Except for a few people in my office, lawyers are not considered the sexiest of people. But ever since Johnny Depp donned a Monmouth cap and conquered the seas, the sexiness of admiralty law has made a massive comeback. Even if you are not currently practicing admiralty law, consider doing so as an area for strategic dabbling, particularly if you want to increase the sexiness factor with a spouse or current client. Here’s how.
Admiralty Wear. As with any legitimate practice area, you are what you wear. For starters, try a rich crimson damask waistcoat and breeches, a red feather in a tricorn hat, and a gold chain around your neck, with a diamond cross hanging from it. Don’t worry if you look a bit like a seafaring pimp. Your admiralty-themed business card or the office parrot can usually explain the context. By the way, dress like you are a captain, not like a member of the crew. You are an attorney and in command—don’t give off the vibe of a common mariner even if you are swabbing the decks in a large law firm. Also, wearing petticoat breeches will just get you fired or assigned out to be the powder monkey in the firm’s mailroom.
In-House Spray Tan Services. Making a switch to admiralty law, especially that of the sexy seafaring variety, will give you an excuse to secure that office spray tan service you have always desired. Not only is it tax-deductible but it’s also a great winter accessory for doing business in the office hot tub. Don’t overdo it or skimp on quality. There’s always a fine line between being a sexy admiralty attorney or simply a garden-variety Ooompa Loompa who sings legalese.
Chest Hair. With a pirate blouse or lace jabot buttoned down a few notches, it’s a good way to show off your tan chest—and chest hair. Chest hair is sexy for admiralty, even if you are a woman. We wouldn’t be surprised to see more chest hair in the courtroom as a result of a sudden resurgence in admiralty. But if local court decorum requires a necktie or more modest clothing, consider a neckerchief or a tight-fitting jerkin to cover up any manly mop that could offend more conservative jurists.
Pirate Talk. Avoid pirate talk. It’s not sexy. It’s actually a bit uncouth and unprofessional. International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19, so go wild on that one day of the year. Or change your Facebook profile to pirate speak. But don’t say to the court, “Aye, ya salty dog, our matey here deserves the ol’ heave to.” One exception: difficult clients who refuse to listen to any of your advice, no matter what you do. Switch to pirate talk and you may actually engage them in their own pretend world.
Reinventing yourself as a sexy admiralty attorney may be a solid career move. If you take the plunge, let us know how well it works for you and what obstacles, if any, you encounter along the way. We always adjust our practice management advice periodically to take into account missteps and to call attention to more localized practice customs.
Susan Gainen says
I took a law school course in Maritime Law, and the very energetic and articulate adjunct professor shared his reason for engaging in the practice: “What other practice almost guarantees that you will be forced to take depositions in Greece?”
Bryan Stewart says
Pirate Talk. Gesture by your hands not often. Don’t forget that pirates do the most part of the conversation on a vessel deck – on ocean where a wind, waves don’t allow to hear well.