouldn't make sense to compare to the US lawyers.

  7. @ Anna K.

    Sweetie, look at how you started your comment, by going straight for a knock out punch at someone else… now before you let your ego/lawyer ways get in the way in the form of instant argumentative reactions, think about it! You just did exactly what the article says and what people are afraid of… argue and bust balls for absolutely no reason.

    @everyone else

    I dated a law student and eventual lawyer for over 3 years. I am a PhD myself and make well over six figures, so I am not intimidated by successful/educated women (as a matter of fact, I rarely date anyone below a master's and a similar salary within a small range). In any case, dating her was probably one of the worst roller coasters of my life. She, and her friends, who dated other friends of mine, just cannot separate work from personal life. I agree that there is a huge SELF SELECTION bias in this (and other) professions, as was mentioned here before. That is, people with aggressive characteristics go into law because there, you get rewarded for this trait. The rest of them, those who are mild mannered, need and are urged to turn that way, if they ever want a shot at "success" (at least professionally, if you care about success in your family, forget it!).

    I tend to be very patient, and that is the only reason why things lasted that long. I had friends and family telling me to leave her, but I hoped one day she would realize how destructive she was being. In any case, patience runs out. In the end, it was obviously not all her yelling, name calling and winning fights for the sake of winning fights that destroyed the relationship. Of course not! According to her, in the end it was me who was a macho (who btw cooked most nights and shared all chores at home) who couldn't understand the rights of women (read feminist) and was always trying to put her down (sure… by paying most of her tuition and 100% of living expenses, for example).

    If you ever date any of these girls, go in thinking that reasoning through small and big arguments (which are part of every relationship) is not an option. Lawyers do not get paid for winning through reasonable arguments… they get paid for winning, period! at any cost. And that is how they see life (and they should, to be successful professionals in a profession where ethics are borderline at best). So unless you like to be a combination of therapist and masochist and are willing to be in a disproportionally uneven relationship where the other party takes and takes, gives little and takes you for grated (because all of those things are and must be your responsibility), then run for the door. Finally, from this and other experiences, I can tell you that female lawyers are among the most materialistic people. It does not matter how much money they earn, they never have enough. They are extremely competitive and career oriented, and trust me, so at the end, they effectively sell their integrity and time with their family in exchange for a few more dollars. Finally, there are at least two studies that I am aware of that shows that lawyers have some of the highest divorce rates. Female lawyers specifically, are 10% above their male counterparts, and the most common reason is cheating/having an affair with superiors (go figure!). So read the facts (academic studies), not just opinion boards, and you will see that your chances at a healthy, stable relationship with someone in this profession are pretty small.

    Sure, you will find hot lawyers and you will find ugly girls that studied marketing, that's life. If all you care about is physical attraction, then be my guest. Lawyers are some of the best in the sack if you do not get intimidated by their success or aggression easily. That being said, we all know that after having sex with someone for a while it is all the same. So at best, you have a shot of 3-6 months of good sex and a horrible life thereafter.

    @ Anna again… don't bother arguing, chances are good I will never even see your posts again. I was reading this while waiting for my plane to London and I will have better things to do there for the next 3 months…

  8. Lastango: Your comment made me laugh. Calculating sharks? Really? What about the 'sweet' stay at home mom who would never work a day in her life, because her childhood dream was to become a wife? Hmmm… No calculation there, whatsoever.They are totally harmless, right? RIGHT?! Think again. And beware of wolves disguised in sheep.

    I agree with Mickey on both accounts! Hostile people will be hostile regardless of their profession, background, age, etc. You can't protect yourself by avoiding whole groups of people, you have a brain, then USE IT to take conscious decisions!

    Anyway, after reading this post, i was left feeling a bit sad. I'm only 22 and still in law school, but i can't help thinking about what the future holds. Ending up a crazy old cat lady is absolutely NOT an option for me!

    I was completely and utterly SHOCKED by all the prejudice. Maybe it's a cultural thing, i do not know – but where i come from (eastern Europe) this is not even an issue, compared to what it is where i'm studying right now (Germany – the West in general)… Back home, it doesn't matter if you're a lawyer or a kindergarten teacher. A feminazi might be lurking here and there, but that doesn't make it a rule.

    Is it possible that the western society is making up these problems for itself?…

  9. This is why you get a prenup. And if your significant other starts whining about how you don’t trust her or you wouldn’t ask for a prenup, this is where you MUST STAND YOUR GROUND and show her the door.

  10. In this post, the list of qualities men don't like about women lawyers (argumentative, hard-edged, etc.) is missing the Big One: the high risk that marrying one of these calculating sharks will result in financial and personal destruction when she decides it's time to make use of the anti-male family court system. He will never recover from the beating.

    For a man, shacking up with a female lawyer is a combination of running into the wind, playing with fire, and sticking one's head in the lion's mouth. Thinking "I'm dating the one feminine, wonderful woman lawyer who isn't like that!" is like going to Vegas thinking you're going to beat the house.

  11. This is unfortunatey true. Lawyers have the highest rates of depression and alcoholism/drug addiction. It’s funny that I don’t drink but I still have to take substance abuse CLE’s.

  12. Although I do agree that some of the real ball-buster type of women do chose to go to law school in the first place, I think that some otherwise nice women do transform into ball-busters only after they enter the legal profession. Lawyers have one of the highest rates of depression among white collar professionals, so I really do think that the work environment does have a dramatic effect on many of the women, making them far less attractive as potential relationship/marriage material.

  13. Unfortunately, it’s true. I used to think that law school is what makes women that way, but it turns out that it’s the other way around. The rougher and the more competitive and argumentative women are the ones who decide to go to law school, and a few classes a school is not what changes them. I am sure that certain fields, such as litigation, also have their affect on making women harsher. Even the ones who say that they can leave their work at work, cannot be expected to fully separate work from the rest of their life.

  14. I am a lawyer and I can tell from experience that female lawyers are among the most self-centered argumentative women out there, especially if they work at big firms where they are under a lot of work-related pressure. They really do tend to be very feminist. Most are unworthy of dating and definitely of marriage.

  15. As most women tend to be unapproachable, I don’t think their professions are the problem.

    Hostile is hostile is hostile.

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