Have you any idea how it feels to be a Fembot living in a Manbot's Manputer's world?
- Femputer, Futurama
Women of law aren't known for their exceptionally good looks. Sure, there are a few who stand out, there's always the class hottie, but in general it's understood that when it comes to looking for attractive women, law is basically a troll den. Hence the terms "Law school 10" and "Law firm 10." In the real world she might be a 7 or 7.5, possibly an 8 if she didn't look so downtrodden and lost the exam weight, but in law school, with the competition so lacking, she sets the curve. She's a law school 10. (Not that the men are any better looking. In fact, they're often considered much worse. But, men aren't judged on their looks so much. They're judged more on their inability to get into bed with even mediocre-at-best law women.)
But, what if the apparent ugliness of law women was just an illusion?
No, I'm not saying the war pig sitting in front of yo in class eating hummus by the handful is actually attractive. She's not. But the idea that law women are in general less attractive than their lay peers could be an illusion.
Consider your typical law school class (that's class like "of 2013" not "Civil Procedure"), it may have 250 students in it. That's going to be roughly 125 women.
A study by Daniel Hamermesh, a professor of economics at the University of Texas, Austin, found that roughly 30% of women were considered above average (4 out of 5), and 3% were considered strikingly beautiful (5 out of 5). So, for out 125 law women, we should have about 38 attractive women, and 4 very attractive.
A survey in 2007 by the Virginia Law Weekly found that 55% of law students were in relationships. That leaves you with 17 attractive single women, and 2 very attractive single women. Time to run game.
Maybe you go for it, all the stars align, and one of those very attractive women happens to fall for you. Consider yourself lucky. But what's more likely to happen is that there are irreconcilable differences with one (religion, politics, she's making law review and you're not, she's gay and you have a penis, whatever), and you just have a garden variety strike out with the other. You have now exhausted the universe of available very attractive women at your school. Maybe one of them in a relationship will break up, but odds that she will then fall into your arms are slight.
Moving down to the regularly attractive women, again many of these will simply be non-starters for one reason or another. Strike out with two or three of the remainder and they'll tell the rest, and now you're completely out of attractive women in your law school class. Congratulations on becoming one of the nation's preeminent experts on Judge Learned Hand. You can wait until new students arrive next year, but don't hold your breath.
Once you get into a law firm, the situation becomes much more dire. Assume you get into a very large firm with 50 first year associates. That's 25 female associates, 8 attractive, and 0-1 very attractive women. About 3 attractive single women, and only 1 in 3 odds on there being a very attractive single woman. Not ideal.
If your first year associate cohort has only 10 people, there's about a 1 in 4 chance that there will be no single attractive women at all.
Now, compare all this to where law students have been the previous 4 years: college. If you were at a medium-sized university with 10,000 students, you'd expect there to be 1,500 attractive women and 150 very attractive ones, and with a much lower relationship rate. You could hit on and be rejected by an attractive woman every single day of the school year and not run out of possibilities.
It's not that law women are necessarily less attractive, it's that the small group size means you have to start considering less attractive options. In a large group, you'll focus on the abundance of attractive women and ignore everyone else. In a small group you can't, you become conscious of all the less attractive and unattractive people, and that changes the way you perceive the attractiveness of the group, even though attractive women are occurring at the exact same rate as elsewhere.
That said, stress and stress eating aren't exactly helpful, so it's entirely likely that law women really are less attractive than the general population.