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How to Movember: Bringing Your Dinky Lawyer Mustache to Work

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on November 17, 2015 5:59 AM

It's the Ides of Movember and college campuses, corporate offices, and even law firms are filling up with the wispiest of brostaches. Movember, also known as No-Shave November, is the annual charity drive for men's health issues. It's the month where barefaced lads start growing facial hair and collecting money for prostate cancer, mental health, and similar causes. Think of it like a breast cancer marathon, but without any of the physical effort.

But if you're a lawyer or law student tasked with growing a 'stache while maintaining a professional appearance, Movember can be a trying month.

Changing the Face of Men's Health -- and Your Actual Face

Movember was started in 2004 with the goal of "changing the face of men's health." The program has spread throughout the world, raised millions for charity, and spawned similar organizations. (No-Shave November is perhaps the biggest alternative group.) Offices and schools often put together no shave teams and competitions.

But, changing the face of men's health also requires you to change your face. That's a bit more of a commitment than, say, the ice bucket challenge.

And now that we're a few weeks in, those changes are likely to be looking a bit ... creepy.

The Problem With Fresh Facial Hair

That's because facial hair takes a while to mature. For the first week or so, the young esquires partaking in Movember just look scruffy. After two weeks, many are in full "Michael Cera with a mustache" mode. Some may look dapper, but many will look like they just entered puberty or just exited rehab. We've stood on the side of lawyers with beards before, but fresh facial hair is simply a hard look to pull off.

So what should attorneys participating in Movember due? It depends. If you're a litigator going before a jury, shave. Jurors don't trust the moustachioed. If you're going before a judge, shave. If you'll be meeting with clients, shave -- unless you know that they're un-shaven as well.

Once the thing starts looking bad, get rid of it. It's better to let someone else win the office awards and hirsute accolades than to spend half a month looking like a weirdo.

And for those of you observing, my sympathies. Try not to judge too harshly and remember, it's for a good cause.

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