Wait, law students aren’t supposed to do this?

If you’re a woman working in the legal profession, the odds are already stacked high against you, especially if you want to work for a large law firm. You’ll likely be paid less than your male colleagues. You’ll find that your life’s work has been reduced to a diversity talking point. Motherhood might as well be a crime. You can’t even dress yourselves without assistance.

We’ve heard about that last point of contention from law schools, multiple bar associations (see here and here), and even law firms. The latest slight against women comes from yet another law school, one perhaps too eager to assure potential employers that its female students exude the sensibilities of Lauren Bacall, not Marilyn Monroe.

How many times do women in the law need to be told not to dress like streetwalkers? Enough already…

Last night, we started receiving reports of a memo entitled “Ethics, Professionalism and Course Requirements for Off Campus Externs” that was distributed by Loyola Law School’s externship director to all students working in judicial chambers, government agencies, and public interest law firms for class credit. One of it recipients contacted us, directing our attention to this slide in particular:

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.

Nevermind the fact that no guidelines for men were given. These are just a few of the reasons why the ladies of Loyola shouldn’t dress like the job they want is underneath a partner’s desk or a judge’s robes:

Your reputation in the legal community starts now! The legal community is small in L.A. and judges lawyers who have unprofessional experiences with externs TALK freely amongst themselves about the experiences. It can be embarrassing.

Your behavior in the field will create an impression and reflect vicariously on the quality of Loyola Law School and its students.

There are much more delicate ways to inform law students that they’ll bring shame to Loyola Law if their skirts are too short, their necklines are too low, and their heels are too high. This wasn’t one of them.

Earlier: Biglaw Memo From Top Firm Advises That Women ‘Don’t Giggle,’ Don’t ‘Show Cleavage’
A Message from Career Services: Ladies, Please Learn How to Dress Yourselves


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