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If you can’t judge a lawyer by his suit, then why do attorneys at big law firms slavishly adhere to dress codes? Take your average yuppie, male lawyer. He arrives at work in a dark, tailored suit, a crisply starched shirt and shiny leather shoes. If he’s really daring, he will sport a Frank Lloyd Wright, Mickey Mouse or Jerry Garcia tie. His female counterpart will don a suit, hose, heels, a touch of jewelry, foundation, face powder, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, blush, lipstick, hair mousse and fingernail polish. The gutsy girls wear miniskirts.

It takes substantial time and money to create the illusion of the L’Or�al lawyer (I’m expensive, but I’m worth it). And then, after achieving the look, most lawyers spend their workdays talking on the telephone, typing at the computer, dictating, thinking, reading, researching the law and meeting with other attorneys. For these tasks, legal skills count; appearance is irrelevant. So why waste time and money on the charade?

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