Women’s Suit Drive for UBC Law Students

I am pleased and excited to announce that I am working with the UBC Indigenous Legal Studies Program and Centre for Feminist Legal Studies to put on a women’s suit drive.

We are accepting donations up until February 13, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

Read on to find out why I wanted to put on this event, and to find out the details about how you can donate.

One of the many barriers facing women who are seeking entrance into the legal profession is clothing. And not a lot of people talk about or address this issue.

My own experiences as a lawyer have highlighted this. Proper courtroom attire is considered to be a suit – whether it is a dress suit, a skirt suit, or a pant suit. While many women wear blazer and pant/skirt/dress combinations, these are often the subject of unwarranted criticism by judges, fellow lawyers, and court staff alike. I have been met with criticism before for pairing a blazer with a smart dress, or a suit jacket with a pair of dress slacks.

So why is this a barrier? Can’t women just find a suit and get on with it?

The reality is that women’s suits are hard to find, and generally priced so much higher than men’s suits as to make them unaffordable. This is a particular problem for students, women who are supporting families, and Indigenous lawyers. Not many students have a few hundred, much less a few thousand dollars, to spend on a new suit for interviews, networking events, or firm meet and greets. And yet the expected dress code for these events isĀ  a suit.

For that reason, I am working in partnership with the UBC Indigenous Legal Studies Program and the UBC Centre for Feminist Legal Studies to put together a suit drive for female law students. I am hoping to collect as many new or gently-used suits from women in the legal profession to donate to UBC Law students in advance of some interviewing and networking events later this month.

We are accepting donations of new or gently used suits of all sizes, styles, shapes, and colours. If you don’t have suits but you have separates that pair well or office-appropriate attire we are happy to take that too. And if you don’t have any of that but you still want to donate you can spread the word to your female colleagues, or consider donating some cash which I will use to purchase gift cards to Banana Republic or Simons so that students may shop for suits as well.

Donating is super easy! We are able to pick up donations up until February 13, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Just send me an email with your address and someone from our office will attend to pick up the suits. You can approach any Acumen Law lawyer in court and provide your donation to us directly. Or, you can drop off any donated items to any Acumen Law office before 5:00 p.m. on February 13, 2019.

Cash donations can be made to us directly or by e-transfer.

The event will be held at UBC on February 14, 2019 so please make sure you make your donations by then!

6 thoughts on “Women’s Suit Drive for UBC Law Students”

  1. I have some beautiful , lightly used dressy coats for donation.
    They are from Daniel and were only worn once or twice.
    Happy to help young women reach their dream.
    I live about 10 mins from university. E mail me for address.

  2. Hi Kathleen,
    I can’t see your email address through the comments but feel free to email me at kyla@kylalee.ca and we will be happy to come pick them up! Thank you for your generosity!!

  3. Hi,
    I have a few formal skirts that will pair well with blazers, coats, etc. I live close to Joyce-Collingwood train station. Let me know when someone can pick up the clothes.

  4. Hi Mariana,
    We can come pick them up tomorrow anytime between 10 and 5, or I can pick them up myself later in the evening on Monday. Please send me an email kyla@kylalee.ca with the address and time that works best for you!

  5. Hi Kyla,
    Will you be doing the Women’s Suit Drive again? If yes, I would like to make a clothing donation for the next drive – thanks.

  6. Hi Lana,
    Yes, we are planning to do it as an annual event now. If you’d like to send me an email we can coordinate picking it up?

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