Business casual was intended to be a good thing, right?
It was supposed to make stuffy male lawyers hip and stylish; give them the sartorial freedom of artists, advertising execs and entrepreneurs. But sadly, all it did was open the door for them to reveal what dorks they really are—and make female associates yearn for the days when they wore boring (while somewhat sexy) wool suits.
Case and point: My most miserable daily interactions are with a junior partner who outfits himself in Dri-FIT three-fifths of the week. Really. I don’t care that the emblem suggests he sat within spitting distance of Tiger at the Masters, or that he went on a “guys’ trip” to St. Andrews—if he doesn’t have the sense to understand that a fabric meant to wick away sweat from the skin has no place in a law firm, then I don’t see why I should be forced to take abuse from him. Until he starts paying attention to the stains on his khakis and mis-matched socks stuffed into his nubuck Merrell Jungle Mocs, he can spare me the preachy diatribes about “failing to pay attention to detail.”
Oh, and I can’t forget about the senior partner whose screaming rants always center on the same billing-centric theme—“We almost lost the client because the bill for your summary judgment research was so large”—and yet this clown shows up for meetings with his precious clients wearing an ill-fitting gold-buttoned navy blazer tossed carelessly over a wrinkled golf shirt with high-water, pleated Dockers.
Don’t get me wrong, I always knew that Big Firm life would involve poor treatment and significant psychological abuse. I just never expected it would be administered by a bunch of guys dressed like Bill Belichick. It’s okay to be abused by a D-bag in Zegna, but getting denigrated by some chump in an out-of-date J. Crew oxford is downright insulting. If you don’t have enough social intelligence to dress like a professional, you shouldn’t be allowed to condescend to me for an occasional citation error. I’m not sure why, but you just shouldn’t.
But maybe that’s the whole point. There is no logic to this law firm universe since it seems to me that the animals are, in fact, running the zoo. The geeks are now the quarterbacks. It’s like the minute you pass the bar, the entire social hierarchy is upside down, which is terrific if you’re a geek.
What I’m saying is, I’m pretty sure there’s no place for a hot cheerleader like me in a legal high school where the cool guys wear Dri-FIT.
Check out more from Law Firm 10. Go ahead, she likes it when you look.