Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

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WalkingPlato
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Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby WalkingPlato » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:59 pm

Hello. This might sound dumb but I'll ask anyway. What's the general policy on professionalism (specifically, the look) for law students and lawyers. I want to get a tattoo and I like wearing the modern faux hawk-ish hair style, similar to the following...

Image

Whenever lawyers gave talks to future lawyers (me included), they mentioned the look, and most of the time they'd say that hair should be slicked back, tidy, no faux hawks and, generally, to put it in the younger generation's language, look like a grandpa. I assume someone going for that very conservative look would frown upon tattoos, too.

Is it safe to say that the mentioned descriptions are way too extreme? It seems like it to me, and that wearing the aforementioned hairstyle and having a tattoo or two doesn't seem like a big deal.

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guano
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby guano » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:02 pm

Consider it a career limiting decision.
If you ding fit the mold, you'll be at a disadvantage. Not one that can't be overcome, but, unless you're clearly the best candidate from the get go, why handicap yourself?

(Make sure any tattoo isn't visible, and change your hairstyle when in the office or at an event

WalkingPlato
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby WalkingPlato » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:05 pm

guano wrote:Consider it a career limiting decision.
If you ding fit the mold, you'll be at a disadvantage. Not one that can't be overcome, but, unless you're clearly the best candidate from the get go, why handicap yourself?

(Make sure any tattoo isn't visible, and change your hairstyle when in the office or at an event


Really? We're not talking about those spikes on the head type of hair style. It's just a small faux hawk. I don't even know how to slick my hair back.

And, for tattoos, if I make sure they aren't visible (I'm not talking about neck tattoos or forearm tattoos), that's fine?

EDIT: I'm also going to several Admitted Student Weekends soon. Should I try slicking my hair back for that? This is too weird. I think it'll change once my generation takes over.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:08 pm

WalkingPlato wrote:Hello. This might sound dumb but I'll ask anyway. What's the general policy on professionalism (specifically, the look) for law students and lawyers. I want to get a tattoo and I like wearing the modern faux hawk-ish hair style, similar to the following...

[img]fauxhawk[/img]

Whenever lawyers gave talks to future lawyers (me included), they mentioned the look, and most of the time they'd say that hair should be slicked back, tidy, no faux hawks and, generally, to put it in the younger generation's language, look like a grandpa. I assume someone going for that very conservative look would frown upon tattoos, too.

Is it safe to say that the mentioned descriptions are way too extreme? It seems like it to me, and that wearing the aforementioned hairstyle and having a tattoo or two doesn't seem like a big deal.

No, those descriptions aren't way too extreme at all. It's a conservative profession.

I know tattooed lawyers, but the tattoos aren't visible under suits. (I mean, if they're not visible, who cares? Do you plan on walking into court and announcing you have tattoos?) I've also never seen anything remotely faux hawk-ish in court; I think I've seen a ponytail or two (on men), but I live in hippieville (it's always old geezers in cowboy boots, not young lawyers).

Heck, people here debate whether beards are appropriate. It's a very conservative profession. How are you unaware of this?

nucky thompson
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby nucky thompson » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:09 pm

WalkingPlato wrote:Hello. This might sound dumb but I'll ask anyway. What's the general policy on professionalism (specifically, the look) for law students and lawyers. I want to get a tattoo and I like wearing the modern faux hawk-ish hair style, similar to the following...

Image

Whenever lawyers gave talks to future lawyers (me included), they mentioned the look, and most of the time they'd say that hair should be slicked back, tidy, no faux hawks and, generally, to put it in the younger generation's language, look like a grandpa. I assume someone going for that very conservative look would frown upon tattoos, too.

Is it safe to say that the mentioned descriptions are way too extreme? It seems like it to me, and that wearing the aforementioned hairstyle and having a tattoo or two doesn't seem like a big deal.



I ask one question - why does it matter? You have your own swag/style - be confident about it and do your own thing - if you can't be yourself because of your employer, how happy will you be working for said employer?

To answer your question - Generally, the "look" in the legal profession is conservative - Even though I personally value individuality there are some jobs where a "fuck your superficial stereotypes, ima do me" attitude will cost you a job - ie: more conservative big law firms etc.

While there is a higher probability that your "unconventional" style will negatively impact big law job opportunities - it may actually hurt you for every job. Interviewers are people. People stereotype based off first impressions. Job offers are often made based off first impressions.

If your worried about employability - alter your look in a way that will maximize your chances. If you are at the top of your class at a great school, you have more latitude in saying "fuck your superficial stereotypes, ima do me"

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guano
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby guano » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:09 pm

WalkingPlato wrote:
guano wrote:Consider it a career limiting decision.
If you ding fit the mold, you'll be at a disadvantage. Not one that can't be overcome, but, unless you're clearly the best candidate from the get go, why handicap yourself?

(Make sure any tattoo isn't visible, and change your hairstyle when in the office or at an event


Really? We're not talking about those spikes on the head type of hair style. It's just a small faux hawk. I don't even know how to slick my hair back.

And, for tattoos, if I make sure they aren't visible (I'm not talking about neck tattoos or forearm tattoos), that's fine?

EDIT: I'm also going to several Admitted Student Weekends soon. Should I try slicking my hair back for that? This is too weird. I think it'll change once my generation takes over.

I'm thinking professional employment. For ASD, you shouldn't give a shit.

And yeah, drop the hawk.

150s_or_bust
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby 150s_or_bust » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:11 pm

I'm asian and I have the typical "asian spiky hair" (1 inch on top and 0 on the side), would you guys say that is somewhat acceptable or I literally need to slick back my hair?

Edit - I also have earrings. That's a definite no-no?
Last edited by 150s_or_bust on Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ruralaw
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby ruralaw » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:13 pm

Generally, I do not think it is that big of a deal. I think the first thing is where you are getting the tattoo. In the professional world, you are usually pretty covered up. Just get the tattoo where it won't be visible in working clothes. As far as the faux hawk, I actually once had a boss (working in a state agency) who had one. A state agency is not the top of the legal world, but he told me about some of the more prestigous jobs he had before that one. I think conduct will be the number one factor you are judged on.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:14 pm

My problem with the faux hawk may be my bad reaction to that particular example...

WalkingPlato
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby WalkingPlato » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:14 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
WalkingPlato wrote:Hello. This might sound dumb but I'll ask anyway. What's the general policy on professionalism (specifically, the look) for law students and lawyers. I want to get a tattoo and I like wearing the modern faux hawk-ish hair style, similar to the following...

[img]fauxhawk[/img]

Whenever lawyers gave talks to future lawyers (me included), they mentioned the look, and most of the time they'd say that hair should be slicked back, tidy, no faux hawks and, generally, to put it in the younger generation's language, look like a grandpa. I assume someone going for that very conservative look would frown upon tattoos, too.

Is it safe to say that the mentioned descriptions are way too extreme? It seems like it to me, and that wearing the aforementioned hairstyle and having a tattoo or two doesn't seem like a big deal.

No, those descriptions aren't way too extreme at all. It's a conservative profession.

I know tattooed lawyers, but the tattoos aren't visible under suits. (I mean, if they're not visible, who cares? Do you plan on walking into court and announcing you have tattoos?) I've also never seen anything remotely faux hawk-ish in court; I think I've seen a ponytail or two (on men), but I live in hippieville (it's always old geezers in cowboy boots, not young lawyers).

Heck, people here debate whether beards are appropriate. It's a very conservative profession. How are you unaware of this?


I am aware of this. But, I'm also aware that the majority of the lawyers I encountered were conservative and 45+, making me think that it might just be their personal preference, especially considering that some of the younger lawyers I've seen share my view. But, I understand what you're saying, though It's still way too weird, since we're not talking about spiked hair or neck tattoos.

cgw
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby cgw » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:16 pm

Serious question: what is the appeal of the faux hawk? It's like our generation's mullet.

reverendt
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby reverendt » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:16 pm

During law school I wouldn't sweat it one way or the other. For interiews/summer jobs comb the hair down.

Tats....just keep them where they're covered up when you're in a suit.

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guano
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby guano » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:17 pm

ruralaw wrote:Generally, I do not think it is that big of a deal. I think the first thing is where you are getting the tattoo. In the professional world, you are usually pretty covered up. Just get the tattoo where it won't be visible in working clothes. As far as the faux hawk, I actually once had a boss (working in a state agency) who had one. A state agency is not the top of the legal world, but he told me about some of the more prestigous jobs he had before that one. I think conduct will be the number one factor you are judged on.

During an interview your look creates the first impression and anything out of the ordinary will probably be perceived negatively. After you get the job, you can slowly ease up and revert to your own look - after you are known for quality work, excellent skill, etc

nucky thompson
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby nucky thompson » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:18 pm

MY HONEST ADVICE: i think employers look for a lot of things - confidence and self assuredness is usually pretty important

I think your employment prospects will be hampered more as a result of your lack of confidence/being insecure about yourself (ie: is my hair too spiky?) than it would be if the interviewer doesnt like your spiky asian hair because it is not traditional slicked back style

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:20 pm

WalkingPlato wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
WalkingPlato wrote:Hello. This might sound dumb but I'll ask anyway. What's the general policy on professionalism (specifically, the look) for law students and lawyers. I want to get a tattoo and I like wearing the modern faux hawk-ish hair style, similar to the following...

[img]fauxhawk[/img]

Whenever lawyers gave talks to future lawyers (me included), they mentioned the look, and most of the time they'd say that hair should be slicked back, tidy, no faux hawks and, generally, to put it in the younger generation's language, look like a grandpa. I assume someone going for that very conservative look would frown upon tattoos, too.

Is it safe to say that the mentioned descriptions are way too extreme? It seems like it to me, and that wearing the aforementioned hairstyle and having a tattoo or two doesn't seem like a big deal.

No, those descriptions aren't way too extreme at all. It's a conservative profession.

I know tattooed lawyers, but the tattoos aren't visible under suits. (I mean, if they're not visible, who cares? Do you plan on walking into court and announcing you have tattoos?) I've also never seen anything remotely faux hawk-ish in court; I think I've seen a ponytail or two (on men), but I live in hippieville (it's always old geezers in cowboy boots, not young lawyers).

Heck, people here debate whether beards are appropriate. It's a very conservative profession. How are you unaware of this?


I am aware of this. But, I'm also aware that the majority of the lawyers I encountered were conservative and 45+, making me think that it might just be their personal preference, especially considering that some of the younger lawyers I've seen share my view. But, I understand what you're saying, though It's still way too weird, since we're not talking about spiked hair or neck tattoos.

The problem is that you're going to be working for those conservative 45+ lawyers, so what younger lawyers think isn't really that helpful. Or you're going to be appearing before them in court. Or you're going to be before a jury full of senior citizens (because they're the people who can take time off from their jobs to serve). And a lot of (younger) people adopt the values of those (older people) they aspire to become.

But I also just think faux hawks look really dumb unless you're a professional footballer. So keep that in mind, too.

WalkingPlato
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby WalkingPlato » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:20 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:My problem with the faux hawk may be my bad reaction to that particular example...


I'll change it.. So something like this

Image

with the biggest or most extreme being something like this

Image


BUT NOT THIS

Image

ruralaw
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby ruralaw » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:21 pm

guano wrote:
ruralaw wrote:Generally, I do not think it is that big of a deal. I think the first thing is where you are getting the tattoo. In the professional world, you are usually pretty covered up. Just get the tattoo where it won't be visible in working clothes. As far as the faux hawk, I actually once had a boss (working in a state agency) who had one. A state agency is not the top of the legal world, but he told me about some of the more prestigous jobs he had before that one. I think conduct will be the number one factor you are judged on.

During an interview your look creates the first impression and anything out of the ordinary will probably be perceived negatively. After you get the job, you can slowly ease up and revert to your own look - after you are known for quality work, excellent skill, etc


I am confused as to why this is a reply to my post.

Maybe youre implying that my OKing the faux hawk is approving something that will be out of the ordinary.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:23 pm

Oh, that first one isn't bad. I still don't think I've seen much even reaching Adam Levine proportions in court. But like everyone said, it doesn't matter during school anyway.

WalkingPlato
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby WalkingPlato » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:25 pm

cgw wrote:Serious question: what is the appeal of the faux hawk? It's like our generation's mullet.


1. It's a more modern look, making you look younger and vibrant
2. It doesn't require the gel or hair products that make your hair look like you've been licked by a cow or you just got out of the shower. It looks like you have no hair product in your hair.
3. It's very easy and effortless to make, whereas slicking back requires more product and work
4. Faux hawks are a lot harder to mess up, but slicked back look falls apart with any swift movement of the head
5. From 4, slicked back look seems to require constant upkeep
Last edited by WalkingPlato on Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nucky thompson
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby nucky thompson » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:25 pm

cgw wrote:Serious question: what is the appeal of the faux hawk? It's like our generation's mullet.


how is this a serious question? you prefer one hair style over another - someone else has different preferences. The appeal of the faux hawk is that it is a style someone prefers. Maybe not you, but someone.

You realize what you think of as a "normal" hairstyle is based entirely on societal constructs. If everyone in this country had a mullet --> you would be a little lemming and think mullets were normal.

150s_or_bust
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby 150s_or_bust » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:35 pm

nucky thompson wrote:
cgw wrote:Serious question: what is the appeal of the faux hawk? It's like our generation's mullet.


how is this a serious question? you prefer one hair style over another - someone else has different preferences. The appeal of the faux hawk is that it is a style someone prefers. Maybe not you, but someone.

You realize what you think of as a "normal" hairstyle is based entirely on societal constructs. If everyone in this country had a mullet --> you would be a little lemming and think mullets were normal.


+1

cgw
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby cgw » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:43 pm

WalkingPlato wrote:
cgw wrote:Serious question: what is the appeal of the faux hawk? It's like our generation's mullet.


1. It's a more modern look, making you look younger and vibrant
2. It doesn't require the gel or hair products that make your hair look like you've been licked by a cow or you just got out of the shower. It looks like you have no hair product in your hair.
3. It's very easy and effortless to make, whereas slicking back requires more product and work
4. Faux hawks are a lot harder to mess up, but slicked back look falls apart with any swift movement of the head
5. From 4, slicked back look seems to require constant upkeep


This and the additional pictures you posted make me hate it less. Thank you.

nucky thompson wrote:
cgw wrote:Serious question: what is the appeal of the faux hawk? It's like our generation's mullet.


how is this a serious question? you prefer one hair style over another - someone else has different preferences. The appeal of the faux hawk is that it is a style someone prefers. Maybe not you, but someone.

You realize what you think of as a "normal" hairstyle is based entirely on societal constructs. If everyone in this country had a mullet --> you would be a little lemming and think mullets were normal.


Well, it got a serious answer. Obviously someone prefers it, which is why I asked. Sure social norms play a role, but we have so many subcultures that its entirely possible to find something that a majority of people do unappealing.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:54 pm

WalkingPlato wrote:
cgw wrote:Serious question: what is the appeal of the faux hawk? It's like our generation's mullet.


1. It's a more modern look, making you look younger and vibrant
2. It doesn't require the gel or hair products that make your hair look like you've been licked by a cow or you just got out of the shower. It looks like you have no hair product in your hair.
3. It's very easy and effortless to make, whereas slicking back requires more product and work
4. Faux hawks are a lot harder to mess up, but slicked back look falls apart with any swift movement of the head
5. From 4, slicked back look seems to require constant upkeep

Um, well, that's one way to look at it... :wink:

(although on a slightly more serious note, I don't think a lot of people right out of law school are worried about looking *younger* on the job.)

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5ky
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby 5ky » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:48 pm

What's your obsession with slicking hair back? Just comb it over to the side if you don't want to look like an adolescent.

nouseforaname123
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Re: Professionalism for Law Students/Lawyers

Postby nouseforaname123 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:00 pm

WalkingPlato wrote:
cgw wrote:Serious question: what is the appeal of the faux hawk? It's like our generation's mullet.


1. It's a more modern look, making you look younger and vibrant
2. It doesn't require the gel or hair products that make your hair look like you've been licked by a cow or you just got out of the shower. It looks like you have no hair product in your hair.
3. It's very easy and effortless to make, whereas slicking back requires more product and work
4. Faux hawks are a lot harder to mess up, but slicked back look falls apart with any swift movement of the head
5. From 4, slicked back look seems to require constant upkeep


OP:

Don't take our word for it. Visit the websites for major firms.

Firms post lawyer biographies (including pictures). Search for "associates." Generally, the majority of associates have been lawyers for less than ten years.

Here's a geographically diverse list of firms. Notice any patterns when it comes to conservative hairstyles?

For NYC

http://www.skadden.com/

Chicago

http://www.kirkland.com/

DC

http://www.wc.com/

San Francisco

http://www.mofo.com/

LA

http://www.gibsondunn.com/default.aspx

Houston

http://www.velaw.com/

Dallas

http://www.haynesboone.com/

Atlanta

http://www.alston.com/




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