Public Defender’s Office

27 04 2008

If you have pink hair, dreadlocks or tattoos and want to be a lawyer, then working for a Public Defender’s office might be the job for you. As legal jobs go, defending the public seems to be one of the least exacting when it comes to appearance. The reason for this is practical. As one of my friends commented, public defenders investigate their own cases and meet with clients, and it is hard to do either of these things effectively in a suit.

The dress code for a Public Defender’s office is usually “nice” casual, so pretend like every day is dinner with your grandparents. You know, not too formal, not too casual, not too slutty. You will, of course, need to wear a suit if you’re in court, but when the hearing is over you can swap the pantsuit for khakis and start running around town to find your next witness.

For the Ladies.

Stuff you could wear: non-jean pants, collared shirts, blouses, sweaters, skirts at or below the knee, nice capri’s, flats, pumps, and open-toed shoes. Some Public Defender’s offices permit jeans, and if that’s the case then take advantage.

Stuff you couldn’t wear: flip-flops (and their winter equivalent, uggs), tank tops, graphic Ts, anything that could be considered gym clothes, and clothes that are too tight or revealing.

For the Gentlemen.

Stuff you could wear: khakis, slacks, collared button-up shirts, polos, and sweaters. You could probably wear dark sneakers or go one step up and wear more causal-looking leather shoes (think Aldo or Steve Madden for men). You can wear jeans if the office permits it.

Stuff you couldn’t wear: shorts, flip-flops, running shoes, T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, fleeces, and sportswear.

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