I’m an aspiring lawyer but tattooed: Will I be accepted at a corporate law firm?

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By Legal Cheek on

Confused over covering up my ink


In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one law student questions whether he’ll stand out for all the wrong reasons in the ever-conservative commercial world.


I’m a second year law student and I’m thinking about applying for training contracts. I’ve got some tattoos including one on the back of my neck — though none on my hands or face, and definitely nothing offensive. When I was getting my tattoos a few years ago, my mum told me I’d never make it in the law if I got them done, and I told her I’d prove her wrong. But now I’m starting to think she was right. I’ve heard about candidates hiding their tattoos and how strict law firms are about dress/appearance. I don’t know if I’d be accepted. My tattoos can be covered up, but part of me doesn’t see why I should have to; it is 2016 after all. What should I do? If I apply, cover up for my interview but then get “found out” a few weeks in, I might scupper my chances of being kept on at the firm. At the same time, if I am honest about my tattoos, am I just taking a pointless risk with my career? Or, may be, as long as I look professional and have got the grades, partners won’t care? Thoughts please.

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