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March of the Penguins!!!(I mean Lawyers)

June 26, 2007

Did you ever look around in the office and see someone wearing the same outfit that you just bought last week? Or notice someone wearing the same brand of shoes or clothing as you?  Well, if you’re like me, (a fashion enthusiast), then you’re thinking to yourself, “Is my taste in clothing really the same as a 55 year old man?”  After I suffered a mini-breakdown, I began to wonder, what is the price of looking “professional?”  Often times I’ll go into a courtroom and see what I like to call the “uniform,” you should know it well; a 2 or 3 button suit, with a power tie, and a pair of loafers.  (I’m just going to comment on the fellas because I am not going to open up Pandora’s box on what the “uniform” is for woman)  I’ve always considered myself to be a creative-unique person, but when I go to work I can’t help but feel like I’m giving just a little bit of that up. 

            As I look around in other professions, where the average age of CEO’s is getting younger and the corporate attitude has changed on what is considered to be professional, I see changes in the legal profession occurring at a snails pace.  At any local marketing agency or Dot Com firm, you’ll be hard pressed to be able to distinguish the difference between an employee and a skateboarder, yet they are successful.  Apple is probably the best example of treading the line between looking professional and acting like it.  Yet, in our profession (which is in large part do to the nature of it) we are tied (pun intended) to the image of a suit wearing-briefcase carrying advocate.  I don’t believe that there is wrong with that perception, I actually think it helps create the mystic of what attorneys do and helps promote the level of prestige and dignity that attracted most people to the legal profession.  However, I gotta ask.  If you saw a judge or a fellow attorney on the beach in Ocean City enjoying a vacation with their spouse and kids, while wearing swimming trunks and sun screen on their nose, would you lose all confidence in their legal talents?  Of course not.  Now I know that the comparison is not fair because it’s one thing to be on a beach and another to be in a courtroom, but I think that the theme of not judging a book by the cover remains the same.  Anyway, what do you think?  Or are you just a penguin…

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 11, 2009 3:01 am

    its a year and a half later and you may be long gone but i gotta leave you a note. i’m an oklahoma 66 year old lawyer who dresses with a combo of late hippie and the preppie minimum he learned at penn. i hope by now you’ve realized that you are just wandering around and not getting to the real question of the law emphasizing style and ‘professional’ trappings over substance, particularly the protection of people involuntarily subject to the courts. i’m working on a blog note pointing out that penguins deserve a better fate than being linked to lawyers.

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