Monday, June 4, 2012

Red & Black Week Day 2: Fiery Red Justice

Today I made a trip to a county courthouse to support an individual dear to my heart while she petitioned for a restraining order against an ex-boyfriend.  

I work part-time in a law office as a legal secretary.  That is less glamorous than it sounds- I mostly file paperwork, draft letters, take some dictation, and send out mass mailings to and for clients.  I've never gone into a courtroom as a legal secretary (although I used to regularly attend the criminal court proceedings at the local courthouse while in college).  So I offered my services, thinking that I could at least help file a complaint.

While I was more concerned with my friend's appearance before the judge, I did pay mind to my own looks.  But I still wanted to participate in Sophistique Noir's second annual Red & Black Week, so I went with a red and black color scheme.  I wore a red blouse from Express, a black pleated skirt from Victoria's Secret, and, due to the sudden bit of chilly weather around here, black knee-high boots from DSW.  

I apologize if I look tired, disheveled, or too serious in these photos.  I took these at the end of the day, so I was feeling rather appropriately worn out from stress and fatigue from the previous late night of compiling evidence and writing incident statements.

 I also tried to add some black fishnets with rose designs on them, seeing as they would only be peeking out from three inches between my skirt hem and the top of my boots, but my mother told me I looked like a "hussy."  And here I was thinking that that term had gone out along with the 19th century.

I just love the bow-clasp belt that goes with this skirt.  Not only does it give me a wonderful hourglass figure- it's just so cute!


Of course I had to give the outfit the proper neo-Victorian touch, with my marcasite cameo necklace and my silver chandelier earrings.

 As it turned out, all of the work for petitioning for a restraining order was done by the clerk at the Protection From Abuse office- including filing a complaint and seeing the judge.  All of the organizing of paperwork I had done the night before, the prepared statements we made for the judge, were all for nothing.  Well, not entirely.  At least we were successful in our goal- to receive a temporary restraining order.  The process isn't complete, and my friend will have to go back with a lawyer in two weeks with the paperwork we did organize to petition to make the restraining order more permanent while giving the defendant (the ex) a chance to have his say on the incidents that brought us there in the first place.

But we did make everything easier for the lawyer she will have to obtain for that hearing.

Unfortunately it was suggested by several people today (and not for the first time in my life by a long shot) that I become a lawyer, as my "legal jargon" is pretty decent from having worked in a law office and I have a general idea of what is and is not relevant to a case.  But such a suggestion is actually an issue I've struggled with for a long time.  I love watching TV shows featuring court proceedings and analyzing the potential outcomes for legal cases based on provided evidence.  I also can be very pragmatic and logical when it comes to other people's problems--something I fail to do time and time again in my own personal life.  

My issues with law, however, make it hard for me to justify a career in that field.  Not only do I not like lawyers (although all lawyers assure me that they don't like each other) I also have little respect for the way I've seen the legal system work in practice.  One little filing mistake can cancel out months of time and money put into researching and preparing for a case, and it seems like a lot of the process of law depends on what judge you happen to get that day and what his/her mood is like.  I've known violators to get off on charges simply for coming into court during a bad snowstorm, while others get kicked out of courtrooms for not tucking in their shirt.

What do you think about the United States of America's legal system, or lawyers in general?  Or your own country's legal system and the people who work in it?


  1. I love lawyers. Especially goth ones.

  2. I think I would have disagreed with your mom's assessment of the tights, but for court it's probably better to play it safe, anyway. That skirt is fabulous, and I'm pretty sad I missed it on the Victoria's Secret web site.

    I respect the American legal system, just not the lawyers and plaintiffs who abuse it. It sometimes enables people to take no responsibility for their own choices and pass the blame to someone else. In this case, though, I'm glad to see justice working properly. You're a good friend to do all of that legwork and be there to support her. I hope it all works out!

  3. you really look creative for this official event :-D red suits you well!

  4. Very lovely! I think it's a nice, professional, but still unique look. I don't think fishnets would have made it hussy-ish either. :) I respect people who can do the law, but I couldn't do it myself. I'm too impatient and wayyyyy too emotional.