var googletag = googletag || {}; googletag.cmd = googletag.cmd || []; googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.pubads().disableInitialLoad(); });
device = device.default;
//this function refreshes [adhesion] ad slot every 60 second and makes prebid bid on it every 60 seconds // Set timer to refresh slot every 60 seconds function setIntervalMobile() { if (!device.mobile()) return if (adhesion) setInterval(function(){ googletag.pubads().refresh([adhesion]); }, 60000); } if(device.desktop()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [728, 90], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } else if(device.tablet()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [320, 50], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } else if(device.mobile()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [320, 50], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } googletag.cmd.push(function() { // Enable lazy loading with... googletag.pubads().enableLazyLoad({ // Fetch slots within 5 viewports. // fetchMarginPercent: 500, fetchMarginPercent: 100, // Render slots within 2 viewports. // renderMarginPercent: 200, renderMarginPercent: 100, // Double the above values on mobile, where viewports are smaller // and users tend to scroll faster. mobileScaling: 2.0 }); });
 Upload Your Resume   Employers / Post Jobs 

Job Interview Attire for Paralegals

published January 10, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
Published By
( 549 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Certainly at some point in our lives, we have all picked up the most current magazines and imagined ourselves in the latest rage from Vogue or GQ. And to wear these delightful garments, we've sucked in our tummies, tightened our bat wings, and shored in our love handles. All the while, listening tour loved ones who have assured us how absolutely stunning we looked. God bless 'em.

Social psychologists studying the impact of image have determined that you have only 30 seconds after someone meets you to form a whole laundry list of impressions about your character and abilities. An informative book about dressing for success by Susan Bixler, The New Professional Image (Adams Media 1997), lists the impressions that are created during the first 30 seconds:
  • Educational level
  • Career competence and success
  • Personality
  • Level of sophistication
  • Trustworthiness
  • Sense of humor
  • Social heritage.

People base their opinion in those short 30 seconds just on what they see. This includes your clothes, hair, smile, carriage, and nonverbal communications. Like it or not, appearances do count.

According to Bixler, appearances count in cold, hard cash. She cites a study conducted by Dr. Judith Walters of Fairleigh Dickinson University, who researched the impact of an effective business appearance on a starting salary. Dr. Walters sent a group of identical resumes to more than 1,000 companies. Some resumes were accompanied by a "before" photo of the candidate and others by an "after" photo. Each company was asked to determine a starting salary.

Amazingly, starting salaries ranged from 8 t20 percent higher as the result of upgrading a mediocre business appearance tone that was polished and effective. Employers are willing to pay for people who look the part. And they are willing to pay handsomely for it.


"Gretchen" was an experienced, high-level paralegal who, after more than 10 years at her job, decided it was time to seek other employment She was sent ta small firm with a very upscale Beverly Hills clientele.The firm administrator who conducted her first interview fell in love with her. "She is," he said, "by far the most intelligent and knowledgeable paralegal I have ever met" Gretchen had the same reaction. "This is my dream job," she said. "Here is where I feel I could stay until I retire." There was one show-stopping problem the administrator had before he felt he could bring Gretchen back to meet with the partners."She dressed as though she came right out of the sixties," he said. "There's simply no way our clients will go for this." When Gretchen was presented with the problem, she immediately thought that the firm had an issue because she was overweight "Not so," said the administrator. "We have people here who are much larger than Gretchen. Believe me when I say it's all about her professional appearance."

She sent Gretchen to an image consultant who in turn shopped with her, sent her ta hairstylist who cut and shaped her waist-length hair, and sent her ta makeup consultant who instructed her in a more professional look-a total makeover. And, frankly, when she was done, she looked like a million bucks. It was to her credit that she had the character to change what was necessary in order to get the job. And, after a full afternoon with four partners, we're delighted to say she got the job. So far, all parties are happy.

"What should I wear for the interview?" is answered with "always err on the side of traditionalism." There is a caveat tthis answer, however, and that is that it also depends on where you live. A red, wool crepe suit could work well for a professional woman in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, and Chicago but might seem too flashy in the financial districts of New York or traditional businesses in Boston or Milwaukee.

An interview wardrobe is mostly built in solid colors, which offer a more elegant feeling. Both men and women are advised tdress conservatively for the first interview. If you can, find out from your network or your staffing organization what the appropriate dress is for the firm and just how they expect candidates tdress for the interview.

If you are interviewing on a Friday that is casual day, you may still be expected tsuit up for the interview. The most important thing tremember is that law firms are generally conservative. However, we sent one candidate from a large city tinterview in a much smaller city. The candidate arrived wearing her most conservative suit. Although the administrator was more than impressed with the candidate's ability, she wanted the candidate tunderstand that the firm did not always dress conservatively and wondered whether the candidate would be better off in a much larger firm. Mostly, however, feelings run just the other way-most firms want tsee candidates dressed in traditional, conservative "Brooks Brothers" looks.


Wear professional, conservative attire. Let's define professional attire: Traditional, tailored look without flashy or extremely trendy flairs.
  • Stick tconservative colors.
  • Shine your shoes; make certain heels aren't run down.
  • Check for missing buttons, hanging threads, correct lengths.


Bring a professional looking briefcase or portfolio. Make certain it is clean, in good shape, shined, and of quality leather.


Make sure your hair is washed, groomed, and recently cut. Don't use highly perfumed hair spray, gels, mousse, or shampoo. If you don't know the environment, stick with conservative haircuts for the interview. Don't wear clips or excessive hair decorations.


It's probably best tcover them for now.

Perfumes, Scents, and Aftershave: (Be honest with yourself-have you taken a holiday from hygiene?)

In this day of high sensitivity and allergy-free products, it's probably best not tuse any perfume or scents whatsoever. Try tkeep everything, including antiperspirants, unscented.




Men, unless you are absolutely certain it will be accepted, you may be better off leaving the earring at home. Women, don't wear dangling earrings. Keep earrings small and in good taste. Don't wear heavy necklaces, diamonds, or lots of gold.


Keep it simple.


Wear only one (twif wedding and engagement rings), and keep the look simple. Don't wear them on all your fingers.


Wear only one. Keep it simple.

Ankle Bracelets

Forget about them.


Men and Women

How long has it been since you've gotten new frames? We know one fellow whwore heavy, silver, '70s-type frames and didn't understand why people perceived him tbe, shall we say, somewhat less professional than he perceived himself tbe? (He looked like a thug.) When he invested in up- to-date round, thinner, tortoise shell frames, suddenly he was perceived as a very nice looking and intelligent professional.


Manicures and Nail Polish

Make sure your hands are well manicured. Keep nail polish tneutral and classic tones. Nails should be short and professional looking.


Wear plain and neutral stockings/hose. Stay away from patterns, nmatter what the trends are. Take an extra pair with you just in case of emergencies.


Use neutral and professional tones. Have a makeover at a department store makeup counter. Find out what professional look works for you. Don't forget ttouch up your lipstick before the interview. If you have a full or half-day interview with several people, try ttouch up in between.


Wear low-heeled, closed-toe pumps with heels nhigher than twinches. Nboots, sling-back pumps, or open toes. Stick tprofessional, conservative looks. Don't wear white shoes. Ever.


Carry only what you need. Don't use your purse for extra copies of resumes or work product. That's what your portfoliis for. Make sure the handbag doesn't look as though you've used it every day for the past 10 years. It should be coordinated with your shoes. Polish and clean, if necessary. Keep it light and on the small side, preferably made with good leather. Don't wear white. Stay away from cloth, vinyl, burlap or canvas, rattan, cloth, or plastic. Use a small-tmedium-sized bag that closes. Don't walk in with a purse that contains every important item from the last 10 years.

Suits, Dresses

It's always best t"suit up." Think "Brooks Brothers" look. A professional, conservative suit with jacket and skirt or a tailored dress with jacket is preferred even when you are interviewing on "casual Friday"-unless you are told differently. Stay away from short sleeves, even in summer. Keep tlight wools or silks and stay away from linen (it always wrinkles). Keep skirt lengths fashionable. However, if the trend is short skirts, keep length just above the knee.

The most conservative look is a matched skirted suit that has the skirt and jacket in the same color. The fabric is traditional and the most formal choice. If you wear a business dress, it may be best twear a jacket over it. Never, never interview in a sleeveless dress. The message is much tocasual.

Large or busy prints are not acceptable. Good, neutral colors are taupe, beige, navy, grays, or pinstripes. Be careful when wearing black. You don't want tlook tosevere. Make sure there's plenty of lightening of the mood with a white or pastel blouse. Black outfits must be accompanied with black shoes.

Even if you are dressing for spring or summer, be sure tstick tneutral colors. Bright pinks, yellows, or whites are not always wise choices. Keep thinking professional "Brooks Brothers" look, neutral, neutral, neutral, and tailored, tailored, tailored.

There is a lot of controversy regarding whether a woman should wear a pantsuit tan interview. We say if you do, please, please pick carefully. There are now laws in California and other states that make it illegal for an employer tinsist that a woman wear only skirts on the job. However, you must know that you may send a tocasual message if you wear a pantsuit tthe interview. If you dchoose twear the pantsuit, make sure that it is a very professional one, with an upscale, elegant look.


According tOfficeSystems97 magazine, colors are often thought tbe unimportant. However, studies suggest that colors affect our perception and behavior. Painting pegboard store displays pale yellow results in increased sales. People have a tendency tdistrust anyone wearing green (consequently, it should be avoided by job applicants). The eye constricts less for blue light (which is why police cars have blue flashing lights).

Red is an interesting color. Some image consultants warn candidates not twear red on interviews because it is considered topowerful. If you dwear red, make sure it looks absolutely great on you.


Neutral colors win again. If you wear a print, make certain it is not a loud color or large print. Check the neckline. A neckline doesn't have tbe plunging tbe suggestive. A candidate was turned down for a position because she wore a Vneck that "v'd" just a little tomuch. The candidate was incensed. She refused tbelieve the suit was cut tolow because, she claimed, it was made by Armani.

Stay Away From

Peter Pan collars; lace; scarves that get in your way; casual pantsuits; boots; flashy outfits; dressy sandals (or sandals of any kind); clothes that are a bit tosnug or slightly tolarge; heels higher than twinches; big jewelry; more than one bracelet; perfumed powders; colognes and perfumes; highly perfumed iron spray starches used right before the interview; gum; brand-new silk sweaters that have a slight "fishy" smell; slips that are tolong; nslips; see-through materials of any sort; skirts down tthe ankle; torn pantyhose; patterned panty-hose; hair bows; sleeveless blouses or dresses; linen; diamond earrings; political jewelry; fake finger nails; heavy makeup; false eyelashes; worn and torn coats and hats; glitz of any kind; skirts with side splits.

Men and Women Who Smoke

Smokers Beware: Most business offices today dnot allow smoking in the building. But bear in mind that the public today is highly sensitive tcigarette smoke. This means that they can smell it a mile away. Even though you think that none knows, having a cigarette shortly before the interview can be detected. The smell gets intyour clothes, hands, hair, breath, and skin. It is highly detectable and unpleasant tmany. Try not tsmoke anytime toclose tthe interview.

Men and Women Exiting the Service

While you've probably been advised twear civilian clothes tinterview in the private sector, interviewing in uniform is fine if you are still in the service at the time of the interview. We don't advise combat fatigues, however.

See the following articles for more information:

Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

More about Harrison

About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.

published January 10, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 549 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.