MCCA and Macy’s, Inc., Present “Dress for Success” Program at North Carolina Central University School of Law
On September 16, 2009, approximately fifty students gathered in the Great Hall of North Carolina Central University School of Law (NCCU) to learn from MCCA and Macy’s, Inc., about proper attire for every business setting. The presentation not only provided the rules of engagement for dressing as a lawyer; it also included a fashion show. NCCU law students modeled the latest trends in professional dress for those entering the legal profession.
Lori L. Garrett, MCCA’s managing director of the southeast region, provided a detailed guide for male and female students alike on what is appropriate business dress for the modern-day lawyer. Her presentation paid special attention to helping the students understand that they should know their audience when it comes to wardrobe selection. “I wanted the students to understand that their attire should always be saying ‘consummate professional,’ whether they are presenting themselves to a judge, client, co-worker, or classmate,” she explains. Garrett made use of a simple children’s song, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” as a framework for considering the rules around how each segment of the body should be clothed. “I have found, however, that the tricky part is business casual,” she observes. “So it was great to have Macy’s give visual examples of what students should be considering.”
William Hawthorne, corporate vice president of diversity strategies and legal affairs at Macy’s, was instrumental in bringing the Macy’s team of Thomas Knott and Jean Brooks Murphy to the table to create the fashion show. Knott is the director of diversity management at Macy’s, and Murphy is the corporate special events and PR manager for the company.
Six students, three women and three men, strutted their stuff in the show, giving their classmates examples of appropriate professional dress fashions for various sizes, shapes, and occasions. “The presentation really educated those students in attendance,” reflects Delores James, Director of Development at NCCU. “In fact, one young man showed up in a suit the next day because of the information shared about making a good impression at law school. The models were very grateful for the experience, and they also learned quite a lot from Ms. Murphy.”
Law students who wish to learn more about the rules for appropriate professional attire are encouraged to contact Lori Garrett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404/870-4619. DB
From the November/December 2009 issue of Diversity & The Bar®