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What to Wear

Dress Conservatively

There is a reason corporate America is labeled as faceless, bland, and boring. For the most part it is, and dress codes reflect that. Law firms, especially big firms that serve as corporate America's lawyers, are even more so. They are conservative workplaces, and they expect their recruits to look the part.

What is deemed as appropriate for interview attire varies somewhat by location. For example, job applicants in the South must wear the most conservative attire. This includes a black, navy, or charcoal gray suit, dark shoes, and a skirt and pantyhose for women. Although you may get away with a brown or light gray suit in the Northeast or the West Coast, dark colors are preferable for all locations. And women, no matter where you are, do not pull a Legally Blonde and wear red or pink. A legal interview is not the time to make a fashion statement.

A partner from a prominent Southern law firm may overlook the fact that a female candidate is wearing pants, provided she dazzles him with her credentials and personality. Likewise, he may cut a break to a male candidate who is wearing a light suit if the candidate is truly impressive in all other respects. But in borderline cases, these minor details may break the tie of uncertainty and result in no offer. Accordingly, a traditional dark suit for all of your interviews is advisable.

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Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesLaw Job InterviewsWhat to Wear - Dress Conservatively, Wear A Traditional Suit, Just Say No To Business Casual, Shirts, Ties