A former BLP trainee whose style guide for new lawyers was so honest it was banned by the firm has converted her wisdom into a book.

In 2013 Katy Cousins wrote a blog of fashion advice for legacy BLP's new joiners. It began, “You have one day, or at the very most two weeks, to make an impression and you don’t want that impression to be ‘Does he understand how to use an iron?’ or ‘Nice to know she likes red bras’". Advice to female trainees included wearing dresses no more than “one Bic biro’s length” above the knee, only revealing a half-inch of cleavage, and not ruining outfits with "bumpy lace showing through your top or bulges on your bottom”. 

Cousins warned men that skinny ties belonged in "Hoxton bars, not the office", that black suits were only suitable for "funeral attendees and bouncers", and that, as for coloured shirts with white collars, "You are not an estate agent from Chelmsford". The advice was too spicy for BLP, which removed the blog because it contained "misplaced humour"

    Cousins in an appropriate outfit.  

Cousins, who is now a corporate associate at Constantine Cannon, told RollOnFriday it was "a thoroughly bewildering experience" when the rest of the media picked up RollOnFrioday's story and ran with large headlines about red bras. She said that as a trainee, she was "mostly concerned about losing my job". RollOnFriday did not name her and, she said, "thankfully, grad rec have kept my name confidential to this day".

Giving ROF permission to out her, Cousins explained that "for whatever reason (bras, obviously), people had liked my writing enough to pick up on a piece of non-news and blow it up into national headlines". So over the next couple of years she used her morning commute to convert her notes into a handbook, which she has now published. Released this week,  'Successful Solicitor: Get Ahead of the Game as a Junior Corporate Lawyer' aims to help newbies learn from Cousins' mistakes ("To the head of my first practice group I will always be ‘the trainee who wore that neon dress"). 

     Not suitable, apparently.

Cousins said, "without your site I might not have written it at all", so if you get fired/promoted as a result of taking her advice, blame/thank RollOnFriday (other trainee tips are available).
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Anonymous 20 March 18 16:27

I once mentored a student at a good redbrick uni. I set up a mock interview for her with colleagues and she turned up in platform heels and a skin tight short dress. She would have benefitted from this book. Students have no idea what lawyers look like. I always recommend they go stand outside the entrance to a firm at lunchtime to see how people dress.

Anonymous 20 March 18 22:29

I'm not sure why people are bashing her on the 'individuality' point. It's the corporate environment that sucks individuality out of you. She's just making sure that you're within the acceptable dress parameters before you mess up.