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Monday, May 20, 2024 | Back issues
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Sartorial Splendor

Favorite recent quote: "For most people, sartorial elegance and automotive excellence equals legal expertise."

Everyone wants to go to jail in style.

The quote was from a Chicago Tribune story that gave us the startling news that some lawyers use social media and like to dress up and spend money on cars.

An amazing revelation.

Still, it was an interesting contrast to another fashion discussion in the Above the Law report of a brouhaha over a memo sent to women lawyers at the law firm Clifford Chance.

The author of the report - a woman - described the memo as "what may be one of the most sexist Biglaw memos we've ever seen."

Now click the report link above and take a look at the story on the website.

Notice anything unusual?

If you haven't got it yet, keep staring at the page.

I now have a personal confession: I am a straight male. As far as I know, I was born that way.

It's a hard thing to admit in public but it explains my reaction.

Yes, the fascinating (in more ways than one) thing about the Above the Law story on a sexist memo was the accompanying photo of a buxom blonde in a low-cut blouse staring intently at a laptop.

I was having trouble making my eyes move back to the story.

Heterosexuality is a terrible burden.

My guess is that the author may have had an interesting conversation with the editor of the website.

Unless she's the blonde ...

But let's get back to the memo. One of the odd things about it was that it came from the firm's "Women's Committee" and went out to all the firm's women attorneys. The assumption - and this could be wrong - is that the authors of the memo were female.

You can decide for yourself whether it's sexist or not. It seemed to me that all of the tips could have been applied equally to male attorneys. I don't want to be distracted by their cleavage either.

I was puzzled by some of the other non-sexist (I think) tips.

"Speak like David Childs is in the audience."

I'm guessing they don't mean the famous architect or the euphonium player. There's a David Childs who is the firm's managing partner.

So does that mean more or less cleavage? Is David Childs straight?

"Pretend you're in moot court, not the high school cafeteria."

Why would you have to pretend? Shouldn't you know where you are?

"Slow down."

The next tip is: "Speed up."

Obey all traffic signs, I guess.

"Resonate: fill up your mouth with your voice."

I have no idea what that means, but it sounds dirty.

"Don't hide behind your hair."

If you're bald, skip to the next tip.

"Don't use a draggy pace, watch your audience's eyes."

You need to know when to run.

And perhaps best advice of all: "Develop strategies for the worst case scenario."

If the audience attacks, be sure your weapons are loaded and the escape route is clear.

More Fashion: Above the Law is hosting an "exciting fashion law forum" this month.

It seems that "(f)ashion law is a quickly growing specialty practice area - a place where IP and corporate junkies alike can aspire to dress stylishly while honing their legal skills in the glamorous world of haute couture law."

The web story about this is accompanied by a picture of a line of models' legs.

I'm pretty sure the web editor is a straight guy.

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