Marcus Shute, Jr. has been growing his locs since 2002 and he has no plans on cutting them anytime soon! He’s a 33-year-old lawyer who runs his own law firm in Nashville, and says his hair is a statement that there’s a perception of Black men in America that still needs to change.
“Many times during my matriculation through undergrad/law school and in my professional career I was told I would not be successful as an attorney if I didn’t cut my locs,” he shared with TSR. “When asked why I was adamant about not cutting my hair, I would say I am giving a reality-inspired new direction toward having a real dream. In other words, I am going to be authentically me and not conform to their mold of who they thought I should be.”
While working in corporate America, he says he was passed over for multiple promotions because he “did not fit the look.” He even recalled a time when a judge mistook him for a client “even though the judge was told I was a third-year law student and intern with the attorney’s office,” he said.
However, Marcus still didn’t choose to conform. Instead, he used that as motivation to start his own practice.
“The law industry, like any other industry, is a microcosm of the real world. It needs acceptance, inclusion, and diversity, but it needs to be more than empty lip-service and to be done in a meaningful way,” he said. “Less than 5 percent of attorneys are black. And even fewer are in a position to hire at their firm, one of the reasons I founded Shute Law.”
Marcus Shute, Jr. is an alum of Tennessee State University and Nashville School of Law. For more info on Shute Law, visit ShuteLaw.com.