Summer Associate Clothing

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 331506
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Summer Associate Clothing

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:51 pm

What do associates wear every day? Business casual with a jacket?

What should a summer wear the first day, a suit?

I've heard it's important to keep a suit at the office and a set of more business casual clothes for going out.

toast and bananas

Bronze
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:59 pm

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby toast and bananas » Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:03 pm

Come on man it's an interview just wear a suit every day. For going out just take your tie off unless not coming from the office. You don't need a full change of clothes - maybe a shirt in case you spill something on it.

User avatar
nealric

Moderator
Posts: 3055
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby nealric » Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What do associates wear every day? Business casual with a jacket?

What should a summer wear the first day, a suit?

I've heard it's important to keep a suit at the office and a set of more business casual clothes for going out.


You may want to wear a suit on the first day (some people will, though it depends on the firm culture). Beyond that, just business casual. You should wear what associates were wearing when you interviewed at the firm. A lot of attorneys will keep a backup suit in the office in the event of an unexpected client meeting or court appearance- it's possible that you might be invited as an SA, but hard to predict.

icansortofmath

New
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:49 pm

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby icansortofmath » Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:45 pm

I always wore well fitted suits... 4 levels of suitedness:

The ensemble
Tie off
Jacket and tie off
Jacket and tie off with sleeves rolled up

Seriously people don’t care that much. Just make sure you look put together and you’ll be fine.

User avatar
papermateflair

New
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:49 pm

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby papermateflair » Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:55 pm

I would definitely wear a suit the first day (some firms do head shots for name badges or internal directory pictures, so you don't want to come off too casual), unless they tell you otherwise. Then scope it out and figure out what the dress code is, and try not to do anything radically different. Assuming your firm is business casual, that can vary a bit from person to person and day to day - some days I can throw a suit jacket on and be able to meet with clients, and other days my outfit is definitely on the more casual side. Learn further towards the business end of business casual until you can figure it out (it should take just a couple of days of walking around the firm to get a sense for how people are dressed). I never kept a full suit in the office as a summer (and I don't now) - I would just leave a jacket in the office (and maybe a tie if you're a man) and you should be fine. You're not going to get no-offered over your clothes unless something goes radically wrong.

User avatar
LaLiLuLeLo

Silver
Posts: 713
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:54 am

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:05 pm

This will obviously differ from firm/market, but do NOT be the weirdo who over dresses. We had a summer a couple years back that wore a suit every day. Nobody else in the office wore suits. We associates tried to gently, then firmly, tell him not to wear suits because he came off as a massive try hard and weirdo. It fell on deaf ears.

User avatar
Yugihoe

Silver
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:25 pm

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby Yugihoe » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:08 pm

Like all things in life, just match what others are doing. Fine to wear a suit the first day or if there's some special event, but for regular days in the office, just do what other associates do. If you're at a firm where people suit up (i.e. Cravath) then suit up. By large, most firms to my knowledge or business casual. So you can wear a jacket if you like or want to look fashionable (many do) but I would not wear a tie in that setting.

shock259

Gold
Posts: 1884
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:30 am

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby shock259 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:29 pm

Wear what you are told to wear. Unless you're in an outlier office, it will probably be a suit on the first day and business casual on each day following that, absent special circumstances.

I don't understand why TLS tells people to overdress. It doesn't earn you any points - people just think you're potentially weird. We consistently made fun of a summer that wore a suit and a bow-tie every day. He still got an offer, but it was only because we were willing to look past that.

User avatar
LaLiLuLeLo

Silver
Posts: 713
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:54 am

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:35 pm

You won’t be no-offered based on your dress. But you will be mocked and remembered as a goober.

EminentDumain

New
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:03 pm

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby EminentDumain » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:04 pm

Just email the recruiting contact and ask. They’ll tell you. I wanted to know so I could keep an eye out for sales and they were more than happy to help.

patent_guy

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:44 pm

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby patent_guy » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:00 am

Wear a suit the first day. This is pretty normal, and so is someone telling you (the first day) business casual (or whatever) is fine. For the rest of the summer wear whatever everyone else is wearing.

Your goal for the summer is to fit in, be likable, and show that you’re willing to work hard. Showing up super underdressed the first day might show you’re not taking it seriously. Showing up super overdressed for the rest of the summer might show you can’t observe everyone else and fit in. Neither of these is a guarantee, but not out of the realm of possibility. You want to maximize your chance of getting an offer, and fitting in as much as you can is an easy step toward that.

As an example, my SA was in Texas, so I wore slacks and a dress shirt almost every day. Usually with the sleeves rolled up because Texas is hot as balls.

icansortofmath

New
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:49 pm

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby icansortofmath » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:36 am

Yeah, it's really a common sense issue.

I generally just dress up and down by taking pieces of the suit off but I always wore shoes and shirts that could pass for business casual (so no black wingtips and solid white shirts for example)

It's really just me being cheap and don't want to buy a business casual wardrobe.

Just make sure you don't stand out too much with your wardrobe so people can focus on you and what you can do.

QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 1932
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby QContinuum » Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:07 am

toast and bananas wrote:Come on man it's an interview just wear a suit every day. For going out just take your tie off unless not coming from the office. You don't need a full change of clothes - maybe a shirt in case you spill something on it.

Absolutely no need to "wear a suit every day" unless OP's firm has a business formal dress code/expectation. There is no need and zero benefit for SAs to be better-dressed than associates or partners.

I echo the advice ITT to wear business formal on the first day (regardless of the firm's dress code), and then go down to whatever the full-time associates are wearing.

User avatar
KunAgnis

Bronze
Posts: 288
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:41 pm

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby KunAgnis » Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:56 am

I'm probably the exception to all the advice above, but during my summer, I worked at a office where literally almost 99% was business casual. Except this one partner, who was a stickler for a full suit every single day. Which is amazing given the insanity of Houston summers, but I digress. Anyways, this partner would constantly get on my case about my dress, even though I wore business casual just like every other person I saw in the same office. Shit sucked. He'd even thoroughly describe which items to wear and how. It was crazy.

umstah

New
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:47 pm

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby umstah » Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:26 pm

i don't think people really care. i wear a coat and tie even though my office is business casual (a few others do as well in my office) because i like to, and no one has ever said anything (now a midlevel). i am pretty social with my colleagues and it's never been mentioned in my reviews. i did this when i was a summer as well and no one said anything then either, but i would advise that it would probably be better to blend in as a summer to avoid any unnecessary criticism and wait until you are a full associate (if this is something you would like to do).

toast and bananas

Bronze
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:59 pm

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby toast and bananas » Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:31 pm

QContinuum wrote:
toast and bananas wrote:Come on man it's an interview just wear a suit every day. For going out just take your tie off unless not coming from the office. You don't need a full change of clothes - maybe a shirt in case you spill something on it.

Absolutely no need to "wear a suit every day" unless OP's firm has a business formal dress code/expectation. There is no need and zero benefit for SAs to be better-dressed than associates or partners.

I echo the advice ITT to wear business formal on the first day (regardless of the firm's dress code), and then go down to whatever the full-time associates are wearing.


Interesting takes here. My assertion is based on the assumption that at most big law firms men wear suits most days (with or without a tie), so that would be wearing what the associates are wearing. Also, funny to include quotes around my "wear a suit every day" as if i'm implying something else by the statement - i think it stands for itself.

I just think as a summer it doesn't hurt to dress safely. Obviously if you'd be the only one wearing a suit then don't do that. I personally don't care at all what summers wear, but people who have more influence than me might. Will it alone determine whether you get an offer? Almost certainly not, but why even gamble with it.

QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 1932
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby QContinuum » Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:34 pm

toast and bananas wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
toast and bananas wrote:Come on man it's an interview just wear a suit every day. For going out just take your tie off unless not coming from the office. You don't need a full change of clothes - maybe a shirt in case you spill something on it.

Absolutely no need to "wear a suit every day" unless OP's firm has a business formal dress code/expectation. There is no need and zero benefit for SAs to be better-dressed than associates or partners.

I echo the advice ITT to wear business formal on the first day (regardless of the firm's dress code), and then go down to whatever the full-time associates are wearing.


My assertion is based on the assumption that at most big law firms men wear suits most days (with or without a tie), so that would be wearing what the associates are wearing.

I think that assumption is wrong, certainly at "most big law firms." There are a few exceptions that still have a business formal dress code/expectation, but that's addressed in my previous post.

toast and bananas wrote:Also, funny to include quotes around my "wear a suit every day" as if i'm implying something else by the statement - i think it stands for itself.

No, I'm not asserting that you're "implying something else by the statement."

User avatar
Mullens

Silver
Posts: 1077
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:34 am

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby Mullens » Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:37 pm

umstah wrote:i don't think people really care. i wear a coat and tie even though my office is business casual (a few others do as well in my office) because i like to, and no one has ever said anything (now a midlevel). i am pretty social with my colleagues and it's never been mentioned in my reviews. i did this when i was a summer as well and no one said anything then either, but i would advise that it would probably be better to blend in as a summer to avoid any unnecessary criticism and wait until you are a full associate (if this is something you would like to do).


People might not say anything but that doesn’t mean you’re not being silently judged or that people don’t talk about it. I personally don’t care but I’ve had partners tell me they think it’s weird that Associate X wears a suit everyday when we’re business casual (this person even wears them on Fridays).

As a summer just try to fit in. We had a summer last year that wore a suit every day when we’re business casual and he was pretty much known for that. I couldn’t tell you anything else about him other than he was the suit guy. Don’t be the suit guy.

toast and bananas

Bronze
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:59 pm

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby toast and bananas » Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:41 pm

QContinuum wrote:I think that assumption is wrong, certainly at "most big law firms." There are a few exceptions that still have a business formal dress code/expectation, but that's addressed in my previous post.

Lawyers wear suits - I mean seriously that's not a very egregious claim. My firm has a business casual dress code but people still wear suits regularly, which i don't perceive to be uncommon.

QContinuum wrote:No, I'm not asserting that you're "implying something else by the statement."

OK then you just like to throw in snarky quotes, got it.

Also this:

toast and bananas wrote:Obviously if you'd be the only one wearing a suit then don't do that.

nixy

Silver
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby nixy » Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:07 pm

Are you a litigator? Of course lawyers wear suits when they go to court, or when meeting with (at least some) clients. Otherwise, no, actually, lots of lawyers don’t wear suits. For some lawyers the latter circumstance is much more common, for others, the former.

toast and bananas

Bronze
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:59 pm

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby toast and bananas » Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:16 pm

nixy wrote:Are you a litigator? Of course lawyers wear suits when they go to court, or when meeting with (at least some) clients. Otherwise, no, actually, lots of lawyers don’t wear suits. For some lawyers the latter circumstance is much more common, for others, the former.


Nope, transactional. And I never said that it's not true that plenty of lawyers don't wear suits, nor did I say that the majority of lawyers do wear suits on a daily basis. Just saying that lawyers wearing suits when not going to court or meeting a client is a completely normal thing, not outside of the realm of possibility at all.

User avatar
Mullens

Silver
Posts: 1077
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:34 am

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby Mullens » Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:22 pm

Lmao at “lawyers wear suits.” I wear jeans way more often than I wear a suit.

hlsperson1111

Bronze
Posts: 437
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:10 pm

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby hlsperson1111 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:06 pm

If everyone in your office wears a suit, wear a suit. If no one in your office wears a suit, don't wear a suit. If some partners wear suits and others are business casual, use your best judgment or split the difference (e.g. by wearing a coat).
Last edited by QContinuum on Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

Aptitude

New
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby Aptitude » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:45 pm


User avatar
RedGiant

Moderator
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:30 am

Re: Summer Associate Clothing

Postby RedGiant » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:What do associates wear every day? Business casual with a jacket?

What should a summer wear the first day, a suit?

I've heard it's important to keep a suit at the office and a set of more business casual clothes for going out.


Why did 100% of the posters here assume that the OP was a man? Women wear suits too! Weird.

OP--tell us what market and what practice group you're in, and we can give better advice.

Best advice: never look sloppy. This goes from your haircut down to your shoes. Your clothes matter less, as long as you don't overdress--but come to work with stuff pressed, tucked-in, in a size that fits you. Imagine a partner was going to consider taking you to a client meeting, and you don't want your dress to influence that decision, so you want to look presentable and neat, whatever that means in the market and practice area you're in.



Return to “Legal Employment?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.