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Female Attorneys Urged to Cover Up in Court


After noticing that female attorneys were apparently not being held to the same standard as men when it came to apparel, Tennessee circuit judge Royce Taylor of Rutherford County has issued a memo that stated, "Your personal appearance in court is a reflection upon the entire legal profession. Litigants and members of the public should be confident that we both act and look professional." Translation, please? No sleeveless dresses and no low-cut blouses.

While Judge Taylor told The Wall Street Journal Law Blog that it was a "delicate" issue and he didn't quite know how to address it, he said he decided to draw the line after he noticed that a female attorney showed up to a workers' compensation hearing wearing a golf shirt. After a colleague told him about a female attorney who reportedly wore sweatpants to work, he decided to send a memo.

Theoretically, I have no problem with this. After all, sweatpants in the workplace don't exactly inspire confidence in clients, no matter who you are (by the way, is there such a place where it is socially acceptable to wear sweatpants in the workplace? Can I work there?). However, I would be interested in knowing whether Judge Taylor was equally hard on the men in his courtroom. Somehow, I don't think a man showing up to a workers' comp hearing in a golf shirt would cause such a stir. But I could be wrong! In fact, I would be happy to be proven wrong.

In the meantime, here's the really important question: What does everybody's favorite fictional lawyer Ally McBeal, wearer of short skirts, think of this decision!?

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