Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

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Lacoste and Catherine Malandrino are doing a collaboration this summer, and I love the look of this drape dress. It looks chic but breezy, perfect for summer parties. It’s already sold out in tornado blue, but it’s still available in brass yellow (pictured), black, white, and navy for $255 at Lacoste.com. Lacoste + Malandrino Drape Dress

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  1. Random question:

    This site has Christian Louboutins at deep discounts. I’m looking for wedding shoes right now. Can these be real? What’s the catch? Ever heard of this site?


    • One thing I find a bit alarming is that none of the links (About Us, Return Policy, Delivery Information, etc. etc.) seem to work. That’s a bit of a red flag. I wouldn’t rule out that the product is real, but this is certainly no well established reseller.

      • Yeah I just realized that as well. I guess it’s probably a fake seller, hoping to take your money and run…

    • Don’t do it!
      I know someone who bought from them and it did not work out! Luckily, she used pay pal, but the whole thing is still a mess. If it’s too good to be true, it usually is, unfortunately.

      • Argh, yes. I need to remind myself of that more often.

        • Fashion Faux Pas :

          If your heart is set on Louboutins for your wedding and you don’t mind spending some time shopping, you may want to try a Neiman Marcus Last Call (if you have one near you) or a consignment store. I’ve gotten Louboutins for $150 at the former and $20 at the latter.

          • No Neiman Marcus Last Call near me — I’ll have to scope one out. For some reason, I always have terrible luck with consignment shops. I always find them to be overcrowded, overpriced, and/or picked clean.

            My biggest problem is that I simply hate in-person shopping. I’ll order something online over going into a store any day.

          • Bluefly.com also has a selection, although the prices aren’t always that great of a discount.

        • Does Rent the Runway or a similar business have designer shoes, perhaps?

  2. Recent Grad :

    Alright ladies, I need some career advice. I just graduated, will be taking the Bar in July, and I don’t have a job yet. I’d like to go into IP law/litigation, but I don’t have any summer experience in this field. I have experience in litigation, just on the criminal side of things. I do have excellent grades, including three IP classes, from a very well respected university. My job search was on hold for the Spring semester, mostly because I was pulling 60 hour work weeks in addition to my classwork. That job is finished, and they can’t afford to hire me as an attorney (and it’s not IP related), so I am job searching. I didn’t have a summer job in IP because I couldn’t find one available, so I took what was available in my area. I don’t regret the experience I got, because they were wonderful jobs, just not in the right field.

    What is the best way to go about entering the field of IP for someone in my situation. I’m in the Southeast if that helps your answers. Thanks in advance!

    • Have you taken the patent bar? or are you looking to do just trademark/copyright?

      • Recent Grad :

        I am not qualified to take the patent bar, without adding a few more undergrad courses in the sciences. So that is a long-term goal. Right now, just looking at copyright, trademark, and such.

        • Hopefully this doesn’t come off as to harsh, but I think you need to broaden your horizons significantly. I don’t think there are going to be many jobs at all for an entry level attorney trademark/copyright position for someone with no experience. I would look for firms or places that have a IP practice, and try to get some work in those departments without expecting to be an IP attorney. I got into IP (non patent) by accident since I had a summer doing copyright and one doing trademark, and in my job search never came across something like that (and I was looking for any practice area, and had strong IP experience and course load).

          • Recent Grad :

            Not harsh, this is exactly the type of advice I’m looking for. I don’t expect to walk into an entry level IP job, but it is my long term goal. I don’t want to get so far down the road in another practice area that I can never switch over to something I love (compared to something I “like). Can you clarify what you mean by getting work in an IP department without expecting to be an IP attorney?

        • Is there any way for you to take the classes you need to take the patent bar? Even if it means summer school while studying for the bar? If it’s just a few undergraduate courses that you’re missing, it would be worth it. You will be so much more marketable in IP if you have passed the patent bar (or even if you’re just qualified to take it but haven’t done so yet).

          • Recent Grad :

            I need about 8 more classes in order to take the patent bar. So, it’s not possible to do by the fall, but definitely possible by next fall. Should I apply for those “patent eligible required” positions, knowing it will be at least a year before I can fit this requirement? Thanks!

          • 8 classes is quite a few – that’s pretty much two full time terms of college. I personally wouldn’t apply for the “patent eligible required” positions at this stage, but I would if it were “patent eligible preferred.” Ever since I read that men are more likely to apply for (and perhaps get) jobs for which they don’t meet the stated requirements, I’ve been trying to expand the universe of jobs I’m willing to apply to – but 8 classes away seems like a real stretch.

          • I hate to say it, but even WITH patent bar eligibility, you likely won’t get the IP job without the summer associate experience. I’m an Emory Law 11L and the only ones with the patent law offers were those who were patent bar eligible and had the summer experience. And on top of that, only those with software/electrical engineering are getting the offers.

          • Anonymous :

            It’s been a while since I’ve looked at the patent bar requirements, but 8 classes sounds like the entire courseload required (if you don’t have a hard sciences degree). If that is the case, then I’m not sure you’ll look competitive compared to those who do have a hard sciences background. If you only had 1-2 more courses to complete, my answer would be different.

          • Passing the FE exam will make you eligible to take the patent bar. My husband is an engineer and he says it’s not very hard (Well, he actually said that he thought I could pass it if I were set on taking the patent bar, and I don’t have much of a science background at all). It might be a cheaper, faster alternative to taking the science courses you’d need.

          • Recent Grad :

            Thank you Lynnet. I will look into that.

    • Recent Grad :

      Okay–let me add a few more things. One of the classes I took included working with real people with IP problems. So I come with a portfolio of work. I also did a Trademark/Copyright infringement complaint at my most recent job, even though the remainder was all criminal law. But there’s just not a dedicated summer of working in the field.

      But what I’m hearing is, unless you’ve been an IP summer, or already taken the Patent Bar, you aren’t going to get the job? How about transferring into it after a few years?

      Thanks for the feedback so far ladies. It’s just frustrating knowing that I would do well in the field, but not being able to even get a second glance at my resume.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I’m going to co-sign all of the above advice. I also have a bunch of classes to take before I would be eligible to sit for the patent bar. I have an LLM in IP (probably not the best idea but I graduated Dec 2009 without any job prospects), 1 summer at a small IP firm, and 1 semester working with an IP solo practitioner and I’ve had a horrible time trying to find an IP position. I’m currently working through a temp agency and continuing to search for a permanent position (ideally IP but really anything at this point).

        Its tough out there. Try to get experience in IP where you can or whenever you have the opportunity, but definitely keep your search broad for now.

      • Its not really about your summer job, its that you want a job that is kind of mythical. There are very few attorneys that do just trademark/copyright. Because if a company wants an IP lawyer, if you can’t do patent then they would have to hire two attorneys. Or, they can hire just the one that does patent law and teach them copyright and trademark. There is a lot of fields I’m sure you will do well in, don’t limit yourself to just IP. Trademark and Copyright are great fields, there are few emergencies, and litigation doesn’t usually go all the way it gets settled early. You’ve kind of picked a great field you want to work in, but its really small, and you don’t have the qualifications. I’d look for firms that at least do some IP stuff and try to get a job maybe in general litigation, and once your in let it be known you’d be happy to help out on IP projects. Good luck

    • Since this is your first post-grad job and I assume it’s financially important to get a job ASAP, you should try to get a general litigation position at a firm that has some IP litigation work. You don’t want to come off as only interested in this narrow area, but it is appropriate to show interest a practice area while also saying you want to work on challenging litigation and get courtroom experience (not practice specific). My experience as an associate in the SE is that most of the bigger firms have general litigation practice groups at least for younger associates, so you may be able to get experience on some IP cases if you’re interested in them.

      Regarding the patent bar, I think you need to fully commit to IP litigation and/or trademark prosecution, copyright and transactional work — not patent prosecution. Despite what earlier posters said, patent prosecution work is its own separate game and usually the attorneys who do this work do not also do litigation (or will consult on the technical issues but won’t ever be giving opening statements in a jury trial, etc…). Many patent prosecution jobs will also require top science qualifications (often master’s or doctorate science degrees), so just because you could take a few science classes to be eligible, you will still may not be competitive. As a warning, be cautious of firms that would want you to go this route because they may not have the client base or experienced attorneys to really train you as a patent prosecution attorney and support the position long term (ie – they may just want to say they have a patent pros. attorney but you will need to stay busy with other work).

      It sounds like you have relevant experience, have worked hard and would be a great addition to any law office whether your first job is all IP (rare) or whether that falls in line down the road. Best wishes!

  3. This looks like a great wear-to-work dress and it’s only $26, unfortunately it’s not my size. If anyone is a large, you might want to snap this up:

  4. Anon for this :

    Regular, but anon for this. I am not really sure why I am writing this, other than the fact that you are such an amazing group of women and I need a place to vent. I am in my early 40s, married and have 2 kids. DH and I went to the OB/GYN to talk about IUDs v. tubal ligation. I mentioned casually that my last period was the same as when I had been into see her for my annual. Turns out that was in October! As I was pretty certain that I was not pregnant, she sent me in for blood work. Well, it turns out that I have gone through menopause without knowing it.

    It is so hard to take in. I knew I did not want more children, but there is such a huge difference between “want” and “can.” For no logical reason, I am feeling such a loss. DH doesn’t really understand, because we had obviously made up our minds about no more kids. It is just so weird that something is suddenly gone.

    We have been through a lot in the past few years. DH was in a serious accident and had numerous follow on surgeries, my dad died, and just the bustle of being a FT working mom, so I guess this is just my body’s way of handling all of that.

    I know most people on this blog are younger than me, so this is even less of blip on your radar than it was on mine, but I just needed to share a bit!

    • TheOtherCoast :

      I’m sorry you are hurting over this. You are still fairly young so I understand why it was unexpected.

    • Thank you for sharing. My Mom recently went through something very similar. She had a hysterectomy to correct another health problem. She’s in her late 40s, and was absolutely not planning to have more children. At the time, I didn’t understand why she was upset. Even though the choice was hers, she was devastated by the abrupt end to that part of her life. Her advice was to rejoice and celebrate in the two lives your body has already given you. Know that you have sympathetic ears who will always listen, and understand your loss.

    • Also going Anon :

      I’m about the same age and had a similar scare. I hadn’t had my period in almost 9 months, plus I was having night sweats, mood swings, etc.

      My doctor had me go off the pill and my period came back, along with the terrible cramps that prompted me to go on the pill in the first place.

      So, while I can’t speak to the specific issue of being in menopause, I can tell you that I understand why you’re so upset. It’s something that’s always been there and now it’s gone.

      In my case, I’m single and don’t have kids, but do want to have them, if I meet the right guy, so it was really upsetting to think that I might not even have that option.

    • I’m sorry. Although I haven’t been in your shoes yet, I can relate to the feeling of loss when certain options are no longer available. It doesn’t matter that you’d already made up your mind that you didn’t want that option, the point is that you get to choose it!

    • It makes perfect sense that you would feel a loss and even grieve. It’s a shift in your body’s status/capabilities, and even if you didn’t want more kids, it’s both a sign of your/everyone’s mortality (which it sounds like you didn’t need reminding about!) and moves the possibility of kids from being your decision to one you don’t have control over.

      Maybe some therapy to think about the various losses and changes in your life would be helpful?

      • Anonymous :

        I am sorry to hear that. Maybe this is a good excuse for a makeover for the new fabulous you?

      • This! It’s the grief of the “might have been”, the option, the choice. On the one hand it’s liberating, on the other hand it’s the end of a era.

    • I’m so sorry. One of my best friends had to have a hysterectomy in her 40s, and while she never planned to have kids and is single, she mourned the loss deeply nonetheless.

    • Anon Canadian :

      Long time lurker, first time commenter.

      I’m really sorry to hear about your loss. Even though you didn’t want anymore kids, it’s understandable that finding out that you no longer have the choice can be upsetting. Especially since it’s about so much more than having kids. It really is a massive life change to go through menopause.

      Early and unexpected menopause is something that I think about often. My mom went through menopause abruptly in her early 40’s. The day my dad’s mom died her period stopped and it never came back. The dr’s said that it was just trama and she should be fine in a couple of months and then her mom died 5 months later.

      I’m 27, been with my guy for 8 1/2 years, with no kids yet and I’ve always had really painfull periods. I was actually sent for testing because they thought something was wrong.

      Between my mom’s menopause experience and my menstral problems, it’s always in the back of my mind that I might have problems having children. But I always try to be positive and look on the brightside.

      Anon for this the bright side for you is that you don’t have to have surgery to get your tubes tied and your menopause experience seems to be fairly uneventful. I know many women who have horrible menopause experiences. Hot flashes, mood swings, and many other uncomfortable symptoms.

    • oh so anon :

      My very good friend and her husband decided after they were married that they did not want to have children. It was more of a lifestyle choice and being relucant to share their time with each other than anything else. She’s in her mid 30’s. She recently found out that even if she wanted to have children, because of issues pertaining to tumors in her uterous and related issues, it would be every unlikely that she would be able to carry a baby long enough for it to survive. She went through a period of loss and sadness and she felt so surprised to be feeling these things in light of the fact that she had 100% decided not to have kids anyway. She explained it similar to how you explained it… deciding not to was HER choice. Not being able to was nature’s choice, not HERS and that just sucked. After a short while, she came to peace with it. I guess why I’m sharing this is to let you know that you are not alone and that even though to you, it may not make rational sense why you feel a loss, it is a loss (a loss of choice, a loss of control) and allow yourself the respect to recognize it as such. And, celebrate that you no longer have to worry about BC ever again! Man, I bet that’s a huge weight lifted off your shoulders!

    • Anon for this :

      Thanks, everyone! I appreciate the comments and warmth. I will try to focus on my good luck in not having had any of the side effects!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Nope….sounds like we are in the same space age wise….and while I am certain, I don’t want more kids, I think I’d be devastated to find out like that. Currently struggling w/ a similar decision and leaning toward a ligation….. Totally understand your sadness….

    • I’m just a few years younger and, for various medical and other reasons, probably won’t/shouldn’t have anymore children (I have 2). I feel incredibly sad about it as well, to the point where I sometimes think, what if we try for one more… but that really makes no sense whatsoever. The idea of not holding a newborn baby of my own again is hard to get my mind around. It is hard to close off that possibility, it is hard to deal with your body “letting you down” in some respects, and it’s hard to deal with getting older and developing a new self-image. I totally hear what you are saying. My little one is growing up so fast and I’m really going to miss that baby phase (but will appreciate getting sleep, time for myself, etc.). I’m trying to acknowledge that this time is bittersweet and focus on the positive.

    • Cecelia Celiac :

      Anon for this, I went through the same thing at age 45. I have two healthy, happy kids but did want more but the time was never right. To have it happen suddenly with no warning was hard. It feels especially weird when my teenager has her period – to feel different. But we both are lucky that it was a symptom-less change.

      I would urge you though (and I’m going to sound like a broken record) to get tested for celiac and for nutritional deficiencies. I found out that I had celiac shortly after menopause and was deficient in calcium, Vitamin D and had osteopenia (early osteoporosis). Celiac did all that including the early menopause, which does not run in my family.

      In any event, best wishes to you.

    • Another Anon for This :

      Thanks so much for sharing this! I’m 45 and coming to the realization that I won’t have children. I’ve always been ambivalent about whether or not I wanted to have them, but in January 2010 my husband and I agreed to stop birth control and just “see what happens”. And nothing happened. And now it looks like nothing will. Although there have been months of “will I get/be pregnant or not”, I guess I’m fortunate that the realization that I won’t get pregnant has been gradual. Sometimes I go through moments of grief/regret and other times moments of relief. So your articulation of what you’re going through has been reassuring to me. Thanks for sharing this.

      • Anonymoose :

        Thanks to the OP for sharing her feelings, and for the others who have commiserated. I’m 43, married @ 40, and throughout our relationship, we’ve taken a fairly passive relationship to BC, so that ‘nature could take it’s course.’ Well, it hasn’t taken any course. Like Another Anon for This, coming to the realization that I probably won’t have bio-children – even though I’ve always been a bit ambivalent about motherhood – is tough. We went to an adoption orientation meeting, which feels encouraging, but is also a solid acknowledgement of the unlikelihood of bio-kids. It’s a tough change to face, especially when so many of us feel young, vital, and fit in every other aspect of our lives.

    • Big hugs to you. You are not reacting abnormally. I would feel the same way.

      As you said, there is a big difference between “don’t want to” and “can’t.” I think even when you decide not to have more children at a certain point, it’s in the back of your head that you can change your mind if you want to (at least, that’s how I feel about it). Then, something like this happens and it turns out your decision was more final than you thought. It’s okay to feel a sense of loss over this. My mom said she felt a sense of loss when she went into menopause, and she was 52 and had had a tubal ligation for 20 years! I also have a friend who tried for 7 years to get pregnant, was never successful, and adopted a little boy – and still went through some terribly painful emotions when she started menopause earlier this year. Something that was a big part of your life – the ability to have kids – is now over and it’s okay to have sadness about that.

      I will say that from what I have seen, going through menopause “without knowing it” is much preferable to going through some of the agony I’ve seen my menopausal friends in. I’m not going to say “you’re lucky” but it definitely could be worse? You absolutely need to do something for yourself that helps you process the loss. Unfortunately, we don’t have “rites of passage” for times like this, as a culture. But maybe planning a girls’ weekend, a weekend retreat for yourself, or a special event for you and your kids would help you mark the passage.

      Don’t feel strange for being totally normal. Hope you feel better soon.

  5. I’m younger than you, and unmarried, so I can’t say “I’ve been there and I know that feeling and it’s rough” but I can relate to that feeling of loss/frustration/sadness that always seems to accompany finding out that something you thought was/was going to be your choice is actually out of your hands. And even if the ultimate outcome is exactly the same, there is something unsettling about that sudden feeling of powerlessness.

    So, hugs to you.

  6. I LOVE this dress. Obsessed. Wish I had the body to wear it!

    • Ditto, especially in this yellow color, which I’m in love with for some reason. Wore this exact shade of yellow headscarf to work on Tuesday with a gray outfit – perfect ending for the holiday weekend.

      • I love yellow and gray together- sophisticated with a pop of sunshine. Maybe I’ll dig out my yellow skirt this weekend.

      • I don’t wear headscarves, but I am scarf obsessed in general, and now that it is finally sunny here, I am bringing out all the brightest, cheeriest ones I can find. But I *need* a bright yellow one like this!

  7. Sydney Bristow :

    Does anyone have advice about whether it is a good idea to consolidate student loans and what company is best if I did decide to do it?

    I have loans from a number of lenders with a pretty wide range of interest rates, two of which are variable. I haven’t started repaying these loans yet, but most come do over the next few months (and I don’t have expected repayment dates for some yet).

    The whole process just seems really overwhelming and I’m not quite sure where to start. I’ve already got IBR set up for my federal loans, so these are all private companies. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • One benefit of unconsolidated loans is that when you have extra money to apply to pay down principal, you can apply it towards the highest interest piece. Once consolidated, you’d lose this option. So there are a lot of considerations!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        That is an excellent point that I didn’t realize. Between that and what AIMS said below, maybe I shouldn’t even bother. Right now I’m scared about making my payments in the first place, but it might be shortsighted to make a decision like this an not take into account a situation down the line where I would hopefully have some extra money to put towards loans.

      • I will say this, I paid down my two highest interest rate loans first and brought my monthly payments down by half–couldn’t have done that if I consolidated.

        • If you are worried about making your payments though and are thinking about an IBR or ICR repayment plan, consolidation may be your only real option. IBR and ICR repayment plans are generally meaningless unless all of your loans are with the same lender. In my experience, lenders will not take into account loans you have with other lenders when figuring your payments under these plans.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I finally got all my lenders to tell me my estimated payment amounts and my first payment due dates yesterday. I think I can swing my payments for those loans and my federal loans are on IBR, so ultimately I think I’m ok for now. Thanks for the advice Batgirl and Paige.

    • No advice, but just wanted to commiserate. I finished the consolidation application for my fed loans yesterday and it was exhausting. My loans have changed hands so many times in 3 years I’m not even sure if the info was correct.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I feel your pain. I finally sat down with all of my paperwork and went through all of it to determine who my lenders were and set up online accounts with all of them. Between that and my most recent credit report, I’m 99% positive that I tracked them all down.

        • You can check all your loans at the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) – http://www.nslds.ed.gov/

          It will tell you the current lender / principal / interest rate / etc for your federal loans. Not sure if it lists private loans as I only have federal.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Yup, its only federal. My private ones are the ones being sold multiple times. I think I’m pretty lucky because all my federal loans have the same lender.

    • As far as I know, banks aren’t consolidating loans anymore all that much. very few companies do, and the terms probably aren’t great . Unlike just a few years ago, (last that I heard) it’s not really an option anymore.

      Maybe the lack of real option to do it helps with the overwhelming feeling?

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Thanks AIMS. It actually does help a bit. Getting it all organized in the first place helped and I just want everything set and all the details worked out so I can just be overwhelmed by the amount instead of the amount + everything else about them.

    • Check out Graduate Leverage (and no, I don’t work for them, but I’m still kicking myself for consolidating with Citibank instead of Graduate Leverage.)

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Thanks Suze O. I’ll check it out, but I’m thinking I’m not going to consolidate.

  8. My cousin is planning my bridal shower, and I want to get her something to thank her for all of the thought, time and effort she has put into this. Her husband suggested earrings, which I think is a nice idea. Her style is pretty classic/conservative. I don’t love the options at Tiffany’s, and now I’m stuck on where to look. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • Hamilton Jewelers? They’re a smaller retailer but based in some pretty preppy towns, so they tend to sell more conservative jewelry (And they have a website, of course :). I’ve gotten pretty and classic jewelry from there before.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      If she’s classic/conservative, I’d also consider a strand of non-white pearls. They are more one-style-fits-all, as opposed to earrings. For earrings, there are a lot of variables, like drops v. studs, ear sensitivity to metals, etc. While she surely has a lovely strand of white pearls given her classic/conservative style, what about gray? peach? black? I find myself reaching for my gray strand more often than my white, and you can get a very nice strand of freshwater pearls for a couple hundred dollars. A pendant with a solitary tahitian-type black pearl would also be a hit, I think.

      • s in Chicago :

        I just wanted to say I totally agree with this suggestion. It’s amazing how great gray pearls look with anything black, gray, blue, or white.

    • Macy’s is having a jewelry sale. I got myself a set of classic pearl earrings over Memorial Day for over half off.

    • Pearl paradise? Beladora2?

  9. For the corporette who was looking for a chic summer hat. This one is adorable and on sale: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/nordstrom-summer-straw-cloche-hat/3129912?origin=keywordsearch&resultback=0

    • I’m not the corporette in question but thanks for the link nonetheless since I love hats. A friend had a bridal shower last weekend – the theme was a garden party and hat wearing was encouraged – it was so much fun!

  10. This morning I shaved one leg and forgot to shave the other one! How does that happen?

    • Ha! I do stuff like this all the time. You’re not alone!

    • That’s so funny! I hope you discovered the mistake yourself…and no one pointed it out… :)

    • Haha, I’ve done things like that before!

    • I’ve gone to brush my hair after a shower and found that I never rinsed the conditioner out. More than once.

  11. Low Morale :

    Anyone else working in an environment where there are several people who seem to have substance abuse/alcohol problems? I work in a small department and there is one person who has gotten to the point where we had a meeting to discuss a possible intervention and two others who are absent/late/hungover at work on a regular basis. Tensions seem to be mounting between some of the attorneys and the support staff, and I’m wondering if there is any connection. At any rate, it’s pretty uncomfortable having to deal with the related moodiness and petty drama. When people seem to be in better moods and there are no sports to talk about, the conversation just moves on to alcohol.

    I hear all the time that alcohol problems are fairly normal in the legal sector, but I am just wondering if this is something I can expect in future jobs. Sometimes I feel like I am in some bad after-school special.

    • AnonThisTime :

      Several years ago, I was on staff at a law firm with several heavy drinkers. The office would be deserted every Friday at 3:00 (and the nearest bar was bustling), but I was expected to say and “cover” in case attorneys from the firm’s out of state offices called. I ended up moving to a new firm (much better) and the managing attorney from our office now risks disbarrment because he’s been unable to get his act together despite multiple stints in rehab.

      Know that it is not an acceptable work environment, even though people talk about how rampant substance abuse is in the legal profession. There are lots and lots and lots of firms where attorneys handle themselves professionally both “on and off the clock.”

      Best of luck to you. I know how frustrating it is.

    • Anonymous :

      Get a copy of the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous as it has a chapter called “To the Employer.” Focus on the behavior and not the cause: it is irrelevant WHY the person is wrinkled, or late to work, or rude. The fact is that it is unacceptable behavior in the workplace. Once he or she is chastised for the shortcomings, then an EAP or other services can be offered.

      • Low Morale :

        I am not in the position to make any changes, and I also have some issues with AA I do not care to go into here. I was just wondering how common this is in the workplace and how people who really have no power in the workplace manage to cope in such an environment.

    • I worked at a biglaw firm with one prominent drunk. Usually only after hours though. Not all places are like that. I have also worked at a different biglaw firm and a small law firm, and there were no habitual intoxication problems at either of those places.

    • Anonymous :

      Wow. Amazing how common this is. I’m the only person in my section who has not had their license revoked for DUI.

      One co-worker was depressed and drinking to the point that I made sure I knew where the fire alarms were in case I walked in and found him hanging (I figured I’d pull the alarm since I’m too little to cut him down and reception never picks up the phone). I was told by my supervisor to stay out of it (another alcoholic) since it wasn’t my concern.

      No advice, just glad you shared your experience. Who knew? Thanks.

      • Please, call 911 if anyone you know attempts suicide.

        In your specific scenario, the fire alarm may or may not directly connect to the fire department (it should, but they’re often faulty) and even if the fire department responds they will be looking for a fire and won’t know to look for a suicide. Also, in the case of a suicide attempt by hanging, cutting him down isn’t the only way to help; lift his legs up so he’s not hanging (you can place them on a chair) and then see if you can clamber up somehow to cut him down. Seconds can make a huge difference in saving someone’s life in this situation – few people who hang themselves do it “properly” so their neck breaks and they die quickly. Many suffocate and choke, and can be saved if found in time.

        Yep, I have experience working with mental health :).

        • Anonymous :

          Thanks for the tips. Duly noted. (What has this world come to?)

          My big concerns are that the phones don’t always work, and 911 calls have to go through the main operator (they often don’t pick up the phone if they’re busy, chatting, etc.). We’ve argued the logic of this but it’s still company policy.

          • Does your company have an anonymous hotline you can call with your concerns, both about your colleague’s mental health and about the slacking off of the main operator?

            911 should not be routed through an operator – that’s a huge liability issue for your company! Every employee should be able to reach emergency services him or herself. (And if you really need it – call from your cell!)

            I’m sorry about your colleagues – this is a rough situation to be in. One of my friends had a colleague jump from a balcony into the atrium of their office building. Not a pretty sight, and he had a young child. It was such a tragedy.

    • The Other Bar :

      In California there is an organization called “The Other Bar” that helps lawyers and other legal professionals with alcohol abuse. They sometimes come do MCLE programs for my bar association. They also have an anonymous service you can call and ask them to do an intervention with a particular lawyer. Perhaps other states’ bar associations also have similar programs.

      There’s lots of good info on their website: http://www.otherbar.org

  12. I’m a summer associate at a nonprofit in California, and just finishing up my first week. I wore slacks and blouses/button-ups all week (a knee length pencil skirt one day), but most of the attorneys wear jeans with nice tops, polos, button-ups, etc. Only one (the most senior) wears slacks. I was specifically told I could wear jeans yesterday, and it was mentioned again today (in a nice way though – no pressure).

    My instinct is to keep wearing business casual for now, and maybe wear jeans on Fridays starting in 1-2 weeks. The other summer is wearing jeans + button-up today.

    What do you think, Corporettes?

    Also, I absolutely love it here! My assignments are SO interesting and the people are wonderful :)

    • sounds like they want you to know it’s ok to wear jeans; if you are more comfortable in business casual that is probably fine as long as you don’t give the impression you’re relating more to the senior than the peers, I think.

    • H0nestly, if everyone else is wearing jeans, and they’ve specifically told you more than once that you can wear jeans, I would go for it.

      On this site, we do seem to advocate wearing more upscale/formal clothing for summer associates/junior members/anyone not a partner ;) , but the foremost rule always seem to be to know your office. And here they all seem to go for jeans, and have encouraged you to do so.

      That is, unless you’re more comfortable in slacks and would wear them regularly the rest of the time.

    • BarPrepper :

      I struggled with this during my summer. We had casual Fridays and I was informed my first several Fridays that I was “too dressed up.” I found that support staff (who came to work in sports jersey’s and flip flops…don’t get me started) resented me being “over-dressed” even in a denim pencil skirt. I risked alienating the people whose help I most needed for impressing my bosses, so I switched to trouser-cut jeans with button-up shirts and blazers…I always, always always pretend that I’m in slacks when I wear jeans. It seemed to really help with building good will between myself and the support staff, and I got the respect of the attorneys by still looking like “one of them.”

  13. Hi all! I’ve been a lurked on this site but have never posted. Anyhow, I could use you ladies’ advice. I need sunglasses that fit my petite head. When I say petite I mean may face is narrow/eyes are close together AND I need short endpieces since inevitably pairs I’ve even just tried on slip down my nose.

    Any insight? TIA!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I have a small head too: Paul Frank. The frames run very small, and are available in regular and rx, and are fairly inexpensive. Other brands that fit me are Tiffany and Kate Spade. All the european designers (Chanel, Fendi, Gucci, etc) are all way too big for my head.

      • Second Kate Spade. Frames are usually way too wide for me and some KS frames are too narrow. Cute stuff, too.

    • Anonymous :

      The kids section, seriously.

      • This! I always wondered why all glasses looked stupid on my face, then I went to lenscrafters and the lady had me try kids frames. Best decision ever! My eyes are centered, the glasses don’t fall down my nose, AND they were $100 cheaper than the women’s version of the same pair!

        • Ohh good idea. I’ve never really had to have Rx glasses but I’m sure I will eventually! Thanks for the advice everyone.

    • The best bet is to go to an optical store like Lens Crafters and have an optician tell you what your size is. There are often two sizes together with a square between that will give you the eye size and bridge size respectively, and then another size on the earpieces that will give you the temple size. Sometimes this may be on the tag. Most of the time you will just look at the eye size since an optician will be able to fix the earpiece to fit your head. The typical size for women’s glasses seems to be 135 and even that still requires some modification for my face.

    • Runnin' for it :

      If you want designer sunglasses, I found this website today- http://www.bestbuysunglasses.com. When you click on a style of sunglasses, they actually provide the size (lens width, bridge, lens height, and temple size). This seems like a good site to use once you know your size or a pair they carry that fits. Today I used the site to shop for a new pair by looking up the size of a pair of Fendi’s they carry that I already have that fit me well, but the pair I picked out I didn’t buy from the site. I bought them from Nordstrom and had them price match to this site.

  14. Etiquette question – coworker jan smith had a new baby. Husband is ned smith. I know the card traditionally reads mr and mrs smith, but that seems stodgy right? So do I address it that way? Or jan and ned smith? Or jan ned and april (other kid) smith? Why is this so hard?

    • As long as I’m 100% certain that mom and dad (or mom and mom, or dad and dad) share the same surname, I always go with:

      The Smith Family
      123 Main Street

      Then, inside, I go with Dear Jan, Ned, April and Baby…

      • This is what I do, too. From experience, though, I would advise that if you’re sending things to relatives, you should probably include some other identifying information. Especially if they all live in the same town. I’m still not sure all of my wedding thank you notes went to the right cousins….

    • Agree with teh other commenters on using the Smith Family, and wanted to add that it is very sweet of you to include the older sister! She will appreciate that.

    • Anonymous :

      If you want to be really nice, include a small gift for the big sister as well. The parents will love you forever.

      • Anonymous :

        Random thought: would it be “cute” to address the card to the baby? Maybe congratulate the “baby” on joining such a wonderful family?

        • Anonymous :

          That’s a great idea! I’m sure the parents would get a kick out of someone talking up how great a family the baby will be joining.

  15. Why not ” To the Smith family”?

  16. PSA: I tried the Frieda 3 day straight and it is amazing! Normally my hair is huge and curly this time of year no matter what I do. I used it Sunday night and my hair was frizz free through Weds in super humid NY. It did get a little wavy over night, but once I ran the flat iron through it it was perfectly straight again. It is a great alternative to an expensive Keratin treatment. I had Keratin done last year and I think this feels and looks much better!

    • LOVE the 3 Day Straight. My hair’s not truly curly, just wavy and frizzy. A few weeks ago I bought a bottle of the Frieda 3 Day Straight and love it. My hair stays straight, not even picking up kinks if I put it in a ponytail or keep my side bangs tucked behind my ears. And it feels so soft, like just after a salon blowout. So worth $9!

    • skippy pea :

      Great. I will try it. I really hope it works on my hair the way you say it works on your hair. :)

    • Wow, really? This sounds like a miracle shampoo…I’ve got to try it!

      • Another huge endorsement for 3-day straight. I’ve been growing out my wavy, frizzy hair for some time (I’ve been straightening it since high school) and lately, even with a flat iron, its been looking poofy and frizzy soon after I get to work/leave the house. I was contemplating chopping it off again. Then, I found the 3-day straight (I haven’t used it for three days yet). It leaves my hair smooth and shiny and frizz free. It doesn’t puff up or get “fuzzy” around the top of my head.

        As a note to other users, it makes your hair feel pretty gross while its wet, but as soon as you dry it, its perfect. Also, its not a “straightener.” You still have to blow-dry and flat iron perfectly, but it makes the style last all day (for three days, apparantly).

  17. Recovering from my day by having a glass of wine and watching Too Big to Fail on HBO. Has anyone seen this? It’s pretty compelling for a movie about the 2008 financial crisis.

    • Equity's Darling :

      The book is also really good.

    • Yes! Very interesting stuff, isn’t it? I didn’t realize how fast everything happened. I would absolutely watch it again. Enjoy, Bunkster!

      • I think I need to watch it again, just to understand everything.

        • I agree. The speech in the middle where they explain the whole mortgage meltdown was helpful. Also, I don’t think I ever grasped the entire domino effect this could’ve had until watching this. And at the end, it’s a bit chilling that the banks, after all of this, are still too big (and even bigger than they were) to fail.

    • Nope, I lived it. I worked for one of those firms. Watching that movie would be like torture.

      • Not in law :

        I thought that they had a couple good explanations, like the mortgage one, but they could have added a couple more that would have made the domino more clear to the average person – like explaining what would happen if AIG failed.

        • Yeah. But it was only an hour and a half long so they did a pretty good job in that timeframe. I’m reading the book now for the full story.

      • Sorry. Was it fun while it was good times?

        • No, I wasn’t one of the elite few.

          • Anonymous :

            Sorry. Hope you’re OK now.

            I always figured Wall Street banking was the biggest gravy train and kick myself regularly for not taking that career path.

        • Remember…there were secretaries, janitors, and “lower level” people at those firms too. And they lost their jobs and everything too. Not everyone was getting million dollar bonuses who “had it good” while the getting was good…

  18. I’m not sure if Ippolita ads have always been on Corporette, but I recently bought this ring. It’s gorgeous, and I receive a lot compliments on it:


  19. Hooray! It finally got above 65 degrees in Seattle: We’ve had the coldest, wettest spring on record and it hasn’t been above 65 since last fall. Just in time for the weekend!

    • I know!! And today is even more beautiful than yesterday. I broke out the sunscreen and the sun hat and spent the day outdoors. Gorgeous!!

  20. Hi ladies,

    On the upper portion of my arm, I have these red marks that almost look like tiny bug bits that have been itched so they are now a wound. I also have light patches of skin in the same area (I am Caucasian, if that helps).

    My derm told me what it is, and basically it’s caused by an overbuildup of keratin and dead skin cells that clog the skin and cause uneven tone, etc. She recommeded a cream I bought for a lot of money at the drug store that has some acids in it to help slough off the dead skin (no prescriptions are available) to control, but not cure it. It hasn’t really gotten any better, and it’s been 3.5 weeks now of nightly, sometimes twice daily, application. I know it’s trivial but these spots really bother me. For some reason, there are more on my right arm.

    I was wondering if anyone has had experience with this, and if there are other things I can do to help? I tried a salycitic (can’t spell it!) body scrub to slough off dead skin cells in addition to moisturizing, but it doesnt seem to work.

    • I get the same type of patches and in my experience (having tried a gazillion things) the best solution is to leave it alone and it will clear up eventually. If it itches, put some cortisone cream on it. Otherwise, all the scrubbing and peeling and sloughing will only irritate it more.

    • Always Anon :

      I have keratosis pilaris on my upper arms, which sounds like what you are describing. I had some success with KP Duty by Dermadoctor, available at Sephora, but the CeraVe moisturizing cream, available at drug stores, has worked better than anything. It seems to be worse in the winter.

      • second Derma Doctor’s KP Duty–they have a lotion and a scrub. I use a dry brush to scrub on the exfoliating scrub, and it helps a lot.

        I also use AmLactin, which you can get at Walgreen’s If you go to their website, there’s normally a coupon that you can use.

    • I get itchy spots on my upper arms in winter, too. I use Eucerin Calming Itch-Relief.

    • skippy pea :

      I do! I do! Sadly. I have pore’ y (yuck) upper arms similar to what you are describing. I tried Amlactin and nothing -nada.

      I will try Cerave. the one thing that I feel might help my condition is using sugar scrub regularly on that part. That smooths things out like nobody’s business. Not that it reduces the pores or large hair roots – whatever you want to call it, but atleast it does not feel rough when I run my hand over it.
      Maybe if I use the scrub regularly, it might reduce?

    • just be sure it’s not actually bug bites. I’ve been freaked out about mysterious bumps/rashes ever since my brother had red marks on his arms that the dermatologist couldn’t figure out. Turned out they were bed bug bites and his apartment was crawling in them (and he does not live in a major city).

      • Anonymous :

        GASP! So sorry. Where did they come from?

        • Turns out they were already in the apartment he moved into. When he called the exterminator, the guy said “I thought we got rid of those last year!” The landlord, of course, had not mentioned this at all. I live in a completely different city, so I was unaffected. It was a huge pain to deal with, evidently, and I saw pictures of the bite marks and they were awful. The irony is I live in New York, which has a huge bed bug problem, evidently, and I’ve never had an issue, but he’s in a tiny college town in the south. I now religiously check the beds of hotels when I check-in and vacuum my suitcases when I return from trips.

    • I had this in the past – tried all the creams, etc. – found it went away on its own when my stress decreased, via exercise, work and diet changes.

    • My daughter and I have KP on our upper arms. It seems to be a fair skin thing, particularly hard on redheads. I know it seems like you could just scrub it off, but that really doesn’t work. It may make the condition worse. There’s a cream called Amlactin that works for many. For others, a lotion containing salycilic acid may help. But it’s a chronic condition. These won’t cure it, they will only reduce the symptoms.

      • I’ve typed a “thank you reply” three times, but it never shows up. So thank you! to everyone for your tips!

    • I have KP too, and discovered it’s a hormonal thing when it went away when I was pregnant, then came back after. Exfoliating with a scrub (like the St Ives Apricot stuff) and/or salicylic acid seems to help. I’m usually too lazy to do it though.

    • When I was a teen I got something like this on my legs frequently, usually just when it started turning hot (like now). Went to the doctor once, and he said that it was a bug bite that got infected (which I don’t think was true, since I would get them routinely and on both legs). Anyway, the only thing that I ever found to help, and I know it sounds weird, was to take the cleaning solution that they give you when you get your ears peirced (OK, I was working at Claire’s at the time- teenager!) and rub it over the spots the minute I noticed the beginnings of it. That seemed to stop them, and eventually it just stopped happening altogether. I think that just rubbing alcohol or peroxide would work as well.