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Paralegal Career Dressing: The Secretary Blouse…Again

Paralegal Career Dressing: The Secretary Blouse…Again

I’ll confess I bought not just one, but two vintage bow-tie “secretary” blouses when I was out of town last month. The prices had been drastically reduced, and I do love a good secretary blouse, even if I don’t want to be called a secretary at work.

Liz Claiborne Flex pumps ~ Shoe Carnival
Loft skirt ~ thrifted
Vintage Lucky Tops bow tie blouse ~ thrifted A Second Time Around, Wilmington, NC
Belt ~ This is one of my few relics from the 80s – found in Teen’s drawer! Yay!
Cuff bracelet ~ Jada’s Jewels
Silver drop earrings ~ Kohl’s years ago

Which is totally different from performing secretarial duties, which I still do. Many paralegals bristle if they are mistaken for legal secretaries, or if they are given work traditionally reserved for legal secretaries, but the practice of law has changed. Many younger attorneys can create their own documents, and voice recognition software has reduced the need for word-processing.

Please note my rather obnoxious bright orange-y nail polish, actually Revlon Colorstay in Marmalade. For the record, my supervising attorney was wearing almost the same color nail polish – to court. 

Some firms don’t even have legal secretaries any more, just “legal assistants,” which used to be synonymous with “paralegals,” but now can mean a whole new tier of legal staffers, somewhere between legal secretaries and paralegals.

But even with advances in technology, sometimes there are secretarial and clerical jobs that need to be done in a law firm. Some courts and clients still require paper submissions, and both attorneys and paralegals may find themselves running around like chickens minus heads, making copies, punching holes, and trying to get a FedEx package out before the last pick-up across town.

Lisa discusses blogger style poses today. I’m still working on my patented no-face pose.

In a deadline-oriented law firm, anybody might find themselves wearing the secretarial shoe – or blouse – at 5:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon or the Sunday night before a trial starts on Monday. If we’re associate attorneys, paralegals, or legal assistants, we shouldn’t look at it as a demotion, but simply as being part of a team that pitches in to get the work done.

The Teen, today’s photographer, rocks a Delia’s neon plaid shirt.

Team Bow Tie Blouse, or Team Bow Ties Make Me Feel Like Choking?

13 Responses to Paralegal Career Dressing: The Secretary Blouse…Again

  1. Love the blouse and all the awesome accessories you have going on today. Why haven't you been wearing these shoes?? So fabulous!

  2. It's a beautiful blouse Lynn! I know that for years my office was right outside the department secretary's office. If she wasn't in, I was often by default the "department secretary." I moved to a different office several years ago…in part because of this constant level of interruption. I don't know how our department secretary does it. She has some 80 faculty to keep track of and must deal with quite a variety of students, happy and unhappy.

  3. I love a bow blouse – this one, the other one, and all the future ones. Killer shoes, too! You and the Teen both look fantastic.
    I do a lot of administrative work at our clinic too, because that's the way we do it when it needs to be done : >

  4. I agree with Sheila – My brain phased out most of the legal info and went "Why have you been holding out on me?!" Seriously those shoes are intense.

    I love bow-blouses, but I don't like anything tight/heavy on my neck. I get weirdly nauseated.

  5. I love the bow tie blouse! It's timeless but a little unexpected. You are one saucy paralegal, I swear!!

    And we'll definitely be having scones and cream. 😉

  6. You look so pretty- that vintage blouse is stunning, I love the nail polish and those heels are sexy! When I was an Executive Assistant I used to hate doing other people's photocopies and mail their letters, I know that's what I was paid to do but it felt almost demeaning so I understand the whole label thing!

  7. I have been known to wear a secretary blouse or two in my time. Yours is beautiful – mine was flat beige with a huge bow. A too-hot iron would melt it. Your nails pick up the colour in your top beautifully.

  8. I love the bow tie blouse, as you saw on my blog I recently got one too. I like yours, the colors are great and I like that your bow tie is a little smaller than the one on mine. Very cute!


    I mean nothing against the secretarial job realm, nor do I devalue working as a team. And I totally know that I, as a paralegal, do a LOT of secretarial work. I am the only paralegal in our firm, so I answer phones, make coffee and make copies. BUT do NOT call me a secretary. That drives me BONKERS! I didn't go to college to get my Paralegal Certificate just to be snubbed. Ok, now that we are done with that, I love your secretary blouse Lynne!

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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