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Law firm interview attire - Page 2

post #16 of 26
No brainer. Wear a suit. I work for a software company in DC where very casual is the rule, but if anyone came in for an interview with us wearing less than a suit, he wouldn't get hired. BTW, I am also an attorney, so I know how these firms operate.
post #17 of 26
Tis true, Retro.  But if a partner is a strong no, then the most glowing associate recs in the world probably won't help.  Also, the associate's "yes" will likely not be as strongly worded if the associate senses hesitation from the partner.
True also. I just threw it out there because there really are recruits who think that the partners make all the decisions and the associates are just on the callback schedule to help sell the firm. That kind of thinking can cost people big time. The only market where I'd worry about ignoring a "business casual attire" letter from a recruiting coordinator is in the SF/SV market. People in that market have a decidedly different view of attire. But even there, I'd go with a tieless dress shirt/sport coat/odd trousers combination.
post #18 of 26
Well, I definitely appreciate all the arguments being made in favor of the suit. And, I only have two things to add to the discussion: 1. To whomever asked the original question, remember that all the advice (mine included) coming from this website is from people who love clothes and I'd guess suits especially. I'd just take that bias with a grain of salt. The thrust of my opinion was, and still is, that wearing clothes that track the firm's culture will not stand out but bucking the trend will. In the post-interview wrap up you'll probably be the "guy in the suit" and hopefully "the guy in the nice suit." 2. In my experience on call-backs, doing them myself and seeing others, while the partner's opinion is probably equal to the four associates combined when giving a positive, even a single associate's negative comment will carry great weight so be on best behavior with them all. You can expect to have at least one you won't particularly like or who grates on your nerves. However, instead of making this a cause for extra nervousness, remember that you're interviewing these people too. Be yourself because they will be themselves. You're going to be spending a whole lot of time with wherever you wind up.
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. I am going to wear the suit. It just seems far less risky than going business casual. I wouldn't have even asked, except that call back interviews seem designed to gauge "fit" as much if not more than competence.
post #20 of 26
I am a partner at a large NY firm. Business casual is on its way out and, even when it was "in," there were numerous partners who refused to accept it. If an associate were to find fault with you for wearing a suit to an interview then I would have questions about whether that associate "fits in." Everyone will understand your decision to wear a suit notwithstanding that you have been told the firm has a business casual policy. In my mind, it looks better that you wear a suit having received that letter because it shows that you want to make sure that you look professional in the traditional sense, which I think shows sound judgment on your part. The answer is: wear a conservative suit. Good luck with your interviews.
post #21 of 26
Never hurts to be a little too conservative. If you need to, you can still be relaxed and not off-putting while wearing a tie. If you have a choice, however, might be best not to wear your snazziest cocktail-hour suit. Dress for broad daylight.
post #22 of 26
Yet another vote for wearing the suit and tie. It does not have to be the most formal suit in the world, nor should you feel obligated to wear a white shirt (again the most formal), but nothing completely outlandish either....
post #23 of 26
I'd concur, our office is definitely business casual on the best of days, but when I make hiring decisions, I won't even consider hiring someone not wearing a suit for a professional level position, just strikes me as not taking the interview seriously.
post #24 of 26
I'll go one step further and recommend a navy or charcoal suit (preferably solid), a white shirt, and a red or blue patterned tie.  DC is a conservative town.  Come equipped with good questions and a non-boilerplate answer to the question "Why do you want to work for us?"  And don't order pasta for lunch.
post #25 of 26
I think no pasta for lunch was the best advice offered up. Let us know how the callbacks go and where you wind up working. Good luck.
post #26 of 26
It's one thing to say that you would not hire someone who did not wear a suit to an interview. It's an entirely different thing if an interviewer told an interviewee to dress business casual, then rejected the interviewee for not wearing a suit. That would be a ridiculous mind game. But I agree with all those who say that it wouldn't hurt to wear a suit in the original poster's scenario.
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