Friday, November 5, 2010

Clothing Drive for Law Students

I try not to cover the same topics as Above the Law.  Even though I used to read it religiously while employed with Big Law, I don't anymore and I'd like to think that we have different readers.  However, I think this little story deserves coverage.
Duquesne is having a clothing drive for 1Ls, because the can't afford to dress professionally--which is probably Step 1 in nailing the interview.

The Duquesne University School of Law is holding a Professional Clothing Drive for Law Students.
We are accepting gently worn professional clothing* for 1st Year Law Students preparing for the Oral Argument Program in the spring and all Law Students preparing for job and internship interviews.
Clothing can be dropped off at the Main Office of the Law School between the hours of 8:30 am and 8:00 pm (Monday through Friday) and
9:00 am to 12:00 pm (On select Saturdays please call for dates). A receipt will be provided for your tax-deductible donation.
* We are accepting business suits for women and men as well as shoes, ties, belts and accessories.

Of course, you probably know where I'm going with this.  This needs to be extended to lawyers.  I go to the Courthouse nearly every day and attorneys dress like... well, like poor people.  Yes, there are those that foolishly spend their money on designer suits.  However, there are many more that throw an old sports jacket over a pair of slacks and call it a suit.  Their shoes are old and cracked and falling apart.  If they even bother to have dress shoes  Many more don sneakers or flip flops--well, the women certainly do.  Don't let me get started on the women.  There is no suit requirement for the women--it seems.  In the summer, female attorneys would go to court in sundresses and a cardigan.  Sometimes sans cardigan and bra.  Some looked like they are going to the park to sun themselves after court after the status conference.  I dress like an idiot in court because my clothes, knowing that I have no means to replace them, now have holes all over them.  It's ridiculous. I spent good money on these clothes when I was employed--why are they falling apart now?
So, anyone on board?  Let's ask the financial industry with their generous bonuses (due to our fucking TARP money) to donate their Hugo Boss suits to the impoverished legal industry. I would get in line for a couple of suits.  Would you?


  1. A lot of law schools have programs like this one...which should be a red flag to anyone seeing it.

    When I found out about the program at my school, my head tilted like the RCA dog with the record player at the extent of the scam. You have thousands of kids going into six figure debt for the rest of their foreseeable lives but don't have the disposable income at the beginning of the process for "attorney appropriate attire."

    You know what would be a better idea? Not charging so frakking much for books and credit hours so students could actually afford to buy their own suits.

    Here's a better idea Zero Lemmings

    1. Skip law school
    2. Spend the thousands of dollars that you would waste for your Contracts course credits learning about shit like the mailbox rule on a really great "wardrobe," car or house
    3. Find a job doing anything else but the law that would make you happier than going through with it (pretty much anything else works)

    My other favorite "fashion" trend amongst law students--many of whom had never even worn a suit before--leaving the pockets sewn shut and/or the label tag on the sleeve.

    Beeteedubs, some other awesome services provided by law schools for your tuition dollars? Table manners for "interview & networking" lunches with real mock eating!!! Seriously...

    I imagine that it's more of an issue for "lower tier schools" as the TLS types generally don't need "upper class/manner school" education. Anyone from HYS or UVA have any experience with "free suit programs" at their schools?

    In general, I don't really know if you even need a suit after you graduate & you're working at Best Buy selling TVs with a juris doctorate.

  2. "'Barack still has the same pants and shirts that he had when we got married, which is why I crack up when people say he is one of the best dressed men,' she said
    'I think that maybe that means like he looks good in his clothes because he is tall and thin, but if you look up close, the pants have a hole in the back. And the shoes, I looked at them the other day and I said, you need new shoes.'"

    Read more:

  3. Not entirely sure what you have against ATL readers. But whatever.

    Although clothes make the man, I've never really focused on what other attorneys wear. I mean, as long as they're not slobs, it doesn't really matter. i couldn't tell designers if my life depended on it.

    Oftentimes in the summer, i don't wear a tie. And even non-summer when I do wear a tie, I start out in the mornings with it tied up tight, and it almost always evolves into me unbuttoning the top button and loosening the tie. (Apparently, this is now the "cool" way to wear a tie. I did it before it was cool!!!) Who wants to feel choked the entire day?

    If you treat your clothes nicely, they tend not to fall apart. Ironically, I'm tempted to say that expensive clothing falls apart easier than mid-price.

    My favorite styles are ExpressMen (which I consider mid-price. maybe some might consider cheap.). Anyway, I've had Express shirts for years. They look nice, and I feel comfortable in them. No need to go super-designer.

  4. Clothes are nice. I think a better give away would be condoms. I see this as being essential for law students;

    1. Since they are getting fucked, it's a good idea to be protected. Sure, that law school seemed safe after a few beers and that episode of law and order where the assistant D.A. shows her cleavage...but suffice to say he has been with a lot of people. And when he's done fucking you, there will be another one lined up right behind. A reach around would be nice, but don't expect it.

    2. Procreation. Do we really need law students to reproduce? We have to stop the cycle somewhere, and this seems like a good starting point.

    3. If you do get a job someday, you will need to fuck your clients to get by. Again, better safe than sorry. Wrap yourselves in the condom of law, and charge least until you get that student loan paid for and you qualify for another bad decision in buying a home that will not be worth what you pay.

  5. Demos nailed it, in hilarious fashion!

    What a paradox, though. You are taking out $100K in non-dischargeable debt for an admission ticket to the bar exam - with NO guarantee of employment - but do not have disposable income on the front end to buy a damn suit?!?!

    These programs should scream out to lemmings the nature of this rotten "profession." Also, I have seen PLENTY of older attorneys still wearing ratty, outdated JC Penney suits, dress shoes that are falling apart, and driving 1984 Buick LeSabres. Isn't that the picture of success?!?!

    By the way, these are the bastards who went to law school WELL before yearly tuition reached $30K-$40K per year.

  6. I look and dress like a bum.
    My sport jacket is threadbare and my shoes are old.
    When I go to court and am against big or midtown firm people, I can see them laughing at me and looking down their nose at me.
    But you know what? A used suit won't help my career. I live off bread crumbs. I am like a pigeon in the park, a dirty despised living thing.
    For the retail clients I deal with (I cannot say clientele because my clients are illegal immigrants and the like) I don't want to have a suit because then they won't pay my bill and ask me to do the job pro bono.

    So better to "dress the part."

    "Dress for success" = dress the failure that you is!



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