Dec 03 2008

Dress Code

When I was in law school, there was no dress code per se for students.  We all dressed casually, just as we did in undergrad.   That appears to have continued to the present time, based upon my personal observations during visits to Elon and other law schools.  Generally, the only time a law student would be seen in business attire was during interview season.

Not so in law practice.  When I began practicing in the 70’s in North Carolina, business attire (i.e., suit and tie for men, parallel attire for women) was the rule with few if any exceptions.  Within the past several years, however, law practice attire in North Carolina appears to have morphed into something different.  I am not sure exactly what — just that it is different.

Standards now vary from firm to firm.  True, some law firms still require formal business dress.  But, at other firms, one might find casual days, casual seasons, and even casual-all-the-time approaches, depending to a large measure on the image a particular firm wants to project (i.e formal, relaxed, sophisticated or whatever).  Some firms simply let each attorney decide individually what he/she wants to wear, within an acceptable range of course, or let the attire de jure be determined by whether a client meeting or court appearance is scheduled for that particular day.   This potpourri of standards does not seem to have any nexus to the size of the firm, the region (mountains, piedmont  or coast), or whether the firm has multi-city presence or a singe-office location. Continue Reading »

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Oct 17 2008

Law School Dress Codes

Published by under Miscellaneous

Generally, it appears there are few, if any, law school dress codes, especially regarding informality. Many students begin law school dressed like they did in college. Students often learn quickly, however, that the same is not true for the world of law practice, particularly law firms. Lawyers, it seems, have uniforms. While the uniforms — suits — do not have team insignias, they are the calling card of lawyers nonetheless. It is interesting to see how the uniforms start infiltrating the classroom in the second year, especially when law firm interviewing begins. By the third year, no one looks twice when a student shows up in business attire. Perhaps this is just another way the law seems to creep up on us and “change our way of thinking.”

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