What’s the difference between business casual and business formal?

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With so many pre-law events coming up this term, our executive team thought that it would be a great idea to come up with a guide for how to dress for different events. We’ll (hopefully) be able to help you figure out the two most confusing types of dress: business casual and business formal.

Business Casual

Business casual has the most variety in what you can wear. It turns out that within business casual there’s a range of dress from BC to executive casual and traditional business attire.

Ladies: skirts, heels, blouses, cardigans, dress pants, and knit sweaters are all appropriate. You can either dress these up or down as you please. There is a ton of variability within business casual wear, so play around with it and find an outfit that you like. Open toed shoes are usually alright in this circumstance, unless you’re going for a slightly more professional look.

The classic khakis and a polo shirt is the classic look for men, but the new trendy look is a suit and unbuttoned collared shirt without a tie. It turns out sandals are not appropriate attire for men.

Business Formal
Wear a suit. This is the most formal type of professional dress, with a matching jacket and pants/skirt. You’ll look professional and make a great impression. We recommend erring on the conservative side, with nothing too flashy and closed toe shoes. You can usually stick to business casual unless business formal is specifically asked for.

Ladies, make sure that the jacket and bottoms match. If you’re wearing a skirt, it shouldn’t be too short (close to the knee). Though a collared shirt is the traditional option, most blouses would be appropriate as long as it’s not too low cut, and a neutral colour. On the bright side, it’s 2016 so pantyhose is optional.

Gentlemen, make sure you are wearing a suit and tie. Tie clips and cuff links are a snazzy addition, but not completely necessary. Nevertheless, make sure that you aren’t wearing a blue suit à la Justin Bieber, and that the pants hit the top of the heel of your shoe. General Rules 

  • No light coloured/ripped jeans are appropriate in either of these settings.
  • No matter what you’re wearing, make sure to iron!
  • Make sure you’re well-groomed and clean.
  • Don’t overdo the fragrances; they are overwhelming and some are allergic!

Happy New Year + Exec Feature #5 – Joseph Braun, VP Sponsorship

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Happy New Year, Pre-lawyers!

If you enjoyed your time with us in the first semester, you’ll be beyond excited for us in semester two. We’ve got all kinds of exciting events all throughout February and March, including law firm visits, court visits (a first!), information sessions, LSAT preparation sessions, and last but not least, our signature Wine and Cheese event to end off the year. We hope you’re looking forward to it as much as we are.

To start off 2016, we would like to feature our lovely VP Sponsorship, Joseph Braun, who works alongside our other VP Sponsorship Arsham to bring together valuable sponsor events and secure the partnerships that Pre-Law Society has throughout the year.


Joseph is currently entering his 4th year at UBC, majoring in civil engineering and minoring in commerce. He was born in Mexico City, and for the majority of his life desired to become a practising engineer. It was not until recently when he uncovered his passion for litigation, critical thinking and customer interaction would be more congruent with a career in law! He is extremely excited about this new finding, and hopes to attend UBC’s school of law in 2016. We asked him a few questions about his  journey and plans with UBC and law in general: 

Q: What inspired you to want to pursue law school?

A: For the majority of my life desired I to become a practising engineer. It was not until recently when I uncovered my passion for litigation, critical thinking and customer interaction would be very congruent with a career in law. Upon this realization, I began to research the objectives of law school, namely, the attributes the schools hope to equip their graduates with. I instantly knew that these skills would undoubtedly allow me to further excel, while serving the community and promoting the values of a just, civil, and sustainable society. Like most, I’ve always wanted to help those around me and have a positive impact on society. In order to accomplish this, I believe we have to build our skillset as much as possible, and law school is my next step n truing to achieve this.


Q: How did you first get started with Pre-law Society?

A: About a year and half ago, as I began to uncover my passion for law I started to do some research on law related opportunities at UBC. I came across the Pre-Law Society’s website and began to read their history and mission. I immediately felt an internal desire to get involved with the Society; it felt like the exact thing I needed to further develop this newfound interest. It was sheer coincidence this occurred about a week before the deadline for resume submissions to become an executive team member. I excitedly prepared my resume, and submitted it, and well the rest is history!


Q: What do you like best about Pre-Law Society?

A: It’s difficult to peg a single item, however, I would have to say what I like best about the Pre-Law society is the fact I can surround myself with dedicated, hardworking and friendly individuals who all share the same strong desire to uphold the values and ethics of law. Not only have I had the privilege of building strong relationships with the Executive team, but I have also had the opportunity to uphold the Society’s mission and help our members find their careers in Law. Having to decide on a career path is an extremely stressful, and uncertain event for most (it definitely was for me). I believe the Society’s events help to paint a picture in our member’s minds about the reality of attending law school, and ultimately being a practising lawyer, and hopefully helps guide them towards an appropriate career choice.


Q:What does your ideal journey to becoming a lawyer look like? (undergrad program? Co-op? internship? take a year off? which law school? which field? etc.)

A: If all goes well, I hope to graduate in April with a degree in civil engineering after which I plan on travelling for a about a month (or two!). Upon returning, I will begin to study for my LSAT and will write it for the first time in October of 2016. Although I am confident in my desire to attend law school, I am yet to hone in on the specific area of law in which I wish to practice. For this reason, after writing my LSAT, I will be searching for an internship at a law firm, which I hope will last approximately a year. Not only do I love Vancouver, but UBC Law also offers a dual JD and MBA program, which I hope to be accepted to in September of 2017. My dream would be to article in Vancouver and be hired by an International firm.


Q: What are some of your favourite places at UBC (hang out, study?)

A: I find myself at the Boulevard Coffee Roasting Co. all to frequently, and I would definitely say it’s my favourite place to grab a coffee and relax (they have great sandwiches too!). They’re located on University Boulevard near Mahoney’s, giving you a good excuse to take a well-deserved study break. Whenever I study on campus, I tend to find myself at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre book stacks. I get distracted way too easily, and need to study in a very quiet environment, so I find the book stacks very comfortable.  After a hard days work, there is a strong chance you can find me at Koerner’s Pub. Although it’s a bit of a walk, especially in last weeks freezing weather, the student run atmosphere and great food makes it my favourite place to unwind.

When Joseph has free time, he spends most of it exploring his culinary interests, catching up with current events, and riding his bike around the city. Some interesting/funny things about him are that he can’t snap, has a peculiar obsession with moving water and was once stung by a scorpion! Be sure to say hi to him at our Pre-Law events!