I was at a bar convention last week taking care of those annoying continuing legal education credits, and I have something to say to those guys in their 20s and 30s I saw wearing bow ties with their suits. Please stop.
You may think it makes you look cool and “old school,” poised to go all Atticus Finch at a moment’s notice on perpetrators of injustice. It doesn’t.
It comes across as exactly what it is–an affectation. At best, it makes you look like you’re trying to be something you’re not. In other words, it’s the legal profession’s equivalent of driving a Hummer. At worst, it makes you look like a brown-noser. While stroking the senior partner’s ego by dressing like him may have short-term benefits, it’s going to cause your colleagues to resent you, and when that same senior partner gladly pushes you in front of a bus to save himself, no one is going to come to your rescue.
When you’ve practiced law for thirty years, you’ll have earned the right to wear whatever you want, and then you can put on the bow tie. Until then, for the sake of everyone, maybe you should put less energy into trying to look like a good lawyer and more energy into trying to be one.