Would you employ an attorney that didn't wear a suit and tie to meetings?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by MrDaniels, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. Doc4

    Doc4 Senior member

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    Agreed. If he's a great lawyer and gets me what I want, I don't care if he wears a clown suit.

    The only problem is that no matter how amazing the lawyer is, I doubt an attorney in a clown suit would get taken seriously by a judge or jury. There are some limits...

    Dressing up to a good "suit & tie" standard would be good, but if the lawyer is good at his job, then if wearing a polo shirt is what floats his boat, go for it, dude.

    The context, of course, will matter. If we are talking about a big downtown lawfirm that does major corporate work ... I think those fellas have to even walk the dog in their navy pinstripes. If it's a smaller firm where you are going to get your Will done or chat about your divorce, or in a smaller town, and the lawyer's not in a suit, dude, get over it.

    In court, of course, a certain level of suit-i-ness is required. The judge, being a former lawyer, doesn't really care about the details we angst over here, as long as the lawyer meets the minimum standards. With juries ... well, they're funny birds. Dressing too well may in fact turn them against you ... if the lawyer ignores jury psychology and dresses to impress his SF buddies, the jury may well turn against him for being "that" kind of lawyer (see cape photo, above.)
     


  2. East Oakland

    East Oakland Senior member

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    If it was a female lawyer, sure, I'd let them lose the tie. If it's a man, standard legal uniform should apply.

    This is really a cultural thing that varies from region to region.

    Here in the SF bay area khakis and a shirt with a button down collar are pretty much the uniform for a transactional lawyer (or any big firm lawyer for that matter). The reason for this is that, here in the SF Bay area, especially down in silicon valley, the VC and PE guys (who are my clients) don't dress up, and if you look and dress like your clients, they tend to identify with you. I can't tell you how many times I have met a client who has been wearing something like kakis, a polar fleece vest and Keens.

    For a big presentation, a lot of the guys here will throw on a suit or a sport coat, but not the tie. In a world where everyone dresses casually, it's just too much.

    I wear a suit to work a lot of days (with no tie), and I am viewed as a bit of eccentric because I "overdress". If I wore a tie to the office, I would completely alienate everyone I work with.
     


  3. Ahab

    Ahab Senior member

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    He once said to me.. "I have made a career out of making people underestimate me"
    I agree with this and have seen lawyers representing big corporations poorly dressed and almost unkempt, though wearing suits.
     


  4. TC (Houston)

    TC (Houston) Senior member

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    Meetings? When I'm in my capacity as a lawyer, suit and tie, always. Only exception is when a client has expressed that he or she would be more comfortable if I would dress down. I think the dress reinforces our commitment to the role we play in their lives.
     


  5. Toorman

    Toorman Senior member

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    I couldn't care less if the guy is in suit or not as long as he's doing a good job and not trying to pull countless and unjustified billable hours out of me. That's my #1 turn-off with lawyers.

    Wow, your lawyer does that too.

    What I have found interesting is that among the many attorneys I have dealt with they are either dressed impeccably - suit fits to a "t," tie, pocket square, cuff links, great shoes, etc. - or they look like they just stepped out of Men's Warehouse. Suit is poorly fitted, shirt poorly fitted, awful tie, shoes by Kenneth Cole, etc.
     


  6. MBreinin

    MBreinin Senior member

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    If I am meeting a client, or counsel under any circumstance, I am dressed. I am wearing jeans today, but I am hungover....so I think it is ok.

    Mike
     


  7. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Wow, your lawyer does that too.
    Can you believe that? [​IMG]
     


  8. CTGuy

    CTGuy Made Guy

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  9. Big A

    Big A Senior member

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    Judge and jury sounds kinda awful...like you are well on your way to getting fuked no matter what your attorney is wearing. - B
    True enough - back when I was the lawyer of the lawyerin' variety, I used to tell biz clients "If you find yourself in a trial, you've already lost." This, along with "you know it's a good settlement if everyone is unhappy" made me real popular with the clients determined to rain fire and brimstone down on their adversaries. That said, there are reasons to go to trial (in the civil context, in the criminal context there are lots of reasons) but you have to be willing to pay the freight, by the hour usually. It's rarely worth the time and $$.
    Lawyers should wear suits. Every day. I reject the concept of casual Friday.
    This is my theory, though a sportcoat and tie are OK too
    Meetings? When I'm in my capacity as a lawyer, suit and tie, always. . . . I think the dress reinforces our commitment to the role we play in their lives.
    And this is the reason behind my theory.
    I agree with this and have seen lawyers representing big corporations poorly dressed and almost unkempt, though wearing suits.
    A lot of older lawyers do that. There are two reasons - they want to be underestimated or they are so busy (with work, drinking, mistresses, politics, etc.) they just can't be bothered to give a shit. I had a boss who used to give me shit about wearing a tie on Fridays. When I told him I liked to wear a tie, he looked at me like I suffered from some terrible mental illness. Seriously, what's so tough about wearing a tie exactly? BTW, to answer the original question, "yes," if he knew what he was doing
     


  10. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    I think the dress reinforces our commitment to the role we play in their lives.
    And this is the reason behind my theory.

    Typical lawyer delusion of grandeur... [​IMG]
     


  11. bowtielover

    bowtielover Senior member

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    I don't think I would employ them, kahkis and polos are too casual even for a first meeting. I would want my attorney to have a more professional look, I would question their qualifications to represent me if they can't even properly represent themselfs.
     


  12. Big A

    Big A Senior member

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    Typical lawyer delusion of grandeur... [​IMG]

    How so?
     


  13. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    How so?
    Thinking that the role you play in your clients' lives is of such importance.
     


  14. East Oakland

    East Oakland Senior member

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    I don't think I would employ them, kahkis and polos are too casual even for a first meeting. I would want my attorney to have a more professional look, I would question their qualifications to represent me if they can't even properly represent themselfs.

    Does everyone have the same expectations of other providers of professional services, like accountants, or is an expectation that is specific to lawyers?

    If just lawyers, is it an expectation specific to litigators, or any lawyer--i.e., do you expect tax lawyers, etc. to dress formally?
     


  15. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I would employ an attorney who knew when he needed to wear a tie. Just because you call a meeting doesn't = wearing a tie. It depends upon the other participants and the circumstances.
     


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