I remember watching Legally Blonde while I was in law school and realizing even then how unrealistic it was. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the movie and I still do now, but I never for a second thought that my career would be anything like that. I was even more confident that there would be no pink suits in my professional wardrobe.
It seems that not everyone was quite as ready to accept the realities of the professional world. Meet the self-proclaimed Law Lady, Melissa K. Dubose. Ms. Dubose (or MkD, as she has dubbed herself) runs a solo criminal defense practice in Dallas, touting herself as “a brazen straight-shooter with a passion for fighting injustice and a knack for uncovering doubt.”
She also appears to have a knack for dressing as though she works in a David E. Kelley-created law firm. The main page of the website shows MkD in the requisite pink “suit,” staring into the sky with an almost super-hero-like gaze, perhaps caught in the middle of her fight against injustice.
This opening shot is just the beginning of the legal fashion show. A tour through the Law Lady’s website provides a good sampling of the
legal services costume changes that MkD has to offer…
Dubose appears to have hired a decent professional photographer to capture the many facets of MkD. On the “About MkD” page, we get to see another classic look from the fictional female lawyer collection (perhaps inspired by the short-lived Girls Club), the cleavage-exposing man-eater pose — containing all the key elements, from the tight black skirt suit and lacy camisole (bustier?) to the comically oversized pearls.
For the remaining pictures on the site, MkD opted to sport the same white dress in various settings, with multiple escalator shots (here and here). But in this white dress, we get to explore the range of MkD’s emotions, from soft and seductive to crazy stalker.
The website pictures are so prominent and distracting that it’s easy to miss the fact that Ms. Dubose is offering legitimate legal services and hoping to be taken seriously as professional. As our tipster aptly put it, the website screams “Daddy is subsidizing my legal career.” I can’t help but think that MkD decided to become a lawyer the first time she watched Clueless and heard Cher proclaim, “Daddy’s a litigator. Those are the scariest kind of lawyer.”
Once you get past the pictures, if you can, you’ll see that Ms. Dubose has a lot to say about criminal defense. Her view of the impact of a criminal conviction on a person’s life suggests some interesting priorities:
There is a process and, with the proper defense, you can rest assured you’ll have the best chance of reducing the impact of this misstep on your life, job, family and most importantly, your pocketbook.
Now, if I were facing jail time for criminal activity, I think I might worry about my life, job and family before I worried how much it would cost me financially, but maybe that’s just me.
An assault conviction in Texas carries very serious consequences. It can affect your immigration status, your ability to rent an apartment, get accepted into educational programs and even limit your ability to own a firearm.
If there was any doubt that we were dealing with Texas, that list of priorities should pretty much clear it up. And why expunctions? Because, “[m]any times people don’t realize that traces of past run-in’s with the law are still lingering in their criminal background.”
This is unfortunately not the only typo on the website. But I do applaud the use of Johnnie Cochran quotes to ensure potential clients that “MkD gets results”: “If it doesn’t fit…you must acquit!”
MkD is also the first lawyer I’ve seen who is willing to accept payment via PayPal, in amounts as small as $100.
Ladies, we’ve said it a million times: if you want to be taken seriously as a professional, you have to act and dress the part. Stop taking fashion cues from fake Hollywood law firms and save your tarting it up for the weekends. And unless you’re a photographer, your latest photo shoot shouldn’t be the most prominent feature of your website.
UPDATE (10/31/2011): DuBose took our good-natured ribbing in stride and wrote a humorous rebuttal for the Texas Lawyer, Pretty Power: Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful. It’s nice to see a lawyer with a sense of humor.