Useful Tips

Lawyer dress code: how to dress in court and office


18.01.2015 08:59:00

In the modern world of highly developed social relations, there are frequent cases of various conflict and controversial situations. Due to the relatively high level of development of society, all these disagreements are resolved in court and without the use of brute force. Therefore, it is always worth remembering that anyone can be on trial. Naturally, it will not be superfluous to know not only how and what to say in court, but also how to dress properly and behave in the courtroom. Remember that if you know how to dress in court, you will make a good impression. Indeed, despite the fact that the dress code is not regulated in court, it will be strange if you want to collect a large amount through the court, and you come in a stretched T-shirt and dirty shorts.

Is it necessary to wear a formal suit in court

If you at least once paid attention to the symbol of justice, namely to the goddess Themis, you saw that her eyes were blindfolded. It is not just that. Conditionally, or rather, ideally, the court does not care what you are wearing and how you look. But judges are people too and nothing human is alien to them. Naturally, they will pay attention to how you are dressed.

But remember that unnecessarily expensive clothes - or rather a designer suit - will also attract close attention. Depending on the case, this is best avoided. You should also not buy clothes personally for such an occasion. Remember that the business style is, of course, good, but far from mandatory, and sometimes not even appropriate.

Clothing Tips

It is necessary to choose clothes for the court for participants in the process in different ways. So, for example, a lawyer (lawyer or representative), of course, needs to look really presentable. Therefore, he should, namely, should dress as strictly and efficiently as possible. At the same time to be neat and well-groomed. After all, the truth has long been known that the level of clientele that he will have depends on how he looks.

If you are an ordinary participant in the process, then dress in the way you are comfortable and comfortable. Just try to avoid worn things, and even more so dirty. But this is not necessary. Decide for yourself how you want to be thought of in the courtroom, and build on that.

So, do not think hard about what to wear, but rather get better prepared for the subject of the hearing.

Court session, negotiations, interview

“Of course, a suit is needed at client meetings and in court. Consultants are still perceived by the client audience quite conservatively, so the abundance of bright colors, harsh perfumes or, God forbid, jewelry on men (unfortunately, I came across this) not just inappropriate, but even harmful, "I’m sure Partner at Tomashevskaya & Partners Vsevolod Baibak. Therefore, at these events it is customary to observe the most stringent dress code - business formal (business traditional).

Business formal (business traditional) - A traditional formal business dress code. It involves a plain or almost imperceptible strip business suit in blue, black, brown or gray. At the same time, for girls, a suit with a skirt is preferred, the length of which is knee-length or slightly lower. The fabric should not have patterns or prints. Under the jacket there should be a light shirt, on his feet - closed shoes without a platform with a heel no higher than 5 centimeters. Allowed natural makeup and discreet jewelry.

Contrary to popular belief, business formal does not mean that you need to look boring and old-fashioned. This image always allows you to stay stylish. This is confirmed by the latest fashion collections, in which diverse strict costumes are presented, as well as photos of world celebrities who are not exactly connected with the need to attend court hearings, nevertheless choose a business formal dress code. In addition, if the situation allows, then a business formal suit can always be "diluted", for example, with a neckerchief. In the pattern and color of the neck scarf, you can already afford to be a mod and choose it based on the trends of the season. Also a win-win decoration of the business formal are brooches that can be worn one at a time or boldly attached to the lapel of the jacket at once.

Lawyer, partner of ICA "Yakovlev and Partners" Ekaterina Smirnova

Smirnova I am sure that the retro chic that is now fashionable can be easily adapted for a business event: the 40s retro chic allows you to combine a militarized jacket with a wide shoulders and a feminine skirt with lace or romantic polka dots, the style of the 50s with its legendary new look with an emphasis on the waist and elegant skirts just below the knee - the perfect solution for a business suit. The same applies to pantsuits from the 70s, which are embodied today in almost every fashion collection. And, of course, the retro chic of the 80s: after all, a jacket with super-wide shoulders is the main trend of the season.

Men can also complement their costume with some elegant elements, such as a bow tie.

My addiction to butterflies is caused by several reasons at once. Firstly, this accessory fits into the standards of the formal dress code, but allows you to bring a certain note of humor into it (I prefer informal colors). Secondly, this is undoubtedly a memorable feature (although now you won’t surprise anyone with this), which is not useless for a consultant. Thirdly, it is much more convenient than a classic tie, which often becomes a victim during business lunches - it is much more difficult to spoil a bow tie. And at the end of a difficult working day, it fits perfectly in your pocket and does not interfere with professional matters in a less formal atmosphere with colleagues. So personally to me a butterfly professionally brings one benefit.

Partner at Tomashevskaya & Partners Vsevolod Baibak

However, there is no need to overdo it with accessories, especially when it comes to participation in the court session. In a 2008 administrative offense hearing, Milwaukee County Court Judge William Sosney did not appreciate the dark red neckerchief of Attorney Warren Ziera, which harmonized with the handkerchief in the pocket of a gray pinstriped jacket (an approximate image of Warren Ziera is shown in the photo left). The resolution of the legal dispute was delayed for three hours due to the fact that the judge and the prosecutor could not resolve the dispute about the items of clothing - the judge considered this image “to the point of disrespect for the court”, the prosecutor considered it quite acceptable (see “What to wear in court "The problem is more serious than it seems.")

There are also many stories in Russia related to the inappropriate clothing of the participants in the process. This summer, lawyer Sergei Naumov (pictured right) came to the court hearing in a criminal case with sunglasses, a T-shirt, a sleeveless denim jacket, shorts and a bandana on his head. The Presidium of the Supreme Court of Mordovia issued him a private ruling. "With his appearance, he violated the order in the court session and refused to comply with the presiding judge’s request, and therefore the meeting was adjourned," the court’s website reports (see "The lawyer was deprived of his status because he came to court in shorts and a bandana" ) On July 27, the Law Chamber of Mordovia deprived Naumov of his status (though not only for his appearance at the trial), and on October 9 he will appeal this decision to the Leninsky District Court of Saransk.

Photo by Sergey Naumov from the site "News of Saransk and Mordovia" Capital C "

Court visitors are also subject to dress code requirements. In 2010, 20-year-old Jennifer LaPenta from Lake County (USA) was imprisoned because of her T-shirt that read "I have the pussy, so I make the rules". The irony of the incident was that there was no need for the girl to appear in court on that day - she simply decided to keep her companion company after classes in the gym. She explained her appearance by the fact that she did not have time to change clothes.

To avoid confusion, many courts publish warnings on their sites. So, the Seventeenth Arbitration Court of Appeal appealed to the participants in cases with a warning about unpleasant consequences that await them in case of non-compliance with the established dress code due to the summer heat. As the Perm appeal notes, visitors should wear business-style clothing that matches the status of a judicial institution (see “It’s forbidden to come to the court in shorts”).

However, there are lawyers who do not adhere to the rules and are very successful. American lawyer David Boyce became famous for attending all the hearings in an inexpensive suit (most often blue), a white shirt with a thin blue stripe, a tie and black sneakers, which have already become his trademark (he is pictured on the left). Neither judges nor clients have been embarrassed by his sneakers for a long time, especially since the lawyer has counted a lot of high-profile victories.

Photo from the Facebook community Ilfy, Rulfy and Inhausi

At the first trials, when there is an acquaintance between the participants, I usually adhere to a strictly business costume style. Subsequently, when a certain opinion has already been formed about the lawyer, you can afford the smart casual style. The attorney's clothing style should be appropriate to the situation. If we are talking about the termination of the criminal case for reconciliation of the parties and it is necessary to carry out mediation actions, do not choose too strict clothes, since such a look may hamper the negotiators. The same rule applies to negotiations with customers. A strict business shell in some situations not only does not give bonuses to conclude a contract, but can also steal them, since it does not contribute to creating an atmosphere of trust.

Partner "Zabeyda and partners" Daria Konstantinova

Each university has its own requirements for the clothes of students. Usually they are established by internal rules. For example, in Moscow State Law School you can’t appear in shorts, beach shales and tracksuits. In addition, clothes demonstrating religious affiliation are prohibited, and in general, students are recommended a business style and a neat appearance. At Moscow State University, St. Petersburg State University and the Higher School of Economics, clothing requirements for students are not established. But this does not mean that the student can afford to attend classes in anything.

Director of the Institute of Business Law, Moscow State Law Academy Ekaterina Tyagay I am sure that the uniform at the university should testify to respect for oneself and others. "Students of law schools should pay attention to the fact that the traditional requirement for a dress code at the university is the secular character of clothing. In addition, you need to understand that it is indecent to wear things in flashy logos, too frank outfits, and also clothes with provocative inscriptions." - says Pull.

There is a simple principle: you dress in such a way as to express not only your attitude to yourself, but also to others. No one is required to be a gray mouse, but all the costs of radical forms of self-expression are risks that you take on yourself, provoking others. You need to find the right balance between what you want to wear and what you want to achieve.

Director of the Institute of Business Law, Moscow State Law Academy Ekaterina Tyagay

Managing Partner of CLC, Associate Professor of the Department of Criminal Law, St. Petersburg State University Natalya Shatikhina notes that modern students are quite conservative in the choice of clothes and problems usually do not arise: "We have a civilian university, adults, everyone dresses as he wants. We must pay tribute to our students, they always look decent. I’m not confused by anything. "It’s a question, rather, of tradition and certain rules of behavior. I think it’s a question of the environment. It makes you look a certain way. Respect for the university in which you study, the forces that you spend on it have."

It is believed that the most suitable styles for law students are preppy style, smart casual and more strict.

Preppy style. This style originated in the 40-50s in America among students of elite schools, where they were preparing to enter the prestigious universities of the Ivy League. The basis of this style are polo shirts, plaid shirts, knitted vests and sweaters with diamonds and a coat of arms, blazers, bermudas, shorts, knee-highs, dresses and pleated skirts. From shoes - moccasins, ballet shoes, loafers, oxfords, shoes with a small heel. Particular attention is paid to accessories - handbag, hair ornaments (ribbons, hairpins, headbands), ties, butterflies. As a rule, natural fabrics are chosen for clothes of this style: cashmere, wool, cotton, linen. The characteristic colors are deep blue, red, sand, bright yellow, khaki, beige.

Smart casual - elegant casual wear. This style became popular in the 50s among office workers and business people in America and Europe. For men, he suggests a white shirt, sweater, sleeveless jacket, jacket, plain jeans of the classic type. Legs can have loafers, oxfords, monks or derby. A woman dressed in smart casual style wears a white men's shirt, pullover, vest, jacket, straight dress, pencil skirt, straight jeans, cropped dress pants. Of shoes, low-heeled pumps are preferred. It is allowed to wear a shirt or T-shirt without a jacket. This style involves the availability of accessories - a scarf, a neckerchief, glasses for men, a headdress and large jewelry for women.

Despite the established rules, there are teachers who treat students' clothes much more at ease.

I think the law school should be free in every sense, this is important for the education of consciously responsible citizens and professionals. Moreover, the style of dress reflects the student’s inner world, which is also good and useful, in my opinion. When I was studying, in the "dashing nineties" someone dressed in what a lot, but there was diversity, a colorful and funny picture. Now, as “they began to dress better,” students are more strict and formal, you can often find suits and ties as casual wear. A hippy student is now more likely a rarity. True, there has been less freedom over 20 years - perhaps this is reflected in clothes too.

Partner, FBK Legal, Associate Professor, Department of Constitutional Law of Foreign Countries, Moscow State Law Academy Alexander Ermolenko

As you can see, even among lawyers there are those who do not consider it necessary to strictly abide by the established dress code and at the same time feel great. So the rules are the rules, but the main thing is to be a professional and always remain yourself.

How to dress in court

Unfortunately, many of us in life are faced with very unpleasant lawsuits, procedural measures, but this does not mean at all that in such situations you can afford to look not comme il faut. A very important detail in order to be taken seriously in court is how you will be dressed. Indeed, based on your appearance, the first idea about you and your intentions will be made.

So, how to dress in court?

Do not dress too bright and fashionable, just do not dress ultra conservatively. Try to find a middle ground. Forget about “floor-length” dresses and screaming long skirts for going to court: in this way you will look very bizarre. If in the first case you will look like a pathos lady from the Victorian era, then in the second you can pass for a very frivolous woman. Do not depart from the conservative color scheme, which, according to unwritten laws, was adopted at such events. Opt for the white, black and gray colors of your outfit. The rest of the things in your wardrobe that do not fit into this framework will certainly be postponed for a more suitable case than your participation in a lawsuit. Remember the most important thing - you do not go to a party or a date, but to an event where little fun and entertainment takes place.

Well, when we are done with the theory, let's move on to practice:

  1. Top of clothes. The most basic thing that will concern your entire outfit for the court, including its top, is a minimum of sexuality. Forget about the deep neckline and translucent things, very few people will appreciate such an institution. The ideal solution for you is a blouse, shirt or t-shirt (of course, a suitable color scheme, simple cut, no patterns). But you should not choose blouses of the "grandmother's" category, because nobody has yet canceled the beauty and fashion.
  2. Bottom of the image. Say no to tight-fitting leggings and belt-like skirts. A simple cut skirt (for example, blue, black or gray), black trousers or jeans that do not cause models will look great.
  3. Footwear. Shoes for every woman are an important detail. For going to court it is better to exclude open, defiant shoes. For the summer, classic shoes are suitable - boats, or neat black ballet shoes, for spring and autumn - ankle boots or half boots of the corresponding models, and for winter - boots that are not too long.
  4. A bag. If you decide to supplement your image for the court with a handbag, then remember that it should be in harmony with the already selected clothing details. Do not forget that the contents of the handbag will have to be shown to the appropriate person. For these reasons, it is better to grab a small handbag and try to get by with a minimum of things that you put in it.
  5. Accessories. For such a case, precious metals will certainly fit, but not jewelry. Лучший вариант – «спокойный» комплект из золота или серебра, включающий в себя аккуратные серьги, незамысловатого вида кольцо, при желании можно дополнить образ тоненьким браслетом на запястье.

Знаниями о том, как правильно одеться в суд, чтобы Вас воспринимали серьезно, теперь Вы вооружены. Но не забывайте поговорку: «Встречают по одежке, а провожают по уму».