So I knew that there was a special outfit I was required to wear when I got sworn in as a solicitor, but who knew that there were rules on what I could wear in attendance at court – especially important considering all the “to peep-toe or not to peep-toe” discussions that are all over law blogs based in the US!
Okay, there isn’t exactly an explicit guide or requirements — but the Guide to Professional Conduct actually includes a section on “court dress” under the chapter on the Litigation Solicitor.
All it says is that:
A solicitor appearing in court as an advocate should appear duly robed where this is customary and must always wear suitable clothing.
“Suitable clothing” – oh gee thanks, ok! But “duly robed”?? I wonder when any solicitor ever must be robed… I’ve yet to see a solicitor robed in court, and so far cannot find any guidance on the matter.
But if you check out that provision further, there is aparently also a circular on the litigation solicitor’s dress, and it pertains to women:
The Chief Justice has advised the Society that he has no objection to female lawyers wearing decent and suitable black long trouser suits in court.
Oh phew! I was wondering if I had been violating some rule that I wear pants! Sheesh! Well, I suppose it’s natural that there would have been such circular in 1995! I would have thought our times had long passed since we’d need such an explicit order on what women could wear. I wonder if there is some history to this circular (like some nasty old crotchety judge (or perhaps a pervert) who required all female solicitors to wear dresses!).
Though I wonder if black trousers are really the only trousers women solcitors may wear in court! In that case, I have to rethink whether or not I’ve committed any violations!
For all the debate on whether peep toes are proper court dress on Above the Law, I suppose one might welcome