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Quirky News Update--Hungry Judge, First-Borns, Mug Shot

Vivia Chen

April 20, 2011

I'm paid to digest the news of the day and spew out my opinions--which I do with alacrity on a regular basis. But every now and then, I come across news that leaves me scratching my head. So dear readers, won't you give me a bit of help on what you make of the following?

Burger Feed the Judge. You'll get a better verdict if you present your case first thing in the morning or after the judge has had a nice lunch or snack, reports Discover Magazine (hat tip: ABA Blog) According to more than 1,000 parole hearings at Israeli prisons, researchers found that judges' decisions were influenced by their eating/break schedules.

"Judges, even experienced ones, are vulnerable to the same psychological biases as everyone else,"  explains Discovery magazine. "They can deliver different rulings in similar cases, under the influence of something as trivial as a food break."

Moms with First-Born Daughters Work Harder. The Wall Street Journal reports that there's a correlation between the sex of the firstborn and how much moms were likely to work. Here's what the WSJ reports about the finding published by the Centre for Economic Policy Research: "In the U.S., the U.K., Italy, and Sweden, women whose first child is a boy are less likely to work in a typical week and work fewer hours than women with first-born girls.”

The reason: Who knows? According to the WSJ, the authors found it "a puzzle."

Women, Don't Look Too Hot in Your Mug Shot. Women shouldn't attach photos of themselves onto resumes--particularly if they look attractive, reports CNBC. The reason, says researchers (Israeli economists Bradley Ruffle and Ze’ev Shtudiner), is that human resources departments are dominated by young women who "do not want any competition" from attractive female job applicants.

JcrewAd-new1 Men, Do You Wear Nail Polish at the Office? This is not exactly career news, but I can't resist: J. Crew apparently has been getting a lot of grief for its spring catalog (at left), which shows a woman cuddling the foot of her young son whose toes happened to be painted a bright, cheery pink. They look like they're having a lot of fun.

Predictably, I suppose, news outlets have been going nuts about the ramifications of the ad. Is J. Crew advocating/approving homosexuality, transgenderism? And is the mother unwittingly encouraging gender confusion? It goes on and on.

I have no idea where this discussion will go. But I did wonder about how men present themselves during interviews. Question for you guys out there: Would you go to a big law firm or in-house interview sporting earrings, nail polish, or some other gender-bending indicia? Well, would you?



Do you have topics you'd like to discuss or tips to share? E-mail The Careerist's chief blogger, Vivia Chen, at VChen@alm.com.

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You got the "spew" part right--I'm not so sure about "alacrity."

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The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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