Hugh Spitzer, Why Lawyers Have Often Worn Strange Clothes, Claimed to Work for Free--and Been Hated, Wash. St. B. News, Sept. 20, 2000, at 20
legal profession, judges, clothes
Why have lawyers and judges always adorned themselves in ancient regalia? Obviously, they must symbolically transform themselves from private individuals into "law speakers" for the community. They become tools of a longstanding legal system, and special clothes offer clues to others (and reminders to themselves) that they have special responsibilities, both to their clients and to the community at large. The "retro" clothes that lawyers and judges wear also remind everyone that law is old that it isn't meant to change rapidly, and that it offers stability and predictability in a changing world.