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Do Clients Care if Their Lawyer Wears Jeans?

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. | Last updated on

Does your law firm have a dress code? If not, you might want to take a look at your client base and consider implementing one.

After all, you never know who may stroll through the door.

Conservative clients might balk if they notice their attorney is wearing jeans and flip-flops. That said, less conservative clients may take the opposite stance, and might prefer a more relaxed law firm culture.

Law firms might find other reasons to adopt casual wear in the office. Casual dress codes can lend itself to "creativity," which is why Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan attorneys don t-shirts and raggedy jeans.

But, most attorneys realize that Quinn Emanuel's dress code is likely on the extreme casual end of the spectrum. Attorneys should probably err on the side of caution and at least wear business casual clothes when meeting with new or prospective clients.

Casual dress codes are popular amongst attorneys and non-attorney staff members.

Just don't let casual wear go too far.

One legal assistant from New York complained that her boss advised her that "jeggings" were inappropriate for the workplace.

Jeggings are essentially skin-tight leggings that give the appearance of jeans.
As a general rule, it's probably advisable for legal professionals to leave garments described as "skin-tight" at home.

But, adopting a more relaxed dress code (with some limitations, like a "no jegging" policy) for certain situations might earn you some goodwill from harried associates. And, it won't sacrifice your firm's reputation and image.

For example, how about letting associates and staff don casual clothes during days where they won't interface with clients?

After all, though it's true that some clients won't care at all about your law firm's dress code, you certainly don't want alienate those clients that do care.

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