On Uniforms and Shorts in Law Schools

Background here.

Tanuj Kalia

I agree with the fact that uniforms add a sense of ‘belonging’ to a profession. Many a litigator see their black robes with a sense of immense pride.

And I have no issues with students being asked to wear a uniform, say, once a week. For that sense of belonging, pride.

But lets take the argument further: Why do we study law? To become a lawyer? A litigating lawyer who dons black robes or a law firmite dressed in impeccable formals?

What about a law journalist? What uniform does he wear? Lets give him a jhola , shall we? What about an academician? What will she wear? And well, a would-be judge? What should we prescribe for her/him? A wig?

Given the various options a law student has, I think it will be very restrictive to dress her up in an attire.

can’t imagine a law student in this? i can.

A law school is not meant to fit you into a profession; it exists to give you myriad skills: the skills to reason, to argue, to defend; to be a free thinking individual.

And you know, what a free thinking individual should wear? Shorts, will be my answer (kidding).

And that’s the issue here. Prescribing a uniform for a day is alright; restricting a student’s choice to wear something pretty decent (shorts), an authoritarian act. Till a student dresses decently and does not offend anyone, no one should have a problem.

PS 1: the best academic at NUJS is known to go into staff meetings, in, you guessed it right, shorts.

PS 2: a uniform may add a sense of belonging to the profession, but its not a pre-requisite to being a competent professional. No potent rays are emitted from the combination of a white shirt and a black pant which makes you a better lawyer.

I can very well be nude and be the most diligent student in class. Decorum and sanctity of a classroom do not come from the dresses its students wear but from their conduct.

You must of course not offend anyone from what you wear. Do shorts offend anyone? I don’t think so. And what is offensive? Like porn, you know it, when you see it.

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