How To Look Like a Lawyer
According to John Remsen, Jr. in ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: LAWYERS SHOULD LOOK LIKE LAWYERS!, it is no secret that people judge lawyers not only on our skills and abilities, but also on the image we project. Remsen points out that whether we like it or not, in our profession, image matters a lot, as first impressions are powerful and lasting.
Yet, according to Remsen, lawyers and law firm administrators are showing up for work dressed more and more casually nowadays. This trend is confirmed by The Remsen Report’s July 2007 Reader Survey, which asked about dress codes in the legal profession. Results from 233 lawyers across the United States who participated in the Reader Survey show the following:
How Do You Dress for the Office?
• I always wear a suit: 23%
• I prefer business casual, but wear a suit on some days: 58%
• I wear a suit only if I must: 13%
• Other: 8%
What Do You See as the Trend over the Past Five Years?
• More formal: 7%
• More casual: 71%
• About the same: 22%
Clearly, lawyers are “dressing down” these days.
But because first impressions matter (e.g., how we dress has everything to do with how others perceive our legal capabilities, and it has a huge impact on our success–or failure–with marketing and business development), Remsen gives the following tips, especially for younger attorneys:
• Pay Attention to How You Look Because Others Do
• Buy the Highest Quality Clothing You Can Afford
• Wear Colors that Look Good on You
• Find a Really Great Tailor
• Find a Good Dry Cleaner, Too
• Get Your Hair Styled on a Regular Basis
• Don’t Forget about Your Shoes (buy good quality and have them shined regularly).
• Wear Jewelry Judiciously (be classy but not showy)
• Stay Light on Perfume and Cologne
• It’s Better to Overdress than Underdress