What Should I Wear in Law School?

Do you have the right wardrobe for success?

Close-Up Of Clothes Hanging On Coathanger In Wardrobe
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Aside from how to best study and prepare for final exams, one of the questions I often hear from students is what they should wear in law school. It’s not often that the words law school and fashion go together, but you may be surprised at how they can go hand-in-hand.

Let me stress that I don’t want you to spend too much time concentrating on building a brand new wardrobe or worrying about your sense of style. Your mental energy really should be focused on studying. But that being said, coming up with your sense of style and thinking beyond the yoga pants may help as you go beyond the 1L year and into your career.

Make Sure to Have a Basic Outfit

You will need at least one professional outfit for law school. Think about the times when you’ll be participating in on-campus interviewing for internships and summer associate positions. For women, a suit or blazer paired with a nice pair of trousers or skirt are easy go-to outfits. While black pieces are always appropriate, they can sometimes be a bit generic. Stand apart by integrating a bit of color into your suit.

A blue or grey suit with a button-down shirt is a great choice for men. Make sure the shirt is wrinkle-free and crisp white. Avoid pants with pleats, and be sure that your pants easily hit the top of your shoes.

Look Professional for Networking

As a law student, you will likely have several opportunities to network and participate in extracurricular events such as moot court competitions and mock trials. It’s important for law students to have professional attire when attending these events or student mixers. Even if the dress code is not stated, it's always a safe bet to go with business attire or to wear a professional suit.

When you’re attending an extracurricular event such as a faculty reception or social event, business casual is always a good rule. This may include slacks, a nice shirt, a knee-length skirt, or a sweater.

Should I Dress to Impress in Law School?

The lawyerly answer is, of course, it depends. Law school is a professional school. While it’s not optimal to show up for a class in sweats and ripped jeans, staying comfortable is definitely ideal—especially if you are spending all day in classes and the library. Consider a nice pair of jeans, sweaters, or fitted t-shirts. If you live in a cooler climate, adding a scarf can help change up a standard outfit while keeping you warm. Keep in mind that while you don't need to wear suits and heels to class every day, dressing in a professional and casual manner will ensure that you don’t stand out for the wrong reasons.

One tip I always give 1L students is to project a consistent image. This includes being consistent with your interests and using a professional headshot on all your social media accounts. This same can be said with your law school wardrobe. Find a style that fits you, is comfortable, and appropriate for classes and socializing and you’ll be set for law school and the beginning of your legal career.