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After a few days of careful thought, you think you have pieced together the lost night when you consumed one cold beer too many, which led to an interesting tattoo that you can’t even understand why you chose, much less why you sat still long enough to have the ink injected.  Now, you’re wondering if you’ve just blown your shot at being taken seriously when you begin your job hunt in the legal sector.  A. Harrison Barnes says ideally, a tattoo has nothing at all to do with whether you’re offered a job or not.  Well, mostly, anyway.  If your friends convinced you a lovely shade of red would look just dandy in a rose…on your forehead…then maybe it’s time to get new friends.  If the ink is in an awkward place that can’t be hidden, you should consider having it lasered off.  Fair warning, says the LawCrossing.com founder; it’s both painful and expensive.  Then again, missing out on the perfect position in the perfect law firm is going to cost you far more.  Did we mention it’s time to get new friends?

Usually, tattoos are easily covered and in fact, if you were to conduct an impromptu poll, many would have no idea the paralegal for the senior partner has a tattoo of a cowboy hat on her ankle.  She has complete control over who, if anyone, sees it on the job.  Since this person exists, we asked her about it.  “I love my tattoo and I have no regrets.  My only consideration before I got it was I wanted control over when it was exposed and when it wasn’t.  This was important since there are those times in life when displaying it might be in poor taste.  Fortunately, that hasn’t happened.  And I wear dresses and business suits every day.  The freedom comes in knowing I could wear pants and no one would know.  Bottom line for me personally, though, is that I have no regrets and don’t mind showing it.”

“That’s a healthy approach”, says A. Harrison Barnes.  “As long as you’re not making a controversial political statement on your forehead or your hand (areas you can’t cover), odds are, a tattoo won’t keep you from becoming the country’s best attorney if that’s what you wish to do”.

In fact, the profiles of typical clients entering a tattoo shop today are middle age business owners, doctors, bankers and even government employees.  This comes from always wanting to do it, but opting not to because the wife, the mother, the husband convinced them otherwise; there’s always someone to discourage it.  By the time we hit our forties, we’re putting less stock into others’ opinions.

If you’ve carefully considered it, have a tasteful design in mind and have committed to placing in a place that allows flexibility on when it shows and when it’s hidden, a well placed tattoo could be good for the soul.  Just ask the cowboy hat yielding paralegal.

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