Bobby Allyn of The Tennessean reported in a story about efforts by Rutherford County Circuit Judge Royce Taylor to impose a dress code for women lawyers. Judge Taylor issued a memo on the subject of proper dress for women attorneys. The memo did not address a specific code of dress but referred all questions to his assistant.
Comments posted to the newspaper article range to the extremes on both sides of the issue. As well as the attorneys quoted in the article. First , lawyers should dress with respect for the court and the legal process. However , there is a difference in dress for a murder trial verses doing an uncontested divorce. Putting down written standards may be a little harsh. Causal Fridays have evolved into a relaxed dress code for many. The difference is when a lawyer appears in court and what type of case.
If the memo was aimed at attorneys of both sexes , it might not have been a big deal. However , the memo targeted women lawyers. Male lawyers are just as bad ,but a guy can put on a jacket and a tie no matter how hideous it may look. Disclaimer. I may dress a little outside the box with seersucker suits and a few choice shoe colors.
The dress code memo has created a stir in the press. Even the American Bar Association has issued a article on Judge Taylor’s memo. It appears if you just Google dress code for women lawyers Judge Taylor is everywhere. What the furor have been different if it addressed men and women lawyers.
Should women be singled out ? Should lawyers dress be regulated by the courts ? I can only imagine what Justice Scalia would say if a women lawyer showed up for oral argument in a short dress and a halter top. Every court appearance is different. Why not different dress ? The market place will settle the dispute. Will clients hire lawyers no matter how they dress ? Or will they hire the most professional and best lawyer they can hire. I guess it is a continuation of the office less lawyer . Dress for success no more.