Women: Skirt Suits?

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EliHBCU
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Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby EliHBCU » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:15 pm

During my 1L year, the faculty seemed to believe that women still needed to wear skirt suits to interviews. (Side Point: I think this information is definitely outdated.) I just wanted to know:

1) Did other schools say the same thing?
2) Have any women ever been in a situation where this became an issue?
3) Do you personally think the information is outdated, or should women still expect to wear skirt suits to interviews?

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rinkrat19
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:20 pm

EliHBCU wrote:During my 1L year, the faculty seemed to believe that women still needed to wear skirt suits to interviews. (Side Point: I think this information is definitely outdated.) I just wanted to know:

1) Did other schools say the same thing?
2) Have any women ever been in a situation where this became an issue?
3) Do you personally think the information is outdated, or should women still expect to wear skirt suits to interviews?

That's what I've heard. Interview suits apparently should be ultra-conservative, even if the firm itself is only business casual. Dress like you're going to be interviewed by a 70-year-old Southern republican man with no sense of humor.

Sorry, I'm a 0L and shouldn't be posting here. Didn't realize it was in the current student forum. I'll go back to lurking. :oops:

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Heartford
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby Heartford » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:37 pm

EliHBCU wrote:During my 1L year, the faculty seemed to believe that women still needed to wear skirt suits to interviews. (Side Point: I think this information is definitely outdated.) I just wanted to know:

1) Did other schools say the same thing?
2) Have any women ever been in a situation where this became an issue?
3) Do you personally think the information is outdated, or should women still expect to wear skirt suits to interviews?


My understanding is that this is a regional question. The consensus at my school is that while skirt suits are always a safe bet, pants suits are generally also perfectly acceptable.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby Helmholtz » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:41 pm

Skirt suits seem safer. I see a lot more skirt suits than pant suits on top-notch female trial attorneys arguing in district court (now that I think about it, I'm having trouble trying to remember any female trial attorney in anything but a skirt).

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Heartford
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby Heartford » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:43 pm

Helmholtz wrote:Skirt suits seem safer. I see a lot more skirt suits than pant suits on top-notch female trial attorneys arguing in district court (now that I think about it, I'm having trouble trying to remember any female trial attorney in anything but a skirt).


I'm just in little 'ole state trial court, but there are some pant suits around here.

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l'aviadora
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby l'aviadora » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:46 pm

I've seen this in other threads as well. I sincerely hope this isn't true. Why would a woman in a skirt suit be seen as more 'professional' than a woman in a pant suit? I realize that there may be some antequated beliefs on the part of older partners and such, but really? This isn't the 1950's. Do these partners also believe that you should be making sandwiches rather than doing legal work? I should hope not...

I hate to make this a feminist thing, but I can't see any other reason why it would matter what the person wore, provided they looked professional.

That said, I'm also a 0L and have no business in here so I will GTFO. I just saw it in the latest posts and wondered if this is really still the case.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby Helmholtz » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:47 pm

Heartford wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:Skirt suits seem safer. I see a lot more skirt suits than pant suits on top-notch female trial attorneys arguing in district court (now that I think about it, I'm having trouble trying to remember any female trial attorney in anything but a skirt).


I'm just in little 'ole state trial court, but there are some pant suits around here.


Might depend on location. In NYC district court, all of the female attorneys, from V10 to DOJ to Legal Services, are wearing a skirt to trial. Albeit, it's not like I've sat in on every trial proceeding that's gone on this summer, but it seems to be pretty uniform, and if I was a female interviewing for NYC biglaw, I'd be worried about wearing anything but a skirt. Again, might depend a lot on location.

edit: scratch that - I do remember one older DOJ attorney (who was not the lead attorney on the case) wear a pantsuit to trial

luthersloan
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby luthersloan » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:53 pm

maybe the correct answer depends on the gams.

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Heartford
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby Heartford » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:53 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Heartford wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:Skirt suits seem safer. I see a lot more skirt suits than pant suits on top-notch female trial attorneys arguing in district court (now that I think about it, I'm having trouble trying to remember any female trial attorney in anything but a skirt).


I'm just in little 'ole state trial court, but there are some pant suits around here.


Might depend on location. In NYC district court, all of the female attorneys, from V10 to DOJ to Legal Services, are wearing a skirt to trial. Albeit, it's not like I've sat in on every trial proceeding that's gone on this summer, but it seems to be pretty uniform, and if I was a female interviewing for NYC biglaw, I'd be worried about wearing anything but a skirt. Again, might depend a lot on location.

edit: scratch that - I do remember one older DOJ attorney (who was not the lead attorney on the case) wear a pantsuit to trial


At the risk of sounding insensitive, I think some women who are more plus-sized, or who are older, feel more comfortable in pants than in skirts. So this also might be a factor in the frequency of pants sightings at any particular court.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby Helmholtz » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:55 pm

Heartford wrote:At the risk of sounding insensitive, I think some women who are more plus-sized feel more comfortable in pants than in skirts. So this also might be a factor in the frequency of pants sightings at any particular court.


Yeah, I guess. Have yet to see a plus-sized female trial attorney here.

Baylan
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby Baylan » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:00 pm

l'aviadora wrote:I've seen this in other threads as well. I sincerely hope this isn't true. Why would a woman in a skirt suit be seen as more 'professional' than a woman in a pant suit? I realize that there may be some antequated beliefs on the part of older partners and such, but really? This isn't the 1950's. Do these partners also believe that you should be making sandwiches rather than doing legal work? I should hope not...

I hate to make this a feminist thing, but I can't see any other reason why it would matter what the person wore, provided they looked professional.

That said, I'm also a 0L and have no business in here so I will GTFO. I just saw it in the latest posts and wondered if this is really still the case.


Whether or not its true, are you willing to take the risk? This is one of the things you can control in an interview, why wouldn't you?

In the same vein, I would say, do whatever makes YOU look more professional, not necessarily what the trend is. Everyone has different styles and comfort levels. Dress so that you would fit in when in court, and so that you're confident in your interview.

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Heartford
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby Heartford » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:33 pm

Baylan wrote:
l'aviadora wrote:I've seen this in other threads as well. I sincerely hope this isn't true. Why would a woman in a skirt suit be seen as more 'professional' than a woman in a pant suit? I realize that there may be some antequated beliefs on the part of older partners and such, but really? This isn't the 1950's. Do these partners also believe that you should be making sandwiches rather than doing legal work? I should hope not...

I hate to make this a feminist thing, but I can't see any other reason why it would matter what the person wore, provided they looked professional.

That said, I'm also a 0L and have no business in here so I will GTFO. I just saw it in the latest posts and wondered if this is really still the case.


Whether or not its true, are you willing to take the risk? This is one of the things you can control in an interview, why wouldn't you?

In the same vein, I would say, do whatever makes YOU look more professional, not necessarily what the trend is. Everyone has different styles and comfort levels. Dress so that you would fit in when in court, and so that you're confident in your interview.


The bolded is likely the best advice. If skirts make you uncomfy, then you should definitely wear pants. Confidence is probably more important than barely-noticeable fashion decisions.

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kalvano
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby kalvano » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:40 pm

A lot of the female DA's here wear pant suits. Even ones who wouldn't look bad in a skirt. But at an interview, conservative is probably better.

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heyyitskatie
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby heyyitskatie » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:54 pm

I'm on the west coast, so this probably isn't great advice for the east coast, but I did a mock interview with a female lawyer from a top firm who said that pant suits are fine for interviews and that interviewers tend to notice whether an interviewee is comfortable in what they are wearing more than whether they are wearing skirts or pants.

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jamaicanjynx
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby jamaicanjynx » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:16 am

1. Yes, I was told the same thing by both OCS + Mock Trial coaches.
2. Hasn't been an issue for me (but based on the advice I received, I never wear pants to interviews or court).
3. I personally think it's outdated but I go to school in the South and I get the feeling that older partners there would care.

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quixotical
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby quixotical » Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:13 am

l'aviadora wrote:I've seen this in other threads as well. I sincerely hope this isn't true. Why would a woman in a skirt suit be seen as more 'professional' than a woman in a pant suit? I realize that there may be some antequated beliefs on the part of older partners and such, but really? This isn't the 1950's. Do these partners also believe that you should be making sandwiches rather than doing legal work? I should hope not...

I hate to make this a feminist thing, but I can't see any other reason why it would matter what the person wore, provided they looked professional.
That said, I'm also a 0L and have no business in here so I will GTFO. I just saw it in the latest posts and wondered if this is really still the case.


Why would you hate to make something that is clearly sexist a "feminist thing"? I love skirts and dresses, but I plan on wearing a pant suit to all my interviews. That way, when I'm hired, I know I won't be working for chauvinists with antediluvian sensibilities.

luthersloan
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby luthersloan » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:41 am

you will be sure of no such thing, at best you will have slightly reduced such probabilities. If you want to be sure, maybe you should apply to work for plaintiff's side firms that specialize in sex discrimination suits.

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IzziesGal
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby IzziesGal » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:57 am

Helmholtz wrote:
Heartford wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:Skirt suits seem safer. I see a lot more skirt suits than pant suits on top-notch female trial attorneys arguing in district court (now that I think about it, I'm having trouble trying to remember any female trial attorney in anything but a skirt).


I'm just in little 'ole state trial court, but there are some pant suits around here.


Might depend on location. In NYC district court, all of the female attorneys, from V10 to DOJ to Legal Services, are wearing a skirt to trial. Albeit, it's not like I've sat in on every trial proceeding that's gone on this summer, but it seems to be pretty uniform, and if I was a female interviewing for NYC biglaw, I'd be worried about wearing anything but a skirt. Again, might depend a lot on location.

edit: scratch that - I do remember one older DOJ attorney (who was not the lead attorney on the case) wear a pantsuit to trial



I'm an SA in NY and I only interviewed in pant suits. To say you'd be worried about interviewing in NY biglaw in a pant suit is a little extreme. Also, USAO had a good mix of pants and skirts. It's personal preference. It's really not something worth wasting time thinking about, IMO. Just look professional, keep your hair neat, make sure your shirt is ironed...and that whatever suit you choose-pant or skirt- fits appropriately. God I can't tell you how many times I've seen law students in mini skirt suits. This is not the French Riviera, folks. It's the legal profession. End rant.

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kalvano
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby kalvano » Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:19 am

quixotical wrote:
l'aviadora wrote:I've seen this in other threads as well. I sincerely hope this isn't true. Why would a woman in a skirt suit be seen as more 'professional' than a woman in a pant suit? I realize that there may be some antequated beliefs on the part of older partners and such, but really? This isn't the 1950's. Do these partners also believe that you should be making sandwiches rather than doing legal work? I should hope not...

I hate to make this a feminist thing, but I can't see any other reason why it would matter what the person wore, provided they looked professional.
That said, I'm also a 0L and have no business in here so I will GTFO. I just saw it in the latest posts and wondered if this is really still the case.


Why would you hate to make something that is clearly sexist a "feminist thing"? I love skirts and dresses, but I plan on wearing a pant suit to all my interviews. That way, when I'm hired, I know I won't be working for chauvinists with antediluvian sensibilities.



Assuming you get hired.

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Heartford
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby Heartford » Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:47 am

IzziesGal wrote:God I can't tell you how many times I've seen law students in mini skirt suits. This is not the French Riviera, folks. It's the legal profession. End rant.


But... but... but...

--ImageRemoved--

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IzziesGal
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby IzziesGal » Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:54 pm

Heartford wrote:
IzziesGal wrote:God I can't tell you how many times I've seen law students in mini skirt suits. This is not the French Riviera, folks. It's the legal profession. End rant.


But... but... but...

--ImageRemoved--


Hahaha. Well played, Heartford. Well played.

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BriaTharen
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby BriaTharen » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:03 pm

For interviews, I always go super conservative and traditional. That means skirt suit of an appropriate length (do the strict Catholic high school test-- kneel on the ground. If your skirt doesn't touch the floor it is too short), panty hose, and closed toe shoes. 99% of the time you are probably going to interview with someone who is younger and won't care if you are in pants or a skirt, but you never know about the other 1%. Once you get hired, go super conservative again for the first day, but keep an eye open for what the other female attorneys are wearing.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby yngblkgifted » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:13 pm

Thank God I am a man

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Michaela
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby Michaela » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:15 pm

I love both of my sets from J. Crew. Along the lines of looking super conservative then, are hose a must too? (please god no they're so awful!) I know there are tons of threads on this but here I am in this one right now soo...

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rinkrat19
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Re: Women: Skirt Suits?

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:20 pm

BriaTharen wrote:That means skirt suit of an appropriate length (do the strict Catholic high school test-- kneel on the ground. If your skirt doesn't touch the floor it is too short)

Hmmm. Ann Taylor pencil skirt, 22" from waist to hem. Banana Republic sleek suit skirt, 21 1/2". J Crew suit skirt, 21".

When kneeling, my natural waist is 25-26" from the floor. Guess I fail that test.

Personally, I would just aim for having it somewhere around the tops of your knees. Not everyone's femurs are the same length.
Last edited by rinkrat19 on Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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