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How do firms actually decide on the winner candidates for 2L summer jobs?

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Ok - can someone explain to me the difference between a suit, a pant suit, and a "shrunken jacket/skinny pant" ? 

Also how does wearing a skirt/blazer count as a suit but not a dress and blazer? 

Genuinely confused by the differences - I always figured as long as you look professional...  

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12 minutes ago, magpie said:

Ok - can someone explain to me the difference between a suit, a pant suit, and a "shrunken jacket/skinny pant" ? 

Also how does wearing a skirt/blazer count as a suit but not a dress and blazer? 

Genuinely confused by the differences - I always figured as long as you look professional...  

Here's my take on it.

Suit: matching set consisting of a blazer with pants/skirt/dress. 

Pant suit: the above, with pants. The pants tend to be a straight fit, not skinny. 

In my opinion, a dress that matches with a blazer is a suit, with the key here being matching (exact same material and you buy the two together in the same way that you would buy the blazer with pants or a skirt). If it's not matching, it's not a suit. 

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1 minute ago, tuquoque said:

Here's my take on it.

Suit: matching set consisting of a blazer with pants/skirt/dress. 

Pant suit: the above, with pants. The pants tend to be a straight fit, not skinny. 

In my opinion, a dress that matches with a blazer is a suit, with the key here being matching (exact same material and you buy the two together in the same way that you would buy the blazer with pants or a skirt). If it's not matching, it's not a suit. 

Gotcha... makes sense - although by this standard I don't own a suit as I didn't buy anything together.

Still fooled the recruiters tho :P

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6 hours ago, Uriel said:

 

a button-down collar (why)

So that's why I never got an in-firm with your place.
 

I've since learned my lesson.

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2 minutes ago, magpie said:

Gotcha... makes sense - although by this standard I don't own a suit as I didn't buy anything together.

Still fooled the recruiters tho :P

I mean, if they're the same brand and material, you can definitely buy them on separate occasions! 

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1 hour ago, magpie said:

Ok - can someone explain to me the difference between a suit, a pant suit, and a "shrunken jacket/skinny pant" ? 

Also how does wearing a skirt/blazer count as a suit but not a dress and blazer? 

Genuinely confused by the differences - I always figured as long as you look professional...  

A dress/blazer is a suit if it is an ensemble of the same fabric/colour bought together (or close enough to fool, I guess.) It is not a suit if they are different colours. Shrunken jacket/skinny pant are a pantsuit but I guess a bit trendier so I can stomach wearing it.

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7 hours ago, Mountebank said:

I get the sense that pantsuits are viewed as somewhat dated. I see a lot of blazers and skirts, but almost no women in pants (and, then, it's only ever the more senior lawyers). Is this correct?

Note that I didn't fully appreciate that there was a distinction between suits and dresses/blazers until I read this thread...

I don't think they're dated, but I think it's harder to look sharp in them. I wore pantsuits more often when I started out, mainly for comfort / having less familiarity with how to put a good professional outfit together. I reached a point where I realized that pantsuits tend to be less flattering (or, at least, much harder to find the exact cut that doesn't seem vaguely frumpy on you), and that I generally looked/felt better and more professional in skirt suits. I think it's that pantsuits tend to have baggier legs (as @providence alluded to above), and that's not really the style these days.

 

5 hours ago, torontonian said:

Again - this is your perspective that I am sure is shared by many people out there. As the person you are referencing above re: WTF wearing separates my point was, for women, not wearing a suit to your interviews is not the be all or end all. I landed a job. I had multiple offers. So since this was a thing that caused me great concern and worry, I wanted to take that pressure off other women who may at some point be in the same situation and feel the same way. 

And it is not always about money. Many times it is. Other times it is not. For me it was not. I can fortunately afford very nice suits, but choose not to and that TO ME and to many others is ok. 

No one said show up to court in a pink dress - but if you are showing up in dark conservative colours - in a professional, sharp af dress and blazer I and many others think it is ok. 

The point of the post, that you continue to reference days later, is that it is not the end of the world - I don't think it is and my personal experience proves that it is not. It was also my personal experience that aprt from one, all female interviewers (partners and some even on the exec board of the firm) were in a dress and blazer. They always say take your cues from your boss - so if my boss is wearing a dress and a blazer to the interview, it is ok that I do as well. 

But again, just MY two cents

This is kind of my point. I believe you just did OCIs, right? So you're currently in 2L. And yet you're here arguing with lawyers about what's appropriate to wear in a large law firm.

No, if your boss is wearing a dress and blazer to the interview, it's not necessarily okay for you to do that. Your boss has developed a reputation and has credibility, so she can be more flexible in her wardrobe without impact. As a student, you have no reputation or credibility, and as an entirely unproven entity, the little things (like wardrobe choices) can have a larger impact. Fine, you got offers without wearing a suit - that doesn't mean it's acceptable to everyone at those firms, or at other firms, or to opposing counsel or clients you might be meeting with. For all you know, the firms who made you offers thought you were brilliant and personable, and made you offers DESPITE your clothing, just hoping that you'll pick up the wardrobe side once you're there. I don't know why you'd choose to take the more controversial route when you don't have the proven value to justify the risk.

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4 minutes ago, barelylegal said:

I don't think they're dated, but I think it's harder to look sharp in them. I wore pantsuits more often when I started out, mainly for comfort / having less familiarity with how to put a good professional outfit together. I reached a point where I realized that pantsuits tend to be less flattering (or, at least, much harder to find the exact cut that doesn't seem vaguely frumpy on you), and that I generally looked/felt better and more professional in skirt suits. I think it's that pantsuits tend to have baggier legs (as @providence alluded to above), and that's not really the style these days.

 

This is kind of my point. I believe you just did OCIs, right? So you're currently in 2L. And yet you're here arguing with lawyers about what's appropriate to wear in a large law firm.

No, if your boss is wearing a dress and blazer to the interview, it's not necessarily okay for you to do that. Your boss has developed a reputation and has credibility, so she can be more flexible in her wardrobe without impact. As a student, you have no reputation or credibility, and as an entirely unproven entity, the little things (like wardrobe choices) can have a larger impact. Fine, you got offers without wearing a suit - that doesn't mean it's acceptable to everyone at those firms, or at other firms, or to opposing counsel or clients you might be meeting with. For all you know, the firms who made you offers thought you were brilliant and personable, and made you offers DESPITE your clothing, just hoping that you'll pick up the wardrobe side once you're there. I don't know why you'd choose to take the more controversial route when you don't have the proven value to justify the risk.

Yeah - the firms may assume you couldn't afford a suit and don't want to make an issue of it if they otherwise liked your qualifications. And why have concern and worry over not wearing a suit if you can afford a very nice suit but just choose not to buy one? It was worth being a hill to die on when instead of a grey dress and black jacket you could just buy the matching grey jacket? And then show individuality with a nice statement necklace or something? 

Plus interviewing for a boss is a more casual endeavour than court/meetings/negotiations etc. But the interview candidate should be dressing to show how they would present themselves at those things. 

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12 minutes ago, providence said:

Yeah - the firms may assume you couldn't afford a suit and don't want to make an issue of it if they otherwise liked your qualifications. And why have concern and worry over not wearing a suit if you can afford a very nice suit but just choose not to buy one? It was worth being a hill to die on when instead of a grey dress and black jacket you could just buy the matching grey jacket? And then show individuality with a nice statement necklace or something? 

Plus interviewing for a boss is a more casual endeavour than court/meetings/negotiations etc. But the interview candidate should be dressing to show how they would present themselves at those things. 

I was worried about it because of such posts where people would say no suit = not professional = no job.

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Just now, torontonian said:

I was worried about it because of such posts where people would say no suit = not professional = no job.

Then why worry? Why not just wear a same colour dress and blazer which = a suit, in a conservative, dark colour?

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24 minutes ago, barelylegal said:

I don't think they're dated, but I think it's harder to look sharp in them. I wore pantsuits more often when I started out, mainly for comfort / having less familiarity with how to put a good professional outfit together. I reached a point where I realized that pantsuits tend to be less flattering (or, at least, much harder to find the exact cut that doesn't seem vaguely frumpy on you), and that I generally looked/felt better and more professional in skirt suits. I think it's that pantsuits tend to have baggier legs (as @providence alluded to above), and that's not really the style these days.

 

This is kind of my point. I believe you just did OCIs, right? So you're currently in 2L. And yet you're here arguing with lawyers about what's appropriate to wear in a large law firm.

No, if your boss is wearing a dress and blazer to the interview, it's not necessarily okay for you to do that. Your boss has developed a reputation and has credibility, so she can be more flexible in her wardrobe without impact. As a student, you have no reputation or credibility, and as an entirely unproven entity, the little things (like wardrobe choices) can have a larger impact. Fine, you got offers without wearing a suit - that doesn't mean it's acceptable to everyone at those firms, or at other firms, or to opposing counsel or clients you might be meeting with. For all you know, the firms who made you offers thought you were brilliant and personable, and made you offers DESPITE your clothing, just hoping that you'll pick up the wardrobe side once you're there. I don't know why you'd choose to take the more controversial route when you don't have the proven value to justify the risk.

I ve seen both sides argued here - you're more junior it is ok you ll probably get away with it for a bit AS WELL AS she is partner, she has proven herself. Sooo which is it?

I never said suits are not the norm, and i never advocated for others not to wear their suits. I just said, i didn't and it was ok! That was also my comment in the Suits for Women thread - you can imagine i was kind of surprised my personal experience was brought up in this thread in a -WTF is wrong with her- manner. 

I am a 2L, coming from a long career in the corporate world as well as the government before. So you may think I have no business speaking my mind, I think my experience might benefit someone one day. 

At the end of the day, my philosophy is, look sharp as hell, look professional always, look put together, it is ok if u r wearing a blazer and a dress of different colours or of different shades! We'll all live, and i hope we all thrive!

night ladies

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Sheath dress and blazer in same colour and fabric  = a suit:

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/516436282241400168/

Spiced up a bit with necklace and belt (not sure if jacket is the exact same fabric from the pic - pretend it is):

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/551902129311043849/

More flared of a skirt - still a suit:

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/458382068297392776/

 

Jacket and skirt suit with button-up blouse:

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/134052526386440465/

Jacket and skirt suit with shell top:

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/574631233679230132/

 

Traditional pantsuit:

http://www.instyle.com/awards-events/red-carpet/golden-globes/pantsuit-fashion-trend

Kind of close to a skinnier/shrunken fitted pantsuit:

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/426293920964616765/

 

Separates with pants (also shows skinny pants though that is really skinny:

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/AQ0_3H7bFm874mdUlYSkEh1IHAe32oyYx3KSVncdhAKXtL3TzJEwZyg/

Separates with a skirt:

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/409053578642068218/

Non-matching blazer and dress = not a suit (separates/business casual):

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/289708188512853631/

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/516154807283707243/

Edited by providence

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18 hours ago, torontonian said:

No one said show up to court in a pink dress - but if you are showing up in dark conservative colours - in a professional, sharp af dress and blazer I and many others think it is ok. 

One more thing to add --- this reminded me that your practice can also dictate your fashion options and branding.  An M&A partner probably needs to spend five figures on a watch.  Most opt for Rolex or Omega, a few Hublot guys up in here (though if you're going to spend on a Big Bang, just have some integrity and shell out for an Audemars Royal Oak imo), but if it were me I'd go with the JLC Master Ultra Thin Professional but that's just me never mind moving on

(Okay but before I go my senior-partner gift to myself would be the Lange & Sohne Pour le Mérite tourbillon just had to put that out there)

A litigator typically makes the best impression looking not unlike a hitman or Secret Service agent.  When I have to ruffle some feathers, it's usually a plain navy two- or three-piece, white shirt, thick red tie, white pocket square.  When I'm executing a search warrant, I take some inspiration from Bonds past and present and keep it dour.  (Artist's rendition.) 

I'll fancy it up a bit, but not too much for conferences and business development.  I take it down a notch from showy both due to the high-stakes nature of my work and my less-than-ostentatious personality; the man has to wear the suit and not vice-versa.  (I have to say, I'm impressed with the way Radcliffe is growing up to be as awesome as me.)

By the same token, IP lawyers are usually jazzing it up for their tech clients and wealthy pharma executives.  Fashion, sports and entertainment lawyers obviously have to be killing it because their clients require everyone associated with them to be ballers.  

And senior tax lawyers have to wear bow ties.  It's like how Jedi masters eventually turn into blue ghosts, tax lawyers eventually grow mustaches and wear bow ties once they've transcended to a new plane of giving summary advice off the top of their heads.

17 hours ago, Ambit said:

So that's why I never got an in-firm with your place.
 

I've since learned my lesson.

I know you're joking, but just to hyper-reiterate --- no one (well, not my firm anyway) is going to not hire someone because of a poor fashion decision.  It's a super easy thing to coach and for all kinds of reasons, not least of all retention, you should want to hire people that don't come from money and privilege and naturally know what's in and out.

A couple of years ago we gave a strong push to a guy in an olive suit with black belt and shoes.  He was a good kid, a great student and fun to interview.  He wound up going somewhere else, but the incomprehensible wardrobe choice wasn't a factor.  It would take about ten minutes with a mentor to get that cleared up, which is nothing when you think you might get 20 years out of a guy.

We actually did hire someone that seemed to cut his hair with pinking shears, among other wardrobe atrocities.  (And I don't mean "wore a shawl lapel"; I mean you-have-to-help-your-buddy-or-he'll-never-get-a-date atrocities.)  It turned out to be part of a pattern of being unwilling to take feedback and advice and ultimately he didn't make the cut, so to speak.

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55 minutes ago, Uriel said:

And senior tax lawyers have to wear bow ties.  It's like how Jedi masters eventually turn into blue ghosts, tax lawyers eventually grow mustaches and wear bow ties once they've transcended to a new plane of giving summary advice off the top of their heads.

 

Very true for the old timers.  In general, and I can only comment for men, I find tax lawyers to be the most genuinely into clothes and thus the best dressers of lawyers. 

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15 hours ago, torontonian said:

I ve seen both sides argued here - you're more junior it is ok you ll probably get away with it for a bit AS WELL AS she is partner, she has proven herself. Sooo which is it?

I never said suits are not the norm, and i never advocated for others not to wear their suits. I just said, i didn't and it was ok! That was also my comment in the Suits for Women thread - you can imagine i was kind of surprised my personal experience was brought up in this thread in a -WTF is wrong with her- manner. 

I am a 2L, coming from a long career in the corporate world as well as the government before. So you may think I have no business speaking my mind, I think my experience might benefit someone one day. 

At the end of the day, my philosophy is, look sharp as hell, look professional always, look put together, it is ok if u r wearing a blazer and a dress of different colours or of different shades! We'll all live, and i hope we all thrive!

night ladies

But the point is that "getting away with it" isn't the same thing as it being fine. Look at what @Uriel wrote above - you wouldn't not hire someone because of a fashion decision during interviews, because it's coachable. They get the job, but that doesn't mean it's fine for them to continue dressing that way, and the firm hopes and expects they'll learn better with some time.

There actually aren't two different sides being argued here. One side is saying that if you're junior (i.e. a student interviewing), you probably won't be faulted for a fashion issue at that point, but you'll probably be expected to change to fit the mold until you're at a point where that's less important. The other side is saying that if you're not junior (i.e. have reached that point where it's less important), you have more leeway to make your own rules and deviate from the norms.

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3 hours ago, Uriel said:

 

And senior tax lawyers have to wear bow ties.  It's like how Jedi masters eventually turn into blue ghosts, tax lawyers eventually grow mustaches and wear bow ties once they've transcended to a new plane of giving summary advice off the top of their heads.

 

Accurate.

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3 hours ago, Uriel said:

One more thing to add --- this reminded me that your practice can also dictate your fashion options and branding.  An M&A partner probably needs to spend five figures on a watch.  Most opt for Rolex or Omega, a few Hublot guys up in here (though if you're going to spend on a Big Bang, just have some integrity and shell out for an Audemars Royal Oak imo), but if it were me I'd go with the JLC Master Ultra Thin Professional but that's just me never mind moving on

(Okay but before I go my senior-partner gift to myself would be the Lange & Sohne Pour le Mérite tourbillon just had to put that out there)

Gotta also have dreams for when you further transcend. Aka a Patek Phillipe Celestial, good lord, although I do prefer the older style.

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There is a reason why I stay out of the "suits for men" thread, and now its infecting other places.  :mellow:

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4 minutes ago, Adrian said:

There is a reason why I stay out of the "suits for men" thread, and now its infecting other places.  :mellow:

Sorry the conversation doesn't suit you. 

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