Law Firm Attire

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Anonymous User
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Law Firm Attire

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:54 am

So now that there are a lot of online sales going on I was wondering what kind of clothes I should be looking to wear during an SA. It's a pretty ordinary firm. Do you wear suits every day? What exactly constitutes business casual? I saw some associates wearing suits, and some not wearing suits.

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philosoraptor
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby philosoraptor » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:02 am

Your recruiter will happily answer this question.

Anonymous User
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:08 am

I don't want to bother them with this sort of thing.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby holdencaulfield » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:09 am

Ask your recruiter; but I'm guessing it will somewhat depend on the practice area.

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philosoraptor
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby philosoraptor » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:I don't want to bother them with this sort of thing.
This is exactly the kind of question they're there to answer, and it's an important one. Although you should wear a suit the first day, you don't want to be consistently over- or under-dressed during your SA.

This is going to sound blunt, but you need to get over this apparent fear of asking questions or "bothering" people before your SA. You're there to learn and to start building yourself a reputation as a promising future member of the firm, not to sit alone in your office and not "bother" anyone. I get that it's uncomfortable to approach people about certain things, but I promise you your future colleagues and bosses would much rather you ask questions and make sure you understand everything than guess and get it wrong, or just sit there doing nothing, crippled by indecision. Start now, and it will get easier.

bdubs
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby bdubs » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:39 am

Ironically, some firms list "business casual dress code" or something along those lines as a benefit on their NALP forms. Although I agree that you should just suck it up and ask the recruiter (probably via email since it's a trivial question).

Anonymous User
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:41 am

philosoraptor wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I don't want to bother them with this sort of thing.
This is exactly the kind of question they're there to answer, and it's an important one. Although you should wear a suit the first day, you don't want to be consistently over- or under-dressed during your SA.

This is going to sound blunt, but you need to get over this apparent fear of asking questions or "bothering" people before your SA. You're there to learn and to start building yourself a reputation as a promising future member of the firm, not to sit alone in your office and not "bother" anyone. I get that it's uncomfortable to approach people about certain things, but I promise you your future colleagues and bosses would much rather you ask questions and make sure you understand everything than guess and get it wrong, or just sit there doing nothing, crippled by indecision. Start now, and it will get easier.

I understand what you are saying, but this isn't asking about work product or a client. I have no fear of asking questions. It merely seems like this is a common question across firms with what is likely a common answer.

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punkyg0608
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby punkyg0608 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:50 am

philosoraptor wrote:Although you should wear a suit the first day, you don't want to be consistently over- or under-dressed during your SA.


Would you wear a suit the first day no matter what, even if your firm is business casual?

bdubs
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby bdubs » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:15 pm

punkyg0608 wrote:
philosoraptor wrote:Although you should wear a suit the first day, you don't want to be consistently over- or under-dressed during your SA.


Would you wear a suit the first day no matter what, even if your firm is business casual?


Yes, ditch the tie if others aren't wearing one. If you feel really overdressed when you arrive you can just hang your jacket on the back of your chair and leave it off until the end of the day.

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guano
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby guano » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
philosoraptor wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I don't want to bother them with this sort of thing.
This is exactly the kind of question they're there to answer, and it's an important one. Although you should wear a suit the first day, you don't want to be consistently over- or under-dressed during your SA.

This is going to sound blunt, but you need to get over this apparent fear of asking questions or "bothering" people before your SA. You're there to learn and to start building yourself a reputation as a promising future member of the firm, not to sit alone in your office and not "bother" anyone. I get that it's uncomfortable to approach people about certain things, but I promise you your future colleagues and bosses would much rather you ask questions and make sure you understand everything than guess and get it wrong, or just sit there doing nothing, crippled by indecision. Start now, and it will get easier.

I understand what you are saying, but this isn't asking about work product or a client. I have no fear of asking questions. It merely seems like this is a common question across firms with what is likely a common answer.

Image
There are no stupid questions... just people too stupid to ask

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philosoraptor
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby philosoraptor » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I understand what you are saying, but this isn't asking about work product or a client. I have no fear of asking questions. It merely seems like this is a common question across firms with what is likely a common answer.
You're right that it's a common question, but firms vary quite a bit in their dress codes and you'll definitely want to ask, particularly if you're going to buy a bunch of new clothes.

Tangentially, not sure why you're asking anonymously.

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philosoraptor
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby philosoraptor » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:39 pm

punkyg0608 wrote:Would you wear a suit the first day no matter what, even if your firm is business casual?
Yup. Standard protocol. No one will look twice if you wear a suit the first day, but people will notice if everyone else does and you don't. As with interviews, keep it as conservative as you feel comfortable with. Don't be the SA with French cuffs or pinstripes or something dumb like that.

UnderrateOverachieve
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:42 pm

I am sure he just wants to get a jump on it because getting 3-4 nice suits ready to go for summer can be quite a hassle. And it would suck if it ends up he didn't need them. Definitely contact whoever the recruiter is or if you have a special connection in the firm or maybe an alumni who is an associate there (if you really want to fly low).

AnotherYearOlder
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:09 pm

It's a 10 week job interview. Dress accordingly. My rule of thumb is: When in doubt, make sure you look like you're worth your hourly rate.

It's much better to get a little ribbing for being the person who overdresses rather than to be made fun of for being the person who doesn't get it.

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philosoraptor
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby philosoraptor » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:41 pm

AnotherYearOlder wrote:It's a 10 week job interview. Dress accordingly. My rule of thumb is: When in doubt, make sure you look like you're worth your hourly rate.

It's much better to get a little ribbing for being the person who overdresses rather than to be made fun of for being the person who doesn't get it.
I'd definitely defer to AnotherYearOlder, who is a hiring partner, but you really have no reason to be in doubt. If you're a guy, it should not be difficult to note what the male lawyers are wearing and dress yourself similarly. If most people are wearing slacks and a blazer, do that. If people wear ties, do that. Jeans and polos, do that. And so forth. Make a conscious effort to look for this while you're being introduced around the office on the first day or two (while you're wearing your suit). But always keep a suit in your office in case you have to run to court or meet a client who expects suits.

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guano
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby guano » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:53 pm

philosoraptor wrote:
AnotherYearOlder wrote:It's a 10 week job interview. Dress accordingly. My rule of thumb is: When in doubt, make sure you look like you're worth your hourly rate.

It's much better to get a little ribbing for being the person who overdresses rather than to be made fun of for being the person who doesn't get it.
I'd definitely defer to AnotherYearOlder, who is a hiring partner, but you really have no reason to be in doubt. If you're a guy, it should not be difficult to note what the male lawyers are wearing and dress yourself similarly. If most people are wearing slacks and a blazer, do that. If people wear ties, do that. Jeans and polos, do that. And so forth. Make a conscious effort to look for this while you're being introduced around the office on the first day or two (while you're wearing your suit). But always keep a suit in your office in case you have to run to court or meet a client who expects suits.
or just spend a week camped outside the office and see what everyone is wearing

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kalvano
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby kalvano » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:43 pm

1) Why is this anonymous?

2) As others have said, just email the recruiting contact. It's their job and they likely have a prepared sheet or something similar. Mine did.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:20 pm

I don't know why you're getting such crabby answers. If, as your OP suggests, your firm has a "business casual" dress code, and it's in NYC, then it is probably dark slacks and a dress shirt, no tie or jacket. Wear a suit day one. Done.

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jrf12886
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Re: Law Firm Attire

Postby jrf12886 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:28 pm

Wear a suit on your first day. Look around at how associates dress. Emulate them. I know you have to decide which clothes to buy now....but you will eventually need a few suits anyways so go ahead and get them. If you end up not wearing them much, it's not a big deal. At least you will be prepared for whatever dress code is in place.




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