As business dress becomes more casual, a written dress code policy is important for any law firm. When drafting your firm’s dress code, consider your firm’s culture, your geographic location (for example, metropolitan area or rural firm) and what you goals you want to achieve through a written policy.
If your firm does not have a dress code, below is a sample law firm dress code that you can modify to meet the needs of your firm. If you are new to the legal industry and need a few guidelines for proper dress, the dress code below can help. You can also review these dress code guidelines for men and rules for women.
Law Firm Dress Code
You should exercise good taste and common sense when selecting appropriate business attire.
Casual and business attire should be clean, pressed and wrinkle free, without holes or frayed areas. Small logo’s (Polo, Izod etc.) are acceptable; pictures and large promotional information are not acceptable on shirts or slacks.
If firm personnel are scheduled to meet with clients or visitors, traditional business attire is expected when appropriate (use discretion).
Attorneys and senior administrative personnel must have access in the office to professional business attire for unplanned court appearances, client meetings and other events requiring formal business attire.
Acceptable Clothing for Men
Acceptable clothing for men includes casual slacks (non-denim only), khakis, dress shirts, (short or long sleeve) sweaters: crew, V-neck (only with collared shirt) and cardigans. Acceptable shoes include thin to medium sole leather shoes: lace-up loafers, dock shoes or Rockport style.
Unacceptable clothing for men includes casual shirts without collars, sweatshirts, T-shirts, denim of any type or color, sweat suits, shorts, jogging or warm up suits, jeans of any color or style, athletic shoes, thongs, flip-flops, moccasins or sandals. Golf shirts with large logo’s or lettering are also prohibited.
Acceptable Clothing for Women
Acceptable clothing for women includes sweaters (lightweight, turtlenecks, crew, V-neck and cardigans), vests (worn with short or long-sleeved shirts), blouses, knit tops and collared polo shirts. Acceptable pants include khakis, linen blends, silk, twills or corduroy and Capri pants that end close to the ankle. Acceptable shoes include thin to medium-sole leather shoes, loafers, pumps or any updated style with a low or stacked heel, open-toed or dress sandals.
Unacceptable clothing for women includes tight, sheer and low-cut clothing of any style, sweatshirts, t-shirts, denim of any type or color, spaghetti straps, open backs, midriff, tank tops, halter tops, stretch pants, stirrup pants, jogging or warm-up suits, jeans of any color or style, casual shorts, dress shorts, miniskirts and Capri pants that end close to the knee.
Unacceptable shoes for women include athletic shoes, thongs, moccasins, flip-flops and platform heels.