"Can I Wear a Pantsuit" and Other Fashion Rules for Law Firm Interviews

1122 Views
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Dear Lawcrossing,

I'm going to be interviewing with law firms on campus at school. Do you think times have changed enough so that it would be all right if I wore a pantsuit to interviews?



PV, Muuie&pctti

DEAR PV,

If you are a man, PV, LawCrossing believes that wearing pants to interviews is not only acceptable, but mandatory. But of course the Job Goddess realizes that you are, in fact, a woman, which is why you're curious about the pants issue.

LawCrossing understands the nature of the dilemma, PV. For one thing, in more and more law offices, female attorneys routinely show up in tailored pantsuits. Furthermore, if you've attended any employer panels at school, you may well have heard individual attorneys saying that they would have no problem with women showing up in pants for interviews. one career services director, the Career Services Director at the University of Miami School of Law, recalls that as a litigator she once showed up in court wearing a fire-engine red pantsuit. The judge not only didn't mind but, in fact, complimented her on her outfit.

So where does this leave you in interviews? Exactly where you were to start with: that is, playing the odds.

While it is unquestionably true that there are interviewers who would not mind-and in fact would welcome- a break from seeing a sea of law students in conservative attire, it's impossible to determine who those interviewers are ahead of time. And that's why it pays to dress at least relatively conservatively.

There are at least three issues to keep in mind with interview garb, however. If you are in the rare and fortunate situation of knowing how a particular interviewer feels about interview attire-for instance, you've seen the interviewer speak and they've expressly stated that they are bored by conservative suits in interviews, or your career services director personally knows the interviewer's preferences, or you know someone who knows the interviewer and can give you the inside skinny on such matters-then by all means wear something that, while still professional, shows more of your fashion flare.

It's also true that different kinds of attire are appro-priate in different parts of the country. While these are broad generalizations, reports from LawCrossing's correspondents with law schools and employers nationwide suggest that, for instance, the Pacific Northwest is more casual, Southern employers prefer to see more makeup on women than do employers in other parts of the country, and New York employers expect you to be more fashion-forward.

Another issue to consider is the kind of employer with whom you are interviewing, PV. You say "law offices," but LawCrossing realizes this covers a broad swath of potential employers. For a Wall Street firm, a very expensive, tailored suit would be appropriate. For a public interest employer, on the other hand, you'd create entirely the wrong impression by showing up in an Armani.

The bottom line on bottoms, PV? Unless you absolutely, positively know differently with a particular interviewer, save your pantsuits for the time when you've already nailed down the job, and identified that the people who wear pants at the office are at least sometimes female.

See the following articles for more information:




University of Miami School of Law

    


Featured Testimonials

Once I figured out how to use the website, I have found it to be terrific and useful.
D.D.


Facts

LawCrossing Fact #16: The “My Hotlist” feature allows users to keep track of jobs that they are considering applying for.


Location
San Jose, CA
Description
Legal Counsel - Tio The candidate will primarily support the company's Tio service and would work c...
Apply now  
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Description
Labor and Employment Associate The candidate will involve diverse practice including traditional la...
Apply now  
Location
Palo Alto, CA
Description
Recruiting And Talent Management Administrator The candidate will coordinate and manage entry level...
Apply now  
Location
San Francisco, CA
Description
Recruiting And Talent Management Administrator The candidate will coordinate and manage entry level...
Apply now  
Location
Orlando, FL
Description
Debt Collection Attorney Duties: Manage account liquidations and the legal processes. Provide the h...
Location
Okemos, MI
Description
Associate Attorney- General Practice, Contract Duties: Handle general practice areas including bu...
Apply now  
 

NOW TRENDING ON BCG ATTORNEY SEARCH

MOST POPULAR ARTICLES

Testimonial of the Week

LawCrossing is great at picking up all of the legal listings everywhere across the internet. I could have gone to three different sites to search, but you had them all on your site. That was extremely helpful. LawCrossing is a one stop shop!
  • Eileen Baca-Penner New Mexico
Job of the Day

Environment & Safety Associate

Washington, DC

Highly regarded law firm looking to add an associate to their Washington, DC office. Qualified candidates will have wit...

Employer: Dresam Advisors, LLC

Job Search Tip

Make your resume easy on the eyes. Put company names, job tides, and dates of employment in bold capital letters.