Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

looking too young

i look 20. but im in my early 30s. i dont have 25 years of l legalbeagle10/31/17
I've had gray hairs since I was probably 11 years old. Be th notreallyalawyer11/01/17
I grew a beard. 2breedbares10/31/17
Also, some clients think that if their lawyers aren't acting dupednontraditional11/01/17
I’ve had this problem in interviews it took me quite a whi fompliance211/01/17
I grew a beard as well. It was a bit of a game changer. thirdtierlaw11/01/17
"Older" or more mature? They're different. Most of it is how mrtor11/01/17
I'm in the same boat as you Legalbeagle. Early 30s, but eas jd4hire11/01/17
Don’t grow a beard. You’ll look unprofessional and/or li 3rdamendmentscholar11/01/17
This discussion is just another reason why I despise this pr lawyer197211/01/17
Have to agree; definitely jealous of my programmer friends a loblawyer11/01/17
Disagree. I have a goatee and basically look like the co superttthero11/01/17
you all assumed I am male. If growing a beard is the most co legalbeagle11/01/17
You must be literally the first woman in the history of the wolfman11/01/17
She said she was defending a client at an EBT, so this is pr onehell11/01/17
I can see this differing based on gender. Is the translator esquire13811/01/17
I used to have this problem. I'd like to think it stopped be retard11/02/17
legalbeagle (Oct 31, 2017 - 11:02 pm)

i look 20. but im in my early 30s. i dont have 25 years of legal experience but more than what most assume. how do i get clients to trust me? one called my office to say i didnt do a good job defending her at an EBT when i know i did a more than decent job. she thought i should have been more aggressive. really? low policy, not serious injuries. not a big case, hence why i got assigned to it. i get "are you the translator" way too often. it doesn't bother me as much as clients thinking i don't know what i'm doing.

Reply Like (0)
notreallyalawyer (Nov 1, 2017 - 10:39 am)

I've had gray hairs since I was probably 11 years old. Be thankful. Do you know how common age discrimination is? This is an advantage for you.

Reply Like (0)
2breedbares (Oct 31, 2017 - 11:59 pm)

I grew a beard.

Reply Like (0)
dupednontraditional (Nov 1, 2017 - 6:46 am)

Also, some clients think that if their lawyers aren't acting like rejects from a daytime talk show, then you're not doing your job.

I was in mediation not long ago with several parties and a lawyer on one side said things that didn't make any sense and was just loud and brash. That particular client had a wide-eyed toothy grin the whole time, as if something was being accomplished, when everybody else knew what was being said was stupid and irrelevant.

Reply Like (0)
fompliance2 (Nov 1, 2017 - 7:12 am)

I’ve had this problem in interviews it took me quite a while to realize why I wasn’t getting hired it was bc I looked way too young - grow a beard and hope u have some gray hairs in it, at one point I wore fake glasses to an interview just to look older

Reply Like (0)
thirdtierlaw (Nov 1, 2017 - 9:02 am)

I grew a beard as well. It was a bit of a game changer.

I've run into the aggression thing as well. I now address that at my intake interviews. I straight out tell them that I won't be yelling or slamming table and if they want someone like that, go elsewhere. I also explain that judges despise attorneys who do that and it does nothing but drag out cases longer than necessary.

Reply Like (0)
mrtor (Nov 1, 2017 - 9:37 am)

"Older" or more mature? They're different. Most of it is how you act and how you carry yourself -- which is tough change. There are also some superficial changes that may help. I don't like beards on professionals, so I'm not going to advocate that. However, certain eyewear can mature your appearance. I think you also need to look at your wardrobe. Clean, ironed, and appropriately fitted outfits help separate mature professionals from sloppy amateurs. Examine how you talk to people. Look at how your office is decorated. Every little thing factors into how people perceive you.

Reply Like (0)
jd4hire (Nov 1, 2017 - 10:36 am)

I'm in the same boat as you Legalbeagle. Early 30s, but easily can pass for early 20s. I think we'll be grateful at some point in our life, but it is a pain as a young attorney, especially for client appearances.

I currently have a beard, which definitely makes me look older based on feedback I receive, but don't know how it translates for clients. I just continue to do my work and focus on obtaining results.

I also will straight out tell clients that I'm young, tenacious, and not too jaded/ cynical at this point.

Reply Like (0)
3rdamendmentscholar (Nov 1, 2017 - 11:21 am)

Don’t grow a beard. You’ll look unprofessional and/or like a hipster who’s trying too hard.

Reply Like (0)
lawyer1972 (Nov 1, 2017 - 11:43 am)

This discussion is just another reason why I despise this profession and left it.

Reply Like (0)
loblawyer (Nov 1, 2017 - 1:58 pm)

Have to agree; definitely jealous of my programmer friends and their profession where youth is rewarded. Granted that's the exception but I think law is on the other end in it being frowned upon.

Reply Like (0)
superttthero (Nov 1, 2017 - 12:09 pm)

Disagree.

I have a goatee and basically look like the cops, prison guards but in a suit.

It's not for everyone, but a fuller, trimmed beard/goatee is credited. Unless you have Chad or better looks, you won't get away with the messy look though.

Reply Like (0)
legalbeagle (Nov 1, 2017 - 12:08 pm)

you all assumed I am male. If growing a beard is the most common piece of advice then I am doomed. -_-

Reply Like (0)
wolfman (Nov 1, 2017 - 2:34 pm)

You must be literally the first woman in the history of the world to complain about looking too young then... don't worry, unless you are extraordinarily genetically gifted (and thus should be doing something other than law with your life) this problem will go away, very shortly, at which point you'll start spending lots of time and $ in perpetuity trying to have this exact same problem again... I'm not being "sexist," that's just a simple fact... enjoy your good fortune while it lasts.

EDIT: you could solve the problem NOW by eating crap, taking up cigarette smoking and/or spending lots of time in tanning beds; I don't recommend it.

EDIT 2.0: are you in biglaw by any chance? do nothing. BigLaw ages people, women especially, like black magic.

Reply Like (0)
onehell (Nov 1, 2017 - 3:40 pm)

She said she was defending a client at an EBT, so this is prolly ID or PI not biglaw.

In any case OP, in the specific example you gave, back when I was in litigation I usually would explain to the client that they shouldn't really expect to see "aggression" in depo defense. What would be the point? There's no judge there.

In fact, it's potentially unethical to "aggressively" defend a depo, because it usually means speaking objections. That's obstructionist, wastes time, messes up the transcript and accomplishes no legit objective. It demonstrates only that you are either ethically challenged, or a complete n00b yourself.

If defense counsel starts making speaking objections in a depo I will take them outside and talk to them, once, because I know there's a good chance they're just putting on a show for the client. Do it again though, and I terminate the depo and ask for sanctions, or at the very least a tongue-lashing from the judge about the proper manner of objecting during a deposition. I'll bet you that was the kind of "aggression" your client expected to see and which you were right not to provide.

So if this is the specific context, don't let it get you down. If there's anything regular-people clients don't understand, it's a deposition. There should be no such thing as defending one of those "aggressively," but you don't exactly see depos on law & order. If you get good at explaining to clients what these things are and are not for, that may help more than trying to conceal youth or something.

Reply Like (0)
esquire138 (Nov 1, 2017 - 6:03 pm)

I can see this differing based on gender. Is the translator question a racial issue?

Reply Like (0)
retard (Nov 2, 2017 - 12:04 am)

I used to have this problem. I'd like to think it stopped because my reputation and track record speak for themselves but it's probably because I went from being 28 and looking 20 to being 31 and looking 39.

Reply Like (0)
Post a message in this thread