Question to all the lady lawyers out there (sorry, I like the alliteration): How often do your superiors lecture you on your professional dress? Judging by all these tips we get about memos that lecture women on appropriate office wear, it's all the damn time.
The latest example involves Loyola Law School: Above The Law has gotten ahold of their memo about appropriate behavior to students on externships. This includes a special line for the ladies about not showing cleavage and stiletto heels, as follows:
I really don't need to mention that cleavage and stiletto heels are not appropriate office wear (outside of ridiculous lawyer TV shows), do I? Yet I'm getting complaints from supervisors...
Not only did the memo leave out dress guidelines for men (I guess they just innately know that pink polo shirts or sagging pants are inappropriate), Loyola's warning to female students was hypocritical and tactless, as Above the Law's Staci Zaretsky points out:
No, you don't need to mention that cleavage and stiletto heels are inappropriate office wear in a widely disseminated public memo, but you just did. We'd love to know how many complaints were received that this information needed to be presented to students in such an incredibly condescending way.
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Of course, maybe this was enough of a problem for female students that Loyola thought it worth it to widely disseminate this message. It's still annoying since so many law firms feel the need tosingle out women in this way. And funnily enough, this guideline flies in the face of a New York University law professor's advice for women to get ahead in law by "advising ladies to wear skirts to appeal to men, makeup to look healthy and competent, and heels to appear more powerful," which must be so confusing to lady lawyers and their lizard brains!
Or it just means that we can't win, especially in this profession.
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