June 01, 2017

Courtroom Decorum: Why Are We Still Talking About What Women Wear to Court?

Joy M. Soloway

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I recently had coffee with an associate and a young partner—a casual mentoring interlude among three women colleagues on a Tuesday afternoon. I’m a partner and not so young anymore; 56 to be exact.

The associate told us that a firm client—a woman—asked her, in front of a male partner, to please wear a dress at the upcoming trial. Apparently, according to the client, literature shows that women trial attorneys are more “relatable” when wearing a dress. The associate wasn’t sure if this request bothered her or if it should bother her.

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