Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Tribute to Elle Woods: The Face that Launched a Thousand Debts

If you're like me, you probably enjoy reading Law School Lemmings.  It's an amazing and refreshing reminder that, despite all the pessimism, there are still people who yearn to endeavor in the noble service of the law.

One of my favorite themes to pop up on Law School Lemmings are the numerous posts that praise Elle Woods, the star character of Legally Blonde.  Like this.  Or this.  Or this.  My heart is so warmed I'd be roasted marshmallows...if my lungs were made of marshmallow.

In any event, Elle Woods is essentially a Barbie Doll.  An anatomically-incorrect, impossible, non-existent fiction that's an exemplar for young women everywhere and totally, totally coo'.

Elle did the impossible, managing to be a nonconformist feminist who remained thoroughly attractive to males while finding vaguely-appropriate courtroom attire.  More importantly, she got to show off how smart she was in spite of her looks and fashion sense.

She is, exactly, what young women can and will be if they go to law school and remain true to themselves in spite of the social pressures of the conservative, male-dominated legal system.  You want to stay the misfit and ignore your stodgy law school classmates?  No big deal, you don't need to network with any of them.  You don't want to use your God-given attractiveness?  No big deal, you won't need that to get anywhere, and you can choose not to use it.  You want to wear pink to court?  Don't worry, it won't prejudice your client at all.

And remember:  even if you're out on an island of individuality, you can always prove your smarts at your first trial, which will happen well before the credits of a movie where you started in undergrad.

So for propagating the splendid message that colorful independent spirits have a great place in law, here's to you, Elle Woods.  Just as Barbie implanted three generations of girls with fanciful, world-enriching ideas of giggly-flat stomachs, playful legs, and better curves than the ones in torts class, you, Elle, have taught a generation of female 0Ls that their love of boutique shopping won't be interrupted by the modest workloads expected of young female attorneys at elite firms.  Just as America has been blessed by generations of ideal blondes as designed by hormonal teenages, Elle Woods has spawned a decade (and counting) of bright-plumed, cheerful, super-feminine ladies who defy bimbo stereotypes in our nation's courtrooms.

And now - praise be Hollywood - our Barbie has found her token black friend in Olivia Pope to go with the Ken Dolls on the show Suits.  God bless America.  And God bless Elle Woods.  May thousands more follow her blazing pink path to the destiny of awesome.


  1. You don't have to study hard to be a successful lawyer. You just have to be passionate and be yourself. That's what makes it worth $200,000 to go to law school. The instant recognition and prestige will blow your mind.

  2. Elle Woods is the patron saint of law school deans, professors, and all those who feed at the trough of federally guaranteed law school loans.

  3. People who idolize Elle Woods should keep the following in mind:

    1. She went to Harvard, not to some second or third tier school.

    2. She was filthy stinking rich and did not have to worry about debt. In the beginning of the movie, she talked about how her parents' mansion was right next to Aaron Spelling's mansion in Beverly Hills. She could have sold her car to fund at least a third of the cost of law school. For her, law school tuition was pocket change.

    3. She was drop-dead gorgeous. All things being equal, the very attractive have an edge in a job search. Also, in case her parents' money wasn't enough of an insurance policy, she could always fall back on modeling.

    If all three of the above criteria apply, you can go to law school on a whim if you want to.

    If you are missing 1 item of the above 3, you need to think hard. If you are missing 2 or more, don't even bother.