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Law Without Suits: New Hires Flout Tradition [WSJ] - Page 4

post #46 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJman View Post
No comes off looking good in this thread, except lawyerdad.
Be patient, I can fix that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by haganah View Post
So Quinn has a casual culture and hires anti-suit people but there is no culture and they don't hire Associates they think would fit.

No, I think the point is that the culture is imposed, not simply that exists because people are bred to it. I've known plenty of people who've moved from Quinn to more formal shops, or vice-versa. Generally, they change their dress habits, etc. to fit the guidelines established by the firm they're with. As I said, big firms choose people much less on "fit" than on perceived ability (for which academic success is generally accepted as a good proxy).

Since I never worked there, this may be an unfair generalization, but my perception over the years has been that Quinn would hire anyone who seems to have the intellectual chops and is willing to put in the hours. And for whatever limited value this anecdotal information is worth, I know people at Quinn who do wear a suit every day even though they obviously aren't required by the firm to do so.

Honestly, you won't be "right" because you're extrapolating from some non-representative information. I'm sorry if you take that personally, because that's not my intent. But this is one of the few subjects that comes up here where I can actually contribute some useful first-hand knowledge, so I felt it was appropriate to point out that what you were putting out there was flat wrong.

Enjoy your lunch.
post #47 of 105
I'm in a profession where I actually rebel by wearing a suit.
post #48 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJman View Post
No comes off looking good in this thread, except lawyerdad. That includes me.

Hey! I resemble that remark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haganah View Post
I did not qualify it with an "only". I do think a lot of people jump ship because of culture. Am I wrong about that? I guess my friends that did made it up. If what I said earlier sounded absolute, that is not what I meant so hopefully you can stop inferring now.

I'm sure there are some people who jump to a different large firm because they didn't like the culture of the firm where they worked (although I think this may be code for "I couldn't stand the SOB I had to work for"). However, my feeling based on personal experience is that most attorneys who leave the large firm life do so for other reasons. I'm sure cultures differ from firm to firm but, in the end, what is expected of an associate at a large firm remains fairly constant. More often than not, it is the unwillingness or inability to put up with those expectations which causes associates to move on.
post #49 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmorel View Post
I hate law firms, their associates and their partners (except lawyerdad and Ed from HK, they are gentlemen. And great customers ). The casual ones dress like euro trash and the business formal ones dress like a JC Penny catalog. Plus, they all have this smug attitude, and talk tons of sh*t in the elevators. Newsflash, j/o's, no one cares how late you were in the office or if you came in over the weekend. STFU!

Oh, and you're not smug at all.

The fact of the matter is that corporate lawyers don't do much more than sit in an office all day long and work at their desk or have meetings with each other. Almost all interaction with other law firms and clients is conducted through email or over the phone. What's the point in wearing a suit if you're cooped up in an office all day and all night? It's not like the "old" days before email when it was expedient to meet with clients on a fairly regular basis to discuss matters and review documents.

I have to agree with everything mafoofan and lawyerdad have said. Nearly all the large law firms are business casual for everyday office attire, but require that associates wear suits when meeting clients or appearing in court. Some people may have the perception that lawyers always wear suits, but if you're seeing them in court or at a meeting they're probably wearing a suit that they put on for that occasion.
post #50 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by haganah View Post
So Quinn has a casual culture and hires anti-suit people but there is no culture and they don't hire Associates they think would fit. And Cravath has a conservative culture and hires Associates they think would fit. But there is no culture, firms don't hire based on fit, and that is that? Again, I never said anything was absolute but that firms do have cultures, often hire on them, and a lot of people that don't like a firm's culture do leave. Clearly I won't be right on this argument no matter what so I'll apologize, say you are correct and bow out to grab lunch.

By and large, Cravath does not care whether the associate will fit at time of hiring, it assumes the associate will adapt. Cravath is not unlike the Borg.

That said, most associates do not select firms based on dress code. Rather, associates will tend to look for issues such as hours requirements, ability to control assignments, degree of support, pro bono opportunities, perceived degree of racism or sexism (some firms do garner bad reps), etc.
post #51 of 105
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Originally Posted by raphael View Post
I'm in a profession where I actually rebel by wearing a suit.
In most law firms, that would be rebellion too.

That said, there do remain a few regions where people at firms pay more attention to or take more pleasure in how they dress... Better wait to be partner before wearing the Hermes socks, though...
post #52 of 105
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Originally Posted by marc237 View Post
Cravath is not unlike the Borg.


post #53 of 105
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Originally Posted by jpb View Post
You should see what the women wear at Moscow law offices. An American friend of mine got so much cleavage in his face he actually threatened to sue his employer for creating a hostile environment. See-through tops and no bra are a regular in the summer. Most of the men dress fine, although the Russian's wear some crazy shoes. Ties are not insisted on, but jeans are not allowed.

TPIWWP
post #54 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJman View Post
Better wait to be partner before wearing the Hermes socks, though...

Out of curiosity, would you be put off by an associate that dresses well? Say he wears clothes that fit very well, implying they are custom, wears sportcoats every day when others are wearing just shirts, and always has a pocket square. Assuming it's all in good taste, and there are no logos, would this annoy you?

I ask in earnest because a lot of associates worry about being too ostentatious, yet know that we should dress appropriately. Personally, I look 10 times worse in RTW business casual clothing than most people--mostly on account of my stature--so I wind up wearing more tailored clothing by default.
post #55 of 105
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Originally Posted by phorm View Post
Oh, and you're not smug at all.


I am, but I love me

Quote:
Originally Posted by retronotmetro View Post
TPIWWP

post #56 of 105
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Originally Posted by edmorel View Post

This Post Is Worthless Without Pics
post #57 of 105
It seems silly to me for partners to gripe about young associates' clothes, as if it isn't in the partners' power to change company dress. No group of young toadies is as enthusiastic about groveling for a pat on the head as a new big firm associate. My girlfriend's fairly prestigious Texas firm moderates dressing by having an incultation during "Communication Training" where associates are given instructions, such as "when wearing an shirt open at the neck, always wear a crew neck t-shirt underneath. Partners find it upsetting if there is no t-shirt and they have to see your bare neck." In addition, her firm has Tom James tailors visit the office. The result is a completely uniformed office. On the other hand, she also worked at Gibson Dunn in LA, where associates dressed both much better and much worse. I do think this subject indicates a generational divide. For many older folks, a suit is a symbol of professionalism. For many of us younger lawyers, we grew up believing that the people with the most prestigious and creative jobs were allowed the authority to dress themselves as they saw fit. The result is that many of us see a suit and think "cell phone salesman." Obviously, both sides of the divide could use a little instruction on reading the implications of certain clothes. (FWIW, the biggest slob in my class, a guy who would lean back during lectures and openly pick his nose and then flick the resulting booger, took a job at Cravath New York.)
post #58 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
Out of curiosity, would you be put off by an associate that dresses well? Say he wears clothes that fit very well, implying they are custom, wears sportcoats every day when others are wearing just shirts, and always has a pocket square. Assuming it's all in good taste, and there are no logos, would this annoy you?

I ask in earnest because a lot of associates worry about being too ostentatious, yet know that we should dress appropriately. Personally, I look 10 times worse in RTW business casual clothing than most people--mostly on account of my stature--so I wind up wearing more tailored clothing by default.

I would not be put off. I would, however, be very surprised b/c would be a first.

I would then initiate the SF security passphrase which I believe we decided would be 'Brown is for. . . ?"
post #59 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by marc237 View Post
Cravath is not unlike the Borg.

I'm taking this as a compliment.
post #60 of 105
For what it's worth, in my firm, one of the larger consulting firms, business casual is the standard, but many people routinely dress a bit better than the typical business casual. The partners, in particular, always wear suits. As the partners are wearing suits, it's not surprising that the more ambitious of the managers and consultants will be attired likewise, regardless of what the firm policy is.

I would find it suprising that, given an example being set by the higher-ups, incoming employees would insist on informal clothes. It would seem that ambition and intelligence would both lead someone to concluded that looks are important, and dressing well can help one get ahead. Consistently dressing indifferently reeks of a sense of entitlement--it's a "the world owes me a living" attitude, which does not do well in the world of business.

I'm not sure why I see moderately well-dressed coworkers in my firm, when highly respected law firms are struggling with underdressed employees. I suspect that the firms having troubles with keeping the analysts appropriately dressed are not admitting that they're also having problems keeping the partners appropriately dressed.
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