I Am Not Impressed.

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.

3 thoughts on “I Am Not Impressed.

  1. kevin January 30, 2009 / 9:27 pm

    I’ve never known them to be cool so I can’t say that’s why we wear them, also never associated them with Atticus Finch or any one else from that novel. I am who I am and I am not trying to be anyone other than that, we choose to wear what we do not as an extension of others but ourselfs. Considering that any bowtie wearer is one of a kind I can’t see who they would be sucking up to keeping in mind that their colleagues are wearing regular ties and would only be distancing themselfs by doing so. To save ones self garneshes a value of life, it is ones determination to live that dictates them to push another in harms way not they clothes on their back. The bowtie is not a article of the lawyer it is acceptable to wear amoung all professions, and is a privilage not a right for one to wear. Perhaps for some they wear thmto stand out or be diffrent others wear them functional purposes. I can tell you that we do not wear them to mimic others or to present a false image of self worth. Teh same reason you wear a certain shoes or carry a specific bag with you is the same reason we wear bowties, not because it distorts how we are precived by others but because we simply prefer them to regualr ties. all those things you mentioned are the exact reasons why we choose to be diffrent and do dress diffrently then our peers.

  2. Gabriel Gadfly February 10, 2009 / 10:17 am

    I used to see the same at all the history conventions I went to in college. Young guys wearing tweed jackets with the patched on the elbows, and bow ties.

  3. Matthew February 10, 2009 / 10:36 am

    I like tweed jackets with leather patches, but I would wear a pair of jeans and maybe a vest with no tie.

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