Richard Lazarus has advised hundreds of clerkship hopefuls during his seven years on the faculty at Harvard Law School, and the 15 years he spent at Georgetown University Law Center before that.

Never once has he broached the subject of appearance with a student in regards to landing the job. That’s not entirely true. There was the time many years ago when he asked a female student, after the fact, whether she had removed her facial piercings for an interview with a federal appellate judge.

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