Thursday’s TPS Report: Ruffled Boiled Wool 3/4 Sleeve Jacket

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

Ruffled Boiled Wool 3/4 Sleeve JacketReader L wrote in (for the first time! thank you L!) to sing the praises of this lovely jacket: “This is a great looking jacket from Ann Taylor Loft. It comes in black, grey and olive. I just got the black and it’s a well-fitting versatile jacket for the price. My clothing budget got slashed when I had a baby, so I LOVE clothes that do double-duty. This jacket transitions easily from the boardroom to the playground. It goes well with pencil skirts/trousers and silk blouses for office meetings but also looks great with jeans and scoop-neck t-shirts on weekends. The combination of ruffles with the zippers gives it a nice modern look, but the boiled wool keeps it structured and put-together looking. I’m an attorney at a hospital and wouldn’t hesitate to wear it to any business meeting. (the olive would also be a nice choice with brown skirts/slacks).” I like it! Its original price was $98, but it’s currently marked to $59.99 — and may be even lower depending on what sale LOFT is running on the site (e.g., 40% off with no code).   Ruffled Boiled Wool 3/4 Sleeve Jacket

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(L-2)

Comments

  1. While i can appreciate the low price points, I don’t have good luck with clothes from LOFT. They don’t seem to last longer than one season and i’ve come to view them as strictly for casual purposes. Anyone else feel that way?

    • Yep. I don’t even always get one season out of them. Occasionally, I’ll stumble on something that works out but it’s getting far & few between, even for casual purposes. I really don’t even go in anymore. Funny enough, one of my favorite blazers is from Loft circa 2005 and it still looks great. The quality has just gone downhill since, I think. This jacket, btw, looks really cute. I just don’t trust Loft enough to buy it, even at the low sales price.

      • Diana Barry :

        Ditto. I have a wonderful red blazer from LOFT from around then that is still going strong, but every time I have gone in lately the stuff just looks tired and cheap.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I bought two 3/4 sleeve blazers at the loft outlet this season which have been great. Appear to be high quality, haven’t pilled or had loose threads, are lined and warm, fit well, etc.

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      I bought this jacket about two months ago in gray and it’s lovely – warm, versatile, and great for my business casual law firm or on the weekend. In fact, I loved it so much that I bought my sister in law the black version for her birthday. I do expect this to last me more than one season – it may need to be combed with a sweater comb to remove minimal pilling, but otherwise it is good to go.Plust you can’t beat the price! I give this one a big thumbs up.

      • SAlit-a-gator :

        PSA: LOFT is having 40% off sale items, so this jacket is actually only $36!

    • SoCal Gator :

      I like Loft pieces to supplement my wardrobe with some more trendy looks. While the featured jacket is not my style, I snagged a lovely Loft boiled wool jacket at 50% off. I tried to post the link but it did not go through. It’s called the Space Dye Boiled Wool Knit Blazer. Love it!

    • I’ve actually had good luck with a lot of LOFT items. Some skirts, basic shells etc. have lasted me for years.

  2. Blonde Lawyer :

    After a two week trial throwing my eating schedule off and having a stomach issue cutting down my intake for a week after that and then having dental work that made it hurt to eat for days after that, I have lost a few inches in my waist to the point where even my smallest “skinny day” pants are too big.

    I wear suits every day so just getting a smaller pair of black and gray pants won’t cut it. Currently I’m just cinching my pants with a belt that is covered by my suit jacket. My question is, in these temporary weight loss situations, how long is reasonable to wait to see if I put the weight back on before I get all my pants taken in? A month?

    • Or longer. I had a 10 week trial this past Spring, and lost about 10 pounds during the course of the trial. I made the mistake of getting my pants taken in about half way through the trial, so that they would fit. It took about 4 months for me to get back to my pre-trial weight, and my pants got to the uncomfortable point about a month ago. I had to get them taken back out to my pre-trial spot last week.

    • I have done it myself when I was loosing weight and in the between stages. I just turn my pants inside out, grab a needle and thread, and make a little dart on both seams. Short term, it is fine.

      • this. you can also move the button/hooks in 1/4-1/2 inch for another short-term fix.

    • North Shore :

      I can barely eat during trials, so if it’s a long one, my clothes will be hanging off me by the end and look awful. I regain the weight pretty quickly. I’ve pondered buying smaller sized suits for the end of trial, but haven’t felt like spending the money on something as strange as that. I just try to get by with belts and pins, and hope my pants won’t fall down during closing argument.

    • Holiday Season should do the trick.

    • This is why I have three entire wardrobes (sick clothes, healthy clothes, and healthy but too lazy to exercise clothes.)

      :-)

  3. coldweatherchic :

    This looks like a great multi-purpose staple. Agree LOFT is usually just for short-term pieces and trends more casual, which works fine for my hospital environment. At this price, it might be worth it for a 1-2 season piece….

    • When I saw it on the website, I loved this jacket. But when I tried it on in the store, not so much. It’s much boxier and shorter than I think looks good on me. Just FYI.

      • coldweatherchic :

        Darn, I was afraid it looked a little short. I’m in the long-torso club anyway, so probably this wouldn’t work for me. Any of you taller/long-waisted ladies have suggestions for where to find tall jackets? I have classic jackets and suits jackets, but am frequently disappointed that so few fun jackets come in tall sizes. TIA!

  4. Cute jacket, but I’m boycotting Loft for a few months. I just had a horrific customer service experience that involved over 2 hours on the phone and evolved into me conferencing UPS on the call because Loft refused to do so. All to get them to change the delivery address that their website screwed up in the first instance. Once UPS was on the phone, they were happy to change it. (Despite the Loft supervisor’s repeated insistence that it was impossible). argh. vent over.

  5. Tax question:

    I got married in july. I make 90K. Hubs makes 45K. No kids. I’m finally filling out this W-2 to adjust withholdings. I did the worksheet attached to the W-2, (and I assume that he would do the same worksheet), and it reflected that we should both be entering a ZERO on the W-2 for exemptions, and taking out an ADDITIONAL $160 per pay period for taxes.

    Does this sound correct? It seems high to me–I thought that the “marriage tax” didn’t really have such a big effect when one earner makes significantly more? Maybe this is not the case. Should we file separately?

    UGH, between taxes and student loans, ladies….I’d be down with being an office manager, and feel like I’d bring home a similar amount of money with far less stress. sorry for ranting, just exhausted by the process :/

    • I am not a CPA and I won’t even try to answer your question. Just writing to say: don’t forget to do the same exercise for your state taxes. In CA, the witholding for state taxes is always wonkier than for federal and most people I know end up owing state taxes at the end of the year instead of getting money back.

    • Anon for this :

      I clearly need to get back to work but I guess I can answer one more question. My worksheet allowed us some exemption and we ended up owing a lot of tax. I now list my exemption as zero, as does my husband AND I withhold an additional $50 per paycheck. I’m hoping this will be the first year we don’t owe. We also own a home that we rent out and sometimes our tenants will pay us lump sum rent up front giving us “income” in that year which may have thrown things off a bit.

      I will say, I think it is ridiculous that I’m an attorney and my husband works for the IRS and we STILL can’t get our taxes straight. While I am very liberal and think taxes serve an important purpose, the code needs to be re-written and be much more straight forward. If we can’t get it right, how do we expect non-experts, let alone the elderly and the uneducated to get it right?

      • I’m an attorney, too, and thought the same thing.

        I am also kind of flummoxed that we’re paying nearly all of my husband’s gross salary in state and federal taxes and STILL owe. Maybe I need a house husband.

      • This is what CPAs are for.

        You may be able to clean your own house, too, but it’s way worth it to pay someone else to do it.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      It really depends on whether you have a lot of deductions. My husband and I give a lot to our church, have the mortgage interest deduction, and have real estate tax and (formerly) the sales tax deduction. Plus, we max out our 401ks. With that, I withhold at 1 and my husband withholds at 4!!!!
      please don’t take this as hard and fast advice. I just think you should look closely at your deductions. The first year we were married I followed that worksheet thing and we got like a $8k refund! Not that this extra money wasn’t welcome, but I’d much rather make more through the year and not let the government use my money tax free . . .

      do you have a friend who is a CPA or financial planner? perhaps they can look more closely at your specific facts and recommend something?

    • Oh taxes. My husband and I just got married in October and I think we’re going to wind up owing the government a lot of money because we make pretty similar amounts and bumped up into a new tax bracket. Sigh.

      • Ah yes, the marriage tax. I know it well. My husband and I have ended up owing huge sums each year we’ve been married (11 years). It ticks me off that two people who have made good decisions, put ourselves through school, and for that we are penalized out the patooty. The last time I saw any tax return was when I was 19?! My husband is a small business owner, so there are some tax breaks we get that way. We also pay quarterly. It is disheartening to know that a full 5-6 months of my salary pays our taxes. Being a married professional family SUCKS as far as paying taxes are concerned.

        • If you owe huge sums every year, it’s time to hire a CPA. Simply following the W-4 worksheet doesn’t really work, sadly.

          Also, if you want to get out of paying taxes for good, become a multimillionaire!! /snark

    • This sounds about right to me. When I got married, our incomes were similar to yours. We didn’t change our exemptions, so both had 1. When tax season rolled around, we owed about $3k.

      Definitely claim zero exemptions, but I don’t know about taking out an additional $160 for taxes; while it’s nice to get a refund, I always have cash on hand to pay extra, and I’d rather have the money throughout the year. I ran the numbers for filing separately (we didn’t have a mortgage, so standard deduction) and it was better to file jointly for us. You should definitely check for your own situation, though.

      • And the withholding parameters the IRS sets up are designed to get you to overwithhold, so that you have a refund and are incentivized to file a return and get your money back.

    • Can't wait to quit :

      We have to do this – DH makes about what yours does, and I make about 70K. We have a mortgage, but it’s not huge, but with that deduction we do have to withhold extra because the two halves don’t make a whole when it comes to standard tax withholding.

    • Yup. That sounds about right, though of course you should seek your own tax advisors. Unless you will have large deductions (home mortgage, large medical bills, big state taxes, etc.), then withholding at 0 won’t be enough and you will have to pay more.

      Cheer up, it could be worse. My husband messed up his worksheet, so I withhold the extra amount for both us from my paycheck (state and federal). I also contribute a lot to retirement, so I’ve had paychecks that were less than $500 even though I make a pretty good hourly wage.

    • As a quick, very general breakdown of how taxes and marriage work:

      Marriage Bonus: Couples with only one spouse earning income will usually get a marriage bonus. This is what happens for families with a stay at home parent and a working breadwinner. The breadwinner pays less taxes than if he/she were single. Since that is the family’s only income, the resulting tax savings are like a marriage bonus.

      Marriage Penalty: When both spouses work, the couple usually pays a marriage penalty. The penalty hits high-earning couples and low-earning couples the hardest. The high-earners get hit because big salaries quickly eat through the low tax brackets, so the next salary is taxed at a much higher rate than the person would have if they were single. Low income earners can get hit because of the way the Earned Income Tax Credit and child tax credits work. The Bush tax cuts generally eliminated the marriage penalty for lower tax brackets (helping out low-income earners), but most middle class families with two-incomes may still need to deal with a marriage penalty. Very generally, couples with roughly equal incomes do tend to pay a bigger penalty (in proportion to their salaries) then couples with disparate incomes.

      Marriage Neutrality: It is rare, but a couple may pay the same taxes married as they would single. It depends on their income, deductions, etc. So these couples don’t get a “penalty” or a “bonus.”

      Also, MARRIED FILING SEPARATELY IS NOT THE SAME AS FILING SINGLE AND USUALLY RESULTS IN HIGHER TAXES FOR ONE OR BOTH SPOUSES. (Sorry I put that in all caps, but whenever marriage penalties come up there is inevitably someone who dismisses the penalty by saying, “oh, you can just file separate” like that makes the penalty go away. It doesn’t.)

      Why have a marriage penalty? The policy choices are tough. There would be no marriage penalty if married tax brackets were double the size of the brackets for single people. But doing that would also give an even bigger tax bonus to families that choose to have one spouse stay at home. Since most stay-at-home spouses are providing childcare to the couple’s children, the marriage brackets can (in some ways) be historically viewed as a reflection of policy choices to either (1) encourage women to work or (2) encourage women to stay at home with their kids (to the extent women are usually the stay at home spouse).

      • thanks for your caps comment. totally needed, a lot of people don’t realize the distinction.

        can you clarify the policy choices you feel are reflected in the marriage penalty? I’m not sure if I completely understand.

        • The policy choice comes from the fact that marriage, in many cases, changes a taxpayer’s tax rates. Childcare costs, coupled with the marriage penalty, can push many people (and let’s be realistic, mostly women) to leave the workforce when they have kids.

          To get into the nitty-gritty, from a purely economic standpoint two people without kids are both probably going to work. Even with a “marriage penalty” the tax hit the second salary takes is outweighed by the income brought in by the second salary. (I’m ignoring other reasons people might work here, like personal fulfillment, doing important work, etc.–let’s just focus on the money.) So the marriage penalty probably does not push many dual-earner couples to have one spouse quit his or her job. Sure they would avoid the marriage penalty, but they would also lose the income of the second person.

          Now add a kid (or more) to the mix. The kid isn’t going to bathe, feed, clothe, or take care of itself. Someone has to do it. The usual binary choice is (1) pay for childcare or (2) have one spouse quit his/her job to take care of baby. (Again, I’m ignoring unusual situations when a grandparent is available for free or the couple has a crazy schedule where one person can always be off of work to take care of the kid.) If the tax code were marriage-neutral, then taxes would not factor into this decision. The family would decide whether to pay for childcare or have a stay at home parent based on other factors.

          Here comes the policy choice. The tax code is not marriage-neutral. So instead of deciding whether to pay for childcare or stay at home based on personal factors, two working parents with a new baby may decide that marriage penalty + childcare costs = not worth having one spouse continue to work.

          As an example, let’s take a couple where new Mom earns about half what new Dad earns (or reverse the genders if you please). Let’s say that if both Mom and Dad work, their marriage penalty is $6,000. In other words, Mom and Dad’s tax bill is $6,000 higher than it would be if they were both single and filed as single taxpayers. (See comment above and note this is different than married filing separately.) Now let’s say that Mom and Dad’s preferred childcare arrangement is $18,000 a year.

          Do you see what the tax code did there? In Mom and Dad’s situation, Mom needs to take home at least $24,000 just to break even after paying for the marriage penalty and childcare. That $6,000 marriage penalty could really make a difference in Mom’s decision to stay at home versus continuing to work. It gets even worse if you increase the marriage penalty and/or add more childcare costs (e.g. for a second child or a more expensive nanny).

          Sure, the childcare costs are a bigger factor in the example above, but we can’t pretend that thousands of dollars of a marriage penalty don’t make a difference in Mom (or Dad)’s decision.

          Do I think couples sit down and look at it this way and say “hey, with that huge marriage penalty Congress is sending us a pretty clear message that you should quit work and stay home with junior”? No, that is probably not how it goes down. But I do think that couples say “Look, we only get $X from your salary and $Y has to go to childcare. Does it make sense for you to keep working? Maybe you would rather be home with the baby?” And that $X, my friends, is generally less because of the marriage penalty. So yes, Congress is right there helping you make that decision. Hence, policy choice.

          • This is a fantastic explanation. Thanks!

          • Very well-written and clear explanation.
            Since my husband and I don’t have children (and don’t intend to in future), and live in a high-state-income-tax state, the marriage penalty hits us really, really hard. It’s thrown us into the AMT every year since we got married. And even though we had what seemed like enormous amounts withheld (exemptions at zero for both of us), we still ended up owing additional tax in the five figures every year, as well.

            If I had to it to do over again, I would try harder to persuade my husband to have a commitment ceremony and party and never, ever file an actual marriage license. We would be considerably better off financially filing as two separate individuals . . . .

      • Consulting :

        Hey thanks for that breakdown! I am the breadwinner and my partner is a stay at home dad, but we are not legally married. I claimed him and our children as my dependents last year, and filed as head of household. After reading the rules I’m pretty sure I was allowed to do this since he had no income of his own, lived with me, and I provided all of his means of support.

    • This is so confusing to me. I got married in April and H probably put “1” on his worksheet, and so did I and we haven’t changed anything… so we will owe taxes this year? Or does it depend on our tax bracket? FWIW, we make about 80K altogether. I wish the system made more sense to me, but I just hate it so much that I refuse to educate myself and would rather pay someone to do my taxes for me. :/

      • It depends on a lot of things, eaopm3 (tax brackets, available deductions, income level, etc.) I think you can use a withholding calculator from the IRS online, or just use the two-earner worksheet on the back of Form W-4 to see what you should be withholding. If you are both under-withholding right now then you might owe something next year. Plus, you may have to worry about an additional penalty for under-withholding. Of course, you should consult your own tax adviser for your specific situation.

        • Just jumping in to say that a change in status (getting married) during the prior tax year is one of the valid excuses for under-withholding, such that you should be able to avoid having to pay any under-withholding penalty even if you haven’t had enough taken out during the year. By the following year, you have to fix it, though.

      • I’m not a CPA or tax lawyer, so someone please jump in and correct me if I get this wrong, but here is how I understand it.

        Look at the tax schedules and forget exemptions for the moment. Basically, your income is withheld according to those brackets based only on YOUR income, not your income+spouse’s income. You combine it later when you’re filing, resulting in a much bigger number (in many cases). For the OP (and me, since incomes were comparable), basically what happened was that DH’s entire income was withheld at a lower rate than it should have been if you were going by married schedules the whole time. For filing jointly, the 25% bracket starts around 70k. My income was already more than 70k, essentially putting the entirety of DH’s income in the 25% bracket, but since DH’s income alone was only 45k, it was withheld at 15%. So we owed roughly 10% of 45k, less deductions.

        So if you both make around 40k, your combined income will (depending on deductions) likely put you into a higher bracket, but not extremely so. If I were you, I would find a tax adviser and put aside a couple thousand dollars just in case. If you don’t end up needing to pay it in taxes, then you can treat it as a “refund,” but yes, I would guess you will have to pay this year.

  6. I really don’t care for this at all. Sorry, Reader L!

    Ladies, I was all set to have my first trial this morning, all me. Got up early, drank tons of water and tea, took extra time to look gorgeous, practiced my closing statement a few more times, organized my stuff, ironed my clothes extra nice. As I’m walking out the door, I get a call that my client has somehow managed to injure himself yesterday and is surgery! What the heck! Of all the days!

    Now I have so much pent up energy! I wanna try something! (Oh, and also I really hope that he’s OK.)

    • Similiar situation to me on Tuesday, except my case didn’t go ahead because I was case #3 of 5 cases scheduled for the same courtroom! I get to go back in February and try again. Even better was trying to explain to my client that his post-divorce case was going to have to wait under couple months…

  7. Threadjack: anyone interested in talking salary? I know anecdotal data has been compared in the comments before, but not recently to my knowledge. I’m trying to get a sense of market rate for 3rd – 5th year attorneys in private practice/Northern California/firms of 5-15. Glassdoor, Salary.com, etc are all duds when it comes to this type of information. Any suggested resources, or anyone who wants to share their personal experience with salary ranges?

    • Oh, and since it’s not terribly fair to ask without offering something in exchange: for anyone interested in public interest salary info, I’m a 4th yr attorney, small NorCal non-profit, $40,000 salary + 14 days paid vacation.

    • 3rd yr/private practice/northern california/firm of 20/14 days vacation (if i can squeeze them in)/$90k+hours bonus structure

    • suddenly anon :

      7th yr/local gov’t atty/texas/$97,000 /14 days vacation + time off for accrued upaid overtime

    • anon for this :

      10th yr /small firm/western US/part time – avg. 1000 hours per year/$75 per hour plus substantial bonuses/$100-140K per year depending on hours and bonuses.

    • Anon right now :

      2nd year/private practice/norCal/tiny firm/90k + bonus/vacation as you need it.

  8. I do like versatile, multipurpose pieces like this one.

    Is anyone watching Talbots stock? Looks like some interesting things are happening there.

    • Looks like there is possible tender offer?

      http://seekingalpha.com/article/312529-why-i-have-contempt-for-talbots-management-and-board?source=yahoo

    • Talbots in general has been interesting to watch in the past few years. I think that the clothes and accessories improved GREATLY for about the past 2 years, but their core customer group disagreed (see their Facebook page — the comments can be rather entertaining).

      I’m very interested to see what happens to Talbots — I’m (ahem) 42 and mostly dress casually but not frumpily, and I’m still pretty fit (6ft tall, sz. 10-12). Aside from the usual suspects like BR and JCrew, there are not that many stores I’d shop at without feeling that their clothes are too young OR, conversely, drapey soft things made for grandma.

      • I’m about the same age as you. I’ve actually thought that Talbots has improved greatly the last few years. It’s really sort of become a “go-to” place for me. I don’t feel like I’m masquerading as a teen-ager or feel frumptastic in the clothes. Although to be fair, the local store is about the only option for professional wear for me. The Macy’s seems to have nothing but junior sized club wear and sparkly holiday- themed granny sweaters. Spent 2 hours searching in vain for a pair of black dress pants there once.

        • Agreed. I now think of it as a me store, instead of a mom-and-grandma-only store. (I am < 30, mom < 60, grandma = 80.) I don't get that much of my clothing there, but this is mainly because it is a bit out of my way given where I live and work (versus AT, BR, JCrew). I don't love any of these stores, but they're all comparable and sufficient, I guess.

          • Same with me – I think when making their initial overhaul, Talbots overshot a bit and went for J.Crew frippery (ruffles, dangly petals, etc). Problems: (1) J.Crew already had the market on that stuff, I don’t need more of it, (2) my mother didn’t want to wear that, and (3) Talbot’s didn’t update their boxy silhouette enough to make a younger crowd convert from J.Crew.

            I think they’re getting back to what I liked about them — nice basics that I can count on to be decently well made and flattering. They seem to be improving on the boxiness factor as well.

      • Who is the core customer group? I’ve heard they were trying for a little younger look, and I would rather see timeless classics.
        The CEO is steping down/being replaced. It will be interesting to see if the product changes with new management.

  9. Job Searcher :

    Ladies, I’ve recently had a few encounters where when I said that I just passed the bar and am looking for my first legal job I encounter the question “what type of law did you study/specialize in/plan to practice?” I just don’t know how to answer.

    I went to a school which didn’t have certificates or specializations and took a rather broad course load. I wanted to be able to work at a firm and took classes in family, business, criminal, local government, and international law. I wanted to have a good basis in a few areas so I was prepared for whatever the job market threw at me. I obviously can’t go back in time and only take family law classes or only take business classes (I don’t even think my school would have enough to specialize like that) but it makes it really difficult to answer that question! I want to convey that I’m open to anything (because I am and more than anything I just want A job, any job) but I don’t want to sound desperate. How would you ladies handle this line of questioning?

    TYIA!

    • My line generally was that “I took a broad range of courses, and am particularly interested in litigation.” You could fill that with something broad like “transactional work” or say “I’d like to try my hand at both XXX and XXX.

      I had questions like this and they were generally from non-attorneys, so I kept it short and simple.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I don’t have a permanent position, so maybe take this with a grain of salt, but perhaps you could say that you took a broad couse load but you have a particular interest in area x because of x, y, and z experiences.

      • In an interview setting, I would be careful not to sound too “married” to a particular type of practice, unless you are absolutely sure that’s what they’re looking to hire. Something like, “I focused on litigation, and I particularly enjoyed cases involving [products liability, commercial, etc.], but at this point in my career I really just want to gain quality experience and explore what interests me as a lawyer” should be fine. I mean, seriously, you just passed the bar and are looking for your first legal job — how could you possibly have a specialty yet?

    • Who is asking the question? Non-lawyers, or in interviews for legal jobs?

      My experience is that the non-lawyers don’t realize that you don’t have to pick a “major” in law school. I think they see it kind of like undergrad, where you pick an area of study and that’s all you do.

    • But… I would say that you probably need to at least narrow down whether you are interested in practicing on the litigation side or the transaction side. There’s still a lot of specialization under these two broad categories, but small firms often will only do one or the other, so they may not be able to help you if you are, say, interested in litigation but they only do transaction work.

    • If it helps any, although I didn’t go so far as to “specialize,” I very much focused my LS education on health law, with the full intent to go into med mal or at least generalized health. I took every class offered that could be health-related and didn’t bother with some of the “basic” subjects (wills, family).

      Big mistake! They went and changed the med mal laws, and NO ONE in my state was hiring, so I wound up going into a very general civil lit practice. So, you can’t win with some of this stuff. (I think the responses above are very good.)

      • I will say that I feel like this is happening to me now. I love products liability/mass tort, all my experience is there (except one summer in general civil litigation), and as a 3L on the job search I have found very few people hiring in my field. I have a science background, so my plan is to take the patent bar this semester to try and broaden my horizons, but I’m not even sure that will help.

    • i seem to be in the minority, but it is very helpful for me (as an attorney) to know what a job seeker is interested in doing. just saying that you’re interested in any type of law makes it difficult for me to help you. even if you don’t know what you would like to do specifically, it would be helpful to know litigation v. transactional, firm (small v. big) v. govt v. nonprofit. letting me know that information helps me think about the people i know who do those things or are in those types of organizations. i am more apt to put you in touch with the perfect person if you have a good understanding of what you want. you don’t have to say “i want to do family law” but something like “i would like to gain more litigation experience” would help me help you.

      • Job Searcher :

        Thank you everyone for the helpful answers. KYC I think your response really hit home. I need to figure out a concise answer for the exact reason you stated. I’m going to work on it :)

  10. Thanking a reference :

    I remember a while back we talked about how to thank a reference. Does anyone remember when this was or have any suggestions about how to say “thank you”?

    • http://corporette.com/2011/11/08/how-to-thank-your-references/

    • Call them and say, “thank you”? All of my references were out of state, so when I got my job, I called them and personally let them know I got the job and expressed my gratitude. Easy peasy.

  11. Makeup PSA for anyone else with fair skin and very dark hair:

    I absolutely could not find a brow pencil that matched my brows. All those available were too light colored, but using black eyeliner was unnatural-looking since it usually has a blue tint but my undertone is warm instead. Solution I found by accident: Nars “black moon.” For the same reasons it isn’t very good as an eyeliner (which it is supposed to be), it’s great as a brow pencil: it’s not actually true black, it won’t smudge even if you want it to, it’s easy to keep very sharp, and it’s quite hard in texture. It isn’t waterproof, but I have been rained on and gotten a bit sweaty without any problems while wearing it in my brows. However, it was gone within a few hours when I tried to use it as an eyeliner! Anyway, it’s pricey but since I only do a few tiny strokes every morning it should last a very long time. Perhaps this will help someone else! One woman’s disappointing eyeliner is the same woman’s miracle brow pencil.

    • Anonymous :

      I have similar coloring and I use brown eyeshadow which I was told looks natural by a M.A.C. consultant.

    • Thank you, Monday! I have fair-olive skin and black hair and very black eyebrows. I get fed up with those magazine articles that tell you not to use a black pencil on black brows because most people are actually dark brown…well, guess what, some of us really do have black eyebrows! But I have struggled with the same thing- the black eyeliner can look very harsh. I’m going to try this!

  12. Diana Barry :

    It’s been one of those mornings…I dropped kid off at preschool, sat in horrendous traffic for 40 minutes before noticing that I didn’t have my wallet (so I wouldn’t have been able to pay for parking). Went all the way back to the house, got my wallet, sat in traffic for another half hour, parked at my office, got to the office and found that I had left my regular glasses in the car! So I had to walk back to the car and get them (that took another 15 minutes). Sigh. Maybe I should just give up and go home now? :)

    • I feel for you! Last week I got halfway to work and realized that I had forgotten my laptop. Had to turn around and saw it – sitting right by the back door “so I wouldn’t forget it.” Hope your days gets better.

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      I feel for you. I got to my office and realized I didn’t have my keys. I had to drive home pick them up and then drive back to work only to realize that I left my lunch at home.

    • RegularButAnon :

      Same.

      Had serious back pain this morning to the point that I was not sure that I would be able to make it to the office. Finally got rolling and to the bus stop, where a d-bag attacked me and then fought me for my brand new iPhone 4s before running off. Spent the rest of the morning talking to IT to wipe me phone, filing a police report, and reporting my phone as stolen with my carrier.

      I would like a do-over.

  13. I got a call Tuesday evening from a firm to set up an interview. I was away from my calendar so I took the partner’s information and said I would call back with my available dates. I called back yesterday morning and left a message for the partner with my available dates through January, as requested.

    I haven’t heard back yet. It’s been 24 hours. Please tell me I’m prematurely freaking out and that this does not necessarily mean they have decided not to interview me. Sigh.

    Also, at what point should I call the partner again?

    • Friday afternoon.

    • They are probably coordinating the schedules of 4-5 attorneys to interview you – that is highly likely to take more than 24 hours :)

    • Definitely do not freak out. One time I had an interview delayed for weeks, and I thought it might not happen. Turned out the issue was scheduling problems, as well as them wanting to interview me last. At my interview, my soon-to-be boss confirmed that he wanted me over other options, and was in a position to make an offer the next morning (I learned this later of course). Just an example from the wide range of reasons there might be a delay! Don’t assume it’s bad.

    • You’re freaking out. He may not have even been at his desk all day yesterday and didn’t get the message until today. Or he could have one attorney who has a million vacations scheduled and can’t find the time to squeeze you in. Or he could be up to his eyeballs in client meetings. There are a myriad of things that can delay you getting a callback. I highly doubt anything has changed in your interview status between the time he called you, and when you left the message.

      • Thanks, all. It’s probably not helping that I have my first defense deposition today. Will go get some tea and as the SO says “settle the f down”.:)

    • Do you have the partner’s email? I’m very skeptical about voicemail, maybe you can send an email just reiterating what you left on the vm?

      • i second this. An email allows you to possibly catch his attention one more time, without being an interruption. Plus, everyone is different, and some people never check their voicemail, while others are more likely to notice a call than an email. So, by sending both, you’re covering your bases. Good luck!!

  14. Thanks everyone for the recommendations yesterday for moisturizers – I’ve gone ahead and purchased something from Cetaphil. Works well so far!

  15. I don’t love LOFT, either. I never go in there.

    PSA: I purchased some Bobbi Brown make-up (eye liner gel and eye shadow) last week and its fantastic. The gel is really easy to use and it stays on all day. Its my first Bobbi Brown purchase, but I would definitely go to that brand again.

  16. Ladies, I just finished Chris Bohjalian’s The Night Strangers and I have to say it was really, really disturbing. I try to skip books like this. I’m not going to read The Room not ever, no matter how many people recommend it.

    But I wouldn’t have guessed how disturbing this book was from the reviews online and the description. Has anyone else read this book?

    • a nonny miss :

      Eek! Have been wanting to read this!

    • I have no idea what Night Strangers is (never heard of it or the author), but I read The Room and I absolutely loved it. And I don’t think I tend to like disturbing things…I have never read Stephen King, never watched a scary movie (had to leave The Witches) etc.

    • In my opinion, you’re not missing anything by skipping “Room” – I felt it was mediocre.

    • anon prof :

      Nope, sorry, but I can’t stop thinking about The Room and it’s been over 6 months since I read it. Fabulous but too disturbing.

    • a nonny miss :

      Also, is “The Room” you’re referencing Room by Emma Donoghue? Amazon didn’t turn up that title for Bohjalian.

    • I read this book a few months ago (August maybe?) and I agree, it was absolutely nothing like I expected from the reviews. After I finished the book I was confused and angry, and it took a few days to sort out how I felt about it because I wasn’t prepared for it.

      Overall I thought it was interesting…but not something I would have gone out of my way to read if I had been better informed.

    • That’s how I felt about Little Bee. It was important to read, but really tough to take, almost like Schindler’s List.

      I like Room because I like dark stuff that isn’t too realistic – Dextyr, Deadwood, The Road, Hunger Games, etc. I guess I could detach myself from it.

  17. Do you ever deal with anger for silly reasons? I got so riled up yesterday at some of the comments on yesterdays thread. I fully realize this is looney, but it made me so mad! (This is not meant to be a debate on yesterdays thread but more of a general discussion) One time I became infuriated by someone on the metro. How do you deal with things that you know, objectively, are silly, but still make you furious (or sad, etc)

    • yes. i’ve gotten better but yes, i struggle with this sometimes. a career coach i talked to recommended that instead of trying to suppress the anger and think calm/zen thoughts, i should focus on funneling that energy into another role or point of view.

      for example: someone makes an infuriating comment. blood rises and your instincts tell you to immediately smack back, prove them wrong, defend yourself, etc. etc. (sound familiar?) Instead, focus on another role – like, the impartial investigator, the 3rd party mediator, the objective observer – and instead of responding back aggressively and defensively, use the energy to fulfill the other role as best as you can. “Can you tell me more about why you think that?” “What if the situation is X, would your reaction the same?” “Sounds like this isn’t the best time to have this conversation, should we delay to tomorrow?” etc. etc.

      Not sure if this makes any sense to you, but it has worked for me.

      • … meant to add to the above – make it as impersonal as possible (even if the comment was personally directed). That helps remove a lot of the fury.

    • Which comments?

      • Yeah, now I have to go back and read them!

        But, yes, I sometimes get that way, too, even when I realize that it’s incredibly stupid. It’s very disruptive to my day sometimes (My mind keeps wandering to it, if it’s internet/email/facebook based I keep obsessively checking for updates, etc.) I love to debate and I don’t usually consider it an emotional thing, but sometimes and for no apparent reason, it irks at me. I’ve learned that I need to just walk away most of the time, say what I want to say and then set a hard and fast rule that I won’t come back until the end of the day.

        • Diana Barry :

          I have a hard time if someone sends me an email that is very abrupt (there is one litigation partner that does this all the time). It makes me worried that they are mad at me and are going to fire me or something. Sometimes I wish that I got angry instead! Sigh.

          • Anonymous :

            Same here. Thought I was the only one who worried about these things. My friends always say I’m overreacting.

        • Lyssa your comment def. resonates with me, almost always these feelings happen when I feel the need to debate. Yesterday it was that a commentator said she donates in the name of a coworker to a charity he is opposed to. Because it was the “right” charity (and I use quotes but I fully support their mission) everyone was like yaay! awesome. And it was frusterating to me that people wouldn’t take a minute to think, wow if someone did that to me (believing just as strongly that they were “right”) I would be so angry. But I am “right” I can do that. (Right is in quote marks because groups of people have been oppressed by those that were “right” at the time and in their society. Flipping it does not make it ok)

          I also have these feelings often on facebook. People linking articles with no sources to back up that opinion, etc.

          • That thread was frustrating to me too. It was kind of one of those things where you go back to double check you are reading correctly.

          • My thought when I read that was that she (the original commenter) was joking/exaggerating (i.e., she doesn’t actually put it in that person’s name, she just thinks of him when she does it.)

            I still hope that’s the case. I wonder if that could be a defamation issue? Donations come up a lot in things like running for political office (and I’m sure on serious background checks and stuff, too), so there’s certainly ways that it could unfairly affect him if it’s really in his name.

          • I said this yesterday but I think it was too late. This literally happened to me at my old job – I found out long after the fact that they donated in my name to a political cause I flatly did not agree with. It was one of the (many) factors that made me decide it was time to go.

            I really hope the people yesterday were just joking. I am sure they would not appreciate the situation being flipped around on them.

    • If someone be trippin, be glad you’re not that person. Be glad you’re you.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I may be way off base, but way back when I was in college, this was something that happened to me a lot. I would get really angry about stuff, irrationally so, and it would lead to all kinds of drama.

      It was only some time afterwards that I discovered this was a factor off my hormones being out of whack due to the Pill I was on.

      Now I’m Miss Zen about pretty much anything (obviously some stuff still gets to me), so it may be hormone imbalance related, whether or not you are on the Pill.

      • I always found myself getting more short-tempered and easily frustrated the week before my period. It’s not as bad now that I’m older (and this pattern pretty much held whether I was on or off the Pill), but being tired can really exacerbate it.

        It does help to identify a pattern – I may still find myself irrationally angry, but at least I know WHY I’m irrationally angry.

      • That is very interesting considering it is my week.

      • I’m having the same problem right now.

        • In grad school, it got really bad but I hadn’t quite made the connection. I remember practically sobbing to the poor nurse at the student health clinic once I realized the during the 3rd week of a triphasic Pill I was taking, I would just be NUTS – super-depressed, angry, just a mess. So I went on a different Pill and that helped a lot. I never went back to triphasics, I think I don’t handle the hormone fluctuations well.

          The best part is that in grad school I did research on hormones. Testosterone instead of estrogen, but still, you’d think I would have had a bit more of a clue.

    • I think it helps to remember that everything you do represents a choice, at some level. You will never be able to control what people say or do, but you can always choose your response. Sometimes anger has a purpose and needs to be expressed or acted upon in some way–that’s one choice. However, if you want to let it go, try to think of that as another option, and go with that.

    • I’m not saying that life, and comment threads don’t present all kinds of reasons to get angry or frustrated, but if it seems constant or is interfering with the quality of your life you may want to have a sit down with yourself and try to discover why. Someone has already mentioned hormones/ the pill. I’m going to mention caffeine. I suffered a low frustration point – and insomnia – for my entire life until I realized that I was profoundly sensitive to caffeine. Caffeine/no caffeine is the difference between night and day with regard to my personality and, frankly, how I feel about life and all the other people on the planet with me. If you have caffeine in your life, you may want to ease back on it a bit and see if that helps
      If it does, consider giving it up altogether.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I think it is something in the stars right now. Everyone around me is cranky. I had a doctor’s office treat me like crap yesterday (for the 7th time or so) and I was so pissed when I got off the phone I closed my office door fighting back tears. I then found a new doctor and fired the old one. All kinds of things are going wrong today too. I feel extra sensitive/emotional and it is annoying that things keep going wrong. I’ve posted before that I had a friend into astrology and whenever multiple people would post on facebook about having a bad day she would explain why it was happening because of the universe lol. As whacky as that sounds, it made sense. I’m no longer on facebook or I’d ask her what the heck is going on right now. Oh, that AND I’m PMS’ing.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I also want to add, even though I took the necessary steps to change my bad situation (firing doctor, getting new one) I still can’t shake how mad I was about how they were treating me.

    • I weirdly get emotional about posts on here, especially when other commenters tell me I’m wrong. I freak out about it for hours. I don’t know why. Someone posted a week or so ago, “Hel-lo’s advice is totally wrong.” I went to bed upset and woke up upset the next day, all about that one comment. I don’t know why this site is so powerful that way.

      On the other hand, usually when I freak out about small things, it’s because I’m really upset about something else. I cried in a college professor’s office one time, and he reminded me how stressful a semester I was having (about to graduate and leave my boyfriend, applying to law schools, etc.). It wasn’t about his class at all. It was just my body letting the stress out.

  18. Threadjack I might re-post on the Coffee Break post:

    I’m in 1L trying to figure out what to do next summer. Everyone is trying to tell me to avoid firm jobs like the plague, because that’s what people do after 2L. I really, however, just want to travel through Europe. So my question is… has anyone just planned a trip to Europe by themselves and taken off? Any tips for travelling alone as a young woman?

    • North Shore :

      You want something on your resume from your 1L summer that will make you attractive during 2L hiring season. Spending the summer traveling is going to look like you couldn’t find a job. Why not check with your law school about summer study abroad options or legal internships abroad. I don’t know why people are telling you to avoid firms, but most 1Ls seek summer jobs at firms, or internships at the government, with judges, or nonprofits. Your summers are incredibly valuable for seeing the practice of law from the inside and finding out what is a good fit for you.

      • Diana Barry :

        Ditto. I actually did get a firm job 1L year, because of nepotism (my first grade teacher’s brother-in-law was a partner at a big firm), which was awesome. Do try to get one but spread your net widely – small firms, nonprofits, govt, judges, etc.

        • I wouldn’t call that nepotism. I’d say that if you were that well liked that your first grade teacher both remembers you and was willing to recommend you so highly to someone else, you deserved it! :)

          • That’s not nepotism; that’s networking. Nepotism is going to work for mommy’s firm even though you aren’t qualified or talented enough for the position.

        • I’m impressed that you still know your first grade teacher. Wish I did.

      • I agree with this. If you want to go to Europe, try to find some sort of opportunity abroad. You can still tack on travel at the beginning/end of your job. The legal market is still not very strong (although improving); don’t waste this opportunity to gain some sort of legal experience that will make you more attractive to future employers.

    • I think that’s a big gamble. I actually don’t know why people are telling you to avoid firm jobs, I think everyone in my class tried to get firm jobs 1L it is just that few do. Look into jobs abroad but I would not take the summer off- I think youll pay for that next summer, and then that will make it harder to find an actual job, etc.

    • Wait until after you take the bar exam to take a long trip through Europe. A lot of people do that since there is usually several weeks between the bar and the start of your first legal job. It is a tough job market still. I think going into interview season saying you did not work during your 1L summer will put you at a severe disadvantage to your peers. As for traveling alone through Europe, I think it is totally fine for a young woman to do so. There are plenty of decent hostels where you can meet other travelers. Obviously, just be aware of your surroundings and make it a point to regularly check in with family/friends so that they know you are fine. If you don’t want to go it alone, there are tour groups such as Contiki that are geared towards younger people (18-35 I think). I went on one when I was 26 and it was about the average age. We had a great time.

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      To echo everyone above – 1L summer is not the time to travel through Europe (at least not the entire summer). In this economy you really need some legal experience on your resume to get you ready for 2L recruiting. Get something lined up (government, judge internship, firm, non-profit) and then see if you’ll have 2 extra weeks left where you can travel. I would also not “avoid firm jobs” like the plague. I think people tell you this in the spirit of “you’ll have plenty of time to do that later” – not necessarily a reason to avoid like the plague if you find a firm you like.

    • Just to echo what everyone else said: get a job or internship. Maybe plan a shorter trip before/after if you really want to and have the cash (and I would advice against using leftover student loan money as a vacation fund).

      But if you are dead set on going, then look at study abroad programs. A friend of mine did study abroad in Paris after first year. She had a fantastic time. Plus you meet other people your age (fellow students) to take weekend trips with, so you’re not alone unless you want to be.

    • Anonymous :

      Get a legal job. It’s never too late to apply for a judicial externship. Not all chambers fill up early. Whether you’re planning to go into litigation or transactional practices, that experience is invaluable.

    • PT Lawyer :

      Hmmm I will be in the minority here, but back in the caveman days when I was a 1L, most of my classmates did not have firm jobs or paying jobs in the summer.
      Popular solutions were: summer abroad semester (they do exist, at the time Tulane Law had one that was open to students from all law schools), volunteering at a legal services entity for 1/2 the summer and 1/2 on vacation, and free internship. Very few people I knew had paying summer jobs as a 1L, unless they were non-law related.

    • MeliaraofTlanth :

      Get a job 1L summer. If you have a job at graduation, travel between the bar and job starting.

      (and while I’ve never traveled alone, one of my good friends did a month-long trip through Africa and a month-long trip through southeast Asia by herself while she was deferred and had a blast. So yes, traveling alone as a female can work).

    • You might consider looking for an internship in Europe. For example, a number of international tribunals are located in The Hague (Netherlands, about 40 minutes from Amsterdam) and offer internships. You would get legal experience, you’d get to live in Europe (which is fantastic) and you could travel easily for short trips on weekends, and plan a longer trip at the end of the summer.

    • I’m also thinking back to the days of the cavemen, and can’t think of a single 1L in my class who worked at a firm unless they needed money, were working for a family member, or they were ultra motivated to get ahead. As a 16 yr atty who regularly interviews candidates, I can’t say I pay any attention to whether there is work experience during a 1L summer. I don’t consider it to be important or particularly helpful for new Associates and it may just have started bad habits. In fact, I’d be more interested in someone with some life/travel experience and the courage to take a trip like that alone. And you’ll likely meet people you can call on later if you keep in touch. This job is a lot about connections, in ALL kinds of industries. My 2 cents – take the chance to travel now. You never know what it may lead to in life.

      • Agreed. You will probably be working in the law for the rest of your life. Take advantage of this opportunity to do something you may never have time to do again. No-one will be able to tell you it was a wasted summer – learning about the world never is. As someone who does a fair bit of interviewing and hiring, I can tell you that I would much rather see that someone has done something they are passionate about after their 1L year, and not necessary a legal job (in fact, I kind of view applicants who have worked in law after their 1L year as “keeners”, and not in a good way, but maybe that just speaks to my market – I am not in NYC).

        As to travelling alone, it is possible. Travelling alone does take some getting used to but there are benefits – like not being on anyone else’s schedule. If you haven’t done so already, start looking at Journeywoman.com, which is specifically dedicated to female travellers. What you choose to do will depend on your confidence level, but a couple of rules that I have followed when travelling alone (and I’ve never had anything bad happen to me in many years of travel):

        – always walk with a purpose – never look like you don’t know what you are doing
        – keep in frequent touch with your family and always let them know your plans (and stick to them)
        – don’t go anywhere where there are no other people around
        – listen to your gut – it is usually right
        – try not to “look like a tourist”

        There are lots of other things that apply too, but these are my basics and they have worked consistently for me.

    • Do study abroad, or get a foreign externship. My 1L summer I interned with a legal organization in the UK; at the same time a classmate was working in Germany. You can get to Europe without giving up the opportunity to get some substantive experience, which wouldn’t be well-considered in this economy. Also, who knows if you’ll be able to go on a bar trip when the time comes, so why wait? If study abroad’s not for you, but you know what country and what environment (government, private firm) you’d like to try/wind up in, do your research and approach those entities directly.

  19. Closing the loop on something I posted on last Weekend Thread – thank you, thank you, thank you! to those who offered advice on rates to charge the private equity fund to serve as a third party industry expert. Able to negotiate a fixed price fee that was far better than I could have dreamed – and the firm is thrilled and there is a possibility of more work in the future! Granted, my next 2 weeks will be a pain in the a$$ but it will close my year up nicely – and thanks to you wonderful ladies, I’ll probably be able to spring for a nice winter vacation with the extra money I made because of your suggestions!!

    • sweeeeet! keep us posted, i would love to be able to do what you’re doing at some point in my career.

  20. I have a fantastic boss. He values my work, gives great advice, wants me to do things to grow my legal skill set, etc. However, he does one thing that drives me crazy. I am, at 33, several years younger than the youngest of the rest of the attorneys at the firm (it’s a small one). Occasionally he addresses me as “kiddo” – as in, “Come on in, kiddo” or “What did you find out, kiddo?” Interestingly, he addresses the only other female attorney at the firm (a partner in her early 40’s) as “kiddo,” too. I have never heard him address the other youngish attorney (a male partner who is 40) as “kiddo.” The term is clearly meant to be friendly, but he only uses it to address the women. The other female attorney obviously tolerates this, so I guess I’ll have to as well. But in the meantime, I cringe every time he says it.

    • If you’ve really got a strong relationship with him, you might be able to casually ask him one day over lunch (or while riding a cab or in some informal context) why he calls you and [Jane the attorney] kiddo. I would ask in a genuinely curious way, not in a way that will make him defensive. He may not even realize how much he’s doing it. He might also be open to just stopping the habit, if you explain how much it bothers you.

    • I’d call him grampa as a joke, or I’d say “Hey, why am I kiddo? [Male attorney] is at our level, too – he’s a kid just like we are!” or something equally ridiculous to make him realize how ridiculous he’s being.

      • Seattleite :

        I would not do this. Calling him grampa is passive aggressive. If it bothers you enough to address, please do him and yourself the favor of addressing it as an adult. “Please don’t call me ‘kiddo.’ “

      • I agree that the best way to handle it is to call him gramps as a joke. Either that, or let it go. To look at the big picture: your boss values your work and is invested in your career development. Doesn’t sound sexist to me. He might even be trying to be PC by using a gender neutral term like kiddo instead of something like “honey.” If he doesn’t call any of the guys this, yeah there might be some superficial sexism. But in the context of your work environment, clearly the sexism or disrespect goes no deeper. I would give the guy a break.

    • Kiddo Deux :

      One of the junior partners at my firm does this too. He also refers to himself as the kid or something like that. It bothered me at first, because it didn’t go away. But, in the grand scheme of things, I just had to let it go. Everything else was too perfect. It’s like when old judges in small towns address the man as Mr. X and me as First name. Just had to let it go.

  21. Barrister in the Bayou :

    So a comment from yesterday made me want to ask the hive about their experiences with Retin-A. I’ve been using the Neutrogena Retinol night cream every night for a while with no reaction. If I can tolerate the store bought, do ya’ll think I’ll still go through the red and peeling phase?

    • Anonymous :

      My personal experience is that I absolutely hate Retin A and find it largely ineffective except to create a constant state of red and peeling skin. While it does eventually dry up my blemishes, they just become raised flaky patches on my skin that look worse with makeup. Of course, your mileage may vary. I’ve never tried the OTC retinols, so can’t speak to whether good results with those will equate to good results with the Rx stuff. I just wanted the opportunity to rant on this topic because new (and instantly former) dermatologist insists that I use Retin A and shut me down as to any discussion of prior experience and better results with alternatives.

    • Yes, you’ll probably still go through an adjustment phase. But if you start on a low concentration, it probably won’t be that bad. I used Retin A as a teenager and the adjustment stage was awful- red, flaky, embarrassed to leave the house etc. I tried differin as an adult and it was much better. They have more lower concentration formulas and gentler delivery systems than they did 10 years ago.

      Also, you can minimize it by easing in. Start by applying moisturizer first and retinoid on top, or apply every other night instead of every night to start. There are a lot of ways to do it.

    • How has your skin reacted in the past to acne creams? Are you looking to use Retin-A for acne, or for wrinkles? I haven’t found it terribly effective on acne (for me) but my doctor swears by it for wrinkle prevention. I also had no real redness or peeling. It honestly seemed to make my face a bit oilier than normal.
      I’m sure your doctor will advise you as to usage, but why not start off with an every other day application and go from there?

    • I’ve been using Retin-A for about eight years and I cannot praise it enough. Yes, it does take some getting used to – use it every second or third night for a while, and never use more than a pea-sized amount – but it is really the only thing that is proven to improve collagen and reduce wrinkling.

      They can have my Retin-A back when they pry it out of my cold, dead hand.

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      I’ve never really had to use acne medication. I only get the occasional blemish. But I think my new BC is making me a little more prone to little acne cysts and the store bought retinol helps. I mainly want to chase away wrinkles and prevent the little acne that I do get. I have an appointment soon, I think I’m going to ask for a formulation with a lower concentration and start on a Friday night.

  22. Magdeline :

    I got the “you are posting too quickly” message, even though this is my first post of the day. Sorry if this posts twice!

    My law school has summer study abroad programs that last only a few weeks at either the beginning or end of the summer. The students that went on them mostly also had jobs; they would just start work late or end early. If your school offers something like that, you might want to consider it as an option.

    I interned with a public defender’s office during my 1L summer, and I loved it. I found that they were far more patient with 1Ls than a firm would have been. Also, they were very liberal with giving me time off… in fact, I spent two weeks in Europe at the end of that summer (not as part of a study abroad program). I would suggest applying for everything that you might possibly take, government, firm, and non-profit. It will be much more pleasant to decide between job offers than it would be to regret applying because of some rumor that you heard.

  23. Sloooooow :

    I’m trying not to panic — since it’s only been since November, but work has slowed down to a crawl.

    I know it’s the time of the year, it makes it easier to actually enjoy the vacation I’ve planned, and I’ll have my hours.

    But, it’s hard to get motivated to do the little work I have (apparently I thrive when overworked) and the chance of making the next bonus bump is slim to none.

    Also, does anyone have a situations where the hours requirement/expectation in your practice group is higher than that of the firm?

  24. Consulting :

    I wore my brown suit today and I have never been called sweetie or Hun so much in my life, except for maybe wearing a school girl skirt in days of yore! I believe everyone who says brown suits have no power!

    • Anonymous :

      I never liked brown suits, they look too casual for my taste. When I want a power suit, I go with a navy pinstripe pantsuit and a dark, jewel tone silk blouse and killer black patent leather 3.5″ heels that just peek out from under my perfectly hemmed pants.

      • Consulting :

        well…I recently bought this Brooks Brother’s suit – my first brown suit ever – and it is soooo soft and nice to wear, but now that I’ve worn it a few times and I know people respond to me wearing it compared to other clothes, I’m wondering if it is going to be one of those “seemed like a good idea at the time” things…I only recently started branching out from black, and I have to admit I love wearing navy.

        http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Merchant_Id=1&Section_Id=374&Parent_id=1034&Product_Id=1553659&default_color=Brown

  25. Anyone have recommendations for a good drug store mascara? I only have time for a Target run tonight and my current tube is so clumpy it’s unusable. I’ve bought expensive and cheap mascaras in the past, but I have no particular allegiance. I’m looking for black and absolutely no clumps or flaking. I can sacrifice “wow” volume/lengthening effects.

    And I’m done with Maybelline Full n Soft, so that’s out- it works fine for me for like 2 weeks, then becomes clumpy beyond belief and starts to flake a lot (I think the formula dries out easily?).

    • Always a NYer :

      Go with one that has the applicator brush separate. They aren’t the traditional “brush” and are more plastic so clumping is practically non-existent. I’ve had great luck with GoverGirl, Maybelline, and Rimmel – all different kinds as I usually buy what’s on sale or 2for1.

    • I’m rather impressed by my Maybelline Falsies mascara. However, I guess there is occasional clumping. My last mascara was one of the Quo ones (can’t remember the name) and it had absolutely no clumping or flaking. It didn’t build my lashes much at all, though, making it more like a temporary dye for my lashes than a mascara.

    • I find Almay doesn’t clump, but also has a more subtle effect. If you want drama, try Cover Girl Lash Blast. You have to be a bit more careful because it’s a little goopy, but it gives you nice dark, slightly thicker lashes. I don’t find that it clumps or smears off during the day.

    • bibliophile :

      I really like the Neutrogena Full Volume. I’ve tried a number of others, but always seem to go back to it. A tube of it usually lasts at least 3 months.

      Also, just as a side note concerning the clumping issue, which I’ve dealt with while using other mascaras, it’s sometimes helpful to put the (closed) tube under running hot water. The heat makes the formula smoother.

      • Backgrounder :

        CoverGirl Lash Blast

      • I’m going to try this hot water trick– that might solve the problem.

        I ended up picking up two – a Boots masacara and the Neutrogena Full Volume that a few people recommended. We’ll see. I also picked up a dark brown gel eyeliner (maybelline) based on a discussion on here the other day about liquid/gel eyeliners. So far, I love it! I’m really surprised. I always thought pencil was the most subtle looking eyeliner but that’s definitely not true.

    • Accountress :

      Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes. It’s great.

    • coldweatherchic :

      The best drugstore mascara I’ve found is MaxFactor 2000 calorie — the only thing I like as well as Lancome mascara and it’s way cheaper. It’s not sold at Target anymore, so I’ve been using Neutrogena Full Volume lately. I like it, but there can be some flaking on the days where I’m working 12+ hours. On the plus side, by that point in the day, there are no big bosses or clients around to notice. :)

  26. oooo, i *love* this jacket! i think i must have in the olive… ack!

  27. I love boiled wool and have posted recently about looking for more. I wish this jacket were longer, because cropped styles don’t work for my shape, but for those of you who can wear cropped, go for it! Boiled wool is warm, looks structured, but moves like a knit.

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