masked kavana wrote:
I am a 2L with some serious tattoos. I have always hidden them from employers and such, but have encountered some pretty strong reactions from fellow students and practicing lawyers I've met socially. I wear short sleeves around the school, but keep my tattoos under wraps when interacting one-on-one with professors and certainly do so in any job-related situation. I have peers at my firm who know about my tattoos and don't care. If I ever become a partner, I could see being open about it with colleagues, but a partner I interviewed with told me that his test for hiring is "would I leave this person alone in a room with my most important client?" Given the relatively conservative nature of the profession, most partners would answer "no" to that question for someone with a visible tattoo. I wish it weren't true, but it is. Better to play it safe: keep your hair down in an interview or job setting.
Wait you have to wear long sleeves when meeting with professors too? How about to class?
I have a sleeve and have never had a problem with it yet.. Is the legal profession this old fashioned?
You don't have
to do anything. I'd prefer, however, not to risk offending anyone. Most professors are of a different generation where tattoos had very different connotations. Although I'm sure some of my profs have noticed my tattoos when I walk around the school or in class, I'd rather not risk offending someone by flaunting my tattoos in his/her office. I do the same when I see my grandmother.
Those choices are all, however, personal choices without that much risk. Worst case scenario some prof won't write you a LOR. When it comes to employers, I think anyone who says it's fine to show off your tattooed sleeves in the office or chambers doesn't know what they're talking about. (Non-profits are sometimes very different, so put that aside for a moment.) I'd just rather not take the risk of being the first at my firm to show off my sleeve to the managing partner.