Each day >I ponder how I will >nearly be coerced to cut >my hair to be "accepted" >in the legal field
B.S. I worked for a black criminal defense attorney in Texas they didn't care. As long as your cases are prepared and you know what you're doing you do not run into that kind of thing. But that's from the judges and prosecutors in a relatively big city. Now if you are rocking locks in podunk county, that's another story. But here in the South you have to worry about grief from your Af. Am clients, or Latino clients if you don't live up to their standards. I got plenty of grief as a clerk from many folks throughout the legal establishment, but the worst came from my own.
But if you're thinking corporate law, you have some other considerations. The worst part about corporate America is whenever the put out some qualifications for a job, the always add extra qualifications at the end. Sure you have an engineering degree, but would you fit into the corporate culture. I've seen this happen at a chip maker when I was clerking in HR.
Your second problem is you want to work for white folks. There are some degrees that allow you the freedom(?) to work for yourself. If you want to be an ad exec or a petroleum engineer, well you might as well move to the suburbs and start voting for school vouchers. But as an attorney, a doctor, small business person, you can be your own boss. Having worked for 3 african american and one Latino attorney showed me the light. They call the shots, they write the checks, and they take home the big payoff's.