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Topics - mjohn008

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I am writing this in response to the discussion at http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=4021319.10 . Since the last update was over 2 years ago I wanted to make a recent response because I would like feedback from people now.

I am starting law school in the fall and I am proud to say that I have dreadlocks, and I plan to keep the for as long as possible.  There seems to be no problem with me keeping them during law school, but it sounds like it's a no-no when it's time to start applying for firms.

I recognize the limitations that my hair may cause me, which is why I am open to cutting them if I could get a straight answer on whether or not it would affect my employment aspects. However, I feel there is a point that has not been raised either here, or any other website where I've tried to do research on this topic: while people are quick to point out the potential racial discrimination in having dreadlocks as a lawyer, I have not seen anyone raise the aspect of the more permissive SEXUAL discrimination involved as well.

I have seen many black FEMALE lawyers, businesswomen, etc., with locks, kinky twists, braids, etc., who have do not seem to be judged as harshly when getting employment, but when a black MALE decides to have a hairstyle different from the traditional fade or crew-cut, and all of a sudden it's considered UNPROFESSIONAL?!? I feel this is blatant hypocrisy and a double standard.

I probably would not resist cutting my locks so much if there was a universally-accepted standard that they would not be accepted in any format as a lawyer, but this unfair standard only seems to be applied more strictly to men, while women seem to have more leniency. If someone can provide me a reasonable answer why, as a black male, I should accept this and just cut them off, regardless of the care, effort, and money I invest into making them look as clean and professional as possible, it may change my opinion. Otherwise, I do intend on keeping them after law school and unless specifically told otherwise, will allow people to judge me by my work and professionalism, and not by my appearance.

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