Weekend Open Thread

Kate Spade - Marli Too (Black Patent) - FootwearSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

So when I read about the Kate Spade “Halle” wedge shoe in the NY Times, I was convinced it would be sold out — but sought to find another wedge shoe for you guys for the Weekend Open Thread. It turns out I was half right — good luck finding the Halle shoe anywhere — but here is another remarkably similar shoe from Kate Spade. High comfort ratings? Check. 3″ wedge heel? Check. Cute look in general? Check, check. It’s available in black, camel, and navy patent leather at Zappos Couture for $298. Kate Spade – Marli Too (Black Patent) – Footwear

-------Sponsored Links--------

(Readers — what are your favorite wedge shoes? And hey, whoever has any other “shoe secrets,” fess up! You’re among friends.)

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  1. I have a very similar looking pair from Ellen Tracy & I can honestly say, I only wish I had bought 2! They’re so versatile, comfy, etc. — I am wearing mine into the ground. Maybe I will get these as a replacement!

  2. I was just trying to find the infamous Kate Spade wedge and hit upon this one. Looks comfy!

  3. NicMarie29 :

    I just bought a similar pair from Cole Haan with a 2″ heel. I love them!

    • Also own the Cole Haan ones…very similar & very comfy. Air something wedge pump, but mine have a 2.5/3″ heel.

    • Also own the Cole Haan ones…very similar & very comfy. Air Lainey wedge pump, but mine have a 2.5/3″ heel.

    • NicMarie29 :

      Yes, It’s the Air Lainey. Their current version has a 2 1/4″ heel. Really fantastic shoe :)

  4. A similar pair from Lands End: http://tinyurl.com/22wmp2h

    Women’s high heel wedge in black and brown, 2 inch heel, for $69.50. If anybody has these, please post a quick review! I like them a lot, but am really trying not to buy anymore right now…. sigh.

  5. Networking Opp: :

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  6. !!! I’ve been on the lookout for wedges that look just like these! They are the easiest thing to walk in when hauling it across the office. I saw some at Target (not online yet though), that come in black, grey, and a nude suede. Can’t wait to get a pair for fall.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      Are these the shoes you’re talking about? If so, I tried them on in store and they were a solid half a size small. And how do you ladies shorten your links? I’ve tried making hyperlinks in Word and transferring them over, but that never seems to work.


      • LovingFriday :

        I have a the wedges in patent from Target. Love them–very comfy.

      • Hey Ms. B.E.F. :-) Go to bit.ly to shorten your URLs/links automatically. It’s like magic. Whoever invented it is a freakin’ genius: http://bit.ly/

        I find Kate Spade over-rated and over-priced for what you get… Handbags, shoes, and clothes. JMHO. This lady’s trying to build an empire. Does she have perfume too? I like to stick to shoe-makers who specialize in shoes. Wouldn’t trade my Stuart Weitzmann Honoroll suede wedges for anything in the world: http://bit.ly/9VjOqd

        • Hey Ms. B.E.F. :-) Go to bit.ly to shorten your URLs/links automatically. It’s like magic. Whoever invented it is a freakin’ genius: http://bit.ly/

          I find Kate Spade over-rated and over-priced for what you get… Handbags, shoes, and clothes. JMHO. This lady’s trying to build an empire. Does she have perfume too? I like to stick to shoe-makers who specialize in shoes. Wouldn’t trade my Stuart Weitzmann Honoroll suede wedges for anything in the world!

      • oooh, like these Merona ones best!

      • These are the ones!!! Thanks for sharing the link! I LOVE Target. They always have a better shoe selection online than in their store. Trying to decide if the taupe/nude ones are okay for the office. Would look cute with a skirt. And for those other wedges you posted, I think they’d look really cute with jeans (and we have a jeans day coming up so I’m trying to decide what I’ll wear then, too.)

      • Oooh. I went to Target and tried those on today. They ARE comfortable. I would never have guessed–never bought footwear there before. Thanks for the tip!

    • Oh yay! Love! I will be stopping on my way home tonight. A small present to myself for making it through the week.

      • PS – I bought a black pair on my way home. I’m pretty satisfied with them for $30. Wish they had the purple in stores!

        • maine susan :

          Big Target Day — the wedge shoes in black, the black dress from this morning and the cheetah skirt. All for $75. i heart corporette.

  7. Perhaps I’m the only one, but I’m really not digging these shoes. They remind me of a friend in primary school who couldn’t decide between pants and a skirt and so wore them both together. I might like them in another pattern, but this one? Eh.

    • I don’t love them either, and I think it’s because they’re patent. I think if it were some other material I wouldn’t mind it so much.

      • The patent is what’s turning me off… I think that in an interesting pattern or a solid non-patent leather they could be interesting… though they would have be pretty spectacularly comfortable and adorable to be worth nearly $300 to me.

    • I was surprised to see that these shoes were so popular with politicians. I don’t think they look particularly professional, and to me they look either too young or too old with suits– I can’t decide which.

      I love wedges and have a similar pair in red patent that I wear with jeans or dresses on weekends to add color to an outfit, but I wouldn’t wear them to work.

      • I agree with you, but assume its because they’re comfortable and easy to walk in? I plan to check them out but hardly need an additional 3 inches of height at this point, so will hold out for something a little closer to the ground.

    • I’m in this camp.

      I keep looking at them and I just can’t make myself like these shoes. I love cork-heeled wedges, but of course only as weekend shoes.

      Maybe it is because the wedge is the same color as the shoe? There is a LOT of patent leather going on there. Ick.

  8. beautiful! a co-worker has a similar pair I have been coveting for a while. . . . so very tempting.

  9. Negotiation Newbie :

    I have searched around the comments here and online and in a few books, but can’t really find an answer to my specific situation. I am NOT experienced in negotiating. Obviously :)

    I have 2 job offers, and both are offering basically the same compensation. Job A is offering $X+ (though not being specific on the +, just that it will be “a little more than $X.” I’m assuming it’ll be about $1-2k more). Job B is offering $X. $X is about $15,000 more than the 75th percentile for this job in my area. So, it’s a VERY good salary. My question is 2-fold:

    1. Should I try to negotiate since I don’t really have anything to support an offer of more than $X, since X is already very high? I mean, I think I’m an above-average gal, but this will be my first real job, so I don’t have any kind of support for that position. If I should ask for a few thousand more, should I just say, “I was really looking for $X+5k.”

    2. If I should try to negotiate more, should I tell Job B that Job A is offering $X+? I read that it’s kind of a faux pas to mention another offer to try to get a higher salary, but (I guess this goes back to part 1), I’m not sure how else to really ask for more.

    • divaliscious11 :

      Which is the better job? Which job will help you develop a better skill set without developing ulcers? Which jobs puts you in the better position for your next job, or more importantly puts you on the best path for your ultimate career objective? If its Job B, then it is not inappropriate to say, I really like you company B, would love to work here, but I also have an offer from Company A at X+. Is it possible to meet that offer? Assuming they are competitors, if they say no, then it still boils down to what is the better job? If Company A is the better job, then simply say, based upon my research, I was hoping for X + $5K, or whatever your “plus” is. All they can say is, this is the best we can do. If its the better job, it still pays more than X and Company B.

      Congrats on having 2 offers in this market.

    • Anonymous :

      I think it’s fine to negotiate, and I think it’s fine to mention that you have another job offer for a slightly higher salary. Of course, it’s a problem that you don’t know what the exact offer is, so you can’t just ask them to match it. I’d ask for X+5K. The worst they can say is no, and then you’ll still have a job offer for $X. Congratulations!

    • Anonymous :

      I was in this situation many years ago, and told the law firm I preferred to go to work for (Firm A) that I’d received an offer from another firm in the same city (Firm B) that included repayment of my bar stipend and fees, which had been paid by Firm C (where I’d summered and received an offer, but didn’t want to go). I told Firm A that they were my first choice but that I had not yet accepted their offer for this reason, and asked whether they would consider matching the repayment offer made by Firm B (about $8000, if I recall correctly). They got back to me later the same day and said yes, on the condition that if I left Firm A for any reason within one year of my start date, that I would repay Firm A that amount. I agreed, and will have been at Firm A for 10 years this fall.

      My mom was aghast that I even considered doing this, but a friend from clerking said women don’t negotiate hard enough on salary, as a rule. I suspect the firm management may actually have respected the fact that I asked/drove a hard bargain, because I certainly have to have that kind of strong nerves, etc. to do my litigation job well.

    • Is the money the only difference in the compensation packages? I think a lot of people getting their “first job” don’t look at the entire package; is there 401(k) matching, or better benefits, or more vacation, or better maternity leave, or free gym memberships? Will they pay moving expenses or tuition for advanced schooling you might need? It might be more comfortable negotiating for a perk, even an expensive perk, than it is to straight up ask for more pay, and a lot of companies are more comfortable saying yes to “hidden pay” in this economy.

      • divaliscious11 :

        This is true as well – but remember, at most jobs, your entering salary is very important, as your increases, barring promotion, tend to be percentages, so its important to get dollars. also, as you move on, many companies are requesting current salaries upon which they base their offer. Someone just recently provided false information and ended up losing his/her job offer when it was confirmed….

        • I agree with looking at the whole package, particularly when you are only looking at a 1K-2K difference. A difference in benefits could easily outweigh that small amount, and won’t have a huge effect on future increases. If the difference is closer to the $4K-$5K range I’d agree with divaliscious11.

        • I don’t doubt your statement re losing an offer over a false salary, but it strikes me that this would be something that is subject to foul play by your current company (with which the salary number is confirmed) if they knew that they could torpedo your leaving by doing so.
          Unless the number you give the new company is just outrageous, this seems like a pretty crappy thing to do to a future employee.

          • I’d assume HR would ask for paystubs, not call up your former employer.

          • divaliscious11 :

            Actually – it is, and is considered lying on your application/in your application process. It is why many companies, even if its a resume submission job, will ask you to fill out a job application that has in very fine print, an attestation that all info you have provided was true and accurate to the best of your knowledge….. Some companies have gone back and fired people 2-3 years into their employment of this kind of stuff…

    • BigLaw Refugee :

      Agree with the advice about negotiating – as long as you are nice about it, why not?

      That said, you should also put effort into figuring out which job will make you happier. I was once in a position similar to you, with one offer in hand for about $25K more than I had been told the second firm would offer (which I expected them to do soon). I decided not to even try to negotiate because the difference was so wide and the firms were superficially quite similar. I found out later that although the firm I chose was a decent firm, it had some difficult personalities and lots of associate turnover. Whereas associates who worked at the firm paying $25K less universally loved their job. I also found out later that the second firm, although in a similar practice to the first one, got more high-profile work. I always kind of regretted not going there.

    • Negotiation Newbie :

      Thanks for the advice everyone!

      I am going to accept Job 2, whether they give more money or not. I’m making the call sometime in the next day or two. I’m very very nervous, but I know it’ll all work out just fine.

  10. I have similar in Bandolino and LOVE. It’s fabulous to get the height without the pain associated with typical heels. Works fabulous with pants and especially good for sprints through the airport. Hope this style never goes out.

  11. I bought these at the Nordstrom anniversery sale and totally love them:
    Super comfortable and the red is not too bright.

    • Very cool color!

    • Those Me Too wedges are heaven. I have last winter’s style in black, which had a buckle on the toe, and they are very comfortable and versatile shoes. I might like the style of this one a bit better. All of my Me Too shoes have been wonderful, in fact.

      I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t see those wedges during the sale. I like those red ones a lot. But since I avoided the sale because I was trying to save money, it’s probably for the best.

    • I wore these to work yesterday!! They are super comfortable, I wore them with black slacks and a grey/white print shirt and felt very Corporette. The red is a nice pop of color without being garish. It was the first time I wore them and I had no foot pain after a full day running around a hospital.

    • had to buy these, I am visualizing with a blue pinstripe skirt suit… thanks for sharing!

  12. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    How versatile do you ladies feel these are? I am right on the cusp of purchasing them, but cannot tell if I would wear them with anything but jeans. And don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of jeans, I’ve just been trying to branch out of my comfort zone.


    • anon - chi :

      Cute! I would definitely wear these with dress pants as well. The real question for me would be if I own enough brown/tan pants to justify brown shoes – I mostly stick to black/grey/navy.

    • I would wear them with pants or a skirt. I think they are lovely.

    • Very cute. Would go with anything casual. I’m not sure if this was your question, but I’d be careful about wearing them with a skirt in a business casual office (you could wear them with pants).

  13. Is anyone else really bothered by the rounded toe in shoes like this? I don’t mind them too much casually, but when I try to wear something with such a round toe with professional clothing, I feel like it makes me look like a kindergardener, and kills the whole outfit.

    I don’t know, maybe it’s just my feet (which are long and narrow), . . . or my imagination. But I have a couple pairs with toes like that, and whenever I wear them and glance down at my feet, I get a wave of “ugg, why did I decide to wear the little kid shoes again?”

    For the record, I really hate the super-long pointy toed shoes as well. Which means that I can’t seem to find a decent pair of professional shoes that gets in-between right for the past year or so. Sigh.

    • I really liked rounded toes with professional clothing. My difficulty is in finding simple, classic, rounded toe flats without embellishments or casual styling (contrast stitching, brown rubber soles, etc). If this exact shoe was a flat instead of a wedge, I wouldn’t be commenting because I’d be too busy putting them in my cart :)

    • Yes, I am! I think we have to look for what they’ve decided to call an “almond toe.”

    • I sometimes have a similar feeling — especially with patent leather (too many little girl associations). For this reason, I tend to avoid black patent leather & and I avoid Mary Janes (rounded or not) as well.

      I do think that with suede, this becomes less of an issue. Same for the shoe having actual grown up heels — nothing to do with height, just not chunky ones, and if it’s a wedge, for the wedge to be narrowed in. Also keeping the rest of your outfit free from cutesy details or overly peppy colors seems to help, as well as dark stockings/tights (otherwise, rounded toes & the button dress from this morning would = my 7th grade “dress up w/the fam” outfit).

      I am sure some people would disagree with the perception, but that’s what helps me avoid *feeling* like I am in grammer school for picture day when I wear rounded toe shoes.

      For what it’s worth — I have been seeing some very nice in-between shoes lately — a happy middle btwn the super pointy witch ones trendy a few years back and the Minnie Mouse rounded heels so prevalent today.

      • I think (shhh) pointy is coming back! Just not as severe as they used to be. Snagged these Kate Spades on 6pm.com (yeah, she’s overrated and overpriced, but for $100, who can complain?). http://www.6pm.com/product/7643613/color/820

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          LOVE the black with the pink heel but don’t have the guts to wear it to work. I think it would be awesome with an otherwise muted black/gray outfit.

          • Yeah, there’s a little hoochie momma in these Kate Spade pumps for sure, @Blonde Lawyer. Which is totally hilarious since Kate Spade is so preppy/proper/ladylike. I’ll sport them with some long, wide leg pants on the sly ;-D

    • i'm nobody :

      I love a round toe.

  14. surrounded by lawyers :

    Because “shoe secrets” were solicited, let me divulge a brand that I recently discovered and LOVE. I wear shoes to death because I walk so much, but these are holding up amazingly and are both comfortable and eco-friendly.

    I couldn’t wear these at work, but ymmv. And there are always new styles.

    For lots of walking, including my commute (yeah, I have all 3 colors):

    And for a bit more glam but almost as much comfort (I have both red and white):

    • divaliscious11 :

      That second pair is cute…too bad the season for these is wrapping up…..

  15. I think I don’t like the patent leather on these. I’m still a southern girl and have a mental barrier to wearing patent leather all year long. But, I do like the wedge look and think it would look fabulous with pants. I haven’t been able to make the mental leap to accept wedges with skirts yet. They look fine on other people but when I try to put it together I think the wedge is just too casual. But, I’m in Colorado and we are not on the cutting edge of fashion so I’m sure I’ll like the look in a couple of seasons.

    • I was exactly the same about wedges with skirts until I left my black heels on the bus while wearing commuter shoes (So embarrassing, but thankfully on my way home from work). Then I bought a pair of black wedges that I wear with skirts all the time (DC means too hot for trousers, at least for me). It is a bit casual, but my office is biz casual so it blends.

  16. Do you think there is the potential that this sort of shoe could become for women what the classic wing-tip or loafer is for men?

    • No. I think either a classic mid-heel pump or a classic flat would fit that bill.

  17. I ordered this shoe this morning and hoping to have it Monday before I leave town.


    I know many people don’t like bows but I do and I loved the shape of the heel and the toe. I bought my first pair of Softspots this summer and now I will own 3 of them. I think that is my new favorite brand.

  18. Needa Cocktail :

    I have a joke that some lawyers, like me, might find too true to be funny.

    How many lawyers does it take to draft one line of a declaration?

    The answer is 9 if you want it to take two hours with everyone having to hear themselves talk, and 1 if you want it to take two minutes.

    • divaliscious11 :

      sigh…BigLaw drafting….. LOL!

      • When I was in law/mba school, the MBA-ers were [jokingly?] pretty anti-lawyer. During one presentation, they presented this joke: “What do you call a bus of lawyers driving over a cliff?” The answer was, “a good start,” but before they could get it out, I piped in with, “Insurance fraud!” I found it hilarious, but everyone else was confused/terrified.

        • divaliscious11 :

          LOL!!! Am one class away from finishing my MBA wishing I’d sucked it up the first time…oh well, almost done…

        • So, @ roar, you sound ‘calmer’ than you did the other night. And a sense of humor always helps :). Glad to ‘hear’ it. What did you do to adjust?

        • LOL! I find it hilarious too!

    • Oh yeah!!! Whenever you want it to take longer, cost more, be more confusing/boring/unintelligible, just add more lawyers, ideally expensive and arrogant ones. Mission accomplished!

  19. Hi All! You have walked me through my job search and now I have one more question!! I am currently a third year law student. After I finished my summer clerkship at a large firm in my area I was offered and accepted a full time position starting after I graduate. In addition I was offered a part time position (2 days/week) during my 3L year. For the part time position, I have not been told what my hourly rate will be yet. What should I expect? If they ask me how much I am expecting to be paid per hour, what should I say?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Another Sarah :

      I think a lot depends on the market, but I was paid $17.25/hr working in Government on the East Coast. I also heard that us interns apparently made good money, so I don’t know how my pay compares. ATL whines about the market rate being $10/hr, but you can probably take that with a salt mine full of grains of salt. :-)

    • I made 25$/ hr in SF (rising 3L) and LA (post-bar) as a clerk, and 17$/hr in Central California (north of Sacramento as a 3L). I think 10$/hr is a little low, I made 13$/hr doing tech support for my university as an undergrad!

    • When I clerked in big law during my 3L year (back in 2005/2006) they took the starting associate salary, and divided it by 52 week at 40 hours a week. So if I remember correctly, I made more than $50/hour and my “real” hourly rate declined when I became a real associate and worked more than 50 hours a week.

      You could always start there…

      • Working 3L :

        I’m in exactly the same position as OP, and my firm calculated my hourly rate just like SS’s did.

    • Anonymous :

      I made $15/hr at a 20-lawyer firm in a mid-sized midwestern city in 2006.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I made $17/hour.

    • When I was in law school (not all that long ago) in my area, the rate for intern at a private firm was about $15-$20 an hour on average.

    • Wouldn’t you be paid at the same rate you were paid for the summer?

      • Last year as a 3L I made $15 an hour at a small business/banking law firm in a midwestern state capitol. I had friends in government who made between $10 and $17 depending on the agency and whether it was state or federal.

      • Thanks everyone! This summer I had a weekly pay rate and I wasn’t sure if I should expect to make about the same per hour. It sounds like from you and SS that I should probably expect an hourly rate that is about the same. :)

  20. I need a purse opinion — I was the (very grateful) recipient of a gift from a well meaning relative today – a Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q black leather purse (I have a link here so you can see pictures http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446366018) – It came from Nordstrom so I can return it if I want to – my question is, is it a “good” “professional” “fashionable” etc. bag? (I’m not worried about her seeing me with it – It’s my grandmother who I visit every year or so in FL). Does anyone have this bag – and can tell me if it has held up well? And is it okay to use the longer strap (it has two) as a cross-body strap?

    Thanks – (can you tell I’ve never bought/owned an uber trendy or expensive bag??)

    • Shayna, the link just goes to the Marc Jacobs sale. I did a quick search and it looks like there are a few differed Classic Q purses.

    • Thanks for the exam good wishes — I am excited to be on my way out to celebrate being done!

    • I think if you don’t like the bag 100%, don’t feel bad about returning it and getting something else. For me, the bag is too rounded at the bottom and wouldn’t be a “classic”, but that’s my taste. I like a more structured bag.

      Enjoy being done with exams!

  21. hm. I posted something, but it seems to have disappeared. Very odd. So sorry if this appears twice.

    I found this: http://www.etsy.com/listing/51842319/vintage-grape-leather-pom-heels-85 on the link from fashionista and I think they’re adorable, but they’re a 1/2 size too big–has anyone had luck stuffing wool or something in the toe of too-big shoes to make them fit?

    • My feet are two different sizes. One is a 7 1/2 the other is an 8. I buy 8’s and when necessary put these heel pad things in. They sell them every where and I last bought them at payless I think. That way your toe would go all the way to the front of the shoe, and the sticky pad goes in the back. I used a permanent one but there are temporary ones too.

  22. Are these shoes better for skirt suits or pant suits? They seem more appropriate with pants to me. My second question is: do you wear hose with these? Thanks Ladies!

  23. And so for the beginning of my weekend, I just got back from visiting a client at the jail, whose logic goes like this– “Yes, I’ve absconded from probation and other pending criminal charges for 4 years, but the fact that I avoided police contact that long should show them that I am not a problem and they should let me out of jail and off probation.” And how did you avoid police contact? “I hid from them when they came to my house to arrest me”.

    And now, ladies and gentlemen, I am going home.

    • LOL! :)

    • Awesome. My first job was as a PD, and I have many stories like this one. I hope you are at least being paid decently for your trouble.

    • Having worked in law enforcement the first half of my career – I can say the man/woman has a point. If he was a true danger to society he would have presumably been arrested for new crimes in the 4 years. I hear his logic. Would I present it to a judge? Probably not. Though I think there is a way of framing this as unlikely to endanger society.

      • I’m a good lawyer, but not that good :) I’ll make all sorts of arguments, but the reality here is that he is likely to get at least 6 months on his probation revocation, but more likely a year– don’t mess around with DUII’s in my county– and could get another 6 months to a year on the new/old charges (which happen to be hit and run, no less) . No way are they letting client out. If he ran from probation, he’ll most likely run from 2 years of jail.

        I’ve also had way to many clients think that if we just tell the judge that client doesn’t want to go to jail, the judge won’t send him to jail. As though the jail is only full of people who want to be there. There are people who just don’t get how it works– commit a crime and you will have consequences.

        • I hear ya Mille. My family has been personally effected by the selfishness of drunk drivers, as have a few of my friends. I have no tolerance for it. I wish every part of the country would enforce strict penalties. There is just no excuse for it.

  24. Ladies, I need some serious help! As I was stopping by the grocery store tonight, someone tried to grab my handbag. Of course, I’m not posting to vent about being nearly robbed. I’m posting because I was carrying my beautiful, beloved Cole Haan hobo, and that m—-erf—-er pulled so hard he ripped the strap at the seam! I’m distraught. It’s a fairly new bag, and my only nice one, and I adore it. Has anyone ever needed a designer bag repaired before? Do I take it to the store? Has anyone used Cole Haan’s restoration services (they have an 800 number on their website)? Or can anyone recommend a leather repair place in Washington, DC? I really want to make sure this repair is done perfectly, and I’m willing to pay. I adore this bag and want to carry it until I’m 60.

    Thank you!

    • legalicious07 :

      Whoa! I am so sorry to hear about this incident. I can’t answer your questions, unfortunately, but I’m glad you are ok. Hopefully, your bag will be back in good condition soon!

      • Thanks. I’m fine – I honestly barely even saw what happened, just felt a tug and tugged back and then I realized what was going on. It was a purse snatcher, not an attempted mugging. Thanks for the kind words!

    • Oh, Eponine, how horrible. Glad you are safe. I messed up the strap on a pretty new Coach bag (back when they made nice classic leather things) and unfortunately took it to my local tailor (not in DC) who kind of made a mess of it. Would not do that again unless I KNEW the tailor was basically a leathersmith.

      If I had it to do over again, I think I’d contact the manufacturer (Cole Haan) – I bet they will let you send it in and do a really nice job on it, maybe not even charge you. Also, if you paid for it with Amex card in like the last year, they might pay for it (there is some ‘purchase insurance’ available on some of their cardmember programs….just a thought. How awful.

      • I agree. Contact Cole Haan with the story and ask who they recommend to fix it. They might send you a new one!

        • Thanks. I doubt they’ll send a new one; it was a gift and I don’t even know where it was purchased. But it does seem that contacting the manufacturer is the way to go.

          • So sad! I would first visit a Cole Haan store and see if they can fix it. If it is a newer bag, they will have access to the same leather if additional leather is needed for the repair. I’m not sure who does their work in D.C., but a pair of shoes they recently fixed for me came back perfect. There may be other stores in the area, but I know there is one at Tysons Galleria and Pentagon City.

          • @D – Thanks! I’m calling the Pentagon City store today, I’ll update everyone on what they say.

    • Avelle, formerly Bag, Borrow or Steal, has handbag restoration services. They have two of my bags right now, an old Coach Hamptons and a Cole Haan top-handle. I haven’t gotten them back yet but a friend of mine had a bag restored by them and I was amazed – it looked almost new. You send them the bag and a form specifying the problem via prepaid shipping label and then they do the work and send the bag back to you. It’s worth looking into if you can’t find a local option. Sorry about the bag but I am definitely glad you did not get hurt. A coworker of mine got purse-snatched a few years ago and the robber hit her in the face to get her to let go of the bag – she ended up with stitches in her lip and a broken tooth. So you’re very lucky, even if your bag strap is broken.

      • Thanks!

      • FYI, Coach will restore most of its products for $20+tax for shipping and handling as long as you are in the US/Canada.

        Eponine- I am glad you are okay. I had a coworker who was hospitalized from a purse snatching gone wrong, so I’m always glad when people come out safe and didn’t lose anything!

    • contact Cole Haan first. I had a vintage Gucci that needed a new zipper and I brought it to my local Gucci store and they sent it out to Gucci and it’s perfect now. I’m sure a shoe repair person could fix it but it would be better to take it directly to Cole Haan. Plus, they might fix it for free if you explain what happened!

    • Update: I took it to the store this morning, and they are sending it to be fixed. The sad part is they decided the damage was bad enough to send it off rather than using their local repair guy so I’ll have to wait a month or more to get my lovely bag back. The good news is that, incredibly, they didn’t charge me. Since this was obviously not a manufacturer’s defect, I couldn’t believe it. They have a loyal customer for life.

    • Charmed Girl :

      Glad you’re ok! Definitely contact Cole Haan. They have a bag repair service, if you call/ stop by the store they’ll be able to tell you more. I think it’s pretty much you send in your bag they let you know they estimate to repair and then go forward. Good luck!

      • Charmed Girl :

        Woops! Didn’t read all the way through– glad it’s working out.

  25. This is an *update* to everyone who did tea and sympathy with me earlier this week over my lost diamond stud earring. Thanks again for all of it :). Earring is definitely gone (sigh), have resigned myself to putting the other one away to extract diamond for a grad. gift for one of my daughters or maybe a *modest* engagement ring stone for either of them or my son, if somebody needs it.

    But, I wanted to share the ‘happy moment’ – my wonderful assistant (who also crawled around on the floor looking for the darn thing) today gave me a bday card (that too, and it’s gettin up there….) with two pairs (pair?) of really nice zirc studs, one pair like my old round cut ones, and one pair of a more contemporary emerald cut type thing. Apart from how nice it is to be blessed with a dream assistant (and I have been matched with her for 2.5 years, lucky! after a couple decades of mostly nightmare assistants), I really like both sets of earrings and think I am done with the ‘real thing’ (and the pain/possibility of losing it) for a while, maybe ever. With, of course, the exception of my wedding/engagement rings which I hope to wear intact until I die!

    Anyway, just wanted to check in on this, you were all so kind and sympathetic to my ‘sobbing’ post the other day. Thanks :)!

    Oh, and, happy weekend everyone – I personally feel like this past week has been like one of the longest ever w/back to school, added work drama, stupid lost earring, and I don’t know what all else, but overall a way more exhausting week than usual :-/. Am looking forward to some kind of ‘uneventful’ couple of days before we all go back and try to turn six days worth of work into five to make up for Labor Day!

    • Yay :).

    • I’m thinking of getting cubic zirc studs — I love a slighty blingy look in my ears (I swear, I’m not blingy IN ANY WAY with the rest of my wardrobe) and I look at big diamond studs and shudder. Most people really can’t tell the difference, and there would be more peace of mind for you.

      And aren’t great support staff wonderful? What a sweet and thoughtful person.

      • @E – yeah, I am sooo not blingy about anything else – the only jewelry I EVER wear is my stainless androgynous steel watch, my wedding stuff(platinum, nice solitaire diamond but not *big*) and, well, until Weds, my half carat each side (blingiest part of the ensemble) studs. I kind of like the blingier/zingier look of the 3/4-1 carat zirc studs, combined with the carefree feeling of, oh wth if they fall off (or go down the drain or whatever). Try em out! I’m sitting at my laptop just feeling all Anna Wintour (or I dunno who – somebody movie star-ish) glamorous with them still in my ears – a great look (or at least feel) with sweats and grubby tee, I gotta tell ya :)!

        And yes – support staff make or break you, and this one is a (no pun intended) GEM.

        • Aww, Suze, I’m sorry to hear about your (hopefully past) troubles. I’m glad you got new earrings, I’m sure you look fierce and glam on your birthday with or without real diamonds. Here’s to happier days that await you…

          • Well, fresh JD thanks so much :)! Dunno about fierce and glam, but I do fantasize about being at least some of it, some of the time! We all need a fantasy life, don’t we?! I personally am going to be Interrobang when I grow up ;-)!

            Now, under the heading of, I dunno, Goddess, miracles, good karma or just every now and then we catch a break – How WOW is this: so, I’m Eeyoring around this morning in a big ole self pity pool on the ‘more than halfway thru my life’ bday, with my 3 kids plus a neighborhood hanger on kid all running wild (read: getting on my VERY LAST nerve and not even letting me take a shower in peace, never mind what about that birthday thing), DH is down with the flu (exacerbating last paren- where ARE those flowers,champagne, Godiva and big night out?? and he’s a GOOD one, just down for the count right now), and I’m basically rooting around my closet floor flooking for two matching shoes and what showed up but…THE MISSING DIAMOND STUD. I was so ‘re-oriented’ that I went to the ‘upscale’ mall (with all 4 kids in tow, never mind how that went well, but it did) , and got – thanks to Eponine’s post last weekend – a HOT pair of ‘jeggings’ and a few other cute things (hey, everyone, drop by AT Loft, good stuff on big sale there!) and wore ’em out to dinner (yes, with the heathen children, but who cares if somebody else prepares it, serves it and cleans up after it :)) so – after all that – well, I’m all good :).

            Thanks again all for tea and sympathy, hope you get a snicker out of the ending!

          • @Suze – HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY and hooray for your earrings and your new jeggings! I’m so happy you found it – I had a similar experience a couple years ago and I know exactly how you felt (and feel now). Yay.

    • How thoughtful of your assistant! I posted a response to your question about where to get decent fakes (it’s back with your original post from a few days ago) – but it sounds like you’re already set in that regard! I will repeat my suggestion of getting a local jeweler to replace push backs with screw backs. I do this even with earrings that aren’t valuable because I like to be able to put on earrings and then not have to think about them again for weeks/months at a time.

      • Hey S, thanks sooo much. I did read your response on decent fakes, right around when my *best ever* assistant gifted me the zircs…which I love and plan to wear a lot, but (under the heading of ‘who knows what will happen next?!), please see my comment (above, I think…I’m never quite sure how comments appear chron-wise), so now I have my ‘real’ studs back…but after all that, I just might put them away and just bling out on the zircs….:-/

        • Yay! So glad that the missing stud finally reappeared! :-D

          … and I hear you – I rarely wear my ‘good’ earrings because I only remember to check to make sure the backs are secure, etc. about half the time…

          • OMG! So cool that your earring reappeared!! :) I’m sure it made your day (week)!

        • Another Laura :

          Suze, that is so wonderful! Glad you found your missing stud.

          I’m even more happy, however, that you were able to celebrate your birthday. Hope your hubby is better today too.

        • Thanks all my Corporette friends for all your good wishes! It’s so nice to be a part of such a kind and supportive group!

          • Oh, I am so thrilled for you. I lost my 1/2 carat ear stud down a hotel sink and I cried until they sent maintenance up to take the plumbing apart. The stud was not there, but when I stepped into the shower 1/2 hour later there it was sitting on the edge of the floor drain. How it was not washed right down I will never know, but I am forever thankful. Happy birthday – somebody up there loves you!

        • Suze, I am soo happy you found the missing stud! I have a pair of real diamond studs my parents gave me, but they know what a klutz I am…so the studs have a special swivel-type closure that you kind of screw in…once you put ’em on, they cannot possibly fall off the ear. Maybe you can check with a jeweler to see if they can create that sort of earring lock for you to avoid any future heartache…

  26. I need a little encouragement.

    After five years in a totally demanding job working 80 hours a week, having a child 20 months ago, etc I let my health (weight) slip. I’m now in a job working much saner hours, and I am really enjoying getting back to the gym. I’m taking classes that kick my butt, my time doing three miles on the treadmill has markedly improved, and I generally feel better about myself.

    Except. The scale has not moved (much) and my clothes maybe (maybe) fit slightly better. I know that it’s only been a month, that the other things are more important, and that these things take time. I’m making exercise a habit, which I truly enjoy independent of any physical change I see. It’s just that I’d like to see the scale change. My eating has not changed dramatically both pre and post gym, so I guess that’s the next thing to tackle.

    I know some of you have had pretty significant weight losses, and I’m just looking for a few tips and atta-girls.

    • Sounds like you’re doing great already! I track my diet and exercise on fitday.com. I recommend counting calories if you really want to lose weight. It’s a pain, but it’s much easier to lose weight if you know exactly what you’re eating.

    • Congrats on confronting the issue and having the discipline to apply yourself to it! Two things: one, you generally do have to change the way you eat to see changes, assuming you aren’t already a healthy eater. I wouldn’t look at it as “dramatically,” though — just try to incorporate one or two changes each week — like starting to eat breakfast or bringing your lunch or whatever. Two, give it two months. If you’re already seeing changes in the way your clothes fit, you are on the right track. Mark on your calendar four weeks from now, and if you keep at it, I guarantee you’ll see a change in the scale, too. And three (I know I said only two, but humor me), bask in the good feeling you get — treat yourself to whatever keeps you motivated — a new Ipod for your workouts, new workout gear, or whatever. You have earned the right! Good luck and keep at it!

    • E, you are so on the right track. Listen, you have a year and a half old toddler running around and just came off a nightmare job, went through a job change, and you are working out for real? That’s a miracle, really. I’ve been there – after my first child was born (while I was frenetically trying to survive my first year as a partner in Biglaw) , I just ‘submitted’ to the ‘extra’ 20 pounds or so on the premise that I probly would have one more baby and why spend the time working out when I could just be working. Well, I did get pregnant again, a couple years later, with twins, and after they were born, the weight sort of magically went away…but the ‘shape’ didn’t. As in, I had a size 16 belly with size 6 butt. It’s been a long road from there (and the twins are now halfway thru elementary school) , but what really ‘stabilized’ me was a serious workout routine. What you eat matters, and it matters more the older you get, but if you are doing serious cardio (like a half hour – forty five minutes at top capacity 3 or 4 days a week) and weights/balance (ie, building/maintaining muscle), you can get away with the occasional breadbasket or slice of cheesecake.

      I totally encourage and commend you. It will work for you and it will also make it a lot easier to manage the stress of the competing demands on your time/energy. I’ve recently lost a little of that balance lately myself b/c of crazy job situation, but am working to get it back – I KNOW it works, and it will work for you. Good luck, stay strong and keep your focus! Oh, and, enjoy your baby – they only stay little for a little while :).

    • HusbandofCorporettor :

      Can I just say: If you are weighing yourself, you are doing it wrong.

      If your mission is to get fit, slim down, and look good, weighing yourself makes about as much sense as a man thinking he can best Bruce Lee in a fight because he benches more weight at the gym. It is an arbitrary measurement that has nothing to do with your goals. You can weigh more depending on the time of day, what you’ve eaten for lunch, and how much water you’ve had.

      If you want to lose weight, step into a sauna and sweat yourself half to death. If you want to get in shape, stop stepping on the scale and start looking into the mirror.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Amen. I have gained about 8 pounds working out and look a ton better.

      • A gentle hint to a male poster: when encouraging a woman who has asked for support, don’t say, “You are doing it wrong.” Many people hate to be told point blank that they are wrong, especially from a stranger who is offering only his opinion.

        The kind of support that is usually offered here is couched in more positive terms: “Weighing yourself every day may not be the best measure of your fitness. Try the sauna, it works for me!” Which by the way, I disagree with. But I won’t tell you that you’re wrong :-) (Note smiley, another way we imply good intentions and forestall accusations of rudeness.)

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I’m pretty sure he was saying “using a sauna isn’t fitness but it will make you lose weight.” He was using it to illustrate that losing weight isn’t a sign of fitness. What you really want is to get fit and healthy and look good which may not move the scale.

        • Also, most women that weigh themselves know that there will be variation-we tend to do it first thing in the morning, before eating, so there’s a consistent reading. Also-Sauna for serious??? That’s just water weight, not a real loss.

          • I think that’s the point he was making… weight is not a good measure of health and fitness.
            As for the number on the scale not changing – if you’re doing a good amount of weight and resistance training keep in mind that muscle is significantly heavier and denser than fat.
            A better way to track your performance may be to take your measurements, use an electronic body fat calculator (I have no idea where you find them, but my trainer has one), or keep track of your progress within your routine (are you running longer/faster, are you lifting more).

      • Totally agree with this. People get way too focused on weight and forget there are other metrics that indicate how much progress you’re making with your fitness routine. You might ask at your gym – at mine, they have a program that measures ALL your important metrics, including body fat percentage, waist and hip measurements, etc. and you can go in for periodic re-measuring to keep track of your progress over time. My weight takes forever to change, but I started my program in January and have seen big progress in my waist measurement, waist-to-hip ratio, and muscle mass – all things that the scale doesn’t show.

    • It sounds to me like you’re on the right track, good job.
      For me, exercise alone never does it for me, it’s always about diet. I was fat and I trained for a triathlon and I was still fat because I love to eat.
      So I did South Beach Diet, where I can still eat, just not certain foods. This is easier to follow than I thought it would be because I can eat sugar free dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s and I eat a lot of cheese. I slip up from time to time, meaning I just start over on Phase 1.
      I highly recommend this diet (although it’s really a lifestyle change, I know all diets say that but this is really true)

    • I bought Jillian Michaels’ book Winning By Losing, and have been working out to the recommended strength training programme in there. (The diet part of it doesn’t quite do it for me, so I joined another site to track that)

      After two weeks of following the programme, I don’t notice a difference in weight (hence also joining the other site to track food intake), but I have lost an inch around my thighs, and an inch around my neck – plus I’m feeling so much better and have so much more energy (except for the days after where my muscles ACHE). Whereas with other times I’ve tried, I’ve fallen off the wagon for not seeing results fast enough, I really want to see this one through if I already see slight results now.

      My point is: Losing weight & getting fit is a long process, there is no quick fixes, so take the small goals you win and use as motivation to continue on the journey – you’re getting better on the threadmill, you feel the clothes fit a tiny bit better…

      There are also things to do to incorporate spending time with your toddler and getting a move around – rapid walking with a stroller around the neighbourhood, 30 minutes a day after dinnertime – gets the kid tired, gets you puffing… Weight lifting= playing with the toddler incorporate lifting into the air, using different techniques means using different muscles. Doing that 15×3 times and you’ll notice a difference, plus spend time together.

    • Hi E,

      First, do not underestimate the importance of actually being healthy (v. an ideal weight). There is value, as I am sure you’ve figured out, in feeling energized, feeling healthier as a result of taking care of your body, and improving your cardiovascular fitness (i.e., your improved 3 mile run time) (not to mention being a great role model for your kid!)

      Second, The Biggest Loser is not a model for safe weight loss. In other words, sustainable weight loss should be no more than 1-2 lbs a week. It’s also entirely possible if you are lifting weights (and I hope you are!) that you are replacing some fat with lean muscle–not a bad thing, even if it doesn’t shift your weight # dramatically.

      Third, eating. Counting calories are important, but so is just actually recording what you eat every day, whether it’s with a computer app or just on a mini-memo pad that you keep in your bag with you. Being honest with yourself, and giving yourself the opportunity to eat right (i.e., making sure you’ve got those healthy snacks around you when hunger strikes.

      Lastly, you burn fat optimally when working out between 70-85% MHR. while taking classes that “kick your butt” are fun and a great way to stay motivated, I’d wear a heart rate monitor to make sure that you aren’t actually routinely working too hard–at which point, you start burning lean muscle instead of fat, which is counterproductive.

      Good luck!

    • Former Big Girl :

      Diet 80%/Exercise 20%…Don’t underestimate what you put into your body, because it effects your body the most.

    • Oh, and check thise site for a guest post that was put up by a personal trainer/life coach – the focus of her program is high intensity interval workouts, both cardio and resistance/weights – the post and many of the comments were very helpful and inspirational. It was up about a month or so ago, and the post even included a printable sample routine. Highly recommend to shake up your workout/increase metabolism, plus the workout is quick/efficient. Again, good luck – you are on the right track!

    • As someone who once went from “can’t run a mile without stopping” to collegiate athlete (rowing) fit, with 12% body fat, in the space of a year, can tell you that if you are out of shape and start hitting it hard, the first thing that happens is that new muscle builds up under the blubber, THEN the blubber melts, leaving you with muscle. It is possible to actually get bigger (!) at first (I did), and it possible to weigh more or about the same. The reason being that muscle weighs more than fat. I discovered that a good weight for my 5’2″ frame depends – if I’m not fit, it’s about 118 and if I am very, very fit it’s 128, and that’s wearing pretty much the same clothes. So, everything is fine, go by the fit of your clothes right now – not the scale, and keep up the good work. I admire you, and I SO need to do what you are doing!

      • Anonymous :

        I am really very out of shape and would love to get in shape, but cannot afford to lose weight–any suggestions for a fitness program that does not lead to weight loss? Yes this IS a serious inquiry.

        • Another Sarah :

          Have you talked to your doctor about what you can do/what to eat? Also, if you join a gym, you might be able to get a session with a personal trainer who would be able to give you exercises to do. You don’t have to buy a whole bunch, but maybe one and then another to make sure your technique is good. You might need to ask around for a trainer that doesn’t JUST help people lose weight. One of my friends (who is v. underweight) went to a gym, got a trainer who didn’t believe that she was out of shape, and they proceeded to basically work her until she pretty much collapsed in the parking lot. Counterproductive.

        • I’d recommend yoga (classes at a studio with a yoga teacher if you’re a newbie) for toning, and a running program like Couch to 5K (google it and you’ll find a few options). If yoga’s not your thing and you have a gym membership, try weightlifting instead but I recommend having a couple sessions with a trainer to make sure you learn to lift properly and don’t hurt yourself.

          • Oh, and also, working out will probably make you hungry. When you’re hungry, eat what you feel like eating. That should keep the pounds on. Most dieters have to work out and ignore that hunger.

        • Legally Brunette :

          So glad that you asked this question. I used to be extremely skinny and never worked out because I was so self conscious about losing more weight. I never did it at the time, but doing some weights will definitely tone you up and it won’t make you lose weight. You probably want to stay away from intense cardio — perhaps brisk walking would be a good idea.

        • I think your best bet is to try to find activities that you find fun and interesting. I am fine with my weight and find the traditional gym activities to be insanely boring and unpleasant, so I try to do brisk walks around my neighborhood a few days a week and pilates or yoga the other days. If you have good parks/trails in your area, you may want to take up hiking or biking. You could also train for a 5K. I watched a study on NOVA about unfit people training for a half marathon and the end result was that most of them became much healthier but did not lose much (if any) weight.

          • MelD – WHERE do you do pilates? I’ve been pining for a good studio since I moved here! Does your studio have reformers or do you take a mat class? PLEASE share!! Thanks in advance.

          • I’m too broke to take a real studio class, but I’ve been going to a class at LA Fitness taught by a woman who normally teaches individual and small group reformer classes out of her home- http://www.pilatesbytina.com/PilatesByTina.com/Welcome.html. From what I’ve seen, her rates are comparable to the bigger studios in the N. Tampa area.

          • Thanks MelD – Lutz is a little off the track for me and I am AWFUL about getting to any sort of class. I heard about a (new, I think) place – hydeparkpilates.com, and I am thinking about checking that out in the next couple of weeks – I’ll let you know what I find out…and still haven’t made it to LaFrance :-/ (thought about it yesterday but didn’t think having 4 kids in tow would be that great, so went to Int’l instead).

        • Head over to your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe or other similar store (I am affiliated with none of these) and ask for recommendations. It may be that a weight-gain type protein shake daily will help make sure you keep on the weight. With ice cream blended in it :) One of my relatives does this to keep her weight stable.

      • what did you do to get into such great shape in a year?

        • Collegiate crew! Six days per week – hard practice on the water, plus occasionally some weights, then on Sunday, ran six hilly miles. Crew rules for practice were that you made practice and gave 100% unless vomiting, diarrhea (tmi, sorry, but that’s how it was), or had a cast on a limb. Tired? too bad. No time? too bad. Feel sick? too bad. No excuses. Plus side – 12% body fat, tons of energy, clothing hung very well on me. Down side – naked I looked like a cold war era soviet bloc gymnast!

    • I lost 80 pounds last year… I quit dieting – no more measuring, eating fat-free cheese, etc. I started eating what I really wanted to eat – brie, chocolate, croissants, steak, etc. and found that when I eat what I really am craving, what tastes good and fulfilling to you, then you are full, and you stop grazing in the kitchen at night, or noshing through the afternoon. If I nosh I try to make it healthier but still satisfying – almonds, grapes, etc., but if I want a Milky Way, I eat one – and I’m done.

      I weigh myself every day – it makes me feel in control to know that the scale confirms that I’m thin – it counteracts when I shrink my pants in the drier or feel bloated, but I think that’s a personal preference…

      Good luck – I know it’s hard and different for everyone – so if something doesn’t seem to be working, don’t hesitate to switch gears and try something else :-)

      • I want to commend you on your weight loss, Shayna! 80 pounds is amazing. I’ve been helping my dad lose weight over the last few months and he’s lost about 20 pounds, with another 20 to go. It’s completely changed his outlook on life and he’s so much healthier and happier.

        Totally agree on not eating “non-food” junk like fat free bread, cheese, etc. As Michael Pollan would say, those are food like substances but not real food that will be satiating. Completely agree that you’re better off eating the real stuff, but just eating it in moderation.

        • Thanks ;-) That’s great that you are able to help your dad get healthier and happier – I have to ask, how did you inspire him to get healthier? As hard as it is to lose weight, it seems just as hard to help someone else.

        • After reading Omnivore’s Dillema, I’ve been trying to get rid of all the processed non-food. I’ve even been making my own granola bars which are surprisingly very simple. I haven’t lost weight but I feel healthier.

    • divaliscious11 :

      Are you tracking your food? I am in a similar space having had a pretty stressful last few months, and current actually, but hopefully coming to a close, and I know that even if I add strenuous workout to the mix, if I am not careful about what I eat, the scale won’t move. For me, limited calorie type diets don’t work so much as making sure I am eating enough protein and enough food. I tend a) not to eat; and b) when I do, to not eat that well , when stressed. So for me, eating right is almost more important to prevent my body from going into starvation mode, ie…holding on to everything I eat… so track your food, make sure you are getting enough food, and eat enough protein, especially at breakfast!

    • Two ways (totally different) have worked for me:

      1) paying attention way: Lose it on my i phone

      2) not paying so much attention: The end of emotional eating by Geneen Roth

      Good luck

    • I think you have to “know yourself.” I know that tracking everything I eat on a pad or computer would drive me crazy, so I sat down and made a menu plan that I follow pretty religiously. For breakfast, I am allowed Quaker Weight Control oatmeal, banana, and/or hot chocolate/tea. For lunch, I can have fruit, a sandwich (no mayo, minimal cheese), for dinner lean protein and veggies. I can have a cheat per day, but it must be small in size. I am also allowed portion-controlled snacks (like Kashi granola bars). If I stick to the plan, mostly, I lose weight.

      I’d also encourage you to incorporate walking into your routine. I changed jobs and added about 20 mins a day of walking as a result, and pounds just shed off, as long as I walked fast.

      Good luck. Half the battle is realizing that you’re tired of the weight you’re at, don’t feel your best, and want to do something REAL to change your life.

  27. Frustrated Shopper :


    I have been searching for a knee length navy A-line skirt for several months. I’m 5’10”, so the skirt needs to be fairly long to be work appropriate. I wear a size 6/8 and I’m looking to spend no more than $75 – 100.
    I’ve tried zappos, target, macy’s, ann taylor, express, new york and company with no luck. Any other suggestions? If it is an online option, I’m looking for a either free return shipping or in store return option.

    Please post links if available, I really appreciate it!

  28. Request for advice/vent: I’m supposed to be starting my new job on Monday, but my employment authorization (for OPT) hasn’t come yet! My status switched to “document production” yesterday, but it also says that it can take up to a month for the EAD to arrive! Has anyone been through this process before? How long did it take for you?

    Online forums suggest that it takes about a week for the EAD to arrive, but some people took over a month. I’m trying not to worry, since that obviously won’t do any good, but I need it to come ASAP. I can’t start without it and the longer it takes the more I have to catch up on since the rest of my class will start training on Monday as scheduled.

    • I don’t have any advice, but I used to work with international students and have total sympathy for anyone dealing with getting their OPT. Any way you can start as a volunteer?

    • I just started a new job on OPT, and I definitely feel your pain. My card came through in plenty of time, but I was worried about it until I got it. I applied for it in April and received it in June.

      There isn’t a lot you can do until the card actually comes through, so I think you’ll just have the tell the employer that you can’t start — which obviously sucks for both you and them. Just make sure they understand that it’s not you causing the delay, but DHS and the slow processing times. You’ll have to present the card when you fill out new hire paperwork anyway, so the employer should be sympathetic.

      I’m a little iffy about starting as a volunteer, because you would still need to show the card even if the position is not paid (and needless to say, it would also be a labor law violation by them to not pay you for paid work). But you could talk to them anyway and see how they want to handle it.

      Good luck!

      My OPT-related drama is that I got my job on the basis that the employer is going to sponsor me for a H-1B visa next year, but they have shunted me off into various intern-level HR tasks (data entry, drive clean-up, scanning). For those not familiar, the H-1B only applies to professional-level jobs (requiring a BA or better). I have a masters degree in an unrelated field. I’m trying to find the balance between being flexible and getting work done, but positioning myself to do more advanced/demanding/interesting work so I can qualify for the visa. I have explained the problem to the employer, but they’re just interested in getting their basic work done. I’m looking for other jobs in the meantime, but not having much luck because no employers want to sponsor me for the visa.

      Any advice on how to handle this (either the visa aspect or the general frustration at being pushed aside into busywork)?

      • Thanks for the responses. I asked about starting as a volunteer (according to my intl center, it’s in a grey area since its unpaid) but it’s against company policy for them to allow people to start as unpaid workers, so no luck there. They’re aware of the situation, and so far are understanding. Hopefully the card will come soon…

        J, I sympathize with your dilemma . Did they give you a job description or anything else writing when they hired you? Have they given you any indication of whether the intern-level work is only temporary to fill a present need or if this is going to be your permanent role? If it’s the former, I would try and discuss a timeline with them to transition to the more professional duties or even to do a mix of “professional” and “intern” tasks. Do you have anyone within the company who you can trust to give you advice about the situation? I’d also discuss the issue with the international center at your school, especially to find out how strictly USCIS adheres to the “professional” requirement. My job is “professional” and my company has already applied for the H-1B, so I’m not sure how detailed the paperwork is or what they have to include. Good luck!

        • M, that sounds like the best possible response from the employer in your circumstances. There’s not a lot anyone can do, but hopefully the card will arrive soon and solve the problem.

          Part of the issue with my job is that the company created the position specifically for me, so there was no official job description, but more of a “what can this person do that isn’t already being done?” situation. I took the initiative and wrote my own job description, and positioned myself as more of a professional/legal worker than the HR-assistant work I am doing in reality. No one has objected to the job desc so far, but it doesn’t reflect the work I actually have. The work seems ongoing and long-term, and it concerns me. There are a few other negatives with this company as far as my career aspirations: it’s a family-owned business, so if you’re not in the family, there’s no real chance of advancement. It’s a different industry to my background and interests. And most of the people working there seem to have been doing the exact same job for years.

          In short, I don’t envision myself working there long-term, but they are the only offer I have had to get the visa so far, so I’m pretty stuck if I want to stay in the US. It’s incredibly frustrating, and I suspect things will come to a head around the time of the H-1B app: either it will all work out, or I will just have to go back to my country and be far from my family. Looking out for other positions in the meantime, but not a lot of success yet…

          • academicsocialite :

            J, your employer will have to submit a letter indicating why you and the work you do qualifies for an H1-B. I had to find (and pay for- boo) my own lawyer so I basically had an associate at the firm write it and submit it for my employer’s signature. If you have a sense of your employer’s process already, you might try writing it yourself and then discussing it with whomeever is going to give the sign-off. It would at least start the conversation.

            I felt the same way as you going through the H1-B grind – very stressful, but I knew if it didn’t work out I would go home and make the best of it. I think in most cases, as long as you do your best to follow the integrity of the law, it will all work out. I know there are horror stories out there, but there are also successes. I now have a GC (marriage-based) which gives so much more job and life flexibility.

            Good luck and stay calm as much as you can!

      • In my experience, the H-1B job classification depends on the employer’s description of the job. They don’t check up to see what you’re actually doing.

    • I’m so confused. What is OPT? What is EAD? What is DHS? (comment below) The only acronym I understand is ASAP. I’m trying to understand the OP (I know what that is!) Thanks.

      • DHS=Department of Homeland Security.
        The EAD is a foreign citizen’s authorization to work here.

        • OPT=optional practical training, which is one method that foreign citizens can use to obtain work authorization.

  29. I’m looking to purchase an everyday, good quality leather bag. I’m looking for a color other than black. Suggestions? I’m debating between camel, bone, a deep purple etc. I wear a lot of black, and colors like green and purple.

    • I used to have a beautiful deep purple bag myself and I loved it – it was so versatile, went wonderfully with everything and I got tons of compliments on it. But I could never wear it in the summer or late spring – it looked too wintry. My current favorite is somewhere between camel and bone – I found it to be more appropriate year round. On the other hand, it is so easy to stain! I haven’t had much problems with it because I’m in law school so I usually carry my Longchamp tote anyway and the beige purse doesn’t get that much use. YMMV. Let us know what you decide!

      • My current everyday bag is a dark gray with just a little bit of shine. It seems to go with everything and does not stain like my camel bag.

  30. BigLaw Refugee :

    I am looking for some advice on how to handle compliments on my work.

    I recently started my new govt job, and on my first project I put in extra (almost BigLaw) hours and worked really hard – not because anyone told me to, but because I got really into it. My supervisors were extremely happy with the quality of the work, and the speed with which I got it done way exceeded expectations.

    In a meeting yesterday with the more senior supervisor, he said that it was great work and complimented how fast I’d done it. Which was great! Only thing is, I wasn’t sure what to say in response (other than thank you) and it felt like an awkward moment. I can’t help feeling that a good self-promoter would have taken the opportunity to make sure he knew how hard I had worked, or to say how I was proud of having done X or Y (kind of like you’d do if asked about a project in the context of an interview).

    In my BigLaw job I seemed to get to a place where I was seen as the “Mikey” of my practice group – someone who would do work that other people would complain about, work hard at it, and do a good job. Even though I know I did great work, and got comments to that effect from partners, that did not seem to translate into being considered a “star” and given plum assignments. I assume that this was the result of my making certain mistakes discussed in Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, like “working too hard” and failing to promote myself. So in my new gov’t job, I’m trying to focus on those kinds of issues.

    How do other Corporettes respond to compliments? Any advice on self-promotion?

    • You should take the opportunity to tell them how much you liked the assignment. “I really enjoy work of X type. If you see a similar assignment in the future, I would love to tackle it. Please keep me in mind.”

      I’m uncomfortable self-promoting as well, so I don’t have any suggestions on that front.

    • Congratulations! I would have just said thanks or “thanks, I worked really hard and I’m glad it paid off!”. Save the self-promotion for your performance eval. If he’s complimenting you, he knows you worked hard and did well; he may forget by eval time. I would suggest taking detailed notes on your work now, so you don’t have to recreate things by memory at eval time.

      I think you already know this, but I’d be cautious of working too hard. You don’t want to look like you’re trying to show off, plus you don’t want to set the bar for your performance so high that you can’t sustain that level of performance (because without biglaw money you aren’t going to be able to sustain biglaw hours). And try not to fall back in the trap of doing work no one else wants to do.

      • Another Anon :

        Agreed. Say a genuine “thank you,” and print any emails or the like to stick in an album or folder for future employers/self-promotion/etc.

      • I think that’s the perfect thing to stay. Its a meeting, its not the time for tons of self promotion, but it is the time to make sure you don’t say “it was nothing.” Say a genuine thank you and I like the addition of “i’m glad it paid off” or “thank you, I really enjoyed x kind of work and would love more in the future”

        • Agree — use it as an opportunity to indicate that it’s something you would like to see more of (if you did like it), or if it was time consuming, mention that you enjoyed the challenge – as long as it sounds genuine. Don’t downplay your efforts though ;-)

      • BigLaw Refugee :

        Thanks, everyone. I actually didn’t say that I liked the assignment in part because when it was given to me I was told “these aren’t really very interesting, but they’re a good opportunity for you to learn the procedures.” I happened to LOVE working on it, which is the main reason I worked hard on it, but I didn’t want to say that because it’s possible that once I’ve done a few cases like this, I won’t like them anymore, and they are lower-profile matters. So I don’t want to get myself pigeonholed.

        I am pretty good about keeping a file of my accomplishments. The hard part is figuring out how (outside of the interview context, when it’s expected and natural) to make people aware of them.

        • Well at my job we have quarterly reviews, and that’s when I make my boss aware of my accomplishments. But if you don’t have that, you’ll probably at least have informal reviews or meetings with your boss to discuss your interest in new work, request a raise, etc, and that’s a good time to bring up your accomplishments. I’ve found it especially useful to create a mini-resume of accomplishments when I’ve requested to work on a project that is interesting to me but outside my normal work area. Sometimes my boss is hesitant to let me work on something new but when I remind him that I’ve done well on similar projects in the past he usually relents.

    • North Shore :

      What’s the sign in this office that you have “made it”? For example, in my office, you’d first get assignments on other peoples’ cases, then you’d get to second chair a case, then you get to first chair a small case, then first chair a big case, then first chair a massive case, like that. It’s nice to do well on projects, but you continually need to angle for your own cases, then larger cases. So I guess I’d say to watch out for being pigeon-holed as a person who does assignments on other people’s cases, and continually remind your supervisors that you want more first chair responsibilities when they compliment you.

      • BigLaw Refugee :

        Hmm, it’s a little early for me to be pushing for specific types of assignments, but I will definitely keep that in mind for an appropriate future (but not too far in the future) moment.

        I don’t yet know what the signs of success are in this office. But you have strengthened my resolve to ask out to lunch a woman I interviewed with, who I know has been there for a very long time, and get her advice on how things work at the place….

    • My firm has a newsletter that goes out every 2 weeks highlighting attorneys’ accomplishments at the firm — like securing new business, speaking at a particular event, writing an article, etc. I always, always make sure to write up a blurb about myself whenever I do something that is worthy of being published. In terms of more subtle self promotion, I find that there aren’t that many opportunities out there except for performance reviews. I always make it a point to write fairly long and substantive narratives about the work that I performed so that I get the credit that I deserve.

      Oh, and another example of explicit self promotion — make sure that any awards you receive (Order of the Coif, Order of the Barristers, any pro bono awards, etc.) are hung up prominently in your office.

    • divaliscious11 :

      Thank you. I really enjoy what I do and I am glad it shows. Then tuck it away for later.

      The place for self promotion is in the self evaluation part of your annual or more frequent review. I did a pretty basic self evaluation this past year, and then asked to go back and revise because I didn’t feel like I’d given myself enough credit for a really big project, and it turns out that my boss’s review of my work was better than mine. I am glad I went back and self corrected. And, because I was confident in my performance, she put me on another big, senior executive project this year, which she couldn’t cover because she was going on leave, when there were other more senior people available.

  31. I suggest – keep your own personal notebooks with hard copies of all of your best work, arranged chronologically, which you can pull off the shelf and show people whenever you wish to. This could also be helpful if you look for another job in the future. I have notice – men tend to do this, and women tend gto forget to…..why?

  32. This relates to my earlier post; For some reason, I’ve decided I have to have a pair of purple pumps to wear with grey pants (which is odd, because normally my shoe color sticks to black, brown, and tan). What do people think of these three, and has anyone seen any purple pumps in stores lately? (think eggplant/deep purple). And is purple just way to weird of a color to wear to work? (my work is very business casual):




  33. I just sent you one. FYI to all those who haven’t ordered during a give and get promotion before- it will take them much longer than normal to get everything shipped to you because of the huge influx of orders (my order took 2.5 weeks last time).

    • How were you able to use yours online? Mine says at the bottom “Not valid online…” and I tried using the code under the barcode, but it didn’t work.

      • I have a BR card and the email I got has a both an in-store coupon for “multiple uses” and an online promo code that it says is “for one-time use.” Though I’m trying to order off the BR site right now and it keeps taking minutes to load pages.

        • Ah, I see. Thanks for the clarification.

          • I didn’t end up using my “one-time use” online promo code because both items I wanted are sold out in my size :( . If anyone would like to use it the code is: N1PDVWFJ6J2G. Please, just post that you used it so nobody wastes time with an invalid code.

  34. You guys gave great advice to me a few weeks ago re: what to wear to an interview in Miami. The interview is looming now– and I have realized that my carry on luggage piece will be with me at the interview. (I arrive at 9am, interview all day, and they drive me to airport from there.) My smaller pieces of luggage are very canvas, very green– basically all color coordinated laura ashley from the late 80s/ early 90s. I am eying an Ellen Tracy rolling duffle that is faux croc, shiny black. Also considering a matte black nylon swiss army brand rolling duffle. I like the Ellen Tracy because its fun, but I need to know if it will read as fun *and* tasteful because the brand and fabrication are OK. I am not familiar with the brand. Both pieces are $75.00 at Tuesday Morning. Thoughts?

    • OH– and I am interviewing for a corporate HR position that will be 25% travel.

    • I would go with the Swiss Army — I traveled extensively for a few deals I worked on over the last year, as did other team members, and on the last day of the week we’d all have our suitcases in the conference room. Yes, it was a bit of a boring sea of black nylon (mine is Hartmann, which I adore), but I think anything shiny would stand out just a bit much (not exactly unprofessional, but a bit “I’m a girl!”), not to mention it would show scuffs easily.

    • Swiss Army all the way. What you want to do here is look basically like a professional traveler (stop just short of flight crew), so ‘can’ anything that isn’t consistent with that theme….

      • Thanks guys! I hadn’t thought about the scuffs issue– but that plus the whole need to look like a seasoned business traveler thing means I will be acquiring a nice simple matte black rolling duffle in carry on size. Thanks!

  35. Not such a bright idea :


    Lawyer Corporettes, I’m a medical student in NY, and a long time reader. I receive jury duty summons off-and-on. My Student Affairs office told me that every time I received on, to give it to them and they would send proof that I was a student. They can’t fail me if I go to jury duty, but many of our classes are 1-2 months and it was very likely I’d get a passing grade instead of an A or a B for that class (and they always came for crucial classes).

    So I thought it was all taken care of, until a Notice of Noncompliance/Failure to Respond to Summons for Jury Service arrived today, telling me I may be subject to a $250 fine and/or civil judgment or criminal contempt fine/imprisonment.

    I am a little freaked out, because I thought I had been responsible and avoided this.

    So — my first instinct is to go ASAP and tell the clerk this, and hope all I get is the $250 fine. But I am worried, because I am applying to residency and any sort of minor record could potentially hurt me. Is a civil judgment essentially the court version of a parking ticket? Or does it count for more, legally?

    So I guess what I’m asking is: 1) Should I show up, say I’m sorry, and get the fine? or 2) Do I need some sort of lawyer help because I’m about to get smacked with some sort of official record? I’ve never even had a speeding ticket, so I’m having a very bad day right now.

    • First thing Monday morning I would go to the Student Affairs office to find out what happened on their end. I don’t know if it would help get anything overturned, but they might be able to write you a letter explaining that they dropped the ball. Sorry I don’t have any other advice. I hope it works out in your favor!

    • I think the first thing you should do is take the notice to the Student Affairs office and ask what’s going on. Let them help you handle this, since they said they would initially take care of it.

      Second, take a deep breath. If you have documentation from the SA office, chances are good that this fine can be waived. Be calm and explanatory.

      Good luck!

      • Not such a bright idea :

        These ideas ought to be helpful (and I appreciate them), but my Student Affairs office is known for being pretty incompetent, and I don’t anticipate a lot of help from them.

        I guess it’s worth a shot if they can write a letter certifying I’ve been a student for the term of my jury duty and that they’ve written exemption letters for me before.

        With all the stress of getting my residency application together for 9/1 even the thought of some kind of legal action is just a bit too much for me to process calmly.

        • Take heart that the penalties you just cited are most likely maximum penalties–they generally don’t throw you in jail for contempt when there was a good faith mistake. Not to give you too hard a time about this, but I think you’ve probably learned your lesson about trusting the work of offices you know are incompetent ;-)

    • Another Sarah :

      In my county, if you get one of these and you don’t show up, they come and get you (which is v. v. bad, considering it’s for jury duty). So, if your Student Services office isn’t competent enough to take care of it for you, I would agree with the above advice to get them to write a letter to the head judge of the county and take it with you when you show up. And if you have documentation from the last times they “called and took care of it,” then you probably won’t even have to pay your fine. Getting a civil judgment is something the judge decides, so can’t really help you there. Regardless, at this point, you’ll have to show up to not get any more fines/punishments against you regardless of what your Student Services office says, since they say one thing and do another. If you’re worried that this could hinder your future employment chances, get it taken care of yourself and just do what you need to do. Good luck!!

    • I don’t know what the Student Affairs office told you, but there’s no excuse from jury duty just because you’re a student. If the jury duty was in your hometown, not where you go to school, you could have requested to be excused because you were out of town. If you were being called in the same jurisdiction where you go to school, I doubt that they’d consider this a valid excuse and they probably just called you again.

      At any rate, you need to show up for court. I doubt they’ll even ask you for an explanation but if they do tell them the truth. It’s very unlikely they’ll fine you (and yes, it is basically the jury duty version of a speeding ticket, no worries about a damaging permanent record although you might have to disclose it as a formality to a professional licensing board). Most likely you’ll just be warned to show up the next time. It’s inconceivable that a judge would find you in contempt so long as you show up for your court date.

      The next time you get called for jury duty, go. It’s unlikely you’ll actually be picked to sit on a jury. Only a very small percentage of people reporting for jury duty actually get picked for a jury, and most trials are very short, lasting a day or less. If you even get picked for voir dire (when the lawyers question potential jurors) you can tell them you’re concerned about missing school and don’t want to serve on a jury. Then the judge will almost certainly let you go home.

      • Not such a bright idea :

        Just so I don’t look totally out of it, what I believe Student Affairs does for you is asks for a postponement of your jury duty term until a time when it’s easier for you to come in — an extension of the term, not a true exemption. We only get our schedules about two months in advance, so I had the bad luck to keep getting letters in the middle of finals, or in key classes where the professor couldn’t legally fail me but would have happily given me a C instead out of annoyance.

        Thanks again for all the advice. I’m actually now at a point where it’d be a lot easier to serve jury duty and am happy to schedule it. I was much more worried about the thought of some kind of minor misdemeanor and am happy to know that it’s essentially a jury speeding ticket. The fine will hurt but I guess it’s a lesson that just because someone says they’ll handle it doesn’t mean you should trust them.

        • Anonymous :

          I wouldn’t worry too much. I actually really doubt that they’ll make you pay the fine so long as you show up when you’re supposed to. It’ll all work out fine anyway. Believe me, you’re hardly the first person to miss jury duty. They send such sternly worded warnings precisely because so many people don’t show up.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not in NY, but what happens in Mass. for someone who fails to show for jury duty is that you get called in before a judge for a small hearing (think traffic court) and have a chance to explain your side of the story. Usually you just have to agree to show up the next time you are summoned–if you have a good excuse. I was in court one day when I saw a couple of people go through this process, one person got off as she had been caring for a sick relative. The other was found in contempt. Document everything. In Mass., students don’t get a free pass out of jury duty by the way.

  36. I am not a lawyer, so I need some help.

    I am writing a position paper, where the precedence is largely found in the right of the federal government to regulate interstate commerce. I know some of the basics, but would like to learn a lot more about the law and, more importantly, how it has been used and interpreted through the years. Can anyone recommend a good “primer” or a way to research this for background information? Thanks.

    • legalicious07 :

      I’m a newly graduated law student, so I have really practiced law “for real” yet.

      If you want basic background info on the Commerce Clause and how it’s been interpreted over the years, I’d look for a good hornbook on Constitutional Law. A hornbook is a legal supplement that provides an overview of a subject, mentions important cases, etc. It is meant to be studied in addition to the casebook as a way to help clarify basic concepts.

      There are a few hornbooks that do an adequate job for any legal area: Examples & Explanations, Gilbert’s, Emmanuel, the Nutshell series, etc. There may be other hornbooks that are specific to Con Law that people recommend, but I don’t know about these. If I were you, I’d start with the Examples & Explanations for Con Law (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=W6S&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&q=examples+and+explanations+Con+Law&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=17096741045505591847&ei=THd5TLroNsP6lwe5jc3wCg&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDwQ8wIwBA#) and read all the materials on the Commerce Clause. It should give you a good background on Commerce Clause, dormant Commerce Clause, etc.

      P.S. One tip — I think the word you mean is “precedent.”

    • Another recent grad here. The hornbook that I strongly recommend is Erwin Chemerinsky’s Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies. It’s considered to be the holy grail for constitutional law amongst the law students and lawyers that I know. Borrow it from a library and read the chapter on the commerce power. Dean Chemerinsky is really great at breaking down complex legal issues in a way that is easily understandable (he teaches the conlaw for foreign students lecture for Barbri) and I think the format might be more useful than the E&E for your purposes.

      • Absolutely :

        Absolutely second the Chemerinsky recommendation. I haven’t read his Con Law book, but his Federal Jurisdiction hornbook saved me. I had no idea what was going on all semester, read his book over the weekend, and somehow winded up with the only A in the class. :) He takes very complex legal principles and makes them extremely easy to understand.

      • Third Chemerinsky! He is the best

        • Fourth — the book is amazing and I was just getting ready to make the same suggestion when I saw that it was made. This is a great book to have on the shelf.

      • So funny. My con law professor saw someone with a Chemerinsky treatise in class and stopped the class, said that we should stick to the materials he had assigned and that while Chemerinsky is overall good, he didn’t get everything right. I.e., professorial differences. I steered clear of Chemerinsky!

  37. legalicious07 :

    P.P.S. I just read some of the reviews for the E&E, and some people say the format doesn’t lend itself well to teaching Con Law. (It may actually work well for your purposes though, but I can’t say for sure.) Some recommend Chemerinsky’s treatise instead (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/product.aspx?r=1&isbn=9780735557871&cm_mmc=Google%20Product%20Search-_-Q000000630-_-Constitutional%20Law-_-9780735557871)

    I listened to Chemerinsky’s Con Law lectures (through Bar/Bri) to review for my Con Law final, and I found him to be very thorough and engaging. I imagine his writings would be the same. So check that source out as well.

    • I used the Chemerinsky Con Law treatise during Con Law my 1L year. I found it extremely helpful and highly recommend it. I found the section(s) of treatise on the Commerce Clause well written and informative.

  38. Just want to give a quick shout-out to Brooks Brothers — I just took a BB umbrella back to the store to ask if they could order a replacement tip for it (it’s a walking-cane length umbrella, and the black rubbery tip that protects the wood had fallen off), or recommend a place to repair (i.e., which quickie shoe repair place would do it). They just took it and handed me a brand new umbrella! Can’t believe a store would still do that.

    Also saw the “Dr. Evil” suit in-store. The fabric looks much less severe in person, although the skirt was on the shorter side as far as their suits go. It felt lovely, as most of their fabrics do.

  39. Not sure how many paralegals read this post, but here goes… how many hours a week are you able to bill? In a typical 40 hour work week, I end up billing about 6-6.5 hours out of an 8 hour work day and I’m wondering if this is normal. I am having an issue with the other paralegal in my department… she somehow gets to work after I do, continuously leaves early, yet bills pretty darn close to 8 hours a day. I just don’t understand how someone can bill 7.5 hours in an 8 hour day when you add up all the downtime we have – the 10 minutes it takes to get the computer up and running in the AM, going to the restroom or the kitchen for a snack, checking emails in between working on projects, chatting with people in the hall, etc. I feel comfortable that I am being honest about my time and not billing clients for time that I haven’t actually worked. But at the same time I’m worried that she is making me look bad because she is billing a good 20+ hours a month more than me and since I’ve only been with the firm 6 months, I’m still trying to make a good impression. We use a computerized time clock system to punch in an out each day and if we work more than 15 minutes over 40 hours a week we need to get permission. So do I clock out and keep working anyway so I can catch up on my hours “off the pay clock” or do I just not worry about it knowing that I’m being honest? (I should say that I use a time keeping program with timers so when I say I’ve worked 1.2 hours on a project, I’ve actually worked 1.2 hours on that project. She has come out and said to me that she “guesses” on her time, as in “I spent all day working on X Project, so I’m writing down 8 hours.”) Any thoughts???

    • Not a paralegal (am a lawyer, but not one who bills hours), but it sounds like she’s fudging her hours. I’d say keep being honest regarding your hours – if this other paralegal really is lying about her hours, eventually someone will notice and it’ll catch up with her.
      If you’re worried that you’re not billing enough, consider what it is that you’re doing that keeps you from billing closer to 7-7.5 hours. Are you going online, stopping for chats with your co-workers, taking personal calls, or going for a few too many coffee breaks? Whatever it might be, try to limit your time doing it. But personally I think there’s nothing wrong with taking a 10 minute mental break every so often. Generally, it sounds like you’re doing fine.

      • Maybe you need to ask another attorney in the office how they account for those little breaks in the day.

      • Just my own jaded opinion, but I would not bank on this catching up with the other paralegal.

        • You’re probably right. Although they firm line is to record your time accurately, there are many incentives in a firm to do what you coworker is doing, and unless overtly lying about it, the worst that will probably happen is partners will think she works too slowly and write off a portion of her time. By the time you’re in a professional position, the only person who should be zealously guarding your ethical boundaries (and, say, whether you’re willing to bill a client for time you didn’t actually spend on their case) is you.

    • I’m an attorney who keeps track of my hours, and I think she probably is fudging her time a bit, but I know a lot of people who keep time like this (partners in particular, who started practicing long before the DTE timers became prevalent).
      I’d also point out in the nicest way possible that you are probably hyper-sensitive about your time because you just started. I usually don’t turn my timer off unless I’m interrupted for more than a minute or two. A quick reply email to a partner saying I’ll take care of another assignment later that day doesn’t merit stopping the clock, nor does walking over to grab a cup of coffee to bring to my desk. I only stop my clock if I intentionally break to check my favorite blogs, move to another client matter, or something else that will take more than 30 seconds to do. You’re not an automaton, just try to work in long stretches if you can, and take as short a lunch as you can and still be mentally refreshed.
      Also, do not work “off the clock” (unless your firm tells you differently)–I’ve always been told to bill as long as it takes to complete a project properly, and it’s up to the partner to write off as needed. They need to know if it’s taking you longer for a project, because it may mean it was more complicated and should merit a higher cost to the client, or it may mean you’re overloaded with work and can’t handle another project.
      Without even thinking of ratting out your coworker’s habits, you may want to proactively talk to your mentor or supervisor and ask their take on your billing practices.

    • I am a lawyer who bills hours. I generally agree with Anon @10:32. When I started out, I was overzealous with starting and stopping the clock, but I realized I was actually cheating the firm because it was so tedious that I sometimes wasn’t even recording all the time I was really putting in! I do know that there are other lawyers in my firm who are extremely, ahem, “imprecise” with their billing. But I decided from the beginning that I don’t agree with that approach and I’m not going to do it. I don’t know exactly where I rank on the number of hours billed, but I know I am not the lowest. This has worked out fine for me, because the quality of my work is good and that counts a lot in my (small) firm. I think talking to someone in your firm is a good idea, because 1) it will show that you are concerned/trying to fix the problem (if it is a problem) and 2) they might either tell you that you’re doing fine or give you some good suggestions so you will feel better.

  40. Bridal shower gift ideas?

    I’ve got a bridal shower coming up and I am at a loss as to what to bring as a gift. Right now, I’m thinking a gift certificate to a spa or to a lingerie shop, but hopefully some of you have more creative ideas?

    • I’d just go with something off the registry. That’s been the norm for most of the showers I’ve attended recently. I guess I’m just not into being creative. If I know what the couple wants, why would I try to guess and possibly end up with something they don’t want and/or can’t use?

      • Additionally you may want to consider what type of shower it is. Among my group of friends, coed showers aren’t that uncommon, and for that you’d want to pick out something for both members of the couple instead of just something the bride could use.

      • Thanks–that’s certainly the easiest. I guess I’ve always assumed the gift registry was for the wedding and the bridal shower was for the bride.

        • These days I think the registry is for both. I can’t think of one of my friends who actually wanted to have a shower, so they probably would have all been mortified to get sexy lingerie or something of that nature. I figure it’s best to make the experience as comfortable as possible for the bride.

    • I gave a friend a whole kit to make a scrapbook from her wedding pictures – fancy paper, the cute little stickers and everything. But her registry was totally complete by the time I started shopping, so I had to get creative. She loved it, but I knew crafting was something she was really into.

      I know that everyone want to give someone a meaningful gift for such an important occasion, but unless you know the bride REALLY well, I would stick to the registry if she has one. I know it sounds lame, but I just got married and I desperately wish some of my more “creative” relatives had just looked at the registry. Otherwise, I think your gift card ideas are great too, especially for lingerie, because its something she’ll probably want to get new for the honeymoon, and its not something she’ll have to worry about how to return when she gets 6 of them. I got three blenders and am just trying to sell them on Craigslist…

      Good luck and have fun!

    • legalchef :

      I think it depends on how close you are with the bride/couple. I usually try to do a mix of registry and something more personal that is still useful. My best friend recently got married and for her shower I got her the fancy salt and pepper grinders for which she registered, as well as a cookbook for which she didn’t register, but I knew that she would love.

    • In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with a spa gift certificate. If you want to make sure both bride and groom can use it, find out how much a “couples massage” goes for at the spa and make the certificate for at least that amount. Then enclose a note suggesting the couples massage.

      That way, if he isn’t interested (some men are intimidated by spas; my hubby LOVES them!) she can get several treatments.

      I wish all my future gifts for any occasion were spa certificates! Please Mom, no more sweaters…

  41. AnneCatherine :

    Any Talbots coupons? I’ve been deleting my Talbots emails b/c I’m not SUPPOSED to be shopping . . . .

    • I can’t help, but if it makes you feel better I spent 30 minutes yesterday scouring the interwebs for a free shipping coupon for Talbots because I ordered a couple sheath dresses. No luck, since I refuse to open a store credit card. I ordered anyway (…and this is the part where someone says they have a free shipping code, right?). I do HATE paying for shipping but I just don’t have time to shop in-store, although maybe that’ll change with my new, non-biglaw job.
      Sorry this wasn’t actually responsive, but good luck with your coupon hunt!

      • AnneCatherine :

        Ha ha thanks. No, it was. I did some mild interwebs scouring myself and it used to turn up stuff, but no such luck. I will wait for the free shipping email. It seems, when I don’t want them, I get them all the time. Problem is, there is a suit I’m sale-stalking.

    • i just got a talbots catalog in the mail offering 20% off and $5 shipping. i can’t share the code as its one use and i’m going to use mine, but if you wait a bit you might get one too.

  42. Does anyone have an online code for Gap Give & Get? I can’t find Gap’s ankle length pants in-store :-(

    • This was sent to me so I can’t be certain it wasn’t used:


      Post if you use it!

  43. legalchef :

    Thanks to all those who emailed me a coupon! I got a bunch of work basics at gap and banana, including a really great gray skirt suit (http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/outfit.do?cid=15406&oid=OUT19127)!!

  44. Anyone have tips on how to unshrink a rayon dress? Just accidentally washed one of my favorite work dresses that apparently is made of rayon and says dry clean only. Now it’s at least 5 inches shorter. Can this be fixed? It’s my go-to more casual work dress and I’d hate to replace as I’ve had it less than a year. :-(

    • By “just washed” do you mean you just took it out of the machine and it’s still wet? If so, once it airs dry, it should go back to its original size. I machine wash/air dry rayon all the time with no ill effects, but it does not look good when it comes out of the washer.

      • Yeah, hang it to dry, skirt pointing down, and it should stretch back to its original size.

        If you accidentally put it in the dryer too, though, sorry, but you’re screwed. Pour yourself a glass of wine.

        • Wine it is. Didn’t realize it made it into the laundry until I was hanging up my non-iron shirts. Oh, well–it hope makes a cute minidress ;-)

  45. Corporate paralegal here. My firm asks for a utilization rate of 85%, which is to say, 85% of your time in the office should be billable. I have been a paralegal at top biglaw firms for 5+ years, and I would say that this is a bit ambitious unless your client load is very steep. I am quite overburdened right now, and I am hitting 90-95% (meaning I hardly ever stop for coffee or chat in the hall with co-workers). But it’s very common, at least for corporate paralegals, to bill about half an hour a day to admin time (doing your time entry, paying client invoices, etc.) and the rest to clients.

    Also, it sounds very much like your co-worker is not being honest, but…I can tell you from experience, it won’t catch up to her if it hasn’t already. Someone is looking the other way.

    Just always do your time honestly so that you can hold your head high, explain why you billed what you did, and you should not ever have a problem.

    And you may be judged against your co-worker, but know that you are being honest, and it’s the right thing to do. Keep it up.