As an attorney, you are expected to dress appropriately. Your clients will expect you to look like all the attorneys they have seen on television. The judge you are appearing in front of will expect you to be dressed properly as an officer of the court. Opposing counsel will feel at an advantage if you are not dressed the part and he or she is.
What constitutes dressing appropriately as an attorney varies depending upon the locale and the situation. If you are in a big Wall Street law firm in New York City, you will no doubt be expected to dress the part every day in high-end suits. If you are in a small firm in a smallish city in the Midwest or on the West Coast, you probably aren’t expected to wear expensive designer suits. And you may not have to wear a suit at all if there are no court appearances scheduled that day. See what the attorneys are doing in your jurisdiction and follow their lead as to what constitutes appropriate dress in your area.
Generally speaking, men should always wear a suit, tie, and properly shined dress shoes to court. Likewise, women should also dress appropriately and wear a suit and proper dress shoes to court. If a woman decides to wear a pant suit to court, the pants should not be skin tight. And suit skirts should not be tight miniskirts. You are going to court, not clubbing. If you dress like a professional (like a lawyer, not some other profession) you will be treated with more courtesy and respect. It is unfortunate in this day and age that how a woman dresses should affect how she is treated. But that remains the case; therefore, always dress appropriately for the work situation, and save your more casual clothes for weekends and evenings when you aren’t playing the part of a lawyer.