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Stickin' With My Suit, Goshdarnit!

The Internet Bubble and Casual Fridays were just the start of the slippery slope that led us to the wrinkled knit shirt of a mess we're in today. Not like the good ol' days, says Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice partner Pressly M. Millen, writing in The National Law Journal, when a suit was a suit and "colors ran the gamut from gray to blue." Today, he says, few law firms have the stomach to tell young lawyers that they should dress like lawyers. But Millen is bucking the trend and sticking to his suit:

Now, I often find myself the only one in the room -- and, sometimes, it's a big room -- who's dressed the way lawyers used to dress. But I've decided I don't care anymore. When I go to the doctor or dentist, he or she better be wearing a white lab coat. The meal tastes better somehow when the chef wears a white coat, apron and toque. I feel good when my auto mechanic is wearing a jumpsuit with his name stitched on the pocket.

My suit is my uniform. Like the robe and wig of the English barrister, it marks me off from the rest. I'm comfortable with that. And every morning I'll wake up and put on my uniform, just like that barrister's wig, with no complaints.

Of course, in those good ol' stuffed-shirt days, no respectable law firm would feature a bulldog and doghouse on the front page of its Web site, as Womble Carlyle does, let alone have a Web site. Yes, times have changed. But when it comes to meetings with clients or adversaries or other such occasions, I agree with Millen that lawyers should dress like lawyers.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on April 21, 2008 at 02:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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