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Career Development Office presents style guide for professional and affordable attire

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Sept. 10, 2021 – Two business attire experts shared their recommendations on how University of Houston Law Center students can build a professional image when seeking employment as an aspiring attorney. The Career Development Office (CDO) hosted the recent virtual presentation, “Dress to Impress: Tailoring Your Look for the Legal Profession.”

Panelists included:

  • Mia Lorick ’14, partner at Locke Lord and founder of the “Suited for Success” scholarship and “Sharply Suited” blog
  • Jamay Schardien, Executive Director of Career Gear Houston

Tiffany J. Tucker, Assistant Dean for Career Development moderated the panel.

“When lawyers see you in an interview, they want to know that you know what the uniform is,” Tucker said. “So, such that even if you don’t have to dress that way every day at work, you at least know that when you are going to the most conservative environment, say to court, you know what that attire should look like.”

Lorick, a litigator and appellate specialist, spoke about how courtroom attire is a sign of respect for the Court, not a reflection of self. It should be viewed through the lens of the profession, and individuality should not be the key to wear. Instead, respect for the legal field and environment should be exuded by your apparel.

“I go to court in traditional attire because I want to be taken seriously. I want the judge to know that I respect her or him.” Lorick noted. “To get the desired result you want in court, you have to show that deference and respect to the Court.”

The panelists continued the discussion by offering students recommendations for interview and work attire, highlighting specific details often overlooked, such as the professionalism of hair, nails and accessories as well as pinpointing requirements for suit lengths, material, composition and styles in a conservative field for interview and office wear.

“One of the things that we do at Career Gear is when you are coming in for our student program is we will try to give you two suits just so that you have that second option as you are getting ready to go out and interview,” Schardien said. “We like to give you four shirts and six ties so you have plenty of options to mix and match and create 17 different looks with the same five pieces.”

“You want to be remembered for your work, ultimately,” Lorick said. “You want to give that clean backdrop, and then nobody’s focused on something specific about your attire. Your presence matters. Employers are going off of how you present yourself, and it shows them you respect the profession. It's also for the clients you represent.”

Lorick and Schariden joined Tucker for a similar presentation in the Fall of 2020. The event was co-sponsored by the UHLC Black Law Students Association and The Advocates. The fall event was so popular, the CDO decided to reprise the program to help students prepare for the start of the Fall Recruiting season.

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