Studying for a career in law with visible tattoos! Watch

Lynette_s
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Hi all,
I'm due to start to start a law degree with the open university in January. I have visible tattoos on hands and collar bone and a dermal anchor on my face ( of which I'm planning to have removed ) .
I'm worried that my tattoos may stop me getting employment in the future. I've looked at ways to cover them by using special make up and skin transfers however i've never covered them before so I'm unsure if these products work well.
Do any of you have visible tattoos ? or experience with how tattoos are viewed in such a career ? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks
Lynette
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TSR Mustafa
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Collar Bone tatt can be hidden , but the tatoo on your face is not going to help you at all.
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Lynette_s
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(Original post by TSR Mustafa)
Collar Bone tatt can be hidden , but the tatoo on your face is not going to help you at all.
Hi thanks for your reply,
I haven't got a tattoo on my face , I have a piecing on my face of which I will get removed , its the tattoos on my hands I'm most concerned about .

Lynette
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TSR Mustafa
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(Original post by Lynette_s)
Hi thanks for your reply,
I haven't got a tattoo on my face , I have a piecing on my face of which I will get removed , its the tattoos on my hands I'm most concerned about .

Lynette
How big is the tatoo on your hands?
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Lynette_s
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(Original post by TSR Mustafa)
How big is the tatoo on your hands?
Its part of a tattoo I have on my forearm goes down half way across the back of my hand and I have a small cross on my little finger , I also have a smallish tattoo on my other hand from little finger knuckle down to my wrist .
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TSR Mustafa
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(Original post by Lynette_s)
Its part of a tattoo I have on my forearm goes down half way across the back of my hand and I have a small cross on my little finger , I also have a smallish tattoo on my other hand from little finger knuckle down to my wrist .
I think uploading a picture would be best , i don't know if they would seriously affect your prospects tho , , im sure people with tatoos can reply soon.
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Lynette_s
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Ok I will upload one shortly , I really hope they don't affect me to much I'm willing to cover them if I can find away to do that .
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Lynette_s
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Lynette_s
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0123456543210
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I am not a tattoo person, but they really look pretty except these dots on your knuckles. I think you can just wear long sleeves and even though some parts of the tattoo wouldn't be covered, this shouldn't be a huge problem. This really depends on whether the individual interviewer would mind them or not.
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Lynette_s
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(Original post by 0123456543210)
I am not a tattoo person, but they really look pretty except these dots on your knuckles. I think you can just wear long sleeves and even though some parts of the tattoo wouldn't be covered, this shouldn't be a huge problem. This really depends on whether the individual interviewer would mind them or not.
Thanks and yes those dots iv been meaning to get rid of for years now , apparently laser treatment can remove them pretty quickly as there so old and not done professionally.
Yes I suppose it is all down to the interviewer on the day and their preference, iv been searching the web on this subject and read a lot of horror stories (lawyers in the U.S being asked to leave the court room until their tattoos have been removed! ) so it did worry me slightly! I love my tattoos I just hope they don't reflect badly of me and my personality, as some people online seem to have the impression those with tattoos are and I quote " crazed" "untidy" "untrustworthy" people which is not the sort of labelling I would like personally let alone working in law!

Lynette
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Conzy210
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I think you'll struggle with some firms to be honest. Graduate recruitment of one firm recommended that a friend of mine should shave their beard, as many of the partners would find it unprofessional.

You might find some firms which don't mind, but I'd probably get them lasered if it was me.
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Lynette_s
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I thought that might be the case , I'm still deciding what route to take after my degree i don't have a set job or goal in mind as yet other than to give this my all . I'm going to inquire if it is possible to remove my tattoos as from what I've found online it isn't always possible to remove all of it . Shame about your friend , i personally don't think a beard makes anyone look unprofessional in anyway ! Throughout history right up to now there had been many highly professional men with beards that have made a huge difference to the world , but I suppose we all have to do what's deemed necessary in order to get where we want in life .
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Fermionic
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If you're looking at city law then clients won't like them, at all. If you're not then i'm sure a regional would let you express that level of individuality.
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Goaded
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I like your forearm/hand piece.


I don't have much to actually contribute though sorry haha. My guess is they wouldn't like them.
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Lynette_s
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Thanks goaded and thanks for your reply fermionic ,I'm not really planing on city work , although I don't really have a career path set in mind , I will just see where my strengths are during my studies. I think I will keep my tattoos for the time being until I decide on what path to take after my degree,
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happyinthehaze
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HI there

Well, I note you have not said, employment as a lawyer but let's say that is your intention. Law is a fairly conservative arena and there are not that many visible tattoos about. I won't say 'none' but certainly not very many at all. I think law is getting slightly less conservative but not by huge amounts. Who's to say who actually has tattoos and who doesn't though but most not visible!

As always, the biggest barrier you will face to working as a lawyer is qualification. Here, the SRA is thinking about changing again the way in which solicitors qualify which has in itself changed very recently anyway. Currently, to qual as a solicitor you have to get a 2 year training contract, essentially a legal apprenticeship - and this is like a job that you have to apply for. The application process is very competitive ie VERY competitive. In this process, many things can hold you back, visible tattoos just being one of them. For barristers, an even more competitive qualification process called pupillage.

I would hazard less tattoos at the bar than in law firms. ie even less.

When you apply for these jobs, nobody is going to tell you that you have been rejected because you have visible tattoos. From large city organisations, you may not be rejected because you have visible tattoos - if you get far enough through the process that they can tell you have visible tattoos, then you have done well. There are so many other reasons to get rejected, ie performance-related ones. In theory, if you do well enough in the application process, it will deliver you into a face to face assessment process - where things get more complex anyway. Are you going to fit in the firm? Not just you - anyone.

You haven't mentioned your A Level grades - these are much more likely to be the bigger influencers IMO.

In smaller firms, they might reject you because you have visible tattoos a bit more readily and they may suppose that the clients won't like it. If you work in a law firm where most of the clients are tattooed themselves, it may be seen as not so much as a problem. I don't know, depends how the law firm sees itself. Once people you work with know you and know you are good and do a good job and the clients like you then it is not going to be a problem at all.

In short, yes I think it will effect your chances of employment but you are probably never going to know when it is doing and when it isn't doing. Your best bet is to dress professionally and act professionally and just do all the same things that all the other very competitive law students do - get legal experience, get great grades. Make it happen for yourself.

Whatever you do, don't decide that people are rejecting you for your tattoos - in all honestly, they will more likely be rejecting you for other reasons.

I should also say a word for lawyers here - they are generally quite thinking and the ones I have come across have been very fair. They are able to think clearly and apply principles to situations. The principle of rejecting somebody based on appearance will certainly jar with many as it brings into play prejudice and decisions not made on merit. Lawyers are also able to split of their own personal opinions with professional ones. So, they might not like your tats, but they may also be able to see that this should not hold you back if you are good.

Also, I should say that most lawyers also work in commercial arrangements - the client is the thing, and is the client going to mind? Will your tattoos reflect well or badly on the firm?

I am sure J-SP will tell you about the HR and recruitment side of things possibly.

It's not going to stop you getting all the legal experience, doing the applications, applying and doing the online assessment tests and, indeed, the interviews.

BTW I keep my own tat under wraps in my own legal work place although it has been spotted by a couple of eagle-eyed lawyers. Lawyers are good at the detail, you know. Not much gets passed them. Positive responses on both counts


(Original post by Lynette_s)
Hi all,
I'm due to start to start a law degree with the open university in January. I have visible tattoos on hands and collar bone and a dermal anchor on my face ( of which I'm planning to have removed ) .
I'm worried that my tattoos may stop me getting employment in the future. I've looked at ways to cover them by using special make up and skin transfers however i've never covered them before so I'm unsure if these products work well.
Do any of you have visible tattoos ? or experience with how tattoos are viewed in such a career ? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks
Lynette
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Lynette_s
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Thanks so much for taking the time to reply in such a detailed and informative manner happyinthehaze. I really appreciate all the information I have received.
I have chosen to study law not for conventional reasons but because I find law an interesting and challenging subject . I'm a mother of 3 and currently pregnant so using distance learning to keep my mind active and challenged , with hope to further my career prospects when I return to the working world, Much more than that I haven't decided .
I don't have my heart set on being a lawyer, solicitor or barrister I would be happy with a smaller role maybe at a citizen advice bureau or something similar. I know my tattoos are likely to have an impact on any employment I hope to get, so i think removal maybe my best option in any case.
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happyinthehaze
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We need more like you!


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Lynette_s
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Aww thanks happyinthehaze
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