Thursday’s TPS Report: Floral Jacquard Pencil Skirt

Ann Taylor Statement Floral Jacquard Pencil Skirt | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. This week’s guest posts are from Auntie M — welcome back!

There is so much of me that wants to not like this skirt. Maybe the flowers are too precious or unprofessional, and the gold thread too gaudy, and what would you wear with a skirt like this anyway? But I keep coming back to it. It feels like a nice summer skirt for what I would call a “non-court” day at the office. (I also wouldn’t wear this to a deposition. But for those days when I would just be spending hours at my desk working on written discovery, this skirt would probably do the trick.) As for what to wear with it, I’d stay away from trying to match a shirt to the color of the flowers  too matchy-matchy for me, especially since I’m usually drawn to neutrals. Maybe a nice gray sweater set  the kind of gray that has pink undertones  with some simple pearls and nude-for-me shoes. It’s available at Ann Taylor for $84.88, marked down from $98; with an extra 40% off sale items (no code needed), it’s $50.93. Ann Taylor Statement Floral Jacquard Pencil Skirt

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  1. Cute, but I’d be more likely to wear this to a tea or baby shower than the office. I always have trouble stying light skirts like this – the only thing I find to wear with them is white or beige. Pink looks to matchy-matchy, and other colors are so dark they’re overpowering.

    • I agree that pink would be too much for work but think white or beige would be boring. Agree with M that grey would be just right. But if love it with pink for non work events.

      • It’s already a tapestry-ish floral skirt; I’d want something sharper, crisper, and more structured than a sweater-set to offset the “ladies-tea time” effect of the skirt.

        I think I’d opt for a very tailored grey jacket or a grey button-front shirt.

    • I agree – it’s a little too overtly “I’m a soft, fragrant lady” for the office for me. I can see my mom wearing it to church.

      But, for other skirts like this, I picture which color bottom I would choose if I had a top made of the skirt material –> I end up with a lot of navy or gray sweater + patterned skirt combinations.

      I also think an oxford blue type button-down would work, if the undertones in the shirt aren’t too purple (like the office version of chambray or jeans – goes with a lot!)

    • I do like dark colors with a pale print skirt like this, in order to cut the pastel. I’d go with a dark brown or even navy jacket or cardigan.

    • Hmm. I would wear it with navy, a nice silky navy shell. But I like contrast.

      • Rachelellen :

        After weeks of not liking anything on this site or Cap Hill Style, I think this is gorgeous – and comments on the site seem to say it is even nicer in person. I think DBTK has a good call on navy.

      • Same here. I’d do a blousy black or navy with strong jewelry and boot-sandals to edge it up. I think the key to pieces like this is contrasting strong elements.

      • Diana Barry :

        I love this skirt and would probably wear it with navy or grey, or maybe even navy top/grey blazer or vice versa.

        • Diana Barry :

          OTOH, I think you could also do a bright orange top and grey blazer, but it would be a lotta look.

      • I unabashedly love this skirt. Agree that it would look nice with gray or navy or maybe a sort of cinnamon brown. I could also maybe see it with a white tee and a white blazer and some funky jewelry and med. brown shoes. I’d stay away from “nude” shoes or anything else too girly or matchy. Nice choice, Auntie M!

    • a passion for fashion :

      I think this would look good at a bus casual office with a crisp white button down tucked in, and nude shoes. I would wear this on friday during the summer.

      I other news, did anyone else do some serious damage at the Nordies sale? I got a little carried away — 5 pairs of shoes (2 flats, 2 pumps, running shoes); 2 dresses; 3 pair of pants; 2 white button downs; 2 blouses; 2 blazers; some athletic clothes; a robe; and some “necessities” — that looks worse all written out. In fairness, it can go back if it needs to.

      • EduStudent :

        Yes, I did! I can’t believe I didn’t find shoes, because I’m a shoe addict, but I ordered 3 work dresses, 1 top, 1 gorgeous summer coat, a work jacket that was recently featured here, and a blazer on the wait list because my size was out of stock…and a few of those items weren’t even included in the sale, oops…

    • Yay! I love Ann Taylor and this Pencil Skirt, but my tuchus can’t handel a pencil skirt right now. I think if I bent over to pick up a Pencil, I would split it at the seam’s! FOOEY!

      I am suposed to go to the Hamton’s with Myrna next weekend b/c she has a share there but I think it is to COLD to be at the beach this early. Is anyone in the HIVE goeing to the Hamton’s in MAY? I think I would perfer June or July.

      Butch also has a place in the Hamton’s but I do NOT want to go out there to his place. It is to early in the releationship to have to spend the weekend with him, even if he has a sepearate room for me. He told me all about it b/c he wants to get to know me. Myrna say’s he MAY want to get to know me anatomicaly, which means sex but I said NO WAY HOZE. I do NOT want to start haveing sex with any new man especialy when my tuchus look’s like it does. FOOEY!

      I watched the TODAY show and they showed tip’s for looseing belly fat. Is there anyone in the HIVE that saw this? Does it work? I hope so b/c I am goeing to try it. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I kind of love this, except it bothers me that the pattern is so jarringly unaligned along the back seam. I know it’s not cost effective to do that on mass produced items, and it’s hard when the print is so large, but it just looks a little awkward to me.

      I also really like the “Lucille Floral Pencil Skirt” that was in the sidebar when I clicked through to the AT site. The blue print is busier, so the lack of alignment doesn’t bother me as much on that one! I am temporarily resisting, but may buy it later…

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have a similar skirt in coral and gray floral from Nordstrom last year and I wear it all the time in the summer with a coral blouse and gray or white blazer. Love it!

    • I love this skirt but have struck out at finding it locally. According to an AT associate, it does run long. I’m also obsessed with this skirt I bought at AT recently:

      • I like that; it’s very sedate but still pretty.

      • Mountain Girl :

        I have the blue paisley skirt. It has seen quite a bit of wear this spring. I have both a navy and a light blue cardigan and have worn it with both. I think I’ll also like it with a white cardigan and a navy shell underneath. You can’t see it from the picture but there is also a little tan/beige in the print that matches nicely with tan pumps. This is probably my favorite item I purchased in the last several months.

  2. Wildkitten :

    I bought a dress at Ann Taylor last week and now everything is 40% off. Has anyone had luck getting them to do a price change?

    • Haven’t done so w/ AT, but JCrew definitely does this – I usually do a livechat. You’ll probably need your receipt or credit card info so they can look up the date & amount of the transaction.

    • TO Lawyer :

      A friend of mine did this a few weeks ago and was able to get a price adjustment. I would go in ASAP – I think she may have only said 7 or 14 days possibly.

    • If they won’t volunteer an adjustment, you can always re-purchase the exact same item at its current discounted price and then return it with your old receipt.

      • Wildkitten :

        That’s what I was considering!

      • This is what I’ve had to do because they refused to do a PA.

        • I just explain to them that this is what I could do and then they give in.

          • Makes me wonder if they are instructed to refuse while fully knowing that you have the option to “self price-adjust” because senior management thinks that their refusal will deter 0.00X% of shoppers, therefore allowing them to make that much extra margin.

          • Oh, I explain it to them as well, and they still refuse. It almost makes their refusal even more snotty, like “have at it lady, and go fly a kite while you’re at it.”

      • Flying Squirrel :

        This. If you haven’t worn it yet, you can just return and repurchase the same item. I do this often, and they are usually pretty nice about it. I think their system won’t allow them to do it as a price adjustment. And since I’m a tiny petite size (or was, pre-pregnancy), this makes it easier to ensure that I’ll get my size.

    • Ann Taylor would not do a price adjustment for me so I rebought the item. I did just learn that they will do free size exchanges for items bought online although had to get special approval to change from a regular to petite size.

  3. Good luck to everyone diving into bar exam prep!

    • Indeed. It sounds hellacious to me. (I’m not in any of the law-related professions, but the closest analogue in my industry is the CFA, a set of 3 exams that take at least 2.5yrs to complete. A lot of the young’uns here have been burning vacation days to study. I hope they pass!)

      • In my graduate program, it was comps and the language exams. The language exams were awful. Grown men were crying because they had finished all of their coursework and thesis for the PhD but couldn’t pass the German exam. I took it 3 times (once as a throwaway just to see what it was like).

        I see students studying for the bar here every summer. Not a great way to spend your summer!

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          You would think, but summer I studied for the bar after law school was awesome. Studied until about 4, then went and swam some laps, watched some Netflix, etc. Tip for bar studiers who are not working: you do not need to study all day and all night, except maybe until the last month. You will burn yourself out if you try that. Make flashcards early. The Barbri schedule is overly ambitious, don’t freak out if you don’t do everything they suggest.

          Now, the second bar I studied for while working full time. That is not fun, and I don’t recommend it. If you’re studying for a bar while working, do actually take some time off before the bar exam to study. I did not and probably should have (I took time off after for a vacation to recover instead).

          • Yes to this! I took the bar a year after I finished law school, and I was working full time and had a one year old baby. I listened to BarBri lectures while commuting to work, studied on my lunch break, and did an hour every evening, plus a couple hours on Saturday or Sunday. That’s it. I passed.

          • Agree, I loved my bar summer (until the last 2-3 weeks, which were absolutely awful). Before that, though, no obligations at all except to study, and that usually only took until 3-4 every day, and I could do it sitting on a blanket in the park. I spent SO much time outside, cooked myself dinner every night, wandered around my city, hung out with friends…

          • Comment & Q :

            I am dating myself, but I got hooked on the Aaron Spelling “Savannah” series. All sorts of cheesy awesomeness.

          • Ha: full disclosure, I’ve taken two bars and for both of them, all I did was study. Seriously, for my first bar, from 8 AM to 10 PM, with the exception of breaks for meals and to run, I studied.

            For my second bar, I worked full-time until two weeks before the test. I would come home at night and listen to the lectures (so 3-5 hours of lecture) and then the two weeks before the test, once again, all study, all the time, until it was done.

            It sucked, but particularly the second time – when I was already practicing and the reputational damage of failing would have been massive – the risk of taking it easy wasn’t worth it to me.

          • Same. I had an awesome bar summer. Treated studying like a 35 hr/week job (weekends off) until about two weeks beforehand. I took Barbri, but probably only completed 1/2 of the assignments. Watched a lot of TV, cooked a lot of tasty food, practiced a lot of essays, and exercised regularly.

          • I think the amount of funyou have during bar summer depends on which bar you are studying for…

          • Same. I loved my bar summer. I took weekends conpletely off, worked out a lot, made home cooked meals all the time and spent lots of time with friends, none of which I have time to do now that I’m in big law. I also found studying itself pretty fun, I guess I like memorizing stuff.

          • Diana Barry :

            Wow, you were so much more relaxed than I was! I studied all day every day until 4, then went to the gym for 2 hrs and totally overexercised all summer (went way overboard, almost got an eating disorder), then watched Law + Order to study crim law and what not to do, then more studying until bed. Blech.

          • I had a great time studying for the bar too. Went to a live class in the morning, studied in the afternoon by the pool, and would make dinner with friends who were also studying. I even took tennis lessons; whacking the ball was a great stress relief!

          • Agree! Just go to the classes/watch the videos, and learn the stuff in the smaller book (if the books are the same these days – we had a smaller normal sized book and two long books; I never opened the long books). Then do flashcards based on the smaller book. The bar was really not bad at all. Sure it was two days, but it was nothing compared with exam period in law school.

          • Agreed – you need to work hard (even if you don’t “need” to, you’ll hate yourself for not giving it your best) but definitely avoid burning out. Also agree the barbri schedule is not always realistic so take it with a grain of salt. I remember barbri practice tests not reflecting the actual exam that well either and PMBR practice tests were better, wondering if still true. Also did have fun despite all the hard work, find the fun!

        • I recall from past discussions on this site (about all the good reasons for NOT going to law school) that in certain states, one can take the bar exam without having gone to law school, if one meets certain other criteria (e.g. has worked in law, possibly as a paralegal or for a judge for X period of time)…

          Has anyone on here ever done that? (Taken the bar w/o going to law school beforehand) Or does anyone on here know someone who’s done that?

          • I don’t think it’s a good idea. I’m sure anyone could learn the law without going to law school, but law school does more than just that. I learned so much from my legal writing class, being on a journal, and doing the Environmental Law Clinic. That’s how I learned to be a lawyer. But maybe if the legal work or whatever criteria is legit, and not just getting someone coffee, that could work.

          • Comment & Q :

            I think it can work if you think of it like an apprentice system (think: overqualified legal assistant who is really functioning as an associate in a discrete pratice area (instead of vice versa, which we often see)). So: one state’s laws, one task to do, one market you can serve and understand, and are overseen by someone who really mentors you. They called it “reading law” back in the colonial times (so VA, a former colony, lets you sit for the bar without having a JD).

            Lawyer, yes; lawyer @ Cravath, no. If you think of small very underserved markets where someone with 100K in loans could never feasibly practice, it may still make some sense.

          • Wildkitten :

            We already have too many lawyers who have gone to law school and can’t get jobs. I can’t imagine there’s a market for lawyers who didn’t go to law school. Look at the employment rates of the graduates from the non-ABA law schools – they’re dismal. Sure, you wouldn’t have the debt, but I don’t think you’d have a job either. Better to not be a lawyer.

          • Killer Kitten Heels :

            I actually know one person who did this – she was a paralegal at a firm in a discrete, highly-specialized area of law, and had a standing offer for employment as an attorney at her firm, should she ever pass the bar. They didn’t really pay her enough to make paying for law school out of pocket feasible, and she struggled with the LSAT (so not a likely scholly candidate), so she basically struck a deal with them – they paid for Bar/Bri and let her work part-time while she studied for the bar, and after she passed (and she did pass), she joined them full-time as an associate. I doubt there will ever be much of a market for her outside of this one, highly-specialized area of law, but she’s not really looking to do anything else, so it doesn’t really matter for her.

            I don’t think this is a reasonable solution for someone who just “wants to be a lawyer” and doesn’t want to pay for law school, but I think in very, very limited circumstances it can be the right option for the right person/firm.

          • It is typically a highly structured program that takes longer than law school to complete. In my former state, you had to apprentice under an attorney and complete various modules that the attorney supervised. You paid a supervision fee to the state bar, which dictated the content of each module. It took a minimum of four years to do it, and could take much longer if your supervisor didn’t have time to do the maximum number of modules per year. People who did this passed the bar in my state at the same rate (roughly 75%) as graduates of accredited law schools.

          • As someone not in any of the law professions, I admit I always find it interesting to read the posts from the people here who work in them. It’s a glimpse into a very different set of career paths. I’m glad to hear that the less commonly taken path (w.r.t bar exam, and legal work) is still available in some states and I’m glad it works for some people.

            Perhaps it’s because I have taken a fairly conventional path that I so thoroughly enjoy hearing about the alternatives (and, even better, people succeeding through these alternatives.)

          • I practice in a state where this is an option. I’ve heard a bit of snobbery from other attorneys in my firm about this, of the “she used to be a paralegal and doesn’t really understand contracts” type.

            But, given that I have just under $100k in student loans and the highest-billing partner at my firm (who probably has a national reputation) bills at a rate less than first-year associates in New York Biglaw, it doesn’t seem like a bad idea for people who are committed to living in this state AT ALL, snobbery or no snobbery.

            I know a lady who passed the bar after doing this… the pass rate for people who clerk for the bar is really low in my state, something like 20%.

          • anon for this :

            A relative of mine did this, in Seattle. He worked for several years as a paralegal at a niche nonprofit. He took the bar and passed, though I don’t think he has any intention of doing anything other than working as an attorney at the same nonprofit.

          • I’ know someone who is not from American and trained as a solicitor in their country of origin prior to America. They passed the bar in one of the states that allow you to take the test without attending American law school and they now have a thriving federal practice.

          • National_Anthem :

            I did not do this, but it is a possibility in my state., and someone in my BARBRI class did it. Unfortunately did not pass the bar the first time, but he made it on the second try.
            Like people above have indicated, it can work well if you have guaranteed employment afterwards – the guy in my BARBRI class was going to work at his dad’s law firm – but if you have to market yourself as a lawyer to firms to get hired, it’s sort of a rough road.

        • In the Pink :

          Gad. Comps! I remember that too, NOLA. It was terrifying…and so much information to integrate. I was given the privilege of earning money by typing up people’s submissions for comps…made it worse, comparing theirs to mine.

          Glad that’s a distant memory – ditto for using punch cards for dissertation statistics (using SPSS) … now it’s all done via phones, tablets, thumb drives.

          Feeling old now … maybe a nap, afghan, and a soap opera (joking)

          Thank you to all on the site who are veterans or have family members who have served USA and kept us “free.” Prayers to those who have been lost in the service/duty.

          • Famouscait :

            My husbands takes his PhD comps in about 4 weeks and I quiz him every night on the info, Heck – I can recite some of the most relevant pieces of info now! I will be SO glad when this is over for him – it’s such a stressful test(s) (oral and written comps).

          • Describing my comps would out me a bit but suffice to say that it was pretty terrifying. I remember sitting on the floor in the library and having someone just hand me random things to analyze because that’s what we would have to do in comps.

    • If you are doing an online course, I highly recommend watching the videos at 1.5 speed. Made my life so much easier after I discovered that button. I also recommend focusing heavily on MBE topics (most of our essays ended up being MBE topics. I realize this may not always be the case but just following IRAC can get you enough points to pass essays).

      • Senior Attorney :

        That sounds awesome. Now I want to do, like, EVERYTHING at 1.5 speed…

      • Unfortunately, BarBri does everything it can to make that option impossible. I do highly recommend it though – I scoured the internet for solutions, and if you’re reasonably tech savvy (i.e., don’t mind downloading software and converting file types), there’s enough info out there to help you.

        • I used Kaplan and the button is right on the video along with play, stop, etc. Life. Saver. Especially for those professors who like to drone on with useless anecdotes.

          I do know a lot of people who took BarBri and were able to convert the video rather easily.

    • Good luck to everyone.

      I took the bar exam in 2 states (about 4 years apart?). One thing I learned from my 2 bar experiences – you can miss A LOT (and I mean A LOOOOOOT) of questions and still pass.

      My first bar, I attended Bar Bri lectures and read all the materials, and then spent the last 2 weeks before the exam reviewing the outlines for several hours everyday. This was my first exposure to a lot of the subjects because they were not required courses at my law school and I chose not to take them as electives, knowing that I would take a bar review course before the bar exam. I passed.

      My second bar, I was working full time while studying. I purchased the Bar Bri books used and spent 1-3 hours a day 3-4 days a week reviewing the outlines of the subjects. I did this for about 5 weeks before taking the exam. I didn’t read the full materials or listen to any lectures. I know I put wrong answers for several items on the multiple choice and essay portions of the exam (because I checked my materials right after leaving the exam room to see if I had remembered correctly). I would not have been at all surprised to find I had failed the bar exam. I still passed.

      So I still studied the 2nd time around, but minimally compared to how much time I spent preparing for my first bar exam. If I had known how little work it took to pass, I would have studied a little bit less the first time around (not much less, but a little less). I definitely would have been worried a lot less about passing the first time around.

  4. Does anyone use a Diva Cup?

    • I’m a recent convert. I didn’t totally figure out exactly how to use it until the second cycle I tried it with but now I prefer it.

    • I do. Have for about 4 years. Love it – could never go back to tampons. Let me know if you have any specific questions – I’ll be happy to answer.

      • Does it leak? They say you can leave it in for 12 hours, but that seems like a really long time? How do you keep it clean and empty it? Do you have to replace it frequently?

        • Depends on your personal flow how often you clean/empty, but I’ve never had leakage problems with mine. Love Love Love.

          I’ve definitely left it in for 12 hours on lighter flow days (more like 4-6 on heavier days for personal comfort/neurosis). Give it a quick rinse in the sink when you can and I do a proper clean after each cycle.

        • I always use a pantyliner with my Diva Cup because it does leak slightly, but not bad. I’ve delivered 3 babies (including a 9 pounder) and use the larger size. I don’t know if this has anything to do with the leaking or not, though. I change it twice a day, except for my heaviest flow day, so about 12 hours. I dump it in the toilet, wipe it out with toilet paper, then wash in the sink with soap before reinserting it (I do this in the morning & then when I get home after work so I don’t have to worry about it at work). I also always boil for 20 minutes before the first use of a new cycle. I’ve never had any infections or anything like that with using it. The company says they last 5 years, so I’ll be replacing mine in the next few months. It’s made of silicone, so it’s slightly discolored now due to years of use, but there are no visible cracks or anything like that.

          I personally don’t like using it when I run because I can feel the tip of the cup, so I do keep tampons on hand for that, but it’s wonderful for swimming and any other activities. I’m also not squeamish about blood at all, and if you are, it might not be a good choice. And if I remember correctly it did take me a cycle or two to get used to inserting & removing it, but it’s not an issue now.

    • Tried it. Hated it. Four cycles of effort and I could never get it placed correctly, so leakage was an issue. And I found that I was getting UTIs every time that I used it (probably because I had to mess with it so much to get it to sit correctly).

      • This (except for the UTI part-I’m sorry!). None of the “tricks” they have for checking the seal worked. And if it wasn’t super-high up requiring gymnastics to remove, it was super-low and the stem part would poke me whenever I sat down.

    • old capitol :

      I switched to the Diva Cup last year. I just had to replace mine for the first time yesterday after dropping the old one in the toilet while half-awake (at home, thankfully, and I fished it out and threw it out). I have 24-25 day cycles and bleed a fair amount, so it’s not only cost-effective but also a better match for me than tampons or pads, which require pretty frequent changing. I like not feeling tied to the bathroom during my periods. As for the practical stuff, in public bathrooms I use hand sanitizer before removing it, dump the blood into the toilet, and wipe out the cup with toilet paper before reinserting. At home I wash it out briefly in warm water with a small amount of Diva Wash (which is annoyingly expensive) almost every time I empty it. Every couple of cycles I boil it in a pot on the stove. I don’t normally empty it more than 3x/day (every 8 hours or so).

    • I tried the Diva cup but ended up preferring the disposable ones – I think they’re called Instead softcup, and I get them at CVS. They seemed easier to use and to fit me better. I usually use one all day (wipe with tp and reinsert) and then a fresh one the next day (so not quite as environmentally friendly as the Diva, but I figure less waste than tampons/pads). On my heavy days I have to change every 4-6 hours and I wear a panty liner. But — so much more comfortable, and less icky feeling throughout the day.

  5. I think it looks like tapestry. Also, being petite, I have seen a rule somewhere that the flower should not be bigger than one’s fist size. I don’t see myself pulling off this skirt.

    • Houda! So glad to see you here. It’s been ages, no? How are you? :-)

    • I hate the rule that petite women aren’t supposed to wear big prints. So I am a petite-ish (kind of teetering on the edge, height-wise, at 5’4) woman who is very frequently wearing very big prints. As with all clothes, some big prints work, some of them don’t. There’s no way to tell without trying them on. Three of my four workhorse casual summer dresses have prints the size of my head, and I get compliments on all three of them every time I wear them (including being photographed for a street style blog in one). So…scr*w the rules, Houda, and wear what you want!

  6. Well, I just booked my flights to South Korea in September. 0.o I am just a little bit terrified besides being excited like whoa. Anyone have any recommendations on what to do in Seoul/surrounding areas/overall? Or any not-obvious or easy to google tips? :D

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have only been to Seoul for a layover, but I have to say that Incheon Airport is the very very nicest airport I’ve ever seen in my life! I did some serious damage at all the lovely shops.

    • The palaces – Kyungbok goong, changdukgoong (maybe not on the same day).
      DMZ tour — it’s a bit surreal/historic.
      Eat all the food. Myoungdong area, Shinchon, etc. There a lots of different neighborhoods to explore.
      There’s a neat folk village you can visit a little outside of Seoul

  7. I ordered some sandals from J. Crew that are now waitlisted, expected to ship July 14. I’ve been burned by other stores when I wait and wait for them to ship and then it eventually gets canceled. Does that happen with J. Crew? I adore these sandals, so I’m willing to wait, but if the chances are it’s just going to get cancelled, I’d rather go ahead and order another pair. Anybody have experience with this?

    • I’ve ordered several waitlisted items from J.Crew, and without exception, I’ve always (1) received them and (2) earlier than expected.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve been able to buy stuff that was waitlisted and they either shipped on time or early. On the other hand, I recently ordered stuff that showed in stock and they cancelled those pieces from my order then called to tell me that I could get put on the waitlist for them if I wanted. I wish they would have automatically put me on the waitlist and let me cancel if I chose to instead of the other way around. I didn’t have a chance to call them back to get on the list so i gave up.

  8. HELP! I’m having trouble figuring out how to handle a situation.

    I am a young associate and I am very, very busy right now. So busy I can’t see straight. I routinely have a senior partner asking me to drop everything I’m working on to focus entirely on his work. When I explain that I am up against hard deadlines (court dates, etc.) and that the earliest I could possibly get to his project would be X day, he gets irritated and says “well I either need you to do it today or I need you to find someone who can and then you are going to have to proof it to make sure they did it right”. So I end up either staying all night to finish his project, or I run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to find someone to do it (while senior partner is in his office watching the golf tourney on ESPN) and then I end up staying all night fixing the work of the only associate I was able to hunt down with time to do the project ASAP.

    So my question is… if I do not have time to do a project and I explain this, is it MY responsiblitity to find someone who can get it done on the partner’s schedule, or is it his? I don’t want to complain to the higher ups if this is just something I need to suck up and deal with, but if I’m truly being walked all over I’d like to address it (none of my friends work in the legal field and they are all of the impression that I’m just being a pushover and that he wouldn’t be treating me like this if I were a man). Also, it would be one thing if this were a once in a while situation, but it is a several times a day situation and I’m pulling my hair out.

    • Maddie Ross :

      How big a firm are you at? If there are any other associates, preferably ones 2+ years ahead of and preferably ones in your group (and even better, one you trust), I would go talk to them and see if this is a known issue with this partner and how, in general, associates have handled it. From a general perspective, at most firms and IME, it would not be your responsibility to find someone else to do it. I often suggest other associates that I know might have time, but as a really young associate, I never assigned out work.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. I would push it up to more senior associates and if there is an assigning partner, get him/her in on the loop too.

      • We are a really big firm (like 600 attorneys in 20 offices) but in my office, in my department, there are only 2 other associates and 1 paralegal other than me. One of the associates is fresh out of law school (and after 6 months doesn’t think he wants to be an attorney) and the other is a 5th year lateral who came on board last year. Honestly, because I was a paralegal for 10 yrs before becoming an attorney (and I’m only a 2nd year) I have WAY more experience than the 5th year (and I really think the reason he laterealed is because he hadn’t learned much in 5 years at his prior firm). We have other attorneys in my department in other offices, many who have availability, but I really only know a handful. Ugh, it is just so frustrating! My only solace is the that the paralegal we have is amazing and she does as much as she can, but she is super busy as well. We both lament being good at our jobs… the only reward for good work seems to be more work!

        • OK, now you are sounding a bit martyr-esque. If the goal is for you to not work all night and to not pull your hair out, it’s time to involve the other associates, especially the lateral. I’m sure your paralegal experience was highly relevant, but you sound like you have an awfully superior attitude to this more experienced lawyer. From his standpoint, it might look like you are hoarding hours or being territorial. As a former lateral myself, I can tell you that integrating can be hard, and partners are often more willing to go with what they already know (regardless of quality) than to try out someone new. Either speak to the lateral directly about whether his workload can accommodate overflow from Partner X ask Partner X to check in with Lateral because you’re unavailable. Up until now, you’ve been contradicting yourself by saying you can’t finish a project by his deadline and then meeting it anyway.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Trying to put this gently, but… 10 years of paralegal work does not equal being a WAY more experienced lawyer than a much-much-more-senior-than-you associate. The two are not directly comparable and acting like you think they are makes you seem naive. Even if you think it’s true, some things are best left unsaid.

          • TNLawGirl :

            Thank you, Nellie and Senior Attorney, I understand your points. Lateral is very busy as well and our department is actually his secondary practice area. He is too busy working in his primary area to do any work in this secondary area. And yes, I agree that paralegal experience is not always comparable to attorney experience, but he comes to me (and the paralegal) on frequent basis to ask us fairly basic questions (I don’t want to give out specifics, but concepts you would have learned in law school). Not to mention I’ve had several senior partners comment that they would rather I do the work when I say I am busy and that they should check to see his availability.

            I’m really only scratching the surface of our firm issues right now… the whole thing just has me completely overwhelmed! But I really do appreciate everyone’s advice and comments.

    • It depends on your firm, but I don’t know any junior associates who have been placed in this situation. I’m a mid-level, and if I don’t have time, it is the partners responsbility to find someone else at my firm. (Granted, this isn’t true if its your case file that you have been working on for a while.)

    • Your friends are wrong that he wouldn’t be treating you like this if you were a man. I’m sure he’s an equal opportunity jerk.

      When you say the partner is coming to you with projects, are they all related to the same deal or case, or are they entirely new and unrelated? If the former, then the partner probably sees you as “on” that deal/case/client, and I don’t think it’s entirely unreasonable for the partner to expect you to do the work or find someone else to do it. Balancing the demands of multiple matters is part of the challenge of being a lawyer, and it’s reasonable to see you as “on the hook” once you’ve committed to a matter. (Note: I’m not condoning his way of handling himself if these are the facts, just saying he’s not wildly off-base to be annoyed when you say you can’t work on the matter.)

      Likewise, if you’re in a firm where associates are “assigned to” specific partners, I can see how it would be your responsibility to find someone else to cover – especially if your other matters are for partners who aren’t your primary. (From what you’ve written, it doesn’t sound like that’s your firm’s system.)

      If these are new, unrelated matters, the partner’s behavior is out of line with the norms at the two firms where I’ve been an associate. Sure, a partner/senior associate might grumble at my firm if a junior says she doesn’t have time to work on a new matter, but they don’t make it the junior’s responsibility to find someone else. If this is the scenario, you should talk to a more senior associate or to the partners on the other matters you’re staffed on and figure out the norms at your firm/best ways to work with this senior partner. You also should try to find out if this senior partner is someone who actually helps the careers of people who help him or if you’re going to get a negative review no matter what you do.

      • Thanks, Mo, this is making me feel better. We are not assigned partners to work for. We all just try to work together, which I like because it gives me the opportunity to work on multiple projects for multiple people and I can learn a varienty of new skills. I do have 1 or 2 long-term projects I’ve been working on with this partner, and I would NEVER tell him I didn’t have time on those as I fully see them as MY projects. These are usually just one and done projects not related to anything else I’m working on. I think one of the problems is that he is not very busy, and hasn’t been for ages, and forgets what it is like to juggle 30+ projects at a time. He can tackle the projects as soon as they come in and expects that I can do the same when in reality I’m operating more “deli-style”… take a number and I’ll get to you as soon as I can!

    • We have one partner like that at my firm that uses the same tactic (“Then find someone who can..”). It’s a generally crappy position to be in as a busy associate. I would find someone more senior than you that you can trust and explain this situation. And the next time the partner comes to you with a fire drill assignment that conflicts with a filing deadline, refer him to the partner whose work you are currently doing and ask them to work it out.

      • +1. Referring the partner (s) to the other partner whose work you’re doing is not my first line of defense, but it sounds like you need to do it in this situation. Not sure how big your firm is, but in my big law firm it is definitely not the norm to have to find someone else when you turn down new work from a partner. I’ve never heard of that happening actually.

      • Yes, I’ve done the “Oh, I’d be happy to work on that, but I have this rush project for X partner that’s due in X days, if you can clear it with X partner, I’ll drop that and work on your project.” I’ve never had anyone insist I find someone who can take a project if I’m too busy (and it’s not one of my files).

    • I hate to put it this way, but if senior partner tells it is YOUR problem to find someone else to do it, it IS your responsibility. Can you find out if this level of work/being overwhelmed is typical in the other branches of your firm? If so, this may just be the way your firm operates, and if you want a change, now is the time to move. This, from someone who has been at a firm almost 30 years and realized this too late!

  9. Anyone on here a member, past or present, of 85 Broads?

    I’m contemplating joining, but as with any professional / networking group, it can have its hits or misses. I’m hoping to hear what some of them were so I can assess whether it makes sense for me to join or not.

    Thanks in advance!

  10. So, apparently I am building my early pregnancy wardrobe through the clearance sale at Coldwater Creek. So far I have picked up a few cute silky tops that are loosely cut through the midsection that I can wear untucked, and also some open cardigans that I can wear over my dresses that still fit (my office is freezing). There is a lot of older-lady and cruisewear to sift through, but I thought if anyone is in a similar situation, you might not have thought to look there, and the prices are right at the moment. Obviously this doesn’t apply just those who are expecting, but that was what prompted me to branch out from my go-to stores where I wasn’t having as much luck (most of the flowy tops read too casual to me).

    • Hmm, I should go peek. I forgot about that.

      • I walked by the store in the mall the other day as I was headed somewhere else and everything I saw looked to bright, too boxy, not for me. I didn’t even go in.

    • Senior Attorney :

      You say “older lady” and “cruisewear” as though those are bad things…


      • And hopefully everyone commenting here will be an “older lady” someday….

        • Agreed! And when I am an “older lady” I will proudly branch out into all the bright colors of the rainbow and embrace the short-sleeve blazer (among other things)!

          Not just yet, though:)

      • Senior Attorney :

        …which is not to say I like to dress like an older lady even though I am one.

        Funny story: Some years ago, before I was as fab as I am now, I was rounder and had let my hair go gray. I wandered into Coldwater Creek and kind of turned up my nose at all the round gray-haired ladies therein. Then I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thought “Oh. Wait. I fit right in!” Heh.

        And also? This older lady totally wishes she were on a cruise RIGHT NOW.

  11. Context: I love super feminine clothing and I’m a big fan of all things vintage, I’ll also mention I don’t work in any sort of conservative industry, I work in tech HR. I think this is cute, but despite it being a pencil skirt, even I don’t think it’s appropriate for most office environments. To me, whites, pinks, and florals are best worn as “play” clothes, not work clothes. A white or floral shirt paired with more conventional work attire is one thing, a big piece like this is a bit much.

  12. A gray sweater would be perfect:

  13. I actually bought this skirt a few weeks ago! My office dress code is business casual (not law), so I have a lot of flexibility in what I wear. Very few people outside of senior management wear suits, and there aren’t even many who wear jackets/blazers – thinking about the people I see every day, many don’t even really rise to the level of business casual. I do typically wear a jacket/blazer, or at least a cardigan, and I like to have interesting pieces like this to soften my wardrobe.

    This skirt ran very long for me. I’m 5’3″ and I’m going to need to take probably 3″ off for it to hit right at my kneecap. I bought another AT skirt at the same time ( and it was a perfect length. There is a matching jacket for this tweed skirt.

  14. The skirt isn’t my cup of tea even if I was tall enough to pull off the not-so-subtle print. Unfortunately, though, the print reminds me of the curtain playclothes from the Sound of Music. Just picture it in green…

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