Lawyer Refuses To Cut Dreads — Determined To Change the Perception of ‘Professional’ Black Men

Lawyer refuses to cut his dreads in 2018 — The world needs ‘acceptance, inclusion and diversity’

By: Eboni Walker

Marcus is a 33-year-old lawyer who owns his firm in Nashville, Tennessee and while he is a successful Black man, he still has problems with professionals accepting his dreadlocks.

Shute says that he has been growing his dreads since 2002 and refuses to cut them now. Instead, he is determined to change America’s perception of what a professional Black man should look like.

Marcus Shute

“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, Shute said. “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.”

Throughout his career in corporate America, Shute has been refused many promotional opportunities because his look did not fit the criteria. The lawyer even recalled a time when he was mistaken for a client instead of the attorney “even though the judge was told I was a third-year law student and intern with the attorney’s office,” he told The Shade Room.

Despite not being accepted in his profession, he prevailed.

“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. Less than 5% of attorneys are black. And even fewer are in a position to hire at their firm, one of the reasons I founded Shute Law.”

It is still legal for jobs to ban dreadlocks in the workplace. However, Shute and many others are working to change this in the near future.

On Shute’s website, he addresses who and what his firm targets. The statement can be read below:

“Marcus Shute, Jr (Shute) is a Sports and Entertainment Attorney at the Shute Law Office in Nashville, TN. Our client-focused approach cultivates aspiring legends as we build the blueprint for a lasting legacy. Our priority is to build a long-term client relationship and business viability.  

We understand the complexity of legal matters in the sports and entertainment industries can be difficult. Consequently, we take steps to ensure that our clients have an active role in decision-making and are comfortable with the process leading up to taking action. Whether you are seeking guidance for a single transaction or ongoing services, we will be here to ensure you are taking the proper steps to create your legacy.  

 Shute’s passion for providing legal services for the sports and entertainment industries stems from his love of playing sports and musical instruments. In his early years, he had aspirations of playing professional sports or a touring musician. In high school, he earned letters in football, soccer, and swimming, which led to a collegiate athletic scholarship in football as a defensive back at Tennessee State University. Unfortunately, a career-ending injury cut his dreams of playing professional sports short. Musically gifted, today Shute enjoys playing the piano, drums, bass, and saxophone whenever he gets a chance.” 

Shute’s education history:

“With a diverse educational background, Shute earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor concentration in Psychology at Tennessee State University and earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Nashville School of Law. Shute enjoys leveraging his first-hand experiences and acquired knowledge of the industries to guide the journey of future legends. Active in the legal field, he is a member of The American, Tennessee, Nashville, and Napier-Looby Bar Associations; the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL) and The Sports Lawyers Association. Shute is also a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.”

By: Eboni Walker | Web: | Instagram: EboniMWalker