Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dress and Etiquette Really Matter for Lawyers

Lawyers have an expectation to uphold -- be different at your own risk!

I had a most wonderful conversation at lunch today with another business development professional for lawyers. We discussed the appearance and demeanor of different lawyers and how that was working for them, or against. It was amazing to us how many attorneys have a total disregard for how they look, the quality of character they project or the social skills that draw people into wanting to know them.

Here is my opinion: Corporate executives stereotype lawyers. It's not fair and it is true. Lawyers need to appear composed, sophisticated, successful and competent in all of the best ways. A lawyer should display good taste in apparel, be a graceful communicator and have impeccable etiquette.

"This is who I am" may work in other professions but lawyers are held to a higher standard. Either meet expectation or suffer consequence. If you have no clue what I am talking about than you need an immediate adjustment.

If you do not have a tailor, get one. If you do not have a coach, find one right now. If you do not know which fork to grab first in a dinner setting, make the effort to figure it out. You are a lawyer! Meet the expectations of your potential clients!