We would like to believe, having earned a J.D. and started practicing law in courts and offices around the country, that we have earned the right to be evaluated solely on the merits of our advocacy and advice. The substance or clarity of our argument or written work product, however, is not all that influences how well we will be received by the people we want to influence most. We are used to being judged; but, like it or not, many of us are not used to being judged on our professional appearance.
We offer the following advice to our fellow young lawyers because, when you walk into a client meeting, a deposition, the courthouse, or even casual days at the office, your attire makes a statement about your competence, professionalism and, ultimately, may impact your future success in the legal world. It is not our intent to offend. Nor do we wish to reinforce outdated patriarchal ideas or state that there is only one acceptable dress code for attorneys. We simply seek to point out some appearance pitfalls to help remind young lawyers of the importance of dressing for success.
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