We’ve written about appropriate courtroom attire quite frequently in the past few months. By now, you’d think that everyone, including journalists covering the courts, would have a firm grasp of what ought to be worn to show respect for the judicial process. But, as always, someone just had to go and prove us wrong.
Apparently a reporter’s fashion sense (or lack thereof) caused a major kerfuffle this week at the High Court in Wellington, New Zealand. Laura McQuillan, writing for NZ Newswire, was dressed so inappropriately that she was ejected from the courthouse before the proceedings she was observing broke for lunch.
Because nothing says you take your job seriously like dressing like a low-rent disco queen to report on a high-profile murder trial….
Courtroom or catwalk? Perp walk or runway strut? These are the “important” questions that the media has focused on in recent years when it comes to celebrities’ run-ins with the law. Headlines focus not on their underlying criminal offenses, but instead on their couture du jour.
This rings especially true in the case of Lindsay Lohan. From head to toe, LiLo’s courtroom fashion choices are hot-button issues that result in full-length articles in fashion magazines, gossip blogs, and even the New York Times.
When everyone is commenting on your clothing, you know that you’re doing something right (or something very, very wrong). And unfortunately for our favorite Mean Girl, those comments usually aren’t very nice….
Last week we asked for your input on the most flattering hairstyle for Judge Janice Rogers Brown, of the exceedingly prestigious D.C. Circuit. Judge Brown, a high-powered and conservative jurist, may someday be the first African-American woman to sit on the Supreme Court.
We offered you a choice of two looks: “Bangs Janice” and “Perm Janice.” And “Bangs Janice” won in a landslide, with 92 percent of the vote.*
We can see why. Consider this reader email (with photographic support):
This is an easy one: “Bangs Janice” all the way. With bangs, Judge Brown looks like the hip and attractive comedienne, Wanda Sykes:
“Perm Janice,” on the other hand, calls to mind a different black woman:
We agree; Judge Brown should steer clear of that second look. Left-wingers already try to reduce Judge Brown to a racial stereotype (as BlackCommentator.com did when it published an offensivecartoon of her). Judge Brown doesn’t need to help them do it.**
Do you know of a prominent figure within the legal profession who sports two (or more) divergent looks? If so, please let us know. We’re always seeking other candidates to go before the jury in ATL’s Courtroom of Style.
* One reader objected to our hairstyle terminology. But even if our terms were erroneous, we provided photographs to make clear which hairstyle was which. So voters should not have been confused.
** Conservatives wereoutraged by the JRB cartoon. In the words of Byron York, the cartoon depicted Judge Brown “as a fat black woman with huge lips, an unruly Afro, and an enormous backside.” Earlier: A Random Friday Poll: The Hairstyles of Judge Janice Rogers Brown
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!