Monday, June 17, 2013

Female Attorneys Should Wear Jackets

I came across this article today:
The Tennessean reports that Rutherford County Circuit Judge Royce Taylor has outlined in the Rutherford County Bar newsletter that women are showing too much skin while defending their clients.

“I have advised some women attorneys that a jacket with sleeves below the elbow is appropriate or a professional dress equivalent,” the letter states, according to The Tennessean. “Your personal appearance in court is a reflection upon the entire legal profession.”
It might be hard to believe, but there are more than a few female attorneys out there who think it is perfectly proper to wear sleeveless dresses to appear in court.  (And don't even get me started on the huge number of female attorneys who no longer wear pantyhose, or those who wear open toed shoes to court.)

I think this Judge is right on.  If the men have to wear suit jackets, women should have to as well.  Court is a formal, respectable place, and the required attire should reflect that.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Best "Conservative Places To Work" Clothing Stores

Does this title make sense?  Maybe.

Anyway.  I do a lot of shopping.  I mean, a lot.  A lot.  I love clothes.  You should see my closet.  Maybe someday I will take a picture and show it to you.  In fact, I should do that!  But, it is tough to find nice, work appropriate, yet cute clothes that work well when you work in a more conservative work environment.  This post is not about suits, but about business casual or more dressy business casual (one step below suits).  If you need a suit, check out this post on suits. 

So, where to begin?

You can't go wrong with a pencil skirt, shell, and cardigan or blazer.  This is a bar none, standard dressy business casual outfit.  It's all about mix and matching.  Also, dresses.  I have a ton of dresses.  Dresses are so easy in the hot summer.  Short sleeved dresses.  Yes.  So, from the perspective of a new gal, who has just graduated from college and is needing to get together a work wardrobe for the summer, what do you need, really?

1.   One black pencil skirt.

2.  One gray pencil skirt.

3.  One khaki/beige pencil skirt.

4.  One black blazer.

5.  One white blazer.

6.  One black short sleeved, work appropriate dress.

7.  One black shell or dressy t-shirt.

8.  One light gray shell or dressy t-shirt

9.  One bright colored shell or dressy t-shirt.

10.  One other work appropriate dress, short sleeved.

So, what do you get from the above?  Lots of mix and match skirts, shells, and blazers.  A couple of dresses that could also be coupled with a black or white blazer.

That's all a bit boring, right?  But, it is really all you need to start out.  So where can you get such basic items such as these?

1.  Banana Republic.  Sign up for their credit card.  If you like the fit of their clothing, it is well worth it.  Their sales are phenomenal, but depending on your size, you may not find your size on the sale racks.  Also check out the Gap, BR's sister store.  One of my favorite summer work dresses came from there, but it is really hit or miss as far as professional attire. 

2.  Ann Taylor Loft.  Super cute stuff, high turnover, high sales.  Wait it out if you can to get your desired items at cheap prices. 

3.  Ann Taylor.  More expensive and a bit more chichi than the above, but again great sales.

4.  J. Crew.  Hit the sales, although they aren't as good as the above stores.

5.  Department Stores.  Yes, this is just number five.  You know how it is.  You hit those sales racks at Macy's or Nordstrom's and just start looking for deals.  It's not easy to find.....

Introverts in Law and Government

So, I've been reading this book called Quiet, which is a bestseller and such, and all about introverts.  I've only just started reading it (off and on) and it's been quite inspiring to me, because I'm an introvert.  It's hard to be a litigator (or trial attorney) and be an introvert.  Most lawyers like to talk at length.  I don't.  This book (so far) has been completely eye opening to me.  I always felt off because I hated group projects, hated the talking and extroverted type stuff that was forced upon me in engineering school and law school.  Well, low and behold, I'm not a complete weirdo.  I'm just an introvert.  And yes, I survived through it all.  I even survive through arguing all day in court at Markman hearings and such.  I can behave like an extrovert, even though I'm not.  It is not my natural inclination at all.  I hate doing client dinners, spending all day with clients, spending all day at depositions followed by the dinners, playing the settlement dance, making small talk, talking about myself and my war stories, and all that.  I just want to write briefs and do my job.  And I am a good lawyer.  The rest...don't waste my time on calls that aren't going anywhere.  Don't waste my time on meet and confers where we know full well we aren't going to agree on anything.  It's interesting because most attorneys truly are extroverts.  I'm not.  But somehow, I've still made it work.

This book has made me really question the leadership in our country.  To get into a leadership position, you need to get elected.  To get elected, you have to be social and to network and to have a big personality.  Like, big time.  So, for the most part, this is a hard thing for most introverts to do.  Introverts are at least as smart as extroverts, right?  I mean, there is no proof that they are dumber just because they don't like to run their mouth as much, right?  But, for leadership in our country we are trapped by the process to the extroverts.  That's not to say that we haven't had introverted leaders, because I think we have. But, it is a lot tougher for them. 

I only thought about this because I would, in some ways, like to run for Congress.  But then I think about all the events and fundraising I would have to do, and that totally turns me off.  So, think about this:  the leaders of our country are essentially the famewhoring extrovert types who either like the fundraising and networking events or are led by the nose by a person who likes the fundraising and networking events.  Or they get where they are via their family names or otherwise.  So, what about the people out there who might know something about how to improve out country, but don't want to partake in all the nonsense to get elected?  Can I just put a sign up and tell people to vote for me?  No, not really.  I would have to get the word out about me.  I could do that, to a certain extent, but it would be hard on me.  Is there really a chance to elect a true introvert in this day and age?  I really don't think so.  To be completely honest, I think we are on a huge downward spiral with this country.  Everything is about celebrity and press.  I think we would be well served to find Congresspeople and a President who aren't so interested in the press and attention and are more interested in actually governing our country.