For years, the legal industry has imposed strict guidelines for professional attire, however, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many attorneys found that the rules had changed. While your appearance may not impact on your ability to represent clients, it can certainly impact your professional success. Choosing your attire carefully can help you project the image of an attentive, trustworthy, and professional attorney. So, what exactly is the dress code for remote proceedings?
In this article, we’ll share some guidelines for how attorneys should dress for online interactions.
Let’s get started!
It May Not Please Court
During the past year, news agencies have reported on attorneys who appeared in Zoom hearings wearing all manner of unprofessional attire. From the shirtless attorney to the one who joined the conference while under the covers in bed, courts are understandably concerned about maintaining the respectability of the proceedings.
Unprofessional attire places the attorney at risk of attracting more attention than they’ve bargained for. For example, if you appear on camera in extremely casual clothing, it can distract the judge and jury. When your audience is paying attention to your clothes, it means they’re not paying attention to your message!
Dressing for the Camera
As a rule of thumb, most clothing that you would wear in court is likely appropriate to wear in a remote proceeding, provided it meets a handful of extra criteria. Some colors and patterns that might look good in person would appear too “busy” on camera. Remember: unlike a courtroom proceeding, you’ll be filtered through a 720p webcam. Intricate and overly detailed designs are unlikely to translate well.
Look for business suits, dresses, and blazers in solid colors. Popular choices include blues and navy because they look good on camera but they are unlikely to wash out your skin tone (unlike whites and creams). You should also consider how your outfit will be framed by the camera and use caution when wearing “nude” clothing that closely matches your skin tone, as this could make you appear naked at a glance.
When accessorizing an outfit for a videoconference, be sure to avoid jewelry such as dangling earrings and stacked necklaces. These items have a tendency to produce noise that can interfere with your microphone. Additionally, it is considered poor form to wear clothing that features a brand name or a logo.
Thanks for reading! Although selecting your clothing can be an important form of self-expression and individualism – it should never interfere with your ability to represent your client. We hope we’ve given you some useful tips that you can use the next time you’re preparing an outfit for remote processings. If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it on social media!
When you plan your next deposition, don’t forget to take advantage of our plentiful deposition tools. We provide services including remote court reporting, concierge remote exhibit management, remote videography, and full-time tech support for your remote depositions, arbitrations, court hearings, trials, and other proceedings.