Be normal


I don’t know what “weird” means, but I know it when I see it. (Why does that sentence sound oddly familiar?) Anyway, lawyers come in all shapes and sizes, colors and accents, and the world is better because of it. 

But let’s face it, clients judge lawyers by a lot of things beside their legal acumen, including their appearance—clothing, hair, manner of speech, sense of humor, and more—and if a lawyer is too different from what those clients are used to and expect, some clients might be uncomfortable and stay away. 

On the other hand, it depends. 

In the not-so-distant past, long hair for men was odd, and no doubt scared off many a client. Smoking was common. Tattoos weren’t. Casual clothing was considered unprofessional. And the list goes on. 

Anyway, my point is that while we don’t necessarily have to conform to current styles, we shouldn’t ignore them. That means we should probably “look like a lawyer” and act the way our clients expect a lawyer to act, and be willing to accept the consequences if we don’t. 

If you handle estate planning and work with a lot of boomers, for example, you might want to cover your tats, wear a suit when you meet with them, and talk about the new Beetles song (and video) instead of that Swift person. If you handle entertainment law, you might make different decisions. 

Clients want their lawyer to be normal, and they get to decide what that means for them. Unless you have a good reason to do otherwise, consider giving them what they want. 

Hmm, maybe I should dust off my old Nehru Jacket. . .