When you spend almost every day in your life in the courtroom, you no doubt take your responsibilities very seriously. Whether the majority of your time is in the magistrates' court, the Crown Court, the High Court, the Court of Appeal, or the Supreme Court, you know that everything you do, say, and even how you appear can have a significant impact on the judge and the jury.
This isn't just your way of thinking; it's fact. A survey involving 193 participants was conducted to prove just that. The survey took place in the United States and was developed to see whether a jury could be influenced by an attorney's attributes. It studied how jury members reacted to a lawyer's self-confidence, physical characteristics, presentation, and organisational skills. The end result showed that the jury was indeed more likely to side with an attorney that excelled under these four attributes. In the case of physical characteristics, jury members favoured attorneys who were good-looking and wore appropriate suits throughout the trial.
Another study, performed by Jansen Voss in 2005, explained the many ways that lawyers use their physical appearance, as well as other attributes, to persuade the jury. For instance, she found during her research that many attorneys prefer to wear blue suits on the first day of trial. This is because blue is thought to be a calming colour that invokes trust in the wearer.
What do these studies tell us? They show us that what you wear and how you look can have a significant impact on the jury. If you're a lawyer, it's essential that you know exactly how to dress to make the most out of your time in the courtroom.
Let's begin with perhaps the most important piece of lawyer clothing: the suit. Your suits should always be the right size and tailored to fit your body. You should never wear a suit into the courtroom that has any tears, stains, or blemishes; this will simply make you look unprofessional.
When it comes to colour, you have a few choices.
Other suit colours to avoid in the courtroom are olive, white, and tan.
When you're defending a client in the courtroom or trying to bring the bad guy down, the last thing you want to do is distract the jury with a wildly colourful shirt or tie. It's for this reason that you should always remember the KISS rule- Keep It Simple and Sedate. You can be as fashionable and stylish as you want in the office, but when you're standing in front of the judge, you want to look as professional as possible.
The most common colours of shirts you'll see in the courtroom are solid light blue, solid white, and blue and white patterned shirts (cheques or stripes.) If you do want to think outside the box, stick to subtle, light colours.
Ties are relatively easy to choose, as long as you stay away from novelty ties and patterns that are large and inappropriately scaled. The best choices are:
When it comes to your dress shoes, you have two colour choices. Black is considered a proper colour for business in the courtroom, as it is the most formal. However, brown shoes are also admissible and can add a bit of extra style to your men's suits.
Accessories can make or break a lawyer. If you wear too much jewellery, the jury is likely to think of you as untrustworthy, so it's important to carefully consider what you're putting on each morning.
Worried about how to dress for court and how your attire will affect the jury? When it comes to lawyer clothing, knowing what to wear and what colours will make the biggest impact is important.