There are many routes into a role in law. Many people simply choose to study law and pass through university as per the education instructions and emerge with the relevant qualifications. Others may choose to convert existing qualifications. Whatever your path, the feeling you get when you achieve your first full time role in law is unbeatable. Despite all the self-doubt and hard work and late nights hunched over textbooks that seemed at the time to be never ending, you have done what you set out to do. Of course, this is where the real work begins. But wait. There’s one thing we’ve overlooked…
Whether you’re going into personal injury law, or whether you’ll be working in debt litigation, or whether you’ll be working with medical malpractice lawyers, you need to know how to dress. Obviously, turning up on your very first day dressed in a hoodie and jeans is going to be frowned upon. But what else should we consider?
Meeting clients in-office and court appearances
This is probably going to take its toll on your available funds to begin with, but consider buying several tailored suits. Off the rack can be OK if the fit is convincing. But there’s a reason why tailored suits are so popular: they’re slick. If your suit is ill-fitting around the chest and if the sleeves aren’t long enough when you stretch out your arm (to shake hands, for example), this can make you look a little like you’re willing to settle for second place. Stick to neutral greys, blacks, browns, and blues.
Out of office…
This is tricky. You’ll be expected to perform some of your duties out of the office from time to time. This could include traveling to meet clients. Always judge the situation based on the client, the meeting venue, and comfort while traveling (perhaps travel in casual clothes and take formal attire along in a suit bag). The key thing here is to present yourself and your company in a way befitting the client’s expectations.
Shoes and hair
Shoes should be kept simple and stylish. Black or brown. Surprising the client with outlandish designs and colors can affect their approval ratings. The same simple and stylish rule goes for hair and facial hair. Although long hair may be part of your preferred style, consider that you may not be playing into expectations, which could drive clients away.