You Can Achieve Success Wearing Flats and Chucks

One would think that a 5’2” Latina would wear as high a heel as possible to either establish presence or to be eye to eye with the opposing side. But I have found this not be the case for me.

Over the years, I have established presence with my legal knowledge, scientific expertise, and my sass. In fact, I wear saddle shoes to the office. I wear Converse Chucks when I visit my clients. I wear flats when I give presentations. If I walked anywhere in town wearing heels (whether here or in Boston), I would probably break my neck—pot holes, streetcar tracks, and brick sidewalks are not conducive to strutting in stilettos.

I celebrate who I am! I am a quirky patent attorney, who was first (and continues to be) a scientist at heart. I am a confident and fierce Latina making a splash in two traditionally, male-dominated professions (science and the law) because: (1) I fully understand the science, (2) I know how the patent laws and the science intimately interconnect, and (3) I passionately serve my clients and protect their intellectual property interests.

My clients are quirky scientists or in-house patent attorneys who in a former life were also scientists or engineers. I visit my clients in their environments—in laboratories, in hospitals, or out in the field. I make them feel comfortable and at ease because I am wearing my flats. Thus the clients are able to confide in me and talk to me about their issues, their science, or whatever it may be.

My clients relate to me when I wear my Converse or saddle shoes, because they see me as one of their team members. My clients do not see me as a “lawyer” but rather as a partner in their ventures, pursuits, and growth. If I happen to show up in a more traditional get-up (the “heels” and suit), my clients ask if they have done something wrong. They have accepted me into their inner circle because I am my idiosyncratic self and genuine, not because I “look” like “a lawyer.”

My clients embrace my flats rather than holding me to a stereotype of heels and suits because they found value in my smarts. My successful, professional branding includes the saddle shoes and Chucks!