The law is a profession and lawyers are expected to dress professionally as a sign of respect to their clients, the courts, agencies and officials, and the traditions of the profession. As a professional school, we seek to represent and to develop professional skills, values, knowledge, and behavior. Thus, as a student, you should represent yourself and the College of Law through behavior – including attire – that is appropriate for the occasion, ranging from class to community placements to court appearances. We are located in downtown Dallas, a business community, and it is important to remember that the College of Law will be a busy place, with judges and attorneys often visiting; you never know who you might see, and impressions matter. On any given day, you might meet your future employer.
With these considerations in mind, the faculty and staff of the UNT Dallas College of Law have adopted the following guidelines relating to law students’ attire. (By the way, we have also adopted guidelines for faculty and staff attire as well.)
When Professional Dress Is Expected
UNT Dallas College of Law students will be expected to dress professionally when they are:
- Going to court (whether on field trip or during a clerkship)
- Attending events at the Dallas Bar Association (DBA)
- Attending most Bar functions, such as receptions
- Attending events at the COL at which professional dress is appropriate
We use the term “professional attire” because it includes traditional “business attire” but also is somewhat less exacting. Depending on the nature of the event—such as attending court—business attire is ordinarily expected. At some events, however, professional attire less formal than business wear might be appropriate. For further guidance, students may visit with the Office of Career and Professional Development, which also will have programs relating to business dress, business casual dress, and other topics.
Standards Of Attire For Community Engagement
Students are expected to dress appropriately for their placement. On those days when students will be onsite at their Community Engagement placement, students will be expected to dress in the same fashion as the attorneys or managers at the Community Engagement site, whether the attire is business, or business casual.
Standards Of Attire For Interviews And Competitions
Students are expected to dress in business attire for interviews and competitions.
Standards Of Attire For The Classroom
In class, students are expected to dress neatly and appropriately.
Students should not wear:
- Baseball hats, caps, nor any other headwear, unless worn as religious observance
- Sunglasses, unless medically necessary
- Pants with holes (including designer jeans with holes deliberately cut into them)
- T-shirts advertising alcohol or marijuana
- Tube, midriff, or halter tops
- Tank tops or muscle shirts
While fragrance is not considered attire, it has the ability to create an impression. Fragrance can affect individuals with allergies or those who are sensitive to fragrance. Therefore, it is best to refrain from the use of strong fragrance in a professional environment.