Landing your first job in law is a whirlwind of emotion. All that hard work has finally paid off. Your doubters have been silenced. Your drive and determination and sacrifice have all come together to deliver the end goal. A career in law. You’re going to make a difference in this world. People are counting on you. People’s families are counting on you. And your new colleagues are going to have high expectations. That’s a lot to process. On top of all that, there’s another quite serious yet quite overlooked consideration: your legal wardrobe.
Why does this matter? Because any lawyer wearing sandals and shorts, with a scruffy t-shirt and maybe a bandana that reads “See you later, litigator!” isn’t going to instill faith in many clients (the waiting room may be conspicuously empty). Look around online at how law practices present themselves, like this site. Get a feel for how people dress. Let’s look at some extra tips.
Not all of your time will be spent in the office, but a good chunk of your business will take place inside the four walls of your law practice. You’ll need a few different outfits to help maintain a dynamic persona (someone who wears the same clothes all the time may give off a lackluster or uninterested impression). Stick to conservative colors such as grey, black, and navy blue (or perhaps brown). Skirted suits or pantsuits are preferred, but beware that skirts should fall either at or below the knee.
Out of office
You’ll be expected to carry out some of your duties in locations outside of the office – for example, visiting clients who are unable to visit you. Although your out of office attire must also present a clean image (no fashionably distressed materials or denims, etc.), there is slight leeway in styles. This is because traveling in a suit is uncomfortable and therefore isn’t expected in most cases. Garments such as cardigans and lightweight sweatshirts fall into this category – stick to a simple color palette and standard styles such as V-necks or turtlenecks. Linen blends and khaki style trousers are also acceptable when traveling, but always remember that footwear should remain professional. This means avoiding sports shoes or anything with an excessive heel (including platforms).
One last note on hair – avoid untamed styles and never dye your hair an unnatural colour, as this could detract from the image you are trying to project.