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Paralegal Career Dressing: Lovely Lawyers

Paralegal Career Dressing: Lovely Lawyers

One of my supervising attorneys, Helen Parsonage, is making a name for herself as a highly successful trial and immigration attorney, most recently making the news for saving a man from deportation, and highlighting the issue of whether a married gay couple should have the same rights as a married straight couple. Helen fights for the underdog every day, and I’m extremely proud to provide litigation support as her paralegal.

Helen is also a very stylish professional woman, as is the newest member of our firm, attorney Alice Chen Anderson. When I saw Helen’s new super slim pants from the Loft Outlet and Alice’s beautiful suede coat today, I begged to photograph them for the ol’ budget career wear blog, and they kindly acquiesced.

Alice: Suede trench coat: Vancouver | Shoes: purhased by friends in France
Helen: Sweater and pants: Loft Outlet | Jacket: Petite Sophisticate

Two things you need to know about these pictures: 1) we were talking about work matters the entire time, and 2) the office was freezing today. Alice was wearing her coat pretty much as a suit. The temperatures in this part of the southern USA plummeted from in the 80s every day last week to a high in the 50s today, with the awful oily, chilly drizzle that makes you want your jammies (the ones with the footies), hot cocoa, and a good book – at home.

I was also on the telephone for work when I grabbed my outfit shots. I’m modeling the headset I use everyday, so y’all can see the hair challenge. Yes, I have gotten it tangled in my hair and had to rip it out.

Look for my scintillating post later this week, sharing the middle-aged reasons I had to purge most of my career shoes this weekend for, well, what my stylish shoe fancier friends would likely call, gulp, orthopaedic shoes, more or less.

a.n.a. sweater jacket (jcp) | Grace Elements pencil skirt, more teal in person (Steinmart); Easy Street Comfort Wave Premier slip-on loafer (Hamricks); Mossimo Tissue Turtleneck (Target); Chain (Steinmart I think) | Also, I swear my tights were black not navy but who really knows at 5:45 a.m.
(No compensation received, just sharing the shoe if your feet are killing you)
Add in my new bifocals, and this blog is going to slide into my 50th year with the ability to walk without limping and perfect vision. You know what? I will take it.
Headshot of a multi-tasking fool
Have you had to give up any fashion faves or change any part of your style due to aging and/or work issues?

25 Responses to Paralegal Career Dressing: Lovely Lawyers

  1. I've definitely had to give up some of my too-high heels, especially for work. Short skirts have also (mostly) been relegated to going-out status only – they're just not good when you're sitting all day.

  2. Awww how awesome to be able to work with such fashionable ladies. Your blue skirt is incredible with the classic jacket. I think the tights look blue-black and work fine.

    I had to give up the tall-tall heels. I can still wear 2inchers, but my knees are too messed to strut around in heels without feeling deep joint ache.

    • It's true that I do very much look forward to seeing what my co-workers are wearing to work. That, and anything sugary for breakfast are the only thing that get me out of bed in the a.m.

  3. A main issue I had when Tia and I started our blog was wanting to wear headbands–they just don't get along with my glasses and I always wind up with a headache. Of course, since my glasses have been broken for the last five months, I should have been wearing as many headbands as possible to make up for lost time, but what can you do? (I'll have to have a last hurrah before I get new ones, since I finally got my prescription updated today.)

  4. Nope, can't do mega-high heels now, not unless I can sit down the whole time, and be carried around in a sedan chair anyway…
    How lovely to see your colleagues – stylish, professional, and working hard for equality and upholding people's rights. Good work, ladies!
    You look lovely, hope the headset stayed untangled! xxx

  5. Love the jackets those ladies are wearing and your awesome blue skirt Lynne!

    I haven't given up much in terms of what I wear other than I suppose really short skirts that only looked good when I was 21.

  6. Oh I am so sorry about the feet and the glasses Lynne but I am sure that you will rock both of them with ease. You work with some very stylish attorneys! I love that the one works for "underdogs"–that is so cool!

  7. What a beautifully stylish and hard-working bunch! And incredible work y'all are doing – utmost respect. Sorry to hear about the necessary shoe-accommodations, and I admire your graciousness about it.

    For work, I keep in mind that there is often the potential to be actively engaged in play with children, including getting down on the floor, making music and messy art, dance / movement, etc. as well as being conscious of the kinds of cultural messages whatever I wear might convey to young people and their families.

    Though I'm exceedingly frugal in many areas of my life (cut my own hair, use only one hair product and lipstick, no manicures, rarely get coffee or eat out, spend very little on entertainment, have no cell phone / laptop, just now replacing my 15 year old car etc.), enjoying my style / clothing and having celebrated many birthdays and special occasions with – and saved up for – shoes in particular over the years can give a different impression. At times this can create a barrier of judgement and resentment, which has the potential to interfere with establishing a therapeutic relationship.

    Really good question, Lynne!

    • To me, you give the impression of being an utterly stunning, interesting, and compassionate woman. Although if I were in the same room with you, I'd probably give in to my extreme shyness and just stare at your marvelous footwear.

  8. I am still holding onto my high heels, but I have flats for those days that my back is hurting me more than normal. I guess since I have been in pain most of my life, I am a but used to it??

    You all look great, too! I love that blue color of your skirt…it is one of my favorite colors. 🙂

  9. How cute do you look on the phone? I am coveting a headset now. Are you evertempted to do Madonna moves when wearing it?

    I am completely on the flat shoes tip. Not just the height of heels that is a problem, but the wobbliness with spindly heels. But I am on a mission to always wear cute flat shoes. It s possible honest! I even have to wear an insole on one side to balance my wayward hips.

    • I adore all of your shoes, so I'd deem your mission a success.

      I never once thought of doing Madonna moves while wearing it, but now that you've given me the idea…

  10. Heroines and fabulously dressed to boot. You can tell it's a bit chilly though! Loving you in the cobalt blue, not so keen on the hair entanglement, ouch!
    I've needed sensible shoes since my mid-thirties but can't bring myself to do it. My orthopaedic surgeon despairs but always compliments me on the way I'm dressed! x

    • Vix, I know your orthopaedic surgeon probably loves seeing a patient as gorgeous as you, and likely encourages you to wear those heels so you'll have to keep coming back!

  11. You and your colleagues are all much more stylish and colourful than I expected lawyers to be! The suede coat is really lovely!

    I was born with extremely sturdy feet and have always had trouble finding footwear. After my pregnancy 12 years ago my feet have swollen, permanently, adding to the challenge. However, after following a few blogs, I've been introduced to quite a lot of more or less orthopedic footwear. Debbi of She Accessorizes Well has done some posts on it, among others. Most of these shoes are very stylish. Not all for sale in Europe though! If you haven't seen her posts already, you might find some inspiration there!

    • I will check out Debbi's post. Right now, I'm lovin' the Easy Spirit, Clarks, Naturalizers, and Aerosoles, but I've been told to keep an eye out for Merrills at Marshalls. Which I totes will 😛

  12. So much here to respond to!! First, thank you for sharing your wonderful colleagues!! Do you happen to know Babette Boyd? She's an attorney in your area and we go way back.

    Next, you've got the kind of legs that look amazing in "orthopedic shoes" or heels, regardless. Good legs are good legs, period!! Plus, being able to move comfortably is way sexier, in my opinion. Trust me, you don't have to worry! You look gorgeous and I'm still obsessing about your hair. 🙂

    Lastly, I resonated with Amber's answer to your final question. Although I know I'm extremely fortunate, I'm also very frugal and prefer to thrift or make my own clothes as an art form. Like her, I am interested in forging relationships, not creating distance. I try to share this art form, and am excited when I can preach the "Goodwill Gospel" (embracing creativity and sustainability) with anyone who expresses an interest. I have several young converts, which is gratifying.

    Keep up the good work; I believe we're all in this together.

    • That's funny, 'cause I obsess over YOUR hair. I look at you and Stylin' Stacy, and get the urge to grow, baby, grow!

      Jean, what is interesting these days is my thoughts when I go into retail clothing stores, such as "I've seen all this before over the decades," and "You can find something similar at GW Boutique or a thrift store if you're patient."

  13. You have lovely and stylish co-workers, Lynne.
    The blue skirt you're wearing is so pretty.
    My employers offered to get me a headset, but I refused. I did not tell them it's because it would squash my teased up hair. haha
    I used to wear contact lenses all the time and just out of the blue one day my eyes would no longer tolerate them no matter what solutions to the problem I tried. So I had to start wearing glasses (which I take off for blog photos). I'm at the point where I can comfortably look under my glasses to read (since they're fairly narrow), but I know a day will come when I'll have to adapt to a progressive lens because I will no longer be able to see the computer screen.
    I am becoming more and more aware of the fact that I'm preferring comfortable shoes at the office too. It's just not worth the aching feet and feeling like I'm going to have to rip my shoes off and walk barefoot (no matter what the temperature) to get to my car in the parking garage at the end of the day.
    Part of the Over 50 Club and learning to adapt.

    • You look beautiful in your glasses, but I understand taking them off for blog pics. The flash glare on my lenses was an unhappy discovery 🙁

      I remember when my feet only hurt after a night of dancing, not just getting out of my car. Filling out my application for the Over 50 Club right now 🙂

  14. I'm slowly phasing out items from my closet, only I reword the "I'm getting too old for this" as "I have come to appreciate quality over quantity," but really they are the same thing. I'm in love with kitten heels and low wedges, because they allow me to think I'm wearing high heels, but won't kill my feet or my knees by the end of the day.

  15. It sounds like your firm gets to do some pretty exciting stuff! I'm a P.D., and occasionally have to consult the immigration attorneys for consequences of a particular plea… per Padilla v. Kentucky, of course. As of now, I'm the only one in my office who clears these, since I've done the most training on the subject.

    Everyone looks well-dressed, and ready to rock!

  16. Lynne…both of these ladies are lovely. I'm glad you convinced them to share their fashion sensibilities with us.
    I'm having some fun today, perusing your blog. I've been reading a bit and commenting as you have seen, but I haven't had the opportunity to really dig in yet….I'm doing it today and its been a pleasure.

Contact Info:

Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

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