Wednesday’s TPS Report: Avenue Tweed Pencil Skirt

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Avenue Tweed Pencil Skirt I’m not a fan of the shoes they’ve styled it with here, but I am a fan of this textured, colorful pencil skirt from Talbots. Available in three colors (cucumber, fuchsia, and navy), I think it looks like a great basic that you can wear for a few years. Like most Talbots clothes, this one is available in a lot of different sizes — sizes 2-20 in regular, as well as additional petite, woman, and (the rare) woman’s petites. It’s $109 at Talbots (exclusively online). Avenue Tweed Pencil Skirt

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P.S. Tech Troubles –– a) those of you who were having problems seeing posts after the weekend, are you seeing them now? If not, which browser are you using? and b) for those of you who have been having problems seeing pictures, are you seeing them now? If not, which browser are you using? <putting on my Tech Master hat and grumbling>  — TIA!

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  1. Bewitched :

    Man, that looks dowdy/matronly. And I am no fashion maven!

    • Acrylergie :

      Our HR lady has this skirt, she rocks it with tall boots and a textured top. Not matronly at all. It might be the way it’s styled here.

    • I think this skirt looks kind of cute, but I went in to Talbots last week to try a few things on, and it was all awful. I have been a big fan of Talbots, at least in some seasons, but they got this year totally wrong. The jackets are all boxy and have no shape to them, and a lot of the fabrics are too bulky and don’t have any nice drape to them. Very disappointed.

      • Cornellian :

        I’ve noticed the same thing about Ann Taylor. All of the shirts are 4 inches too short (and I’m 5’4″) and a foot too wide. It’s really strange.

        • pnkrokhockeymom :

          I had this same problem with a number of tops I ordered from Ann Taylor a few weeks ago. They were all boxy enough that I think I’m going to send them back. Very unflattering and enough extra fabric around the middle that I can’t even mask it by tucking.

          • Cornellian :

            It’s really strange. I could save one by wearing a high pencil skirt to make a waist, but the rest of them were so extreme I could fold over an XS and have an extra foot of fabric. Not sure who made that marketing decision. It works for some blousey spring/summer clothing, but not most pieces!

        • Agree. Every single top from Ann Taylor has been too short for me lately.

      • I think they are trying to win back their older demographic. I always liked Talbots before they tried to get all “hip” but I agree now they veered a bit too far back. A lot of it is just very 60+ now.

        • this. a year ago they had some pretty cute things, but all their current blazers, for instance, look like they’re for my mom…

        • Cornellian :

          Has anyone seen Goodbye Lenin? I’m reminded of the scene where the mother is writing a manufacturer of women’s clothing explaining that all of the clothing is too boxy and square, asking for them to take the shape of their bodies into account when designing clothing, and ending the letter with a promise to do more in the future to become more “quadratisch” or rectangular.

          • wintergreen126 :

            Yes! That’s a great movie. The lengths they go to to keep things exactly the same are hilarious.

          • Aw…that’s one of my favorite movies too! Folks, if you haven’t seen it, and can stand subtitles, it’s a gem!

  2. PSA – I just received my first t-shirt from Everlane and it is AMAZING. I ordered the classic vneck tee and the softness and quality are on par with the ones I normally get from James Perse. I’m 5’5 135 lbs and got the medium – a little slouchy but that’s how I like my t-shirts. It’s a subscription site but you can use this address for the invite (if you buy something I get a credit but I promise to send you good karma in return!)

    • Ooh, thanks, I have been considering a purchase when I am stateside in April, good to have reviews.

    • Cornellian :

      I’ll second that, although after about 15 wears my blue one has armpit stains, which is not a problem I generally have with shirts. 5’4 125 and the small is fitted but not tight. I also have the canvas bag they sell, which is so versatile, and so much lighter than leather.

    • I’ve found everlane great too, I have tshirts and a coupke of cashmere pieces, great quality.

    • i love everlane tees too but i wish they weren’t rayon and handwash (ha, the directions say dry clean only). for that reason, i think i’ll still buy james perse 100% cotton tees on sale over everlane.

      • i guess that’s the ryan tees only, i’ll have to check out the classic ones!

  3. Acrylergie :

    I wish they would make more affordable, colorful tweed clothes without acrylic. I break out in hives just reading this :( And the skirt is so gorgeous.

  4. I am loving tweed right now. It’s just so cozy to wear – perfect for frigid offices!

    • I always love tweed – and in my climate it’s often still cool/cold in the spring, so tweed in spring colors is a perfect compromise!

  5. Diana Barry :

    I just bought the J crew #2 pencil in green tweed – looks springy but will still be warm when it is cold here later this month and in April.

    Has anyone seen any good kelly green cardigans lately? I am looking for one (long sleeve, probably wool).

  6. Kat, I’m still not seeing the new posts. I’m using Chrome.

    • I’m on Internet Explorer, and I’m still not seeing the new posts when I first go to the site. If I hit refresh, the new posts show up.

      • Cornellian :

        this seems to be the one time where using ancient IE8 may be helping me. I’ve had no problems the last few days.

      • anonypotamus :

        Same. I use IE9, and when I first go to the site, I see Monday morning’s post, but if I hit refresh, the most recent ones come up.

    • Same here. Chrome, no new posts. Found this through Google Reader

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I am on Chrome and no problems other than my name not auto-populating.

    • Yesterday using Firefox and connected to my company’s network through VPN, I didn’t see any new posts all day.

      Yesterday night I checked on my personal computer (also Firefox) and was able to see them.

      Today in the office I was initially not able to see them, but after clearing my browser history, they appeared.

      • Yep, I can only see new posts in Firefox if I clear my browsing history or used private browsing. IE9 didn’t work yesterday. Today, IE9 is fine for me.

    • I could not see new posts in Chrome. The number of comments from yesterday’s last post was stuck at 21, but when I click on the comments, I could see all of them.

      I switched over to IE9, and I can see everything.

  7. long time lurker :

    I can see new posts when I use IE, but not Firefox.

  8. Just for reference, I haven’t had any trouble seeing posts or pics, I’m using safari.

    • viclawstudent :


      • Architect :

        I cannot see anything past a certain time on Monday on my iphone. The only way I can see anything newer is go on my desktop using IE.

  9. I had last year’s version of this skirt in black/white. I wore it maybe once and felt uncomfortable all day. I found it very widening in the hips through a combination of stiffness of fabric and soem weird effect with the stripiness of the tweed.

  10. Ugh, can.i vent? My boyfriend had to pick me up last night because I was in so much pain that I was afraid I’d pass out. Cancelled work and a slew of obligations today thinking I would feel better but no dice. Currently curled up in a ball. We’re newish and he’s been amazing but I hate him to see me this way. I feel really embarrassed.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Aw! Don’t be embarrassed. I’m sure he is not thinking “God, Cb is such a LOSER for being unhappy when she’s in pain!”

      Once in college when my relationship was still fairly newish, I texted my BF at the time and said I was coming over to his dorm. On the way there, I slipped on some ice, hit my head and had the wind knocked out of me. I couldn’t move for a minute or so and then started to cry from the pain/fear of it and sort of hobbled my way into the nearest building and sat on a bench. I didn’t have a texting plan (remember those days?) so I thought I should call him so he wouldn’t worry that I didn’t show. I think my call was something like “ummm… hiccup… sniffle… I fell… I just… umm… sniffle… need to catch my breath… so itll be a while… sob” and I was SO embarrassed when he came to find me and saw me curled up crying on a bench. He later told me it was one of the cutest times he’d ever seen me. I’m sure your BF is just sorry to see you hurting and is NOT judging you at all.

      I’m so sorry you’re in pain. I hope you feel better soon!

    • Cornellian :

      I’m sorry, that sucks. But I’ve followed this health/new boyfriend thing as you’ve posted about it, and I think you’re handling it really well. My mother had many chronic illnesses (arthritis, lupus, crohn’s disease, acid reflux), and managing them with her relationships was really trying for her (and me, as her daughter!). Seems like you’re setting up good habits early!

      Plus, I think being that open or reliant on someone when you need it can really indicate and help build trust and openness in the relationship. About a month in to dating a guy, I made the tough call to call to see if he could come get me after I managed to forget about my antibiotics, have a few drinks, and start feeling awful and embarassingly drunk. He said months later that he thought it was really endearing that I was willing to admit what was going on and ask him for help.

      Anyway, hope you feel better soon!

    • Oh, honey, yeah it’s new, but it’s really just fine and don’t be embarrassed. My SO says he’s seen me every way from dressed to the nines to laying on the bathroom floor in a ball with cramps after my colon was nicked during a colonoscopy. And he loves me no matter what. Obviously, your guy was fine with coming to pick you up and is probably really concerned for you. In fact, it’s probably good for him to see you when things aren’t perfect. How he responds in a situation like this is a good marker for other things.

      Take care of yourself and feel better!

  11. Yay! I love pencil skirt’s! But my “shelf” does not PERMIT me to wear one yet. FOOEY! Myrna has gone out TWICE with Esteban but she says he has wandering hand’s. FOOEY! That’s all I need with his freind grabbing. The supermarket guys want a follow up pitch. Mabye their BAltimore relatives told them I would be GOOD. I hope so b/c I would rather do NYC cases and the Manageing partner get some one else to work with that SMELLEY fossil down there.

    I got a text from David, I can’t believe he still wants too meet. I want a RELATIONSHIP, not causal sex, especially with him.

    I am goeing to try and get a different office. Mines to small and I haveno privacy. Also it’s to close to the toilet and it smells like the Amtrack pooper all the time. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    Margie is stopping by for lunch so we are goeing to Lord and Taylor! Yay!

  12. confirmation gift ideas? :

    Ladies, I could really use your creative gift ideas! After being married for a few years, DH decided to do RCIA and become Catholic. This is a really big deal because it caused a lot of tension between us at the beginning of our relationship (I was raised in a very liberal Catholic household and DH was very circumspect of the Church, etc.) In any case, it’s a huge deal that he’s decided to do this and I am trying to think of something special to get him for his confirmation. The conventional gifts (rosary, crucifix, etc.) don’t really work in this case and he has plenty of books on the subject. I’d really appreciate any ideas you might have! Thank you!!

    • Cornellian :

      Maybe a donation to a Catholic charity, or a general humanitarian one like Heifer International?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      A medallion related to his profession? My husband’s grandmother gave him a law enforcement one when he was a LEO and he always kept it in his wallet. I know people have general ones for driving. There are others for physicians and so forth. You could have it engraved with the date or just blessed by the priest that does the confirmation.

    • What Saint is he choosing his name after? I believe you can get their specific prayers in beautiful frames online!

    • That’s wonderful! You must be so happy. I’m Episcopalian (so my knowledge of Catholic rosaries is limited), but are you sure a very nice rosary wouldn’t work, so he could think of you when he takes it out to pray? What about splurging on a nice dinner out for the two of you to celebrate, or throwing a party (depending on what’s more his speed)?

      • Kontraktor :

        Agreed. I think a nice rosary (that you maybe have blessed?) would be great. You can get very nice ones with real sterling silver/gold metal, and some of the masculine ones either have very nide wooden beads or natural stone beads in masculine colors (like onyx, dark lapis, hematite, etc). It will be “his” and it will be special because because it’s his confirmation rosary. My parents got me a pearl one for confirmation that, even though I don’t use, is still special for that reason. I also had other rosaries in the past… but if this is your husband’s first really nice one, it might be the one he prays with all the time going forward. I am planning on getting my husband a nice rosary when (well… if, but I hope when) he converts.

      • Also Episcopalian (Anglican), and I love the idea of a really nice rosary, but another classic confirmation gift is a really nice, annotated Bible or prayer book (leather- bound, etc.). Maybe that would be an option? Or, since you will now both be Catholic, how about starting a family Bible? My family has one that has been in the family for years and contains everyone’s birth dates, baptism info, weddings, funerals, etc. It is really special – like a record of the family.

    • A trip to a place with lots of Catholic history? Paris, Rome, part of the Santiago de Compostela trail. Or, closer, Boston, New Orleans, California etc.

      • lucy stone :

        This is an awesome idea!

      • Great, great idea. Spain could work, too–and Toledo is GORGEOUS.

      • A pilgrimage to the Bascilia in DC? It earns you an indulgence (yes, you can still earn them, you just can’t buy them).

        • I loooove the Bascilica! Its beautiful, even if you aren’t particularly religious. All of the various shrines are so interesting. We did Easter mass there last year, which was really special. My grandmother is devout Catholic, I wish I could get her on a plane to go there.

      • Or Fatima in Portugal!

    • confirmation gift OP :

      Thanks so much for all of these ideas! I just ordered an engraved patron saint medal — that will be perfect! And as much as I would LOVE to go on one of these trips, it’s not in the cards right now! Thanks ladies.

    • Maybe a nice watch with the date engraved. That way he carries a reminder on him always and it’s still a somewhat nice “gift gift”.
      If you want something more “denominationa” get him a confirmation candle (with the psalm and the date on them). That’s always a nice keepsake. Or a really nice, leather bound bible / psalm book with the date engraved.

    • SoCalAtty :

      The best present I ever bought for someone’s confirmation was a medallion of a saint that watches over / represents their favorite sport. It is something we do together, and it was tough to find, but she loved it. So I second the profession or hobby/sport saint medallion!

  13. Cornellian :

    I’ve been proud of myself in the last month for getting closer to my pre-associate weight. At 5’4 I was up to 132, which is obviously not unhealthy, but made me uncomfortable in all of my clothes and was not the result of me leading a very healthy lifestyle. Now i’m down to 123 or 124, a couple pounds above my fighting weight.

    Last night my neighbor asked me (while I was bundled up in winter clothing) if I had lost weight, because my face looked thinner. I replied that i had, and he said, “yeah, you were getting a bit pleasantly plump last summer.” He’s a good-natured guy and he didn’t mean it as an insult, but…. such a strange thing to say.

    • Congrats on the weight loss and sorry you ran into a weirdo. I’ve lost a fairly dramatic amount over he also 6 months and one of my students (English not first language which explains the phrasing) pointed at me the other day and said, “skinny” and then cooed “beautiful!”

      A pair of students were speaking and then turned to me and said, “have you lost weight?” I replied that yes, I had, and while I was happy to have lost it, it was a result of not feeling so well / some unhealthy behaviors. They said, “don’t worry, you look great!” Yes, because that’s what is important, clearly.

      Ugh, when will people get that it isn’t super helpful?

      • Cornellian :

        I was honestly surprised my neighbor noticed, because really I went from the smaller side of 4 to the smaller side of 2. Perceptive.

        Talking about peoples’ weight also seems to vary a lot culturally. When I lived in former East Germany, people were very open with their bodies, but also with commenting on each other’s. To me as an American, having a 50-year-old man tell me where on my 16-year-old size 2 body I carry extra weight and how much I *should* weigh was UNIMAGINABLE, but comments on weight didn’t seem as tied to a judgment of the object as a person there. It was more like they were talking about the body I inhabited, and not me, if that makes sense. Even the way different languages describe weight varies so much and can reveal so much about the culture.

        I’m not sure if this is the best tactic, but I basically don’t comment on my female friends’ bodies unless they bring it up, or I’m complimenting them on how strong their legs are from running, etc. I think it’s good to recognize other peoples’ hard work and achievements, but dangerous to assume that being thin > not being thin.

        • I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing or just related to this individual, but when I was living in France in college, my host mother one day commented to me “you have a pretty face; it’s a shame you are so fat.”

          • Cornellian :

            Yeah, it seems like comments on bodies are simply less weighted, at least where I’ve lived in Europe. It also seems like men’s bodies are more likely to be critiqued than they are here, though still not as often as women’s.

          • Yep, Hungarians do the same. I remember when I was there at 11 my aunt telling me I have a big @ss. My mom said once she when she went back to visit someone flat out said “you got fat!” and someone else asked if she was pregnant (clearly, she was not).

        • TO Lawyer :

          On this note, yesterday I was having dinner with a friend from law school I hadn’t seen in a few months and he basically acknowledged that I am much thinner now than I was after my first year of law school. Note to all my friends/family – please don’t mention I look much better now than I did after my law school freshman 15. I’m well aware I was a little heavier then – I don’t need to be reminded of it on a regular basis.

    • Is your neighbor’s named Albert by any chance? When I was 12 we lived next door to a 50 something year old man named Albert who said that to me, minus the “did you lose weight” part – as in, “you ARE getting pleasantly plump.” To a 12 year old! Anyway, I’m sure it’s not the same guy but people are just so weird… Though good for you for getting to a weight you’re more comfortable with!

      • Cornellian :

        I think comments on my body bother me because, however well-intentioned, they all sort of come from the assumption that because I’m a woman in the public sphere, my body is open to the public for ogling, commenting, and perhaps grabbing. I don’t feel like anyone’s body should be the topic of discussion just because they’ve brought it in to public, but it seems like womens’ bodies are most likely to be critiqued.

      • This reminds me of the time I ran into one of my older elementary school teachers on a break home from college. After the customary “You’re so grown up!” comments she then proceeded to tell me I had “filled out quite a bit!”

        I was pretty scrawny in elementary school, so I think it was supposed to be a message of relief that I wasn’t withering sans homecooked meals… but the phrasing was sort of odd.

    • Frank says things like this all the time. It’s harmless. Men like to talk to pretty women and some times just do NOT know what to say to me so he says something dumb.

      My mom says its actualy a back door compliment b/c if you were not pretty they would not say any thing at all! Personally I would perfer that geeky guys NOT nuzzel up to me all the time. My dad says I am to freindly and bring it all on myself. FOOEY!

      A pretty girl should NOT have to be a magnet for every guy to stroke his ego. FOOEY !

    • Opposing counsel once told me during court that I needed to “push away from the table” because I was getting “really plump”. My response was probably equally rude, “I can lose the weight if I want to, but you will never have hair again.” It was not my finest moment but it ended personal comments from him.

    • Two things: 1) I found this depressing b/c I’m your height and at your “before” weight, but also 2) how’d you do it? Hoping to lose a similar amount myself but it’s been tough.

      • Cornellian :

        1) Everyone has different builds… I don’t think 132 is overweight at 5’4, at all. For me a large part of it was that my tailored clothing was painful/obscene/impossible to wear, which is expensive! You can’t wear a suit if you’re ten lbs heavier, you know? Fluctuations were less problematic in school, since my wardrobe was more flexible.

        2) Honestly, I think the two biggest things were: a. that I was working late so much, I got in the habit of saving half my dinner for lunch, which made both of those meals appreciably smaller; and b. I halved my drinking, partly consciously and partly because I was so busy. I’ve also been trying to unwind when I get home with an hour walk with my dog a few times a week, instead of mindless TV or a beer. No huge changes for me, just lots of cumulative ones.

        • Can I ask how old you are? I’ve found it much harder now that I’m in my 30s to keep my weight in check. But yeah, I’m 5’3″ and about 133–was 122 about two years ago and so all of those old clothes don’t fit anymore. I blame some of it on going on anti-depressants but I’ve been shocked to learn that the weight doesn’t just come off once you stop taking them (it’s been at least 8 months since I stopped). The rest of it I blame on being in new/happy relationship bliss and pigging out more. Oh well. I’ll try! Thanks!

          • Oh my goodness, yes! I lost about 25lbs post law school when I was in my late 20s and it was a breeze — less beer, more running, fewer cookies and the weight just melted off (and left some nice toned muscles in its place). Now about 8-10 have crept back on and, at 35, I’m finding it almost impossible to lose them. Overall, I’m loving my 30s, but not loving this part of it.

          • Cornellian :

            I’m 26. I think birth control may have played in to my gain, but mostly my more sedentary lifestyle as a lawyer.

            I’m pretty bad at keeping food under control, but I’m a definite endomorph and put on muscle so easily that doing low reps high amount weightlifting 3x a week is the most reliable way for me to lose weight. It doesn’t burn that many calories, but it makes your resting metabolism SO MUCH HIGHER. I’m a bit of a spokeswoman for heavy weightlifting by women. It’s like the secret, lazy, less boring way to lose weight (plus increase your bone density and be a badass at the same time). That’s what I’ll eventually do to get back to my normal 120.

          • I’m in my 30s and a similar height. I find that I have to be so careful about food / calories. I mentioned in another thread last week or so that I’ve started paying way more attention to how I feel after I eat not so good for me foods and that has helped. I think that has also gotten more noticeable in my 30s. Everything has a greater effect on me. Alcohol, especially. I never have more than two drinks at one time because of this. Also sugar really makes me feel terrible, so I’ve cut way back. I’ll have desert if we’re at a great restaurant, but I don’t eat regular ole candy, cookies, etc.

            I have to be pretty diligent about my food intake. I eat pretty small meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the work week (brought from / made at home) and eat a little more relaxed on the weekends / eat out occasionally.

            Also, I’ve been a regular exerciser for 15 years or so, so I think the exercise only helps me maintain, not lose anything.

            I fluctuate between 118 – 124, which I am very happy about, but yes, I have to be disciplined and careful to stay there. A couple bad eating weeks will definitely make me put on weight.

        • Dogs are awesome :

          I read a life hacker article a while back about being happier and it said if you are ever bored or have some time to kill, you should take your dog for a walk. I’ve tried to follow this advice and find that its really true.

  14. Didn’t have trouble seeing posts yesterday, but for some reason it only indicated one comment, all day (though when you clicked on it, all of them showed). Also, I could only find today’s post by going to yesterdays (which is the most recent one that showed up on the homepage), and clicking to “next post”. I’m using Firefox.

  15. I am in biglaw, in a specialty corporate group. I am pretty junior (1.5 years of practice), and most of my work is diligence. And I am constantly making little mistakes that my seniors catch. In a memo, I might put down 100 facts, and two of them are off — sometimes because of a typo, sometimes because I was reading too quickly and missed something, sometimes because no one has ever told me that X actually means Y or that I need to look to Z, sometimes I can’t tell you why I put something down incorrectly but I did, sometimes because facts that don’t seem material to me are material to my senior, etc., etc., etc. And it always looks worse because the senior person will ask me to “confirm” and then I end up catching my own mistake (or in double-checking something per senior’s request, I find another mistake and have to report that as well). Is this normal? Do all associates feel like they are constantly screwing up? I feel totally incompetent, and then on top of that I feel indignant because in the end, these mistakes don’t matter to the transaction (or the deal price). Plus there are 98 facts that I got right. And I’m not sure how to fix this except to spend even more time on diligence than I currently am — but given that I’m already working pretty long hours, that isn’t really feasible, and even if I were to sit at my desk for an extra hour or two a day, my focus wouldn’t improve, just my billing.

    Basically, I am wondering where all my thoughts and feelings fall on the junior biglaw associate emotions spectrum.

    • First, I’m a litigator but I would say it took me a solid two years (maybe two years and a few months) before I actually felt comfortable doing my work everyday. It’s an incredibly steep learning curve. So regarding that, I think it’s normal to feel totally overwhelmed and to just not know what it material, what isn’t material, and/or what you should know to look up. That just comes with time and learning. I can’t tell you how many pleading drafts I turned in with incorrect footers, incorrect certificates of service, etc. You just don’t remember to fix those things at first.

      Now for the tough love portion: mistakes matter. Practicing law isn’t like school when a B+ effort is good enough. Even if you’re getting 98 out of 100 things right, someone eventually will have to fix the two outstanding mistakes…either you, the senior associate, the partner, the client, or opposing counsel. And if the client or opposing counsel catches mistakes that you make, then the partner and the firm look bad.

      While you may feel indignant that the vast majority of your work is good, you can’t express that to your superiors. They expect perfection from you, rightly or wrongly, because otherwise they have to spend their time fixing the junior associate’s mistakes.

      So yeah, you may have to spend more time critically reviewing what you wrote. That’s the nature of our *very* detail-oriented job. On my final review of my work product before I turn a draft in, I like to review from the back to the front. Then I do one final, final review of the ticky-tacky crap: caption, footers, heading consistency, signature blocks, certificate of service, etc. Take heart that mistakes like what you’re making are normal, and not that difficult to fix.

      • +1. I think it takes a couple of years to really get on your feet, especially in biglaw (another litigator here). It just takes time and experience to learn what is material and to develop a keen sense of attention to detail. And as JJ said, in this job it has to ALL be right, all the time. It is a tough standard and adjusting to it can be a challenge.

        Having been on both ends (as the junior who made mistakes and as the senior who noticed them), I would say that your attitude in handling it matters a great deal. As a junior associate, those above you expect that you will make mistakes (they will not be pleased but not surprised). What can make or break your reputation, though, is how you handle the feedback. I have sung the praises of junior associates who have made mistakes, taken the feedback graciously and then continued to work hard/try and get better. Those that roll their eyes or don’t seem to care, well, different story.

        From my experience (again in litigation) it does get easier. Over time, you learn what is worth sweating and what isn’t and your gain more knowledge over the whole deal/case. Plus, you slowly gain more control over your own schedule. It isn’t easy. You will be a better attorney for all of this, whether you choose to stay or choose to find a greener pasture.

    • Dude, totally normal. If you don’t feel like a screw-up, you’re not doing it right.

    • This is very common. And there is a reason there are layers of review. Get a thick skin, respond to requests for corrections (or “confirmations”) promptly and with a good attitude, and you will do just fine. It is not just you, but it is one of the things about practicing law that is difficult.

      • I also want to add that as other posters have said, your goal should absolutely be to be 100% correct 100% of the time, but drafting something with 100 facts gleaned from multiple sources the first time is a very different task from reviewing a draft document. I think senior lawyers sometimes think that their years of experience have made them immune to making such errors and perfect writers because they are good at catching errors in drafts. I do think those skills improve a good bit over time, but they are forgetting that writing from scratch on a deadline and reviewing are distinct jobs.

        • That’s a fair point and it really does improve with practice.

          But I would be careful with that assumption. I’m a senior associate and 99% of our cases are staffed very lean: just me and the partner. So I’m doing all the drafting from scratch and reviewing on a deadline.

    • I think feeling like you are making regular little mistakes is totally normal, but you can’t get the facts wrong. Whoever is signing the papers is testifying to the accuracy and it is a huge deal (at least in my area of practice) if even one fact is incorrect. I’d feel okay with not catching the right law, not thinking of an argument, typos etc. but honestly if a colleague regularly wrote down incorrect facts I’d feel very jumpy about trusting their work.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I’m not in transactional, but this all sounds pretty normal to me. Some strategies for handling little mistakes:

      1) Be humble. When someone more senior than you points out a mistake, thank them, apologize for the error, and correct it. Double check your work to make sure there are no more of the same type of mistake, and try to avoid making that type of mistake in the future.

      2) Don’t be defensive. This goes hand in hand with humility when something is actually your mistake, but also applies to the no-one-told-me-about-this-and-now-I’m-getting-corrected type “mistakes.” Juniors aren’t fully informed about everything, that’s just how it goes; just fix it and move on.

      3) Don’t internalize mistakes or take criticism personally. A typo does not make you a bad person or a bad lawyer. We all do it. Separate who you are as a person from the bruises your ego will take in the steep learning curve you’re on.

    • It helps me to print out my work and review a hard copy – for me it’s much easier to catch a mistake on paper than on the screen. I am pretty hard on myself if I find a mistake after submission, but it’s best to just rip off the bandaid and tell your manager or whoever immediately, a quick “I just noticed X which should be Y, my apologies for the oversight.”

      • Same for me. I cannot see typos on the computer that I spot immediately on paper. I also tend to read back to front, bottom to top for editing purposes, especially if I wrote it recently. My brain autofills what it was supposed to be, and I miss a lot of little things (than vs that, etc) if I read it normally. Or I will make myself read it outloud (sort of under my breath, but I have to actually say the words), which helps me catch both typos and weird grammatical errors that seemed ok in writing but sound funny.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      You know, this makes me think of something that I have often considered – I am a transactional mid-level and I have done my fair share of due diligence in my time. Obviously juniors have to do the DD because it is mundane and voluminous and it is not cost-effective for partners to do it. But it is also not the case that partners can check every single thing because they might as well then do it themselves.

      As a junior, you don’t have a clue what is important to start with and you will make mistakes and that is fine. However, sometimes you don’t know you made a mistake because you were the only one doing the work and nobody checked every single line. For example, say you put that the assets of the company are $55m, and you double check, but turns out they use two different figures and you didn’t know and put down the wrong one. The partner won’t pick that up because they will assume that you checked that assets is $55m and even if they ask you are you sure, you will say yes, because you did check and you don’t know that you were checking the wrong figure. So it’s not like you even knew to ask because you thought you had it right.

      Anyway, I’m not sure what the point is except (1) yes you must be careful and check and quadruple check your work and (2) partners should appreciate that they take a risk to some extent when they ask juniors to do work that they do not check, and some partners are better at this than others.

      Don’t fear, we all suffer from impostor syndrome at times and it will get easier over time!

      • Senior Attorney :

        Welcome back, Elle!!

        *waving at my Happy Hour in So Cal friend*

        • Woods-comma-Elle :

          *waves back* thanks again for awesome happy hour! Would rather still be in CA…

    • I’ll chime in because most of your responses so far don’t seem to be from transactional lawyers, and I think it makes a difference. As to your question about where your thoughts/feelings fall on the spectrum, I’ve found that all junior Biglaw associates feel like this most of the time. Diligence is a slog, particularly if you don’t feel engaged with the larger project.

      My suggestions: Stop feeling indignant ASAP. If the details your missing really don’t matter, why is your client paying $$$ for you to summarize? Even if the item of information does not seem to play into deal pricing/risk assessment, it may affect how your client runs the target post-closing. When you get a diligence assignment, ask the more senior attorney what’s driving decisions about how your firm has designed the diligence review and why your team has chosen a particular diligence summary format. Even if you’re working on a tiny piece of the diligence process, always try to get an overview of the deal structure and your client’s goals in doing the transaction.

      Finally, don’t wait for formal reviews to ask for feedback. If you feel as though you’re making a greater than average number of mistakes, ask the supervising associate how he/she felt about your performance (after the deal signs or closes). Most likely you’ll find you were doing just fine.

  16. Best Buy kills work-at-home program, too :

    So Best Buy announced that they are killing telecommuting for their corporate workers, following Yahoo.

    Well, maybe it will all result in more job openings…I don’t know…could be interesting if more companies follow suit.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      In fairness, this article said the policy is actually:

      “Some of the 4,000 non-store Best Buy workers who get approval from their supervisors will be allowed to work remotely, according to the CNN story. Until now, they could make that choice without a supervisor’s OK.

      Best Buy’s web site on Wednesday had no news release about the policy change. But the CNN story quoted an e-mail from Best Buy spokesman Matt Furman that said: “It used to be a right about which a manager had no say. Now it’s a conversation.”

      I don’t have any problem with work-at-home or telecommuting arrangements being made with the individual worker, based on manager approval and job responsibilities. In fact, I think that’s what Yahoo ought to have done. There are some jobs that just don’t lend themselves at working at home, and it sounds like the Best Buy policy allowed the worker to decide whether they wanted to work at home or not, without any upper level say or oversight in that.

      In other words, I think these things should be handled at the individual level rather than a blanket policy against telecommuting (Yahoo’s new policy) or completely for it (Best Buy’s now old policy).

      • Honestly, it is kind of odd to me that a manager’s approval wasn’t needed for remote work already.

        • Anonymous :

          i agree that it is a little odd for a large company. But for lawyers and other similar professionals, I think it would be odd to require such approval. no one would ever consider telling me — or others i work with — i couldnt work from home.

          • For some law jobs, I wish they would. I have spent a lot of time in the last year covering for an associate who regularly works at home and therefore isn’t in the office to help handle the myriad little in-person tasks that come up on a daily basis.

      • Agreed; I can’t imagine how you can manage effectively if you can’t tell a given worker that they need to be on site.

  17. I’m considering a non-law position at a law firm (professional staff position). It’s middle of the pack type in terms of responsibility. Is it dumb to ask if there is client development required in this position? I haven’t ever worked in a firm situation and am wondering what sort of questions to ask.

    • From my experience, there will be client care and retention required by professional staff, but you won’t be expected to be a rainmaker or anything.

  18. What to do? :

    Recently back on the dating scene and need help interpreting the situation with a gentleman caller. We went on 3 dates over the course of ~3 weeks. The last date went well. He came to my neighborhood, we spent several hours at dinner/a movie, and when he walked me home I invited him up. He accepted and we spent another hour or so talking/kissing (nothing more). When he left, he said it was always a good time with me and we should do it again.

    This was right before Valentine’s day. He texted me a couple times the following week to see how my week was going / wish me a happy Valentine’s day. He said he had a cold so we did not meet up that week. The following week, we texted back and forth and he let me know that he had family visiting (which he had mentioned on our 2nd date so I know they were actually in town) so we didn’t meet up. I texted him after the weekend to see how the visit went and we had a short text conversation. Since then (over a week ago) there has been no contact.

    I’m trying to figure out (a) if he is doing the “fade away” or (b) if he is waiting for me to suggest we get together (so far he has suggested and planned our prior 3 dates, and up until after the 3rd date, I always waited for him to text me first). Is he trying to reject me in a nice way? Should I text suggesting we meet up and then let it go if he doesn’t text back? I’m so confused because at first he seemed like a really nice guy who would be respectful enough to tell me outright if he didn’t want to go on another date. but I guess my impression was wrong.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Text him. Maybe something like, “Hey hope your week is going well, what’s your weekend looking like?”

    • I would say don’t overthink it. Ask him out. If he says no, let him go and move on.

    • I agree with your instincts, suggest getting together and if he doesn’t take you up on it let it go.

    • I think he’s doing the slow fade. If you need confirmation for your own brain (I always did), send one more text asking to hang out. If he makes and excuse or cancels (even really nicely) or doesn’t respond, JSFAMO. Trust.

      • boys are silly :

        Even when they’re men. I agree with petitesq, he is definitely doing a fade. Your choice if you want to to push and make him say it, or just drop it. But don’t try to create some reason why he might be acting like this. He is trying to fade.

    • Ask him out. If he says no, it’s still better that you sitting around and wondering if he didn’t like you or if he was just waiting for you to show your interest by asking him.

    • Senior Attorney :

      My feeling is that if a man wants to be with you, he will make it happen. This guy is definitely doing the fade. I’d let it go.

    • What to do? :

      Thanks for your responses! I have a hard time with the fade. I think I’ll text him once more just to confirm. I just don’t get the fade…it’s even worse than just dissappearing! What is the point of initiating multiple text conversations with someone you don’t plan to see again? How is that supposed to make me feel better? /end rant.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        Sadly, it’s not supposed to make you feel better, it’s supposed to make HIM feel better. I agree he is doing the fade and it sucks so bad, and I also totally hate it, but it seems to be a trend recently! Sorry to hear this, JSFAMO.

  19. For Phoenix (from AnonAZ) :

    Ok, here are a few more ideas…

    If you want to see central/downtown Phoenix, lunch at The Farm (near South Mountain) is supposed to be really good. In downtown itself, there are lots of restaurants and some shops, though Phoenix’s downtown is quite small compared to the size of the metro area. Arrogant Butcher is really good, and kind of a hip happy hour spot these days. Hannys is good as well. The Suns play across the street at US Airways Center if you like basketball.

    A bit north you have the Clarendon hotel if you want to check out the restaurant that Victoria mentioned (never been but I might go try it now!), or Durants is classic old school Phoenix– wood paneled walls, leather booths, enter through the kitchen, awesome martinis and food. For museums and such, there is the Phoenix Art Museum (contemporary art– I think they’re having some kind of food festival there this weekend too), or the Heard Museum is all native american art and artifacts.

    If you have time, Sedona is a little over an hour north of here on I-17, and it truly is beautiful. Another 45 minutes to an hour north of that, you’re in Flagstaff (pine trees and possibly snow). It makes a great day trip if you want to go see more of the state. In the valley, Camelback Mountain is the hiking destination of choice for many, though South Mountain has lots of trails as well.

    Hope that helps! If you have questions, let me know :) I’ll post this on yesterday’s thread too, just in case you aren’t lurking here today.

  20. Anyone see this wsj article last week about women managers being difficult “queen bees”? I’m torn about it; I think there’s some truth to the idea that female managers can be extra rough on female employees. But I think it’s more productive to address this from the angle that this dynamic results from the continued dominance of males at the high echelons of certain industries— when it’s clear that there are fewer “slots” for women at the top, it incentivizes women to compete against each other instead of help each other. It’s not some flaw of womanhood; it’s the workplace culture. IMO.

    • long time lurker :

      Argh, the whole “mean girls” schtick… annoys me. I feel the negative experiences tend to get the most attention.. And because women are so few at the top, the tough or harsh women stand out, whereas with a tough/jerk/mean male supervisor, the thought is, oh, he’s just an a$$h()le boss.

      I have been lucky to have a few female mentors (big law) and I try to mentor young women. This site itself is an example of women helping each other. I feel the good efforts are not reported, because hey, the whole cat fight/mean girls storyline garners more reads.

      My 2cents.

    • BrendaPatimkin :

      Agreed. “It’s not some flaw of womanhood; it’s the workplace culture.”

      Ideally, all companies and individual employees would focus on creating a positive, collaborative work environment in which people were encouraged to find solutions.

    • I also think, as lurker above said, that behavior from female bosses that would, at most be considered kind of a ‘jerk boss’ is somehow A BIG DEAL when women behave that way, because, as the article notes, the female employee expected “female solidarity” from her boss.

      It’s not your boss’s job to somehow stand with you in solidarity against the world, be extra sweet to you, not point out your mistakes, etc, just because you both have vaginas.

      • lawsuited :

        I read the article and disliked the subtext that “women are nurturers, therefore all women in management positions should be nurturing”, particularly because it suggests that women are valuable in the workplace primarily in order to care for others.

        However, I reckon more women could enter those high echelons if women who have already figured out how to be successful in male dominated industries mentored younger women to do the same.

        Of course this doesn’t have to extend to an extreme of preferring women “just because you both have vaginas”. While no boss should ever be expected to be extra sweet or not point out mistakes, the “queen bee” in the article excluded the younger woman from meetings and called her stupid in meetings which seems counter-productive.

        • So true, I am one of the very few female managers in my group and often supervise new graduates or junior employees. I am so frustrated with their attitude when I come across as tough or not in super “hand holding”, nice or nurturing mode because I have hard deadlines myself. Plus I would really want them to learn to fetch for themselves, do the homework, think of a few options possible before coming back to me with every single question. When I send them off to give it some thought (otherwise I will just solve it for them), they sound so let down or get sulky. Come on folks, just because I am female doesn’t mean I am going to waste my time baby sitting you and let more important big picture projects slide through while I am busy “helping” you. Most of the senior guys will shout to their face “this is stupid, are you crazy” and the junior folks still respect men and are in awe, but I am come across as the “b*tchy female manager”, so sick of this.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Oy. This makes me want to bang my head on my desk.

      I had a run-in with a female subordinate this week and I am utterly convinced that she would not have dared to be as disrespectful to a male superior as she was to me. And I also felt icky because it crossed my mind that my (perfectly appropriate and reasonable, in my view) response to her insubordination could be interpreted as Queen Bee-ish behavior or worse, as a “cat fight” between two women. (This despite unanimous support from my all-male peers.)

      Hate, hate, hate that there’s this extra layer of angst when women interact in the workplace.

      • Have had similar experiences but will say that the good ones DO grow out of it. It takes some hard knocks and managerial experience of their own and then years later, they come back to say “… sorry for being such an obnoxious pain in my time !”

    • SoCalAtty :

      It can’t be a coincidence that every single female partner I have worked for over the past 6 years meets the description in that article…until now. Now I am in a department with several tough female supervisors that are also awesome and actually give helpful, constructive criticism. It’s amazing.

      Until this year, I thought such a thing didn’t exist. In comparison, I’ve never had a problem with a male partner (in my own firm, anyway).

      Maybe I’ve just had bad experiences.

      • Veronique :

        Fortunately, I’ve had the opposite experience. I’ve never had a female boss anywhere close to this description, in both banking and law (in house). My current management chain is almost all women and everyone has been really supportive. I’ve had one bad female boss, but that was mostly due to incompetence and (gender neutral) favoritism.

      • I am having one of these bosses. I respect her work, but found her management style crushing to my confidence, and subsequently my performance. I am doing just fine working for other (male) bosses and get good feedbacks. Problem is her opinion is the one that counts, and she’s openly undermining me with my other bosses.
        Have you had any success improving a bad working relationship with a tough female boss? Any tips and suggestions? Or should I start looking elsewhere?