Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Happy weekend! I saw these green polka dot shorts on OldNavy.com a while ago, and I really like them — they’re fresh and happy but not overly twee. They’re also available in like 5 colors (and as capri pants), so that’s great. They’re $20. Old Navy Womens Printed Twill Shorts

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  1. soulfusion :

    Love the shorts! Anyone else questioning why they bothered to get to the office today? I have only managed to concentrate in very brief 5 minute bursts . . . . I blame the weird holiday mid-week and the oppressive heat.

  2. Went out to lunch and got the dreaded white-napkin-fuzzies on my black dress. Lunch was delicious though, so no biggie. How’s everyone’s Friday? (Like soulfusion above, I am having trouble doing more than 5 minutes of work without a break).

    • I got a lot done this morning but now I’m just tired and wishing I could go home. Trying to get stuff done when half the building is on vacation is not worth it.

  3. Anonnymouse :

    “overly twee???”

    What does that mean? Is this a regional phrase I don’t know?

  4. Amelia Pond :

    I would love other’s input into a situation we have going on at my office. We normally hold baby showers for staff who themselves are pregnant or whose wife is pregnant including food and gifts, but we have a situation. One of our clerks who was out on maternity leave when I started (3 years ago), has since then had a 2nd child and has just announced she is expecting again (4 months along). There were showers for the first 2 kids, but people are a bit resentful of having a 3rd shower for this gal. Has this happened to anyone else? Is there an unwritten limit to how many office sponsored showers you get?

    • Amelia Pond :

      Wow I did not mean to use situation so much! I need to find lunch… and caffine

    • Not a mom, but most of the moms I know would cringe at an office shower for a third pregnancy and would speak up against one. I think a card/flowers when baby arrives is a nice office gesture.

    • I think you’re only supposed to have a shower for the first kid. A possible exception would be if you have a kid of the opposite gender the second time around, but even then the shower should be much smaller, composed mostly of family and close friends.

    • Generally, in my office we’ll throw a shower definitely for a couple’s first baby. We’ll do another, scaled down, shower for the second baby if it’s a different sex than the first, because the parents likely won’t have gender-appropriate clothes. I’ve never heard of someone having a third baby shower. If there has to be a shower, maybe one with just diapers and wipes as gifts?

    • Kontraktor :

      Yeah I agree a full shower is a bit intense. What about, instead of a shower, suggesting a simple eat-in office lunch (like where you guys order in sandwiches or something) and everybody contributing a small amount to get a gift basket with generic things inside (like some onesies, wash clothes, etc.)? That way it’s still acknowledging the event but not a full blown shower.

      • Amelia Pond :

        Excellent! I was hoping to not have to pull a full shower together. A lunch sounds like a perfect idea.

      • I was going to say something like this. Each person contributing a really small amount (like under 5) and getting just one gift to acknowledge it. Really i think it should only be one shower.

      • This. Sandwiches, festive dessert (cake/cupcakes/cookies), practical gift from the office that no one had to kick more than $5 towards. Everyone walks away a winner.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      We do a shower for the first kid the employee has while an employee here. So, sometimes the shower is for the employee’s second or third kid, but it’s his/her first one with *us,* so s/he gets a shower. One shower per employee.

    • Yeah, I didn’t want a shower for my 2nd or 3rd and am frankly glad no one at work asked to throw one for me as it is uncomfortable to say no when someone offers to do something nice like throw a party for you. I did have to tell my sis-in-law not to do a shower for no. 2 and she was okay with it. She and my mom planned a special afternoon for the 3 of us and they gave me gifts and we all ate dessert at my mom’s house. That was nice and very special and thoughtful. But that’s family.

    • My office is throwing me a shower for my 2nd, over my objections, because I’m having a boy (first one was a girl). It still feels awkward. I’m good at giving gifts, not so good at receiving gifts (it always makes me feel guilty).

      • Midwest Mom :

        We put out a card and an envelope for babies beyond the first two. Then with whatever we collect we buy a gift card to Target or Babies R Us. Sometimes we don’t collect much… but we say it’s for diapers.

    • Agreed to all. I’m expecting my second, same gender, and while I appreciate informal parties to celebrate (hey, there’s no reason to celebrate this kid less just because he didn’t come first), I really really don’t need or want more stuff. I already have more boy onsies than he’ll ever wear. A cake and small gift card is perfect (in case mom needs to freshen up the bottle and wipes collection or invest in a double stroller).

  5. Thanks for the share!! They are super cute!

  6. Anyone have any suggestions for making healthy(ish) summer meals in bulk?

    I make a lot of turkey chili and casserole kind of things in the winter and then eat them throughout the week during the winter, but it’s so freaking hot out that that seems like a terrible idea. And it’s hard to prep hearty salads more than a day or two in advance.

    Crockpot ideas especially welcome!

    • How about gazpacho? It’s incredibly easy to make a big batch in the blender and then it only gets better as it sits in the fridge.

      I also do a lot of quinoa salads or salads based on lentils or farro with grilled veggies, herbs, and a light vinaigrette. That way I can keep them in the fridge and eat them cold or room temp.

    • I haven’t made this yet but it’s definitely on my list. It looks amazing. http://smittenkitchen.com/2012/06/cold-rice-noodles-with-peanut-lime-chicken/

    • Argh, for some reason my comment was caught in the moderation filter.

      You should try gazpacho. It’s incredibly easy to make a big batch in the blender and then it only gets better as it sits in the fridge.

      I also do a lot of quinoa salads or salads based on lentils or farro with grilled veggies, herbs, and a light vinegar/oil/lemon juice dressing. That way I can keep them in the fridge and eat them cold or room tempature.

    • Kontraktor :

      Hummus? You can easily make huge batches of that and eat it cold with a lot of different veggies. What about bean salad? That’s also a cold dish and seems to get better being marinated for a day or so anyway. Gaspacho? Fresh salsa that you can let sit for a couple days and grab as a side to quick quesedillas/pan friend fish/other simple dinners? For casserole ideas, what about a grilled or roasted veggie pasta casserole (or simply grilling/roasting a whole bunch of veggies and keeping them on hand for wraps or things like that)? Chicken salad can probably be made a couple days in advance, and I keep tuna salad overnight (I also like an ‘Italian’ version of tuna salad made with olive oil instead of mayonaise so that might keep longer in the fridge, although it’s super quick to make fresh).

      • Yeah, I make a huge batch of chicken salad every couple of weeks, and it makes about 3-4 meals. It’s easy to make a batch quickly boiling up 2 chicken breasts, and i’ve been making a fun version lately with celery, crisp apple, sliced almonds, and then I add some lemon zest and lemon juice with the mayo. So yummy!

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Boil?? Grill or poach or broil, but gosh… I find boiling turns chicken into flavorless cotton. Maybe I am doing it wrong.

          • just Karen :

            Boiling for chicken salad is fine as long as you are boiling in chicken broth or at least adding some stock to the water.

          • yeah, only for chicken salad, i don’t overcook them, and its getting chopped up and covered with mayo anyway ;o) Its just easier and takes less attention from me, so i can do it on the weekend while im cleaning, etc.

          • I think we call it poaching, simmering in broth. Leaves the chicken moist and perfect for chicken salad. It’s the classic method of preparing chicken to be used in chicken salad.

          • I wonder if cooking it in a crock pot with a little water would produce a similar effect, but moister? Also low-maintenance, and crock pot chicken just falls apart, so shredding is practically done for you.

      • huh, that would probably taste even better! Thanks, mamabear!

    • soulfusion :

      I have a hearty salad that can be made in advance and is my summer go to, here are the ingredients, I generally make a large batch and have no problem eating it throughout the week:
      kidney beans
      black beans
      canellini beans
      fresh corn (scrape it raw right off the cob)
      black olives
      romaine lettuce or spinach
      purple cabbage
      shredded cheese
      shredded carrots

      I also mix it up in terms of what is in my fridge but above is the basic version. I rarely need to add dressing but I have a good creamy tomatillo dressing with jalepenos that goes well. Or I will just squeeze some fresh lime juice over the whole thing which I think helps keep it fresh. I usually it with tortilla chips. Now I think I need to get home and make myself a batch!

    • I make corn on the cob, then make corn and tomato salad out of the leftovers. You can add basil at the last minute so it doesn’t get slimy.

      I don’t make pasta salads often but this recipe was given to me years ago: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/ORZO-SALAD-WITH-FRAGRANT-SESAME-DRESSING-1218949
      I don’t use nearly as much oil as it calls for. Less then half.

      This one, too, although I’ve made it with whole wheat pasta: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/29/dining/292srex.html

    • associate :

      chicken or turkey breast, jar of salsa, can of black beans, can of corn in the crockpot and then use it for taco salad. Or a big pasta salad early in the week, and bring for lunch throughout. I also was randomly googling summer crock pot receipes last night, and there’s a lot of good suggestions out there. This week I prepared a lot of steak and tzatiki early and then made salads/pitas throughout the week.

      For portable meals, I put lettuce in a tuperware, then put salad topping (chicken stuff, steak and tzatiki) in a ziplock bag. The bag goes into the tuperware, and when I’m ready for lunch I just dump it on the lettuce.

      • oooo, pasta salad!! i totally forgot about those, im gonna make one this weekend, thanks associate!!

        • I linked to a couple of good pasta salad recipes but unfortunately, I’m stuck in moderation. If you google them, one is orzo with fragrant sesame dressing and the other is orecchiette with asparagus and prosciutto. Both are delicious.

          • Um, NOLA, how did you know that prosciutto is My. Favoritest. Thing. For. Eating. In. All. The. Lands?!? this is so totally getting made. and eaten. NOM NOM NOM NOM

          • Well, I didn’t but it is awesome! It’s light and lemony with lots of asparagus. I use feta instead of ricotta salata. The recipe was developed by two guys who wanted to figure out how to make pasta salad better than the yucky stuff their mom made when they were growing up.

        • One of my favorite cheap/easy pasta salads goes something like this:

          half a box (ish) of cooked whole wheat penne or fusili
          one of the big cans of tuna, drained
          sliced cucumber, yellow bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes
          juice of one lemon
          one (ish) tablespoon of your mustard of choice; I use country-style Dijon
          generous glug (can you tell I’m really precise with my measurements) of white wine vinegar

          Mix it all up, and serve room temperature or cold. It keeps well, so I usually make a big batch and then eat it for lunch for a few days.

    • Seattleite :

      Cook huge slab of king salmon.

      day 1: eat hot, with grilled asparagus
      day 2: eat cold, over salad
      day 3: stuff inside tortillas with chopped cabbage, drizzle with mixture of pesto/mayo/lime juice.

      (week 2, substitute scallops. week 3, substitute halibut. I love living in a fishing village.)

    • Cold soups. There are a ton of great ones. Besides gazpacho, like cucumber soup, cold summer borscht, zuchinni soup, carrot soup..

      You can add substance by slicing veggies, hard boiled eggs, tofu or sliced turkey/ham in, as needed.

      Cold noodles and cold quinoa salads are also great ideas. Pasta and potato salads can be made for the week ahead too.

    • Dressing Ingredients:
      2/3 cups oil
      1/2 cup sugar
      1/4 cup vinegar
      Seasoning Packets from ramen noodles
      Salad Ingredients:
      1 pkg. cole slaw mix
      1 cup sliced toasted almonds
      1 cup salted and roasted sunflower seeds
      2 pkg. chicken or beef ramen noodles (broken up)

      Mix up dressing and let sit for 2 hours or so then mix everything together. Tastes even better the next day after the cabbage and noodles have had time to soak up the dressing. Yum!

    • Batgirl, I do this one in the oven, although you can also do it on a grill. I still associate it with summer. You need a big fillet of salmon, a bunch of cherry tomatoes, and a good amount of fresh basil.

      Remove pin bones from the salmon (your fishmonger can do this, but I like to do it myself with a pair of tweezers). Preheat oven to 450. Drizzle olive oil on large sheet of foil. Place fillet skin-side down on foil. Slice your cherry tomatoes in half and drop them over the salmon. Throw some fresh basil leaves over the salmon and tomatoes, drizzle with a little more olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and then fold up your aluminum foil to make a nice little sealed packet. Place in roasting pan in oven. The salmon will steam itself, and it is SO DELICIOUS. The skin always comes right off after cooking. I cut the leftover salmon into individual portions and use it to make lunches that I can pull out of the freezer. I find it reheats perfectly. I’m sure you could also shred and use it next day over a salad if you wanted some variety.

  7. goirishkj :

    Love these! Can’t really justify them now, butt the bright green polka dot makes me happy. Happy Friday!

  8. Tandem parking spaces: Yay or nay? When we bought our condo (Arlington suburb of DC), we bought a single parking spot. We now need a second spot, and on of our neighbors is selling a tandem spot in our garage. I would like to buy it and rent out or sell our single spot (plenty of demand). I thought it would also increase the value of our condo, as we have one of the largest units in the building, a 2br+den, and I assume most buyers would appreciate a tandem spot over a single. But my husband insists that tandem spots are horrible; he’d rather rent a monthly spot across the street than try to tandem park with me; also, of course, no buyer would ever disagree with him and want a tandem spot, so my “condo value” point is unfounded. Sigh.

    He’s under a lot of stress at work right now and in a horrible mood, so rational conversations with him are difficult. But I don’t want to let this opportunity pass us by! Can I get some rational feedback from the hive in lieu of real conversation with my husband?

    • karenpadi :

      I had a tandem spot for two years with a roommate. It takes communication and knowing one another’s schedules. There was a lot of getting up and moving the car in the middle of doing something else. Because we were each “trapped” with about the same frequency, it wasn’t too bothersome and we learned to live with it. Moving cars became a “gimme” in our apartment.

      I think it would be easier if we each had “driving privileges” for the other’s car–which you might have with your husband. Then you could just move the other car out of the way.

    • I think you are right. Most people who would buy a 2 br condo in VA have two cars. Plus, if you do not immediately rent out the extra space, you can use it for guests, a big bonus if your building does not have visitor parking. Tell your DH that the two of you can have each keep a key of both cars on your keychain. That way if he is parked in front of you and needs to get out, he doesn’t have to get you or find your keys.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Yes, that’s what we did when we had a tandem. Mildly inconvenient, but totally workable. Keep both keys with you. If you have to move the other car, you just back it out and double park it for a couple minutes while you pull out yours, then double park that one and park the other. I locked each in between because I’m a city girl. It sounds complicated, but it took me less than 5 minutes each time.

        • My husband and I do that at our house, which just has a single-car-width driveway. I can’t drive his car (because it’s a stick), and we still make it work without much of a problem. We generally each go to work at the same time every day, so we park accordingly. Sometimes I have to ask him to move his car and vice versa, but it’s not much of a thing.

      • Yes, I’ve had tandem with my husband and we just moved the other car when we needed to go out (or, rarely, just took the other car if it was OK with the other person). It is somewhat annoying, but I definitely think that most buyers looking at a 2br + den would appreciate the extra spot. Even if the buyer only has one car, they could rent it to someone else in the building, get a single spot for themselves, and pocket the difference.

    • emcsquared :

      I’m not sure what a “tandem spot” is, but it sounds like a spot where one car parks in front of the other. I live in a townhouse with one garage stall and a driveway in front of the garage, which seems similar (?).

      Some thoughts:
      1. We end up using one car (my car) about 80% of the time because of this arrangement. If you both completely share cars already, this is not a problem. If you are a person who likes to have “your” car, this arrangement could induce garment-rending woe. We argue frequently about whether he should take in “my” car for maintenance or fill it with gas, and whether expenses for “my” car can come out of joint funds or need to be individual funds. The flipside of winning these arguments, of course, is that he is making demands of what “my” next car should be, which I don’t like.

      2. Repositioning cars with only one person is annoying – in our neighborhood, we live on a fairly wide and little-used street, so I can pull the back car out into the street, leave it idling, pull out the other car, and leave it idling while I park the first car in the garage. If you have no place to leave cars idling, it would be time-consuming to have to move the cars yourself.

      3. How often do each of you drive? Can you leave one car parked in semi-permanently? If you will be juggling cars more than once or twice a week, I would say you should rent a second spot somewhere else and hope another single spot opens in your building soon.

      As for value – I think most people buying a 2BR condo expect only one spot, and might consider a tandem a step-up. But a tandem should really be treated as a single parking spot plus storage spot, so plan on it improving your values about as much as acquiring a storage locker would.

      • I don’t know if you are familiar with Arlington VA, but unless the OP is within blocks of the metro, odds are the next people who buy her condo will be a young married couple with two cars.

    • So interesting – I had never heard of tandem parking until I read your post.

      Now that I know what it is, I’m not sure I agree that a tandem spot would increase the value of your unit. I don’t think it’s a given that those who buy a 2-bedroom have 2 cars. Before moving into my house, I lived (alone, with 1 car) in a 2-bedroom condo. A tandem spot would have been a negative for me because I would either be paying more for something I did not use, or I would be using it with a random person and I just can’t see that working out well at all.

    • Arlington 'rette :

      Never had a tandem spot, but the other ‘rettes listed the pros and cons I would think of. I think it would increase the value of your place a little, but not having two spots wouldn’t be a deal breaker (I say this as someone who occasionally looks at property in the area).

      This may sound callous — but, if your husband is fine being the one who schleps back and forth between your condo and the place across the street – why not let him?

      • Arlington RT :

        Never had a tandem spot, but the others listed the pros and cons I would think of. I think it would increase the value of your place a little, but not having two spots wouldn’t be a deal breaker (I say this as someone who occasionally looks at property in the area).

        This may sound callous — but, if your husband is fine being the one who schleps back and forth between your condo and the place across the street – why not let him?

        Fingers Crossed that this works

    • I had a tandem spot with a roommate, and it wasn’t bad. Neither of us regularly used our cars (public transportation to work), so we tried to plan in advance if we needed to shuffle things around. We also each left spare keys in the apartment and gave each other permission to drive the other’s car.

      As for the value of the condo, it’s hard to say. I would think it would increase it a bit. As a couple in the DC area, we sold our second car when we moved here, and I suspect others are like us, but if there’s not easy street parking or guest parking in your area, it’s really nice to have the second spot for company (we basically have this kind of arrangement now).

    • Senior Attorney :

      My husband and I had tandem spots in our first condo, and we each had a key to the other’s car and the moving cars thing was no big deal. On the other hand, to me it would be a deal-breaker if a two-bedroom unit had only a single parking spot. So yes, I think the tandem spot would increase your property value a bit.

      • My roommate and I did this for almost 2 years. It helped that I walked/trolleyed to work and she drove, so usually I was able to just leave my car in the inside spot all week. Having the others’ keys with you at all times was key though.

    • My house has one long driveway, so we park tandem. It’s fine – just takes some getting used to. It helps if you are flexible about which car you take when you need to run out quickly, but for longer trips like commutes you end up planning who will park where. And you have to not mind running out in your pjs to back the rear car up while your husband takes the front car. But we only have to do this max one per week.

    • future tandem-er :

      Out of curiosity, for those who have done this with roommates: did you draw up some kind of agreement freeing each other from liability? I’m a terrible driver, and I’m worried that I’m going to wreck my future roommate’s car even in the short time/space it takes to move mine out.

    • I say yay. I share one w/ my SO now & it’s a little bit of a pain in terms of figuring out who’s coming & going & when, but in SF at least where parking is a premium, it’s definitely better than being dependent on rental availability elsewhere & there’s always 2 spots associated with our place, which I think increases the value.

  9. Also having a terrible time concentrating, in part because of the weird holiday week, but also because I have a new job offer! Here’s my issue: I’m an 8th-yr BigLaw associate in NYC and this job is in Denver at more of a mid-size firm (I posted here a few weeks ago regarding how to prepare for an informational interview; your advice worked because one of them turned into this offer!). It’s also a title promotion since I would be Counsel (partner-track) at the new firm. I’m trying to figure out if the proposed salary (a huge pay cut from NYC, which I expected) is a market-rate offer, but I don’t have much data on what is a good base salary for a counsel-level, partner-track position in a Denver firm (and my recruiter hasn’t been that helpful here). Can anyone provide any numbers re base salary that could be helpful (even if in a different but comparable city or a different size firm)? Or does anyone have any ideas how I could find out more info? Thanks!

    • I can’t help with salary, sorry, I am a govt lawyer. However, I just wanted to say that Denver is a great place to live and lawyers have a good quality of life here in general.

    • soulfusion :

      I don’t necessarily have numbers but I will say congratulations!! Denver is on my short list of post-NYC cities (though my ultimate goal is to be in-house not at a firm) so I’m jealous! The only suggestion I have on gauging market rate is to see if your recruiter can help you assess what the salary gap is between senior associates and junior partners in the area. I’m counsel at my firm and I know that is the range where they like to slot us but counsel is such a vague title that is handled differently from firm to firm and region to region. Best of luck!!

    • Kontraktor :

      Have you checked Glass Door for your potential new firm or other similar firms in the area? There are some other sites where you input a whole bunch of parameters (age, degree level, location, title, etc) and it gives you a ‘range’ of salaries given what is in the site database. Probably not perfect, but at least a good idea. Could you also do sort of a cost-based evaluation of the salary? Like, find an example of an aprtment you might rent, add on all your expenses, etc. and then see how much was left over? What is the benefits package like and how does it compare to your old firm? Remember to keep that in mind when evaluating. If you determine the offer is fair, can you negotiate a little higher anyway (like 5%) just to ease your peace of mind?

    • This is for the Class of 2010 but perhaps it would help you extrapolate?

    • Yes, “counsel” is so vague, hence my confusion. From what I can tell, this salary seems closer to an associate’s than a partner’s. I have checked Glass Door, which was a little helpful, and will look for the other databases Kontraktor mentions. The NALP link was also really helpful, even if for more junior associates. I think this salary is enough to live comfortably in Denver, but, like everyone, I have certain fixed costs that won’t be any cheaper there and of course I want to maximize my salary now while I have some leverage. The benefits are unlikely to be as good as my current firm because I have really great benefits here (but maybe the premiums will be cheaper). I am considering negotiating, but am trying to get a sense of how much and how seriously. Thanks so much for all the helpful responses so far!

    • I don’t know numbers for Denver, but I’d say that the position you describe should have a salary similar to that of a relatively senior (but not the most senior) associate. Maybe a 6th year or so.

    • I’m in Denver but left private practice at a large firm (well large for Denver) a few years ago so I don’t have any idea about the current numbers, but as of a few years ago, I would totally agree with the comments re: of counsel meaning something different everywhere, but also would expect that salary to be close to 6 or 7 yr associate depending on expected hours. I think it may also be true that Denver salaries aren’t the best (especially when you factor in cost of living, which is higher than other comparably sized cities, I believe) but employers assume that people want to live here (true – I’ve lived in several other cities / states and love Colorado. )

    • GW and Chellers, do you mean a 6th or 7th year associate in NYC? I think the offer is somewhere in the ballpark of fair (but may be open for some negotiation) but is still many, many thousands of dollars away from a 6th/7th yr associate’s salary in NYC., so I wasn’t sure what you meant.

      • Not GW or Chellers, but I read their comments to mean a Denver 6th/7th year associate (not NYC). That sounds reasonable to me based on what you have described for the position, although I am not familiar with the Denver market. What I would probably do is check and see if your law school has alumni in the area and then call them up to get tips on the salary range to be expected (although I probably wouldn’t call anyone at the firm that gave me the offer unless I already knew them).

        • OK, now I’m even more confused…why would the salary of a 6th/7th yr in Denver be relevant when this position is far senior to that? I’m an 8th yr now, my skills are transferable so I don’t need to take a step down, and, if all goes well, I expect to be in this position 2-3 yrs before becoming partner. There are lots of other people with this title at the firm, some for the duration of their career. If anything I was thinking an 8th/9th yr Denver salary would be relevant but a little low. Any further insight much appreciated! Thanks!

          • Exodus, here is where my thoughts are:
            *The “counsel” title is weird and in many firms often means non-partner track, so I wasn’t thinking that you should get a salary bump for the title alone. This could be a bad assumption on my part, but that is where I’m coming from. Also, I would not expect the new firm to pay you more than an 8th year associate that started with the new firm without a very good reason. In sum, associate salaries around your year seem most relevant, but YMMV.
            *Not knowing the partnership track at your firm makes it difficult to guess where they are putting you on the seniority ladder, but if it will take 2-3 years to make partner then it sounds like you would be up for partner at the same time as a current 6th or 7th year associate. Again, YMMV depending on the partnership track at the firm.
            *I don’t know the Denver market, but I do know the Midwest midlaw market and salaries are often very flat, meaning that a 6th/7th year associate will be very close in salary to an 8th year associate. Denver could be like that, so it isn’t really a big difference to say 6th/7th/8th year salary. It might be more important to find out what your bonus could be and how you would be compensated if you did make partner in a few years, as I think those numbers can be much more variable.

          • Thank you, super helpful! (and thank you to everyone else that responded also.). This gives me a lot to go on.

  10. karenpadi :

    We’ve been having some venting sessions about summer associates and clerks lately (I’m guilty here). But I want to try to turn the conversation around and focus on the positive. So fellow mentors, I asking:

    1) What are your best practices for working with clerks?
    2) What has a clerk done that really impressed you?

    For me,
    1) I try to really break down tasks into a progression tailored to the clerk’s level. For each step, I meet face to face with the clerk and define a deliverable and a deadline. This also gives me face time with the clerk to talk about other things like how it’s going and to get to know them on a more personal level (not too personal, though).

    2) Our clerk has an amazing technical background. I gave her a task and she was really able to deconstruct the argument on a scientific level. Better yet, her writing skills were very precise and easy to understand.

    • I’m not a lawyer, but I imagine that the experience of having direct reports is somewhat comparable to working with clerks and/or summer associates.

      1. Clear expectation-setting (in person and in writing, whenever possible) combined with making myself available to answer questions, brainstorm, review a draft, etc. Detailed feedback, including praise and constructive criticism, where warranted.

      2. An employee a few years ago was great at creating different visuals (flow charts and other graphics) to illustrate data, which was a great counterpoint to my prose-y approach. So many people are visual learners, so it was great that he helped us reach them.

      • emcsquared :

        Haha, I sincerely *hope* that your direct reports are more competent than most summer associates – although I dearly love working with summer associates, it’s astonishing to discover the gaps in both their legal knowledge and professional experience. Plus they are only with you for 10-12 weeks, which means you don’t build much of a long-term rapport before they leave.

        For me:
        1) I write out the assignment in advance, creating a numbered list of tasks for the assignment, suggested resources (including other attorneys, librarians, online sources, and books), and deadlines for each task. I make sure I know what I’m expecting before I give the assignment, so I will know whether the summer “met expectations.”

        2) I pulled an old binder of research from a former summer associate that was clearly labeled and organized, had all the Sheperd’s reports printed off and marked to show what they had cross-referenced, and little summaries written on the first page of every document. OMG, so helpful. Saved me hours on that project.

        • Makes sense :)

          For whatever reason, I have had several direct reports who were fresh out of college, so experience was clearly lacking. I often felt like I was not only coaching them in their specific job functions, but also giving lots of pointers about how to behave in the working world.

    • I have an intern this summer and at the very beginning of his internship, I told him to print out calendars for the summer in 11×17. Which taught him Outlook and how to deal with our printers. He records his work on the calendar, which makes timesheets easier. And makes him look super organized to everyone else. I also told him to ask a lot of questions and he does. People are really impressed with him and keep asking me if we’re going to hire him. He’s also eager and a quick learner, so he’s been helping me a lot with my work load. And he tells me to go to lunch. Basically, he’s awesome.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      1) I try to explain the purpose of the assignment, and to give them the big picture about where it all goes. For bigger assignments, I also set internal checkpoint deadlines so they don’t underestimate how much time it will take, procrastinate/be busy with other things, and get rushed at the end.

      2) One of my summers thinks ahead, and adds on related small tasks that s/he anticipates I will ask particular questions about or ask him/her to do once I see the results of the original task. So s/he brings in research responding to my question, and then says, “You asked for X. In researching X, I came across this other thing Y that I thought might be relevant because of [something] you said about the case. Here’s some [short, targeted] research about Y as well.” I also took him/her to an external meeting, and without being asked, s/he brought a notepad and pen, took notes, and offered to do a short summary memo after the meeting was over, which I gladly accepted. I was so proud of him/her for thinking ahead.

      • This. Also, thinking back to what might have been helpful for me when I was an SA/jr assoc, we were always told to “take ownership” of the case and “anticipate the next step.” But that can be almost impossible when you’re that junior. Maybe provide some examples or questions the SA can ask him/herself like: 1) what jumps out at you as things you don’t know, either factually about the case or an area of law/research question; 2) if you were the client, what would you ask; or 3) imagine you’re the partner and this is the last thing you’re picking up at the end of the night — what questions are going to come to your mind and is there a way to proactively answer those questions.

      • Great point about the big picture! Seeing how your contributions will ultimately be used can make all the difference.

    • In this vein, I have an amazing summer intern. She is just SO sharp, and her work product (with minimal instruction) is phenomenal. I’m pretty sure that I would not have been turning out the caliber of work that she does had I been in this position all those years ago… So my question to the hive is — how can I actually “reward” this? If we were at a firm, I would write glowing reviews and badger the hiring partners to ensure she was extended an offer. But, we’re at an int’l organization, and even if she wanted to work here after graduation, we require a minimum of several years of post-grad experience, so it’s not like anything I can do now will lead to immediate post-grad employment. Should I offer to serve as a reference? Write a glowing letter of rec for her to keep in her files?

      • karenpadi :

        I’d do both. You could also stay in touch and offer to be her mentor on an on-going basis. Or scour your own network and try to find a job for her. Then, when she has a few years experience, you can steal her back. (insert devilish grin)

      • Offer to take her out to lunch once or twice this summer to learn more about her career goals. Based on that, you could help her expand her network or provide her with a more focused recommendation letter. Encourage her to keep in touch – as an intern, sometimes I forgot to do this and a reminder can’t hurt.

      • Yes, definitely offer to be her reference. Plus, keep a list of her positive qualities in a file so that you could be a good reference in a year or two if that is when she needs one.

        If she uses LinkedIn, ask her if you can add a reference to her profile because that would have an immediate impact on her profile. And, take her out to lunch and tell her how impressed you are with her and encourage her to stay in touch as she builds her career.

  11. Reposting from the morning thread:

    Impromptu R e t t e meetup in the East Bay this Sunday:

    Temescal Street Fair, Telegraph Ave, Oakland
    Meetup from 1:00pm to 1:30pm at Remedy Coffee on Telegraph at 43rd St. I’ll be somewhere either just outside or just inside the front window. Check out the morning thread or email me for more info (i will share my cell # if anyone wants to come later, and wants to find us wandering around the fair) zoradances at the google mail service.

    Hope folks can make it, I’m excited to meet new r e t t e s!

  12. Very excited — I have a new job! Today is my last day as a contract lawyer. I’m looking forward to having a steady paycheck again in my new field. (I’m a former litigator who made the transition to estate planning and tax law after ten years of practice. Hooray for finally figuring it out . . . took a while, obviously!)

  13. Introverts should not go to law school: discuss.

    • Somebody needs to do document review and motion writing??

    • I wouldn’t go that far. I would say that introverts should not go into litigation.

      • Or introverts should not go into litigation in roles where they will be expected to go to court. In my firm, we have dedicated research/writing attorneys. It’s an introvert’s dream.

        • Can I ask where you are located? This is my dream job, but unfortunately none of the firms in my Midwestern city are willing to hire attorneys strictly for researching/writing.

          • I’m at a small firm (16 attorneys) in the extended DC Metro region. Currently, we have two attorneys who don’t travel at all, and simply do research, writing, and discovery (I am not one of them, but it seems they have a much better work-life balance than the traditional litigators).

            Which Midwestern city are you in? I am from Indianapolis originally have some connections back there and in Chicago. While I’m still a very young attorney, I would be happy to help you network, if possible.

      • Former MidLevel :

        Why? I’m an introvert and I loved litigation.

        • I can imagine an introvert being pretty happy at biglaw litigation, but my lit job (gov, in court most days) would be miserable I think. I’m in the middle of the E-I scale myself and some days it’s a bit much for me. You have to spend a lot of time talking to/interviewing people, building a rapport with people (attorneys, clients, witnesses, court employees). It can be a bit much, especially on days you just don’t feel it.

          • Former MidLevel :

            Fair enough. That does sound exhausting. :) But standing up in court–even doing a trial–is not inconsistent with introversion.

        • Me too. I’m majorly an introvert, and litigation is a constant challenge (which I love). Seeing how I can push myself (and get the best results for my client) makes my job rewarding, and far from boring. An introvert can “perform” if they want in any setting.

      • Better an introvert in litigation than in a transactional practice! I could name a number of partners at my firm who are introverts, but they’re all in litigation, not in anything transactional (except maybe a few tax lawyers).

      • I don’t know… I’m definitely an introvert, but I was in biglaw litigation for almost 5 years (including at 6+ week jury trial), and thrived. Sure, I got nervous/anxious, but we were so understaffed and slammed and it all just happened, and I did it, and I loved it. That said, I had years to build up my knowledge and comfort with the case, and I don’t have any aspirations to a job where I’m in court regularly with new cases. I guess my rambly point is that introverts can be kick-a$s litigators and enjoy it, it just depends on the circumstances… like everything in life.

      • I agree with KK. There are plenty of legal tasks that introverts can excel at. Because they’re usually quiet and thoughtful, they can be great at “reading” people in meetings, etc.

        • I agree with you. I think this is why introverts can do so well, they tend to pick up on more subtleties than others and incorporate it into their plan.

      • Eh, false. I’m an introvert who isn’t so bad at acting. Put me on a stage (in a courtroom) and give me a role to play, and I’m fine. I suspect I’m not alone in this. Where introverts are likely to have a harder time is small-town small-office practice, where you have to drum up your own business and be a “good ‘ol boy.”

    • I am a weird half-introvert in that I’m super shy around new people, and generally not that assertive, until a breaking point moment where I become confident and then you can’t get me to shut up. Basically, I am great with things I already know I’m good at, but building up to that confidence level is hard. That’s why my first year of law school sucked but my second year was good — I finally decided that I could do it, and then I proceeded to do it really well. So, all this as a roundabout way of saying, introverts can totally go to law school if they want! They should just know that it will be hard, and they should look for ways to shine and build their confidence, because being cold-called will probably not be their moment. And that’s ok. We’re not all rockstar litigators.

      • Isn’t that just being shy, not intoverted?

        I thought the definition of introverted was that talking or lots of being around people is draining.

      • I’m the same way. I seem really quiet and shy at first, but after awhile you can’t get me to stop talking. As for law school, 1L at my previous school was great because I went around with the same classmates everyday and had an opportunity to get comfortable. After I transferred, I was lonely, miserable, and actually cried a few times while driving home. So happy law school is over!

    • D Train South :

      Interesting topic, but here’s my spin — Law school turned me into an introvert. I was way on the E side of the scale when I started. I’ve spent the last 10 years, during and since law school, firmly functioning on the I side, but always believed myself to be an E at heart. Now, I’m finally moving back to the E side – and feel more myself there.

      I’m curious what spurred you to make this statement, Kanye East.

    • the good lawyer answer: It depends. What’s behind the statement? Speaking as a transactional introvert who tolerated law school as the means to get to the “career” portion…

      It does matter:
      – if you’re introverted enough that being called on in class will make you live in fear for three years
      – if the thought of speaking up in negotiations / court sounds awful
      – if the area of law in which you’re thinking of practicing requires a lot of interaction with others, the classic example being litigation, but as a transactional lawyer I’m typically on the phone or in meetings at least a few times a day

      It doesn’t:
      – if, while you need “recharge” time after socializing, you can/do socialize with some frequency. related point, if you can “turn it on” when you need to at networking events etc, even if you are totally exhausted afterward
      – as mentioned above, if you’re interested in a relatively research-intensive area of law, or one where you have a well defined scope of responsibility (thinking about HIPAA compliance attorneys at insurance companies, or tax counsel) where you’re fairly insulated

      To be honest, my favorite part of work is sitting and thinking and revising deal documents to reflect negotiations, vs. the actual negotiating. But I’m also enjoying having a larger role “at the table” as well – it just takes me some extra recovery time at the end of the day to wind down.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I disagree. I also disagree with the poster who said introverts should not go into litigation.

      I am definitely an introvert because I need a lot of time to myself to recharge. Seriously a lot. I feel very drained after social situations (even fun times with friends). However, I’m not shy and I am fine with public speaking. It doesn’t come naturally to me, but I don’t dread it. I’ve become pretty good at it through practice. People are usually surprised to learn that I am an introvert, but I most definitely am.

      • Former MidLevel :

        I agree. I think your experiences reflect misconceptions about introversion. See, e.g., http://www.carlkingdom.com/10-myths-about-introverts. The line between introversion and extraversion is not “shy vs. social.” It’s whether social interaction with large groups and/or strangers exhausts you or recharges you.

      • This is me as well. I really enjoyed reading Susan Cain’s book Quiet about introversion. Now I understand why I like to escape to the bathroom or the empty room at parties. I just need a moment to recharge. Another trait of introversion is a low tolerance for small talk. I highly recommend the book, it made me understand so much about myself.

      • SouthernLegal :

        + 1 million or so. I am an introvert and a shy one at that under most circumstances. However, I have always wanted to be a trial attorney and have worked in government positions, small law and larger regional firms. I did reasonably well in law school, and have been practicing for more than 7 years, the majority of which has been in litigation. Like most attorneys, I get nervous before hearings and trials, but I do not believe that the nervousness is a result of being an introvert. I actually enjoy and look forward to public speaking/acting, and I competed successfully in multiple competitions (trial competitions, moot court, etc.) almost every semester of law school – it was what kept me sane. I just needed time alone to recharge afterwards. Being an introvert, even one who is also shy, doesn’t by itself hamper anyone’s ability to succeed – even in the cutthroat area of law school/litigation – unless one lets it do so. Yes, I would prefer not going to big networking events and “working the crowd” or attending happy hours and parties. I attend what I have to, and then figure out ways to work around others to focus more on my strengths , like smaller networking events, etc.

        As AnonInfinity and others have pointed out, the issue is simply that introverts need “alone time” to recharge while extroverts gain energy from being around others. IMO there is no real advantage one way or another based on whether someone is an introvert or extrovert to law school or the practice of law (including but not limited to litigation) – the key is in learning the basic skills and learning what does and does not work for you. We all need time to recharge – the difference simply lies in what we each need to recharge.

    • Law is a service profession like any other. Introverts can do it, and they can do it well. If we’re going to say they can’t, we should add: Introverts should not becomes wait staff/department store employees/accountants/copywriters/real estate agents/funeral directors… And then there’s nothing left for them to do. You don’t have to be an extrovert to be in a service industry, you just have to have some social competence.

    • Who would be a tax lawyer, then??

      • I’m thinking the same thing about patents… :)

        • karenpadi :

          So true. Extrovert patent lawyers don’t last long–they go stir-crazy and hop over to litigation. I am a ‘borderline’ introverts on the Myers-Briggs and I need to occasionally talk to people during the day or I get bored. I’m one of 3 borderline introverts in my office and when they aren’t around, I start bugging the true introverts. I guess that’s why I check-in here whenever I have a break. :-)

    • emcsquared :

      Interesting. I’m struggling with why I’m not happy in my career, and this was a lightbulb. As an introverted attorney at a large regional law firm, I interact with people constantly (other attorneys, clients, support staff, etc), and I can never count on down time due to the frequency of late night calls, weekend e-mails/meetings, etc. And yes, I’m a tax lawyer.

      I generally enjoy the work and the interactions, but almost always feel drained – tired by 2 pm, and useless by the time I get home from work. I have literally put off having kids because I couldn’t fathom how to make it through a whole day at work and then come home to kids needing dinner, affection, etc.

      I was recently transferred from a transactional practice to litigation, so maybe the hours spent researching and writing alone in my office will help me perk up. I loved clerking and always felt like I had a ton of energy (the 8-4 hours helped…). I’ve also been toying with academia – I love teaching, and maybe the short bursts of teaching wouldn’t string me out as much as my current days full of one-on-one interaction, even though I’ve heard that an academic’s hours can be as long as a lawyer’s.

      Something to ponder…..thanks for the insight Kanye East!

    • MissJackson :

      Disagree. I am an off-the-charts extrovert, and I have a lot of pretty lonely and energy-sucking days (which, as I understand it, would be an introvert’s dream).

    • I disagree. I’m an introvert and a trial lawyer who goes to court a lot. It works for me. Presenting my cases in court is very different from being outgoing in my personal life, enjoying meeting new people, etc. I am in the government though, so maybe I would be less comfortable in the private sector where I would be expected to schmooze with clients. I would say that being a lawyer has helped make me less introverted over the years. I can tolerate large parties now, although they are still not how I would really like to spend a Saturday night.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      They can practice law, but I think they would be miserable at those components that require significant client interaction/engagement etc…. That pretty much leaves service partner/ low-level in-house….

    • I’m another strongly introverted lawyer (like off the charts on the I side of the scale). And shy to boot. But I do like my job. Granted I work for the government and in a regulatory area. So not much court and lots of research and meetings. But that ability to be quiet and observing of others can be a big plus. And I like to think that I’m a pretty valuable part of the team. And I can be almost aggressive when I have to be.

      But there are days when I come home completely drained and don’t even want to be in the same room as Mr. gov anon.

    • Belle et Rebelle :

      Disagree. I think certain aspects of law school (like getting called on randomly in class) can be harder for introverts than extraverts, as introverts tend to have more trouble thinking on their feet (very true for me, anyway). But of course law school and the practice of law are two different things, and there are a lot of different ways to practice law. Previous posters have already mentioned certain areas where you tend to find more introverted lawyers (tax, patent).

      I’m pretty far in the I side of the E/I scale, and the first year of law school was not fun for me. I was so nervous about the prospect of getting called on that sometimes I actually had a hard time just focusing on the reading (wine occasionally helped here). After the first year, none of my profs called on people randomly, and it was a lot better for me. Now I’m in trademark law, focusing more on counseling and registration, and I don’t do any litigation. It’s a pretty good fit for me. I do a lot of my communication with clients over email, and interactions tend to be one-on-one, which I find less draining than meetings. Anyway, point being practicing law can work for both introverts and extraverts.

      And thank you to the person who pointed out that introverted is not the same thing as shy – that misconception drives me nuts.

    • Disagree. I’m an introvert and I practice largely family law. I’m in court frequently and have lots of client interaction, and I really love my job. I’m an introvert – it doesn’t mean that I’m shy or that I don’t like people. I just need time to myself to recharge. I live alone, so I have plenty of time to do that. I might not do as well in a job that required longer hours (i.e. less recharge time), but I don’t think anything about being an introvert keeps someone from enjoying legal work.

      Now as to the original statement- introverts should not go to law school – I flipping hated law school. Don’t know if it was related to introversion, or purely because law school sucks.

    • I think the term “introvert” is often misused to mean “shy.” An introvert is more about whether you recharge your batteries by being alone or being in groups. There may be some correlation but they are not the same thing. FWIW, I’m both shy and an introvert, and I love my Biglaw litigation job. I actually think introverts make great lawyers, because introverts tend to be very thoughtful and analytical. People who are shy may not make great litigators, although I think there is a difference between being shy in large groups of people you don’t know and being shy about public speaking or standing up in court. Both types of shyness may be bad for litigators, but the second is more of a problem.

    • I’m a research attorney and if I weren’t an introvert I think I’d want to stab myself in the head on a daily basis.

      Shy people should probably not go to law school. (See, e.g., girl who burst into tears when she got called on 1L year.) But introverted =/= shy.

  14. Just broke up with my boyfriend of 8 months, and I’m trying think of ideas to beat the boredom and lonelies before going back to dating…so I was thinking about going to Montreal by myself for 4 days over Labor Day. I am traditionally not good at going to movies or eating out by myself, but am much braver out of town (no chance of running into anyone I know). So my questions for the hive are: 1. Is this crazy? 2. Do you have tips for traveling solo? 3. Do you have tips for Montreal? I don’t think I’ll be partying like a rockstar on my own, but I love museums, yummy restaurants, and other touristy stuff.

    • Bowie's in Space :

      Not crazy. It’s awesome! I think going to movies by myself is one of life’s delicious pleasures.

    • Dude. Solo vacays are THE BEST!! I took a week off last year to travel somewhere by myself; planning something similar for this fall.

      Tips for traveling solo. I made sure to plan an “activity” for myself every day that would take up at least half the day. One day it was hiking. Another day – horseback riding. Another day – off-road Jeep tour (I was in the boonies, obviously – no cell service, even, which was totes glorious). That got me up and out of my cabin instead of me just hanging out in my PJs every day. The rest of the day, I just relaxed… went into town and did a little shopping, maybe sat on my cabin porch with a bottle of wine and a book…

      I suck at eating alone, too, but I took a book and just figured – f it, this is my vacation! Haters gonna hate! Ended up having a great time.

      ^5 to you. Go. You’ll love it. Report back so we can live vicariously.

    • It is not crazy. Bring a book or kindle to meals if you want. Sit at bars if you want to make conversation. Tips: Mont Royal is fun to explore and you could grab a sandwich beforehand. I really liked pintxo (tapas place) for dinner.

    • My only advice is to do it! I went to Turkey last year for a week by myself and had a fantastic time. Everyone thought I was crazy and super brave (really… I’m not), but it was one of the best trips I took. I’m not sure how Montreal is, but I found that while traveling alone people were more willing to approach me and invite me to share meals or invite me along with whatever plans they had that day. I didn’t always accept, but it was nice to have those opportunities.

      Are there specific things you are worried about? On, one real tip, bring a book if you’ll be eating out in restaurants rather than grab and go spots, and you won’t feel weird sitting alone.

    • I was thinking of going to Montreal solo that weekend too!

      Just want to second what everybody else said. I went on my first solo trip in January to Scotland and I loved it. I had just broken up with my boyfriend and was in a pretty bad place about it. Going away made it really easy to forget about all the problems back home and I came back with a much healthier mindset and wasn’t so depressed anymore.

      I liked traveling alone because I got to do what I wanted to do when and for how long I wanted to do it. I had a goal each day for what I wanted to do or see (sometimes prearranged, other times not), and if I didn’t get to them because I was so interested in something else, not a problem. I could likely fit it in the next day if it was a high enough priority. And if I wanted to go back after dinner and read/watch tv, it was my time and I got to do what I wanted. (This is a big theme for me apparently.) On the food thing, I found it much less awkward than I anticipated. I did the book thing and sometimes would scope out places to see how they looked for the solo diner. Especially in tourist areas there are a ton of solo travelers. I was actually staying in a friend’s flat (who wasn’t there), so I would have had to work harder at the socializing with other travelers aspect.

      Now you have inspired me to go plan my trip too!

    • Merriweather :

      OP here (no, I can’t explain why I didn’t use my “regular” name)…

      THANK YOU! You are all so awesome, and have really given me a lot of encouragement. I am checking a couple of scheduling things (including the fact that I invited my mom), but I will report back when I am locked and loaded. And oclg – if we both end up going solo, maybe it would be fun to meet up for a meal?

    • Equity's Darling :

      I’ve left tons of tips for travelling in Mtl before- I did my first degree there. I don’t know how to search the site, but I’m sure someone can help you out with this- I’d type everything out again, but I’m a busy bee this afternoon.

      Montreal is great choice for museums, restaurants and touristy things.

      Also, I love travelling solo. I spent 6 days along in Prague, and it is full of positive memories, I loved every minute.

    • 1. Aboslutely not! I travel solo a lot and I enjoy it. 80% of the time it’s for work, but I’ve had a few trips that I got to extend into short solo getaways. I find being away by myself gives me the quiet “me time” I sometimes don’t get otherwise.
      2. Bring a book with you – wherever you go. Having something to do while you’re eating alone in restaurants will help with the awkwardness of eating alone. Otherwise, just remember that most people are more consumed with themselves that they probably won’t notice/care that you’re by yourself.
      3. Never been, but have fun!

    • I love traveling alone. I’m currently noodling on the idea of going to Istanbul by myself over the New Year. It gives you so much freedom, and it pushes you to interact with other people. My suggestion is this: get over any opposition you might have to group tours. I was always anti-tour (“If I want to go to National Park X in Chile, I’ll drive myself!”) but I got over it when I realized that many activities I wanted to try (snorkeling, visiting random ruins in an isolated place, hiking deep in the mountains) weren’t safe to do solo. If you find a tour place that caters to domestic/local customers as well as to international visitors, you can also have awesome and interesting conversations with people.

      • And if you don’t want to do a tour with the same group of people for multiple activities, I highly highly recommend walking tours. It’s a great way to see the city, meet other solo travelers, and the ones I’ve been on are usually followed by some sort of pub crawl later that evening, which is great because I found it hard to go out at night by myself and meet people.

      • Istanbul is the safest place to be, seriously. You’ll have a blast. If you’d like, you can contact me offsite for suggestions at hijabeng at gmail.

        • Ooh, thanks, Ru! I totally will. I am really fascinated by Turkey and Turkish history, so I’ve wanted to go for ages.

        • I found Istanbul to be safe, but be prepared to face a lot of street harassment from men. As a single female living in DC, I sometimes encounter this, but I was not prepared for the amount of harassment I received in Istanbul. Best to ignore and keep walking. I also read some stories from women on the Lonely Planet Thorntree forum who pretended they didn’t know English when men approached them on the street, as most people in Istanbul speak English.

      • Just adding more love for Istanbul. The historical and cultural stuff is wonderful of course but it’s also such a gorgeous city with its beautiful perch on the Bosphorus – do make time for the glamorous coastal suburbs on the European side (Bebek, Arnavutkoy etc) and the more traditional former fishing villages on the Asian side. Winter can be wet and gloomy though – maybe better to give it a go some other time.

        I found street harassment only in the very touristy parts of Sultanahmet and then only to buy stuff or enter restaurants. The more modern part of the city had many lightly-dressed local girls out and about, and felt very much like any other Mediterranean city. The more traditional areas had fewer ladies and mostly with their heads covered, but men were even more formal and respectful if anything.

    • Not crazy — fantastic idea!
      I visited Paris on a solo vacation and then London solo many years later. I love museums and good food too . . . I think those are great things to focus on in a solo city trip. Not that many people like spending a full seven or eight hours in the Louvre or the National Gallery like I do . . . .

      Agree with the recommendation to have a book or Kindle with you all the time — for dining alone, or waiting in line, or enjoying time to linger in a coffeehouse or cafe — and I’d also add to that a lightweight notebook. I’m not much of a journal writer, but I definitely have more of a desire to write down my thoughts (or restaurants to try, or paintings I have discovered I love) while on a trip. And it’s so much fun to read through everything after the trip.

  15. Legal Pad Replacement :

    Speaking of note-taking and preparation…Does the hive have any recommendations for professional notebooks? I am a (regular, not summer) associate who takes a LOT of notes by hand, and I’ve been using legal pads, but the truth is – I hate them. I’d love to find a white paper, black-lined, college-ruled pad that still flipped at the top, or had a spine that completely opened flat, but that didn’t look like notebook paper.

    But I might be missing a great note-taking notebook that I’ve never thought about before – so if you are a person who writes a lot, and is partial to a certain type of notebook or style, do you mind sharing here?

  16. There was a woman in my section first year who literally left class during a break because her row was “on-call” and she got sick to her stomach just thinking about having to talk. This scenario or similar occured more than once. This woman gets great grades and is smart but I can’t imagine her ever being able to go to court/assert herself in negotations/etc.

    I think there is a difference between being introverted and being afraid of public speaking. I consider myself more introverted vs. extroverted, but I am not afraid of public speaking, I just prefer me-time or time with a small group of people to large crowd/small talk type events. I haven’t had a problem at all in law school or in job settings, but I am willing to suck it up and go to networking events and happy hours with lawyers and other clerks so I don’t come across as anti-social.

    • Supposed to be in reply to Kanye, sorry!

    • Merriweather :

      I’m the same way – I refer to myself as a “closet introvert.” I can do public speaking, network at large bar functions, go to big parties. BUT those are not my preferences, and require “me time” to recover.

    • Professor TBA :

      I completely agree. I’m the same way.

    • I’m similar – speaking in public, such as in class, doesn’t bother me a bit, though I’m generally fairly introverted. Though I’m inclined to agree that maybe law isn’t the best field for an introvert, at least now, because it is so hard for us to network and drum up business, and those are so important in the fight for your life for a job world.

    • mintberrycrunch :

      I am the same way. I find myself needing more “me” time as I get older, too.

    • As an introver, I find that there is a big difference in speaking at meetings or in school about professional topics in a structured manner and having to make small talk with a large group of people. Structured conversations are much less tiring than unstructured ones and conversations with people I like are much less tiring than ones with strangers or acquantances.

  17. Facebook Etiquette :

    I hate being so girly about this, but I need some hive advice since my best girlfriend is on vacation and I can’t concentrate on work without some female advice!

    My 4th was absolutely memorable — met an amazing new guy who I spent the latter portion of the evening canoodling in the pool with after spending the day flirting with one another. Due to some unfortunate circumstances (his dog getting sick and needy out-of-town guests) and my inability to think straight due to lack of sleep + day drinking, it never even occurred to me to give him my contact info before I left for the evening. We have some friends in common, so I’ve spent the last day and a half hoping he’d ask one of them for my contact info and wondering how stalker-y I was willing to get to not miss out on seeing him again (I would typically never contact a guy first since it always seems to end badly when I appear too eager/interested). Earlier today I noticed a mutual friend who posted a picture from the party on the 4th that the Boy wrote a funny comment on, which I promptly “liked”. Now what? Do I have to sit around biting my nails and checking FB repeatedly to see if he responds/emails/adds me? Or, since I already unintentionally found him on FB via the picture and his comment, should I just go ahead and add him as a friend (even though I would not normally add a new romantic interest to FB so soon since privacy is still a plus early-on)? There’s always that nagging voice in the back of my head that says that if he was really interested, he would have gotten my contact info that night or through a mutual friend by now, which I’m trying to ignore and instead focus on the unbelievably fun time I had two days ago.

    I realize I sound like a 15 year old girl and my old, jaded, usual-self hates it! TIA!

    • Just add him as a friend. That’s a pretty low key invitation for him to contact you without putting yourself out there.

      • mintberrycrunch :

        Agreed, as long as you’ll be able to add him without then dissecting his page, going back years and years through his pictures, etc. I would have trouble not totally obsessing over the potential explosion of new info.

        But I do think friending him is fairly low key and perfectly reasonable.

      • I go back and forth on this. I would prefer a guy who knows what he wants, goes after it, and makes the first move. However, adding him on fb is really harmless and then the ball is in his court.

    • TO lawyer :

      Instead of adding him to facebook, why don’t you send him a fb message saying something along the lines of “I enjoyed hanging out with you on Wednesday, here’s my number if you wanna hang again?”

    • Yeah, unfortunately, I have to agree with what I think you already know… if he intended to pursue you, he’d get your contact info. Either from you or your friends. Or by adding you as a friend on Facebook.

      Don’t worry too much… it is only 7/6, so he’s still within a reasonable wait-to-call period. Anyway, I wouldn’t msg him or add him as a friend on fb. See what he does, and if you don’t hear from him within a week, I think you have your answer.

      • I’d wait another day or two – he might be waiting (guy friends claim 3 days is the norm) so as not to seem too forward himself. If he hasn’t gotten in touch by Monday, I’d fb message him – can’t hurt at that point, if he already wasn’t planning to see you and doesn’t get back to you, you’re no further behind right?

        • also, don’t worry about being a neurotic 15 year old, I’ve totally been there recently too :) aren’t guys fun!?

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Yep, wait a little bit. Lots of people are on vacation now. He may be, too. It’s easy for him to comment on a photo he is tagged in using his phone, but messaging/friend requests/etc are much easier on a computer. Give him a week to cyberstalk you a little bit first and see what happens.

      • Ew don’t wait. I hate it when people act like guys are all-knowing and super intentional about every move they make. I probably wouldn’t be with my finace now if I had waited for him to express interest in me. It can be a mutual effort. FB friending is so not a big deal, and it might remind him of the great time you had together and let him know you want to stay connected. Friend him!

        • Anonymous :

          Oh, please! You can absolutely friend him and ask him out. My husband of 13 years was super shy and had to be hit over the head by a mutual friend to ask me out.

    • deep breathes! There is no harm in adding him as a friend on facebook. I personally wouldn’t cuz I don’t really use fb a lot, but since you’ve already liked the comment you might as well its now prob weird that you don’t.

      Since you mention that in the past you have appeared to eager/interested, my advice would be to add him but then kind of try to move on. Honestly it sounds like you guys got a little 4th of July drunk and made out, but you seem to be really romantizing it a bit. try to frame it in your head like you met a girl that you hit it off with as a friend. like itd be awesome if I saw them again, but since we didn’t exchange contact info, we’ll just see what happens naturally

    • If you are interested in him, reach out. This is 2012 not 1952. Why is it up to the man to make all the effort? Plus, he may be thinking the same thing: If she were interested in me she would 1) have given me her number or 2) tried to find me through friends. Is it worth letting a potentially good guy get away because of some old fashioned notion?

      • I totally get this, and I know the last time we talked about this, several people piped up to say that they wouldn’t have met DH/SO/etc. if the ladies hadn’t made the first move.

        Unfortunately, my experience generally is that guys like to pursue, and when they get pursued, they lose interest. For those who’ve had different experiences with more enlightened men, well, good on you.

        Random aside, Jezebel had an interesting piece of commentary sometime in the past year or so about how much BS this is. You like a guy’s comment on FB, add him as a friend, send him a message, and all of a sudden, he’s telling all his friends about how “crazy” you are. I’ve seen my guy friends react this way, and it’s like, “What’s so wrong with a girl showing you she likes you? Why does it make her ‘crazy’ for doing what you might have done if you were actually interested?”

        • Sorry, Herbie, that may be your experience, but I think the idea that men are only in it for the chase is a sweeping generalization that just doesn’t hold up in many instances today (thank goodness!) Let’s stop the paranoia and interact like equal human beings.

          • Why don’t you share with the group your successful experience pursuing a man that led to a lasting relationship? As I referenced, this strategy clearly works for some women. I’ve seen the anecdotes on Corporette. It hasn’t worked for me.

            And as for “Let’s stop the paranoia and interact like equal human beings.” Gender dynamics are so complicated and dating relationships between men and women colored by so many different factors, that it ignores reality to simply suggest we’re somehow this enlightened society where the playing field between men and women is equal. It’s not. In many ways. Dating, work, child care responsibility, etc. We can argue all day about what people should or should not be doing to change the status quo. Maybe for you it’s dating guys who are cool with you making the first move. Finally, if refusing to repeat behavior that has failed to accomplish anything productive for me in the past makes me “paranoid,” well, then I guess I’ll head on over to Etsy to find myself a pretty, handcrafted scarlet P to wear around.

        • I’m sure some guys might act that way, but friending someone on FB is, by itself, so innocuous that I can’t imagine any guy calling any woman over-eager based on that alone. When you get to sending a message… well, reasonable minds will differ, as this thread already shows. More importantly, though, who would want to date a guy who behaves as you describe? What’s the big loss there? If that’s the reaction he has, then good riddance and he probably wasn’t into her anyway. I can’t imagine a guy being really into a girl and then turning and running because she messaged him on FB, unless the message was “Hi I thought we really hit it off, but I was wondering- do you want children?”

          Also, I cosign with those who pointed out that men, as a group, are not as machiavellian as women sometimes give them credit for.

          • @ Herbie —
            “Finally, if refusing to repeat behavior that has failed to accomplish anything productive for me in the past makes me “paranoid,” well, then I guess I’ll head on over to Etsy to find myself a pretty, handcrafted scarlet P to wear around.”

            This was excellent. And I agree with your general advice on this.

        • Anonymous :

          If he thinks she is crazy for adding him, then he is an ass and she hasn’t lost anything by making the first move.

          • karenpadi :

            This. I’ve written before about shy guys. I don’t think women lose anything by approaching the guy. Besides, do you really want to date a guy who labels a woman as “crazy” because she friended him?

    • Don’t just sit around waiting – it doesn’t have to be true that he’d contact you if he liked you.

      I met Mr. Sconnie in a somewhat similar way. We met at a party, I was smitten but no contact information was exchanged. We hadn’t spent much time together, but I could.not.stop.thinking.about this Boy. I bit my nails for a few days hoping maybe by some sort of extreme luck His People would contact My People and It Would Happen. I had had issues in the past with appearing too eager/interested. Well by the middle of the next week, I had heard nothing, but I had this feeling like I absolutely needed to see him again because (no joke) it was meant to be. So, I swallowed my pride and contacted a mutual friend and asked her if Boy was single, and if so, if she could try to make it happen. Long story short, she made it happen, and we moved in together 8 months later and got married about a year after that.

      So, having gone through this, I would say don’t stalk him, but get the ball rolling if you want to! Friend him and add a note like, “I had a great time hanging out with Wednesday! Is your dog feeling better?”

      So if you want to, go for it. Maybe wait a few days though (I think I waited 5). The thing about my situation (and it may not apply to you, but it was a shocker for me to learn after-the-fact) was that it turned out, if I hadn’t followed up, Mr. Sconnie would never have followed up even though he thought I was beautiful/funny/awesome because he thought I was out of his league. And there I would have been, thinking I was rejected.

      • This. I had to initiate the let’s hang out again contact with my boyfriend because even though he was interested and wanted to see me again, he thought he was out of his league.

        I say friend him and send him a quick note like the note above saying you had fun and innocuously asking how his dog is.

    • I would message him, but not friend him. Send him a note asking about his dog/guests, or whatever else you talked about…keep the conversation going and see where it takes you. If it doesn’t go anywhere, no harm no foul. Also, by not being on his FB you can’t work yourself up about how he posted about X, but still hasn’t responded to your last message, etc.

  18. Seeking more tote recommendations :

    I’m looking for a really expensive looking leather tote that is roomy and spacious, not super structured but not too expensive, under $250 is good. I like a lot of the See by Chloe totes but they are a little pricey. I have a new position where it’s important for me to project the image that I am well off and just kind of doing-this-on-the-side, but the reality is that I’m not. I don’t like things that are covered in logos, so I’ve looked at more expensive labels like LV, Gucci, etc but didn’t really see anything I want. I like some of the Banana Republic totes but I don’t know how long they’ll last.

  19. Pumping at work :

    I’m considering buying a Chanel bag. Anyone have experience shopping for one? Key pieces of advice? I’m thinking of the classic, iconic quilted leather bag. Is it really heavy?

    Will I be embarassed to use it? I think it’s worth buying if it’s something I can use pretty regularly, like every weekend (I have a work bag and don’t carry a separate purse to the office, so I don’t think I’d use it on weekdays). I imagine maybe I can carry is as a crossbody bag. If it really has to be saved only for special occasions than it’s probably better to buy a watch or jewelry I could wear every day.

    • witness protection program :

      I have a medium 2.55 in caviar/gold (bought new) and a large Kelly 2.55 in lambskin/silver (vintage) and I don’t find either one of them particularly heavy, although they do have a bit of heft (chain straps will do that). I’m in love with them and use them quite a lot.

      As to how much use (or embarrassment) you’d get out of it, I think that depends completely on you and where you are. I see LOTS of Chanel bags in New York and all across Asia. But if they’re not as popular where you live, or you’d feel self-conscious carrying one, I’d think twice.

      If you’re considering buying a vintage bag, spend some time reading The Purse Forum. Lots of good information there.

    • I don’t know…will you be embarrassed to carry the bag? That’s not something any of us can answer. I don’t think it’d stick out too much if you live in a bigger city.

    • Anonymous :

      I have one. It’s cute but definitely not practical. The inner portion take up lots of “real estate” inside the bag.
      Jean at ExtraPetite has reviews and tips on her blog.

    • Get it only if you’re already in the habit of swapping over to a similar size/ shape bag on weekends and want to upgrade to a nicer version. I had the blinding insight a few years ago that my collection of posh bags was getting no usage at all while I mostly relied on (relatively) inexpensive and functional bags for work, travel and errands. And yes, am MUCH happier with the jewelry I’ve bought instead.

    • I found the chain strap heavy and it seemed to dig into my shoulders. I don’t own one, it was my friend’s bag that I tried on….

    • Second the recommendation to check out Purse Forum for info on both new and used bags. I recently bought a vintage Chanel flap (I’m a big fan of buying gently used designer bags to save money – Chanel in particular holds up very well over the years if properly cared for) and anticipate using it mostly on the weekend in rotation with other bags. I live in a big city in Asia where Chanel and LV are everywhere, but when I move back to Nth America in the future, I may think twice about where I feel it is appropriate to be carrying a Chanel. I wouldn’t buy one unless you are really lusting after it and think you will use it for years, and then only after doing some research online about models and pricing.

  20. Crosssfit :

    What kind of volunteer work/service do those of you who are lawyers do? I’m finding myself doing more law related volunteer work that I’d like and I’d be interested in branching out.

    • I volunteer at a clinic in my city where law students give legal advice and I supervise the law students. I knew about the clinic because I participated in it while I was in law school.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        This is what I do, as well. It’s good fun, although the issues that arise are totally outside my area of practice, but that makes it interesting.

    • Muddy Buddy :

      I volunteer with my local women’s foundation. It’s a great way to meet other women professionals and help the community.

    • I went to a Junior League open house recently and liked the smart, capable, friendly women I met, and liked their focus on community service. I was seriously thinking about joining until I flipped through their quarterly magazine, which they handed out at the open house. The magazine had a very different “feel” to it than the open house… it frankly looked like a group of rich (expensive clothes, bags, and jewelry in very fancy homes), white, Christian (a myriad of pictures from the multiple “holiday” parties, all of which were decorated in red and green with santa/christmas tree/holly/wreath/candy cane imagery) women socializing with each other, with two or three very short articles on the community service portion. I guess the ladies at the open house weren’t a statistical sample of the entire chapter. I didn’t grow up rich, and I’m not Christian, so I don’t think I’ll fit in with this group, as nice as the women I met were.

      What’s a women’s foundation, Muddy Buddy?

      • I get what you mean – I recently joined the Junior League in my city. It definitely had a bit of a sorority feel to it (and I was definitely a GDI in college). But I have a few friends who are already members of my chapter and they don’t fit the JL stereotype. I’m also very passionate about the areas my chapter focuses its voluteer work towards (child welfare and literacy).
        I wouldn’t pay AS much attention to the quarterly magazine (though don’t get me wrong, the type you’re getting at definitely exists within the League). I have friends in multiple chapters and each one has a different feel. Sounds like your local chapter may be a pretty good one!

      • I’m not Muddy Buddy, but in Seattle there’s a women’s group called Center for Women and Democracy. womenanddemocracy dot org I’ve attended their events, and got to meet a woman US Senator – Lisa Murkowski after her write-in victory. They have a book club, take educational missions to places like Cuba, Vietnam, Morocco, have interesting meetings and speakers. Many attorneys, politicians and movers/shakers attend. Perhaps there’s something like that in your town?

    • I’m on the board of an animal shelter/adoption center. I do some legal stuff — review the occasional contract, advise on personnel issues, deal with weird random legal problems that pop up (creepy guy who dumps his dog with his parents claims they didn’t have permission to give the dog up for adoption, and he wants the dog back even though she’s already been placed in a much better home) — and also do the same kinds of oversight and fundraising as other Board members.

    • As many arts organizations as I can make time for.

    • I ‘m a Big Sister, led a Girl Scout Troop, and am working to put together a council of Girls On The Run in my area. Also in Junior League, but mostly for the social aspects, TBH.

      Do something you enjoy doing. I think kids are a nice break from litigation–instead of discussing cases or other colleagues/clients, they like glow necklaces, glitter, and discussing Justin bieber, and get SO FIRED UP about simple things..But on a serious note, the girls in my community are screaming for leadership! I like to actually interact with the kids on the ground level of the organizations, and find serving on boards incredibly tiresome.

      Related rant: I always feel a ton of pressure from my firm to do the “right” kind of community service (board membership, mostly as marketing for the firm, frankly), just to see and be seen. It’s my biggest irritation/gripe with lawyering, every f*king social event and service project turns into some bizarre longterm sales pitch. It’s exhausting. I know I *should* focus on the networky service projects and board membership to interact with the “right” people, but I spend all day arguing minutia with d-bags and doing tedious things. Cannot imagine taking on more of those responsibilities in my free time/”extra curricular” activities!

    • Seventh Sister :

      I’m on my kids’ preschool’s board of directors and volunteer on a church committee. Neither has much of a networking purpose, but I enjoy both. I will do more when the kids are older.

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