Coffee Break – Fran Small Shopper

145.indexedAs someone who loves cobalt, I’m really psyched that that color — and other deep jewel tones — are apparently really in for fall. To wit: This gorgeous Marc by Marc Jacobs shopper. It’s perfect: 7″ is a great strap drop length, the 13x11x4.5 dimensions are big enough to carry your stuff without knocking people over in the subway, and that color… man, that color. Le sigh. It’s (gulp) $448 at Nordstrom (also available in black, white, tan, and dark green, as well as peach and brown). MARC BY MARC JACOBS ‘Classic Q – Fran Small’ Shopper



  1. kerrycontrary :

    This purse is amazinggggg. Too bad I’ll never be able to afford it :(

  2. danger zone... :

    Reposting since i posted late in the last feed – and that bag is so cute but i’ve had major quality issues with my marc by marc jacobs bag i bought a few months ago….buyer beware… Need career consensus advice. So, I’ll be attending law school in the fall. I’ve already done 1l year, dropped out to move back to city with boyfriend/now fiance, did a year of work at my current job, decided to apply to different, better law school in current city as a transfer, got in and am going. When i took this job, i basically was just looking for anything to pay the bills, and that’s what it is – it’s fine, i like my collegues alright, but i HATE the work and have no intention of doing it ever again in my life. So, school starts mid august. here’s my issue. I have my review any day now (like i’m waiting for the “come into my office” email from supervisor)…but I wasn’t planning on quitting until a week before school – need to save some money up. At my review, if all goes fine, which it probably will, i get my raise, which isn’t much but everything helps. Is it completely f’d up of me to act like nothing is happening at my review and then give my two weeks in a month? I did mention in my interview for this job that i was considering returning to school but i wasn’t as serious as i am about it now, and i dont think they took it seriously. This dept has a very high turnover rate, so i feel like they’ve seen this before…thoughts? I don’t to be remembered as a total jerk, as i may need this as a reference later down the road, but if i give notice at the end of july, I could just say that is when I heard back…white lie or bad bad bad? AHH!!!

    • Just because you’re having your review and may get a raise as a result doesn’t mean you should give notice earlier. If two weeks is appropriate for your job, give your two weeks. I, for one, would want more notice than that, but I’m not in the type of work where we would instantly ask someone to leave.

    • Merabella :

      Don’t quit before you quit. If 2 weeks is standard in your field I would take the raise for the time you are there until you leave. The raise you would be getting is for the work you have done previously, and it will help you later when you are salary negotiating. You also don’t want to risk that they want you to leave on the spot when you get your notice and don’t take the money you would have been making to build up savings.

    • I replied in the other thread, but no, definitely don’t give notice at your review. You’re entitled to a raise if you’ve earned it. It’s not contingent on your staying a certain amount of time with the company. Two weeks’ notice is perfectly fine.

    • I agree with the other responders, plus, keep in mind that generally they can fire you at any time unless you have some kind of employment contract. So, you want to do a good job, but you don’t owe them anything more than your best efforts while there and a reasonable notice period. I don’t mean this to be flippant, but when I have to lay people off I have to remember that “it is just business”, and that goes both ways. Good luck!

    • SoCal Gal :

      I went through something similar. I was interviewing because I was unhappy at my job, and my supervisor caught on. He called me in and gave me a good-sized raise and a lot of nice words about how wonderful I am. I accepted it, smiled, and said thank you. I still kept interviewing and I still gave notice as soon as I accepted an offer elsewhere. That raise was only in effect for a few weeks, but hey, every little bit helps. Look out for your own interests.

    • I think you should pretend you “just got in off the wait list! What a surprise!” when it’s time to give your two weeks. Then you don’t look like you’ve been holding back or were less than honest. Even though you were. This is a time when alil’ white lie is just right.

  3. Pippa Grab :

    The Modalu Pippa Grab in mint is on sale right now and it is killing me. Anyone have the Pippa/can review? Even on sale it’s more than I normally spend, but I’ve been stalking the Pippa for months now and I’m pretty much in love with it. Hive thoughts?

    • Pippa Grab :

      Link to said purse:

    • I have it in the Shark color and love it. I am a bag person and while it’s not the quality of my most expensive designer bags, the quality is appropriate for the price point and my is holding up well. I have enjoyed having it and carrying it. Another bonus, after waiting nearly 6 months for it (I ordered in the initial craziness following the Pippa’s first sighting with THE Pippa), my bag arrived damaged. Modalu asked no questions, immediately sent a replacement bag, and never asked for the original bag to be returned — was very impressed by them.

    • Oh so pretty…!
      The red, also on sale, is gorgeous as well. I’m picturing w/classic camel coat and knee boots…

    • anon prof :

      I have one in black and love it. It’s held up well–it’s almost a year old, and I bang it around every day. The only downside is that it is heavy.

    • I want it too! The one in the deeper blue is also beautiful. Pippa Grab, did you take the plunge?

  4. Love the color, but the shape of the purse, especially at the bottom is unappealing to me. It looks weirdly lumpy at the base.

  5. Anonymous NYer :

    Love the color, love the brand, but unfortunately the price is a no-go.

    Early TJ:

    Does anyone have advice for or experience with giving up on their dream? I know advice is usually given the other way, to chase it and stick with it yadayada, but for many reasons, that does not seem to be an option for me.

    I graduated law school in 2011, landed a part-time with no benefits gig doing work that doesn’t make me cry every day (I had a part-time gig that did…), but it’s definitely not doing exactly what I want and there’s no benefits. I’ve been here almost 7 months now (jeez, the time flies…). Dream gig is what I interned as in law school for both summers and an additional semester, and did a clinic in. Dream gig 2 was going to be a challenge from the get-go just due to the fact they hire so few people, so I’m not as upset to see that dream end. But this 1st dream, the one I put in all the time in law school to chase, is seriously depressing me.

    I didn’t get hired as this dream gig right out of law school at any of the places I applied, but one entity said they weren’t going to reject me right away, so they’d put me in next years (read: 2012) pool of applicants to be considered again, or at any time during the year if they were able to hire more people. I went through all my connections and found one that seemed perfect. Not getting into specifics, but this person has clout, and knows the head of the entity I want to work for. Long story short, after a year of this going back and forth with this entity and involving my connection in this job pursuit, I received an email today from my connection who basically said it’s not going to happen for all sorts of reasons (the economy, entity isn’t doing great financially, can’t hire as many ppl as they’d like, etc).

    Needless to say, I’m crushed. Thank G this was a day off (remember, part-time gig) anyway, b/c I would have had to leave my work. But basically, this has been my goal since I entered law school in 2008, and I cannot think of anything I would have done differently (get better grades?). I guess it just wasn’t meant to be, but obviously that sentiment is not helping me cope right now.

    The big issue is that I can’t stay where I am for much longer because it’s just not feasible. No benefits is going to start costing me $450+ per month plus a 1200 deductible, and that’s for the most basic insurance I can find. I’m only part-time, so while my hourly salary is fine, I’m only working like 60 hours a month. But I don’t even know where to begin searching for other jobs that I would even remotely be interested in that are hiring right now, like, starting in September right now.

    This entire day has been utterly depressing. I’m admitted in 2 states, but have no experience or even coursework in any other type of law other than the industry of my dream gig, which just crashed and burned in front of my eyes. I can’t realistically put my life and career on hold any longer to see if maybe next year this gig may come through. I need a job asap.

    I guess I’m more looking for a kick in the pants than practical advice, but I don’t even know what I want. Thanks for letting me vent.

    • Without having any sense of your dream gig — is it only something you can get into as a new grad? Is there any way to sneak in through the back door? Is this really your last chance at it going away? I’m trying to understand WHY sticking to your dream isn’t an option. Can you give any hints as to what it is without outing yourself?

      As for no experience/coursework in any other industry than your dream one — that makes you the same as 99% of other new grads out there. So it’s just a matter of finding a legal job, almost ANY legal job, continuing to build your experience and moving onward and upward. You’re in NY — NYC? Worst case, could you start temping full-time to pay the bills while you look?

    • Also needs a kick in the pants :

      I’m also a 2011 law grad, working full time at a job that makes me cry at least a few days a week.

      I don’t have answers, but I do have a lot of commiseration. I had a mini-breakdown before work today thinking about coming in. Long story short – I’ve been here about 8 months now, and I’m wondering if litigation and/or the law are actually going to be a good fit for me.

      I’m not sure what to do. I called my undergrad alma mater today to set up an appointment via telephone with a career coach (awesome new service they offer to alumni of my institution) who has some experience helping lawyers gain focus and/or transition out of the law.

      I just feel lost, sad, and emotionally exhausted.

      • Anonymous NYer :

        yep. absolute commiseration here. I feel the same in every way. I applied to a couple of marketing jobs today (my undergraduate major), but the thought of starting out as some marketing assistant over 5 years after graduating college is depressing in its own right. ugh. law school.

      • anon in SF :

        I graduated in 2005, so haven’t faced the same economic hurdles as more recent grads, but to those of you suffering through miserable jobs right out of law school, I just wanted to say there is reason for hope.

        I worked at a job I really, really hated out of law school. I used to buy those giant jackie-O sunglasses so no one would notice me crying on the train on the way to work. It took a lot of work, but after a couple of years, I was able to get into a related area of law I really like, and now love my job. And, there is no reason I won’t be able to do it for the foreseeable future. It’s great, but if you had told me years ago in the depths of 1st job hell I would be in this position, I wouldn’t have believed you.

        So, hang in there. It will likely get better.

        • I know it’s late, but I just wanted to say thanks for this ray of hope. I’m in a clerkship that I’ve mostly outgrown at this point and I am having NO LUCK finding a permanent position, and it does get incredibly frustrating at times.

    • I’m sorry it seems so challenging right now. Is there any way you can volunteer / do pro bono work with this organization? Do you have any other types of jobs you could work while doing the legal stuff “free” to see if you can keep your work in front of them? There seem to be so few law jobs these days that it is not surprising that we are having difficulty (I’m also class of 2011, passed the CA bar). For now I’m continuing to work in my other career while exploring options. I’ve been able to get pretty far in my other career, so the idea of starting over is really hard to swallow, and even if I wanted to I’m not sure I could find a job. My thought was to look at volunteer / pro bono opportunities and network like crazy.

    • True story:
      I started law school in Fall 2007. I went to law school wanting to be a prosecutor. Like, really, really wanting to be a prosecutor. Since I was 12 (too much Law & Order as a kid). I focused my coursework on trial practice and criminal law. Did all my internships in that area (or areas very, very closely related to it). Networked the crap out some local criminal court judges. Then the economy fell through the toilet and pretty much all state agencies severly cut back their numbers of new hires. I graduated in 2010.
      For a few months post-bar I focused super-intently on getting a job in that particular area of practice and would only apply to jobs that fit my very specific idea of what I wanted to do. And then I had an epiphany. I said f*ck it, I just need a job. So I seriously expanded my job search for pretty much anything that looked marginally interesting. Before too terribly long (and thanks in part to a former classmate) I landed my current job. I wasn’t particularly certain that it was something I wanted to do long-term, but there were a few things that made it appealing (it’s a mid-sized office with a very litigation-focused practice).
      I’ve been here about a year and half now, and you know what? I’m actually pretty happy. I make better money than I would have as a state employee and I’m still get tons of courtroom time and litigation experience. And as it turns out, particular area of law that I practice now is more interesting than I thought it would be (and a WHOLE lot more interesting than law-student-me thought it would be).
      I said all of that to say this – you really need to widen your focus. Think about your dream gig and ask yourself what it is that makes it your dream gig? For me, being a prosecutor was all about being in the courtroom and fighting bad guys (naive, I know). But doing my area of civil lit I still get to experience the thrill of going to court and arguing in front of a judge.
      You need to do what you can now to get yourself into an actual lawyer job now. Just because you take less-than-dream job now doesn’t mean you’re forever foreclosed to getting that dream job and will never, ever be professionally fulfilled. Life and your career is not a zero-sum game.

      • Completely agree. I’m not sure I really had a dream job, and maybe I shouldn’t have gone to law school at all given my lack of purpose/direction. BUT I took a job that offered acceptable pay and work/life balance in an area I was never particularly interested in. Now I’m almost a year in and I really like it, at least as much as I would like anything in law. Sometimes life just surprises you like that.

      • 100% agree. I too was dead-set focused on becoming a prosecutor, even interned at a prosecutor’s office for a year while in school. But when that did not turn into an offer (for stupid reasons which the agency regrets and wishes they’d hired me instead! Gratification!) I started looking for something, anything, that I could do that looked even marginally interesting. Now, I’m doing labor and employment law and I actually really love it. I solve problems all day and give people advice and rarely go to court, which I miss desperately, but I still have hearings and I do actually feel like I’m doing some good in the world.

        2008 grad.

      • Right there with you. 2010 graduate, wanted to work in criminal justice and I busted my butt trying to find a gig in a prosecutor’s office or public defenders’. I interned with the prosecutors’ and volunteered with the PDs after law school. Now I’m not working in either, but except for a tendency to want to bang my head against the wall when I get stuck with too many squabbly dissolutions in my case load, I love my job — genuinely enjoy the people I work with, the challenge of it, the breadth of variety and the amount of courtroom time. (And the fact that this is the first time in several weeks I’ve had to stay after 5…)

        It’s hard now when you’ve just taken the kick in the teeth, but you definitely can find new paths and, you never know, you might get another bite at the apple later — you never know what’s coming five, ten years down the line, right?

    • Anon in ATX :

      I just want to say that I totally sympathize with you. I was in your shoes. Graduated in 09 and interned @ dream job. Interviewed for dream job, got rejected but was told to stay in touch. Took pt-gig to keep me in the loop, so to speak, interviewed a 2nd time for dream job, got rejected again. I felt totally DESTROYED by peeps @ dream job. I felt like they totally strung me along for 2+ yrs with hopes of getting a job for nothing!! So yeah, I totally feel your pain right now.

      My advice: look for a new job ASAP. I had to keep looking for almost 6 months after rejection #2 but I finally found a good (not great) FT job that is fine. What also helped me is to think about what I loved about dream job & try to find a way to do that same thing in a different capacity. In my case, dream job was working @ a criminal prosecutor’s office. Once I realized that was not going to happen, I redirected myself. Now I am in administrative law with a goal of doing administrative license prosection type work in the future.

      HTH, good luck and *hugs* to you

    • Consider paths that are parallel to Dream Job. For some reason I’m guessing Dream Job is Prosecution/Criminal Defense. What about working for an NYC agency? I’m a 2012 grad who was lucky enough to get my Dream Job (in one of the above), but I did not expect to and researched a Contingency Plan. If I’m on the right track, feel free to leave me your anonymous email and I’d be happy to share what I learned.

    • You sound well-connected, and have great networking skills, so maybe be a little more flexible in your thinking and Plan for the Dream?

      You sound amazing! We just went through a hiring process for an attorney in a limited area of law that connects up with some State AGs who have seriously partnered with our group, and a few applied and made it to the final round. We had to tell them that they weren’t in the final round, though they made the top ten, we know their work product and they had solid interviews. It’s good to know of their interest and ardor if someone wins the Mega Millions and we need to hire soon.

      Try not to think of this in all-or-nothing terms. Look at your local legal daily for news, help-wanted ads and information. If this is esoteric law – what does the “practice” look like on the client end? Any in-house positions? Research opportunities?

      As for health insurance, you may do well with a high-deductible policy and find that covers you for the interim – if you don’t have routine treatments for an existing condition. My co-pay is more than the cost of amoxicillan. Figure out what you really, truly need.

      Any chance to work at something that gets the bills paid and keep a foot in your passion (take on a role in a professional association, partner up with pro bono work?)

      Best wishes. I’m not too good at “kick in the pants”, this is more food for thought.

      Hugs – and look up Langston Hughes poem about holding tight to your dreams.

    • Anon for now :

      Is your area of interest doing poorly overall in the U.S.? Would you be willing to move out of state? Would you be willing to move to another country?

    • Anon for this :

      In case you’re still reading: I’ve given up on Dream #1 more than ten years ago, and may very well give up on Dream #2 in the next few months.

      Dream #1 was in an artistic field, the kind of thing you’re preparing for since a very young age (think ballet dancer or concert pianist). I won several auditions and got admitted to a selective pre-college program. Eventually, though, I had to face up to the reality that I probably wouldn’t be good enough to have a career as a performer, and I decided to pursue a more traditional major in college. It took me a few years to make peace with my decision and several more to be happy about it.

      Dream #2 is a career in academia. Again, I have been somewhat successful in pursuing this path. Yet the job search process is notoriously brutal, and so far I have struck out. I haven’t fully decided yet, but am allowing myself to consider other options. This is driven in part by the realities of the job market, but also by the revelation that I don’t want to be a mediocre scholar and teacher, and I have to take a very hard look at myself to determine whether that is where I am headed.

      Three observations:

      1. I will never consider the time I have spent pursuing these dreams as “lost time.” Being able to spend time focusing on something you love is a privilege. I am still active in the field of Dream #1, even if not professionally, and it gives me a lot of joy. As to Dream #2, I have written a few publications that were the best I could do (even if I may end up concluding it’s not good enough to continue down this road).

      2. Many Dreams turn out to be not so great when they turn into reality. For example, Dream jobs tend to attract people who are very driven, intense and competitive. I have found that these character traits don’t always make for a great workplace dynamic, and that it can be nice to work in an environment that attracts a greater variety in personality types.

      3. On a similar note, it can be liberating to look for something that demands less sacrifice. There is more to life than work, and there is something nice about treating work as important but not central to one’s identity.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I know that you are disappointed and it sucks that you didn’t get the job, especially after having your hopes up for a year. But there are so many of us in your place right now, myself included, who are recent graduates who have been completely focused on one dream area. We’ve done the coursework, had the right internships, and sometimes great connections and haven’t landed the job. Or any other permanent job. I’m a 2010 graduate with a particular focus and even have an ll.m in that area on top of my jd and had 2 great internships in the field. I’ve been doing document review for the past year. Before that I was a part-time temp. I’m still trying to get a permanent position in my field, but for now I’m doing what I need to do to pay my bills. We are all up against people with way more real experience than we have for every job opening. It’s incredibly frustrating and I know that I would work my a** off to be a great asset in a permanent position but sometimes (or often) other people are more qualified and they get the job. Or the firm decides not to hire anyone. Or the person who got hired had a better connection. Or any number of reasons exist. That is the way it is, especially right now in the terrible economy. We do whatever it takes right now and try our best to stay engaged in the dream job field. Do not give up your dream because you didn’t get 2 jobs tht you applied for. Or do, but realize you don’t have to.

      I’m likely going to sound like a horrible person right now, but I couldn’t stop thinking about your post and really feel like I need to say something. I’m sorry if I’m miscontstruing your feelings, but the way that I read your post is that you felt like you were entitled to this job and since you were entitled but didn’t get it you think you’ll never get anything like it so you are giving up. You probably couldn’t have done anything else to get this job. You can’t go back and change things. It sounds like you did well in school, focused on what you wanted, had the right internships and clinic experience. Unfortunately, that did not (and probably doesn’t normally for anyone else) translate into getting your dream job. If its something you really want, you still pursue it while dealing with the immediate issues of paying your bills. We all have to work for things.

      Ok, constructive advice if you are still reading. Do your best to find something that will cover your bills. Look outside your dream job area. You can probably go back to it if that is what you want by doing things to stay involved. Stay current on the topic. Follow important cases, read articles, do pro bono work in the field, etc. Try writing articles on the subject. Network with the people in that field. Ultimately, always be ready to go for any opportunity to enter the field again and try to keep your name in the mix. I also agree with the others who said that you may fall into something you hadn’t considered that turns out to be your dream job.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Reading this again this morning, I think I was a little harsh on you and added my own issues into what I read. The subject of entitlement has been on my mind lately and I see so many people in my age range and younger who act that way and it drives me crazy because I’m scared of what we are going to be like as a society when my generation and the one behind me are the ones running things. I shouldn’t have taken that out on you and I really am sorry for doing so.

        I do really wish that you didn’t feel like you have to give up on your dream. It’s not going to be this way forever. You very well could wind up doing something you love, but right now you need to do what it takes within reason to pay the bills. Your dream isn’t gone, fulfillment of it is just postponed. Good luck in your continuing search.

        • Merriweather :

          1. Love your handle
          2. I am *so* impressed with your self-awareness.
          2. Good luck & hugs.

  6. To piggyback on danger zone’s comment above that she has been disappointed in the quality of Marc by Marc Jacob’s bags…
    I have been similarly disappointed by Kate Spade bags. If I am going to spend several hundred dollars on a bag, I want it to go several years before needing serious repairs, not several months.

    So, what I want to know is, what brands do you think really offer the best quality for the price? This is could be at any price point, meaning something that’s spendy but lasts forever or cheaper but lasts a decent amount of time. I would most like to hear about bags and shoes, but if anyone wants to chime in on other categories, that would be great too.

    • I will say that I have a Marc by Marc Jacobs (classic Q baby groovee) that I’ve carried daily for about 7 months now and it looks brand new. Seriously. It looks the same as it did when I took it out of its box. YMMV, but I would definitely buy from this brand again.

    • For $100-$200 bags, I’d had decent success with Hype bags. They’re my everyday workhorse “put everything AND the kitchen sink in there” type bags. I have 3 bags from Hype dating from 2007 -2008 and they have been put through many indignities, including going through the airport security and getting their straps caught in the conveyor belt. (The bag that got snagged in the conveyor belt survived and is still in use today.)

      For nice clutches and things, I have had a small lizard-skin Asprey bag for 7+years through moderate use and it’s still pristine. I bought this at a sample sale for $300 and even then, it was pretty dear, but so worth it.

      Ghurka makes excellent quality leather goods. Some of their designs are a bit matronly, but some of their more classic items are excellent. Briefcases can be slightly north of $1000, so wait for sample sales or look on Ebay. I have a number of used Ghurka items that I’ve picked up from Ebay and they’ve been very durable.

    • I think hobo international is good quality for the price

    • Jacqueline :

      This is crazy, but back in the day H&M made leather bags (not sure if they still do), and they were of surprisingly good quality. I bought one five or six years ago that I still carry today, and it’s held up really well.

      On the flip side, I bought a Halston Heritage bag (Nordstrom Rack score) that I was so, so excited about, and one of the handles tore off after only six months of use. So I’m definitely wary of assuming a bag will be high quality just because it’s a designer name.

      • Merabella :

        Agreed. I have an Aldo bag that I got 4 years ago, and it holding up amazingly well. I also have a Dana Buchman bag from Kohls that I’ve had for a year and it looks like new (I want to say I got it on sale for like $40).

      • Research, Not Law :

        I had a liz claiborne handbag last for 10 years. It started to get a little wear at 8 years, but only if you looked closely. However, I know someone who bought one recently and it broke within a couple of months.

        And the unionbay (yeah, I didn’t know they were still around either) purse that I picked up to serve until I found something better has lasted over a year and still looks new, which is strangely obnoxious because I don’t have a reason to buy a new one.

    • Since you said any price point…the absolute best purchase I’ve ever made, hands down, was my Smythson handbag. It was expensive, but no more so that other higher-end bags (e.g., Chloe). I’ve carried mine daily for over 5 years and it shows barely any wear. I get compliments on it all the time. I just perused their website and don’t love this season’s bags. But, if you ever have the desire (and the $), I highly recommend it. Although it seemed (and still seems) like an extravagant purchase, I definitely feel like I got my money’s worth.

    • I carried my last Cole Haan leather bag every day (year round) while commuting on foot or by public transportation for 4+ years and was still getting compliments on it until the end. The leather held its color well, the hardware didn’t flake or show scratches, and the lining is still in . I have a new Cole Haan bag looks great after about 5 months of daily use last summer/this spring.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’ve been carrying Dooney & Bourke bags for more than 20 years, and I find them to be of excellent quality. I have had good luck finding the leather ones on eBay at good prices (under $200) and they last and last.

    • Thanks for all the great suggestions. There are several brands here that I haven’t heard of before and will definitely be checking out for my next bag purchase.

    • a passion for fashion :

      coach is the best for lawyer work use — i.e., carrying lots of papers and stuff on a fairly regular if not daily basis.

      But my kate spade and LV bags have all held up quite well for both work and play.

    • Migraine Sufferer :

      I like Fossil.

  7. Merabella :

    The financial discussion yesterday got me thinking about home buying. How much of a house do I really need? DH and I don’t have kids, but are thinking of starting a family in the next 3 years… We currently live in a 2br apartment, and everything I’m looking at looks HUGE in comparison! So what size should I be looking at?

    • Anon Analyst :

      I’m married (no kids) and our house is approx 1500 sq ft. We have a formal dining room, kitchen, family room and 3 bedrooms. If you’re planning on having kids, I would say at least 4 BR. If you had 2 kids, each one could have a room and you could have a spare bedroom for storage or an office. Our house has a full basement (no crawl space) which is nice. I would say look at the largest size house you can afford. We went from a 2BR apartment and even with two people we’re using all the rooms and storage in our house.

    • How many kids do you and DH plan to have?

      A friend of mine and his wife moved out of their 2BR rental into a small 3BRhouse with a yard. 6yrs later and 2 kids later, they’re looking to move into a large 4BR house and are wishing they’d done that from the get-go. Moving with small children is tough!

      • PT Lawyer :

        OMG, ditto.
        That said, when looking to buy real estate, look at your 10-year plan…. your life in 10 years, not now.
        I bought a 2br condo 11 years ago, when I was single and a sad cat lady (j/k!). Six months later I met a guy who is now my husband, and we still live in that same 2 br condo, but now with 2 kids. We’re bursting at the seams and moving to a 4br house next month.
        I’m VERY happy that I didn’t buy a 1br — when kid #1 was born, it was smack in the middle of the real estate meltdown and we would have lost a TON of money. Whatever you buy, make sure it will be useful to you for an entire real-estate cycle — don’t assume that you can sell it when you want to, because you might not be able to.

    • We have two kids, 9 and almost 5 and a 4 br house with 2 bathrooms. Perfect amt of bedrooms but it’s only 2000 sq feet so we have nothing for storage. We also need a master bathroom. We’ve been here 8 years and are looking to move. I wish we would have gone slightly larger.

    • I grew up in a family with two parents and two kids, in a three bedroom house with 1 bathroom that (now that I’ve googled it) I see is just under 1200 sq ft. From that perspective, I find this thread really interesting. The truth is that you don’t NEED much. My perspective is that no matter how much space you have you’ll find stuff to fill it all up and then you’ll think you need a little bit more. That said, my husband and I live in a major city where real estate is expensive, and plan to get as much house as we can afford when we buy (because we can’t afford that much at all). We plan to have at least 1 child and are shooting for a 3 bedroom, though in our price range we might have to settle for 2. * caution – idealism to follow * As long as your house is filled with love it doesn’t matter how much of it there is.

      • Oh goodness, I think I grew up in your house. I totally echo your thought–no matter what you have, you’ll always find a way to need more space. I do have to say, though, that growing up with only one bathroom for four people was just awful, especially in high school.

      • Yes – this kind of blows my mind that a family of 4 would ‘need’ 4 bedrooms, etc. etc. I know that every family is different and has unique needs, but our consumption of resources in this country is really problematic. These large houses need to be heated, cooled, etc., even if there’s just two people living there. Meanwhile, entire families pre-birth control managed to raise 5+ kids with only one bathroom…

    • Kontraktor :

      I would say to focus on the efficiency of layout and storage space rather than just size. There are plenty of homes out there with a lot of square footage but very bad layout and use of space. It’s possible that a house with less square footage could be very efficiency laid out and give you more room to put and store things.

      I agree generally with the idea to plan for the future, but I think you need to be reasonable. I think generally people overestimate the amount of space they need and the amount of things they have. When we moved recently, we probably got rid of a dumpster’s full of junk that I think we were hording simply because we had the space to do so. Even if you only had a 3 BR house and a few kids, would it kill the kids to share a bedroom for a few years? Or buy a few extra Ikea wardrobes? Probably not. Similarly, we never know what’s going to happen- what if one bought a 4 BR house expecting 3 kids and then ended up having 0? Or having it take a very long time? Think of the costs associated with upkeeping a house that has space you are not using and may not use for a long while.

      I agree it’s good to project out your needs, just don’t go too overboard and try to strike a balance between now and future in terms of features.

    • BF and I are in the midst of buying a house (in fact, we’re having the inspection done tomorrow!). There are only two of us and we may or may not have kids – we have no particular plans. But we are in our late 30s/mid 40s, and we have a ton of stuff (including a grand piano and rooms full of books). Plus, we never want to have to move again. So this house is 3900 sq. ft., which seems giant to me but will probably end up being about right. It does include a large 2-bedroom mortgage helper, but when we were looking we figured we would need about 2500 sq. ft. just for the two of us.

    • It really depends on what feels right for you, DH and future family. Think about how you use your space and configure accordingly. DH and I bought a small house, technically a 4BR, but really it’s 2BR with office and enclosed room in the basement (rancher). We have 4 kids – one in the military, one in grad school, and 2 boys, 4 & 6. 2Ba is nice – because the little guys don’t have perfect aim, and “their” guest bathroom gets routine cleaning, so that’s one less worry with guests. The little guys always had separate beds but chose to sleep together from when littlest was 18 mos until older one was 4. 5 and accidentally waking the other with rolling. We’re out in the woods, so taking a walk on our woodsy block, flopping on the deck, hanging/napping in the hammock or retiring to the treehouse are options.

      Other considerations are avocations. We like to read, cook, DH likes woodworking, so kitchen features are nice, or we upgraded old appliances to what fit our lifestyle as they, well, died. Our house is small, well under 2000 sq ft, with a full finished basement that we don’t fully use. It’s a good size to keep tidy, but a lot of the space is public (open kitchen dining living room area, which is a heavily used). It works for us.

      As a comparison point – I grew up with my 4 siblings + parents in a Cape Cod with 1 BR – it likely added to my mediation skills.

      Happy House Hunting!

      • Meant to say 1 BATH…we get along, but yeah, 2BR upstairs + Master + 1 with basement renovation on that Cape Cod.

    • This is such an individual question- depends on your lifestyle, budget, geographic area, future plans, and actual future (hint: unknowable). I would set a conservative minimum based on your future plans and budget, and then just go look at places. As you look at different options and consider your budget, this will work itself out.

    • I didn’t really *need* more than 2br until kid #2 was ambulatory. I now have 5br, great yard, big house that I bought figuring I’d be here until my kids were out of the house – but my marriage is falling apart, spouse has quit working, and I’m going to lose money selling the house. I think there’s no perfect choice.

      My advice would be to be conservative with money, avoid buying a bunch of crap you have to find a house for, and to really prioritize what you want (space? location? yard/garden space? school district?).

    • lucy stone :

      Married no kids. Our house is a 1400 sq ft ranch. It seems big right now (two bedrooms don’t get use unless there’s company) but I’m sure that will change once kids are in the picture.

    • A little storage shed in the back yard can help immensely.

  8. I will fall in line on LOVING the color, but sighing at the price and smiling that someone else is going to be rocking this fabulous bag.

    Different question. I’ve begun walking in the morning with my neighbor, and shampooing one more time a week, and a suspicion that I’m peri-menopausal, has me with much dryer hair.
    Interim measures have included using a “gloss’ which masks the dry, and blow-drying less, (I style on days I meet clients). Any recommendations?

    I have thick, straight chin-length (in places) short hair, and am really out of my element. I have natural dark blonde hair with gray in good places, so I’m not coloring (yet – it looks like highlights). My stylist looked at her wall of Expensive Products, and all conditioners were tailored to colored hair.

    What works for you? Anything you swear by?

    • Merabella :

      I love leave in conditioner (Got2be Smooth Operator is the one I use). I never used it before because I thought it was an unnecessary step, saw it on one of my youtube tutorials, and now my hair is SO much more manageable and gorgeous (it makes me feel like a shampoo commercial model)! I also only shampoo my hair every other day, and I use Aussie 3 minute miracle once a week (or more if my hair looks desperately dry).

    • Hair masks. I take a bath, put it in, relax, and my hair is baby soft after.

      • Please tell which hair masks you recommend! Great advice.

        • I am not particularly brand loyal. Ones I have used and liked: Carol’s Daughter Monoi Hair Mask, smells like gardenias – so not for someone who is not a fan of strong flowery scents, but very moisturizing (~$25 at Sephora); neutrogena moisture mask -nice light scent, huge jar (drugstore); the garnier one in the green jar (really cheap, at the drug store) … I have also used Aussie’s 3 min. miracle for the same purpose (just leave in for like 10 min.), and have made home masks (tons of recipes online). Oh, and I used to love Vo5 hot oil treatments, but haven’t really seen them around lately so have not done this in recent memory. The only ones I disliked were the Pantene Long & Strong one (purple jar, not the regular white one; oddly drying and I hate the scent) and something in a ice blue jar that was super organic and sulfate free (it made my hair sticky).

          • Oh, and this might be a bit out there for some, but I also sometimes rinse my hair with vinegar. Hair looks amazing and shiny, waves are more defined, and it feels great. There are variations on this, but basic recipe is 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts water. There’s no vinegar smell after and it works great as a detangler.

    • Once a week or so I use jojoba oil (about a teaspoon), sleep in a braid, and wash my hair the next day.

    • Sometimes greying hair can change slightly e.g. texture or getting drier. Blow drying less is a good start. You can try conditioning treatments aka hair masks or hot oil treatments. Cover with a warm towel for 15-20 minutes. You can also use those portable tabletop dryers (check Amazon brands like Conair, Ion etc), wear a shower cap and sit for the same amount of time. Hair Steamers are also an option but may be bulkier than a regular hooded dryer. Alternatively, find a salon that does steam treatments.

      I use the Suave Naturals or the Professionals line of shampoos and conditioners. I rarely use hair masks, prefer hot oil treatments–apply oil (e.g. pure jojoba) and sit under hooded dryer with a shower cap on for 15 mins. BTW, you don’t necessarily need to use expensive products for your hair to look good. Experiment with different store brands and you may find one that works!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Hair rules quench conditioner – multi-culti line but their conditioner is amazing for dry hair

  9. On the “if you like This you may also like This Other One” front, I bought a somewhat similar bag in a very similar color at Target recently for much much less.|pdp|14018093|ClickCP|item_page.adjacency&lnk=Rec|pdp|ClickCP|item_page.adjacency

  10. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Ok, so some of you guise know that I am in the midst of Deal from Hell – obviously I am still in the office (9pm in London) and having a weekend is looking relatively unlikely. This is life in BigLaw, that I concede. And I also concede that, as things go, it really isn’t so bad for me as I only have weeks/deals like this relatively rarely. And, I do like my job, the type of work I do and the people I work with. So I’m not really complaining.

    But it made me think – let’s have a poll. What are your usual working hours, what is it that you do and what kind of company/firm? How bad is it, really?


    Typical hours: 9.30-7
    What/where: BigLaw associate – niche area of finance
    How bad is it really? Cray-cray hours where there is a deal on. Get in late and leave early when it isn’t.

    • Anon Analyst :

      Typical hours: 8-5
      What/where: IT systems analyst (think Office Space)
      How bad is it really? Not bad at all. The only time it’s crazy is the time in the project cycle when I have to write requirements to hand over to the developers so they can work on their estimates.

      I’m also very lucky that I can work from home when needed. This is great b/c I carpool with my husband and he only works from 8-4:30. If I need to, I can wrap up my work once I get home.

    • anonymous :

      Typical hours: 7-4:30 or 8-5:30
      What/where: in-house generalist
      How bad is it really? Laid back hours, low pressure, but boring and, for me, long difficult projects that never seem capable of completion.

    • In-house, securities lawyer. 9:30 – 6 or 6:30. Probably every two years I end up with a deal that requires law firm hours for a month or two. Otherwise, it’s a job that really doesn’t require a lot of work. I give a lot of stuff to outside counsel and then review it – so I can disappear to go shopping, lunch, etc. very easily. I am certain this is not the norm for in-house life, but I think I am just lucky.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Lydia, may I ask if you do transactional (preparing filings, ensuring compliance with the myrid of regs) or litigation? I am a litigator and really enjoy working on securities cases, but it seems that there is no in-house spot for such things when I eventually decide to dial back from biglaw hours.

        • I’m a corporate lawyer – primarily securities offerings and filings (i.e. ’33 and ’34 Act). I work for a large company (Fortune 50). We have a very large litigation group – maybe 50 lawyers in that section, including a few doing securities litigation I think. A lot of smaller companies would be more likely to hire a corporate generalist for an in-house role and then farm out the litigation work, but when you decide to leave BigLaw, you should be look for opportunities in larger companies.

    • Typical hours: 9am-6pm, every other Friday off
      What/where: federal government
      How bad is it really: I occasionally take work home or work late, but it’s a pretty rare occurrence. Of course, my office is also where ambition goes to die, so there are trade offs for my great schedule.

      • Typical hours – 8:30-5:30 – occasionally work from home in the evening/weekend if necessary
        What/where: attorney/state government
        How bad: Not bad at all. I find my work very interesting and challenging, without being too overwhelming (most of the time). Obvious downside- terrible pay.

      • Can you elaborate on what you mean by “where ambition goes to die”? I’m coming to learn that I have trouble leaving work at work and have been trying to transition into something where it would be easier to do that (I’ve been in litigation in private practice) but I also don’t necessarily want to be surrounded by a bunch of coworkers who don’t really care about their work product.

        • I don’t mean that we don’t care about our work product, because we do. I mean that within my little office, we work on the same types of very rote cases about 75% of the time, writing boilerplate memos that require very little thought. Also, there isn’t really much room for advancement and there are quite a few attorneys who have been here doing the same things for a very long time. This is certainly not true of the entire federal government, or even for every attorney in my small agency, but that’s the way it is in my group.

      • I thought my office was where ambition went to die!

        In-house, corporate and transactional lawyer; generally my hours are 8:30 to 5:30 or 6:00, but sometimes a late or early call since we have international operations, and sometimes I bring stuff home.

    • Typical hours: 9-6:30
      What/where: Associate at mid-szed firm, real estate and creditor’s rights litigation
      How bad is it really: Not too bad, generally. My position does involve a fair amount of travel – it’s mostly mangeable, but if I’m out the office alot in a week I can get really behind in my work. I’m just starting to get into doing more trials, which I’m sure will up the level of crazy.

    • Brand Manager
      Typical Hours: 8:00ish -5:00ish
      How bad is it really? Crazy when prepping for a product launch or tradeshow, quiet to way boring otherwise. (I used to a department store buyer – that was FAR more stressfull/crazy/workaholic.)

    • PT Lawyer :

      Possibly useless info, but hopefully inspiring some:

      Hours: set my own, usually during school hours (9-3). I work PT so it varies from 5-30 billable hours per week.

      What/where: Boutique law firm, niche practice. Former inhouse atty.

      How bad is it really?: I constantly struggle to find balance — my best days are for clients who know that I work PT from home, and that I have little kids, so its hard to do a call at 4pm (school pickup).
      The worst are when I do my entire day, put the kids to bed, then work from 8pm to 2am to finish a draft (making my day 6am – 2am). I make about 1/4 the salary I used to, but I’m keeping my resume/career alive and seeing my kids a lot. Its definitely a trade-off and not for everyone…. it would be much easier to just put the kids in daycare and work FT somewhere.

      • Migraine Sufferer :

        This is what I’m doing too, only my hours are during preschool which is only 9-12. The balance is the hardest…

    • Typical hours: 9:30/10-8+
      What/where: NYC BigLaw litigation
      How bad is it really? I routinely fantasize about what my life would be without these hours, and also without this money, and am trying to determine what my breaking point is.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        I officially love you. I was getting depressed since the only people responding were people with ‘normal people’ hours of 9-6.

        But then again, I suspect people in BigLaw are too swamped to post. :(

      • me too…

      • PT Lawyer :

        well, if its any consolation, 14 years ago I was you.
        Biglaw -> midlaw -> inhouse -> stay at home mom -> PT Lawyer

        Not what I had planned, way back when.

      • a passion for fashion :

        i do this on a daily basis

      • SoCalAtty :

        Sounds like us litigators put in a few more hours? I may be totally wrong about that, but maybe.

        I’m at small law (ok tiny, 2 partners + me) litigation and I’m usually here from about 7:45 (need to get tea and Larabar down before I’m coherent) until 5:15-5:30 on a normal day, and I don’t usually take a lunch. Not because I can’t, but I’d rather work through and leave a tad earlier. I’ve been bringin my lunch, which is nice because it is more healthy. If there is a deadline it will be 8am to whenever I finish the draft or the revision. The latest that has been so far is maybe 9pm? A rare event so far. After this and the previous discussion on salaries, I feel like I’m doing pretty darn well for a 5th year who took a year and a half off to go teach and get a credential.

      • Former BigLaw Litigation Partner/Now In House :

        Typical hours now: 9:30-5:30 (no weekends)
        Typical hours then: who knows, but I billed 2500-3000 consistently

        What/where now: public university lawyer
        What/where then: BigLaw litigation partner

        How bad is it really now: work is fabulous, clients are great, pay is government
        How bad is it really then: work was addictively exciting, money was great, I never spoke to anyone who was not a colleague, client or service provider (exhibit creator, court reporter, flight attendant), which meant I was single (not by choice) and childless (by choice) for a long time. Between trials, I traveled the world exactly as I wanted (plenty of money to do it and no one to please but myself).

        For anon at 4:53 who fantasizes about what like would be like without the hours, please consider sitting down with a financial advisor and figuring out how much you need in the bank, accruing interest until it is time for you to retire, before you leave BigLaw. There is a number (different one for each of us) and I wish I had known that and thought about it before I left. On the other hand, no one in our household is going without and I have the most wonderful marriage in the entire world now. So fantasize away!

        • Anonymous :

          Do you have any suggestions on getting your foot in the door for an in house position at a university? I am a 3rd year labor and employment associate and am very interested.

          • Former BigLaw Litigation Partner/Now In House :

            I think the key is to do work that universities need and do. We have a lot of represented employees, so get experience there. Ditto with internal personnel procedures for grieving adverse employment actions, whistleblower actions and, for public universities, public records act issues. Do you have any university clients? Do as much work for them as possible. Get on as many employment law panels at as many campuses as you can. Write and, more importantly, speak at NACUA events. That is where you will meet in house university attorneys. Then, when there is an opening, you will have the perfect experience for the job.

    • Typical hours: 9-6
      What/where: civil engineer at a govt agency
      How bad is it really?: Not so bad, but when it’s construction season, I may have to go to job sites on weekends or late nights. Like tomorrow night. Grumble.

    • Typical hours: 8:30-6, but varies during transaction closing periods
      What/where: Mid-sized firm, corporate/M&A and securities
      How bad is it really? Not bad at all. After years and years of BigLaw hours, I love my current hours and can totally deal with the occasional weekend/late night.

      My last BigLaw job involved arriving at 9am and finishing….well….on a good day, perhaps 7:30. But most frequently I ended up eating dinner in the office and considered it normal to finish at 9pm or later. I came to the conclusion that nothing about it was sustainable and Got.Out. The money just wasn’t worth the damage to my health and life.

    • Typical Hours: 8-5:30 (on days I pick up baby) or 8-6/6:30 (on days that I don’t)
      What/Where: Associate in labor & employment litigation
      How bad is it really? Short of prepping for major deadlines (trial, massive briefs, etc), it’s awesome. My office is one of the few that I’ve found that actually does care about not working its lawyers to death. I sometimes feel like I’ve found the unicorn of lawyer jobs.

      • I would love to know where in the country your office is if you don’t mind sharing. I have some experience at a labor and employment lit firm where things are also quite reasonable. I wonder if this is a labor thing (we won’t work you to death because we sue people who do that!).

        • I’ve always thought the opposite, that the labor and employment practices know just how far they can push without getting sued. We’ll sue people who make employees work 70 hour weeks and don’t pay overtime, but my firm knows all the ins and outs of exemptions, so no overtime for me during my 70 hour weeks.

        • It’s a national firm, but my office is in Texas. And I think you’re right – our managing partner once summed it up as “We may as well walk the walk.”

    • 7-6
      Newest Associate at Small sized (11 laywers) high volume firm (must touch 35 files per day to get through my work)
      How bad is it really?: Seems like the partners get a life and work 830-5 or even less so if I put in my time, I will hopefully one day make partner too and get one? Although all the partners are very young in their early 40s. I like the work which definitely helps. Trials make it longer. Right now I am really feeling the associate pay burn.

      I do not feel like I can take a vacation but I definitely cannot afford one anyways.

    • Crosssfit :

      Typical hours: 8-4:45 (no lunch most days)
      What/where: Juniorest lawyer at small firm/midwest
      How bad is it really?: At the moment awesome.

    • anonymous :

      Typical hours: 8 -4 or 8:30 – 4:30
      What/where: real estate litigation
      How bad is it really? Not bad at all. Recently came back from maternity leave and am sticking to this schedule. Obviously work longer hours when needed to accommodate motion practice/trial, etc. Do attend about 1 networking event a week in the evenings.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Typical hours: 9:30-6/6:30 (I’m about to leave) with daytime lunch and gym breaks, about 1.5-2 hours total
      What/where: BigLaw junior associate, litigation, not NYC
      How bad is it? So far, I love it. No face time and the office culture is great. When there’s work, we live in the office. When it’s slower/manageable, we have lives.

    • Typical hours: 10-4 or so? I work from home at least twice a week and come and go as I please. No set office hours.
      What/where: boutique small law, niche field
      How bad is it really?: Reading this blog makes me so thankful I found this job pretty much on a daily basis. No dress code, no office hours, super supportive partners, etc. The downside is that when work gets busy, there are so many people to share the work, and it can get crazy. Also, I’m the only woman attorney, and it can get lonely.

    • E. Parsons :

      Typical hours: regular 830-630ish, work on the weekends; slow 830-430/500ish, free on the weekends
      What/where: boutique civil litigation (S. Fla)
      How bad is it really? It’s super slow right now and people tell me that it’s normal. However, coming from a small firm where I billed 2500 plus a year, this is super slow. But, I’m finally learning to adjust to having a semblance of a life.

      Semi TJ, does anyone else have difficulty adjusting to shorter hours and not panicking? Today was the first day ever that I had completed everything on my “to do” list, and I’ve been out of law school for over half a decade…

      • Yes! My billing requirement is much much lower than it used to be, and I basically lived in a state of panic the first few months until a partner explained that I wasn’t “supposed” to be working tons of hours. Even then it took a while. I recommend picking up a new hobby. :)

      • SoCalAtty :

        Yes! I know I’m not expected to bill 2500 hours, I’m expected to do an extremely high quality job on whatever I am given…but any time my lunch goes long or I leave early (even with the partners’ ok), or I get an email on the weekend (which I’ve been told I can respond to Monday unless otherwise specified), I panic a little. I’m getting better about it…but I’m so used to the “you must be chained to your desk for X hours a day” it is hard to adjust!

        • E. Parsons :

          Phew! I was worried that I was the only one who panicked about this. We don’t have a billable requirement at my new firm and I’m told that if there’s no work to do, we shouldn’t be billing, but it’s still terrifying. And, SoCal Atty, I get the same response from partners on the weekend, saying that I don’t need to worry about responding until the weekend. But still…

    • Current
      Typical Hours: 8:30-5, no weekends
      What/where: Legal — large private university
      How bad is it really? Not bad at all. It is truly amazing to leave at 5pm every day. Slightly concerned about the boredom factor long term though.

      Typical hours: 8-8, plus Sundays sometimes (my boss would want all Sundays)
      What/where: BigLaw Tax Associate
      How bad was it really? BAD. I hit my breaking point about 3.5 years in.

      • Yeah, this is where I am.

        Typical hours: 8:30-5 (and that’s because I know that if I don’t give myself hours I will start coming in later and leaving earlier!)
        What/Where: Legal, government but a JPA
        How bad/good: It’s pretty amazing to leave at 5 every day and not take work home with me. I am also deeply concerned about boredom long-term but I believe there are opportunities for advancement and I should be getting to travel more as I get more time here (currently 6 months)

        Former Hours: 7:30-8, worked most weekends for at least a few hours each day up to the whole weekend for one client or another’s “retreat” Fun for them, not so much for me. Could do some weekends from home but bonus points for being in the office because the partners were there.
        What/Where: Mid-sized regional law with the salary to match (i.e. closer to $50k than $100).
        How bad? Freaking horrible. I gained 30 pounds, had no friends, never saw my family, and was completely miserable. I lasted 3 years and am SO happy I left.

    • Transactional corporate in biglaw in Silicon Valley. That means M&A, capital markets work and routine venture financings.

      Typically work 55-70 hours per week, but I could work much more if I wanted to (suffering from great-summer-weather-makes-it-hard-to-work-weekends-itis). I come in anywhere from 8 to 9:30, stay until my company rep plus transactional work is handled for the day, usually 7-8, and if needed, log on at home later.

      If a deal is signing, closing or we’re at the printer for IPOs, I can work 14 hour days.

      I like my job except when it wholly keeps me from having a life, which goes in spurts.

      My worst year was nearly 2700 hours (that was total, not billables). I was working in the UK satellite office of a well-known NY firm, known for working people hard. I found that I had a full day of London work, and then often a full New York day of work, and then lots of all-nighters at the printers. Good times. Silicon Valley is much more humane. I love it here!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Typical hours: 6:15am to somewhere between 8-10:30pm and occasionally 5-10 hours on a Saturday
      What/where: Document review at a big law firm in NYC
      How bad is it really? Typically not so bad on this project because I have some extra responsibilities instead of just clicking away on documents all day and this case is interesting. I worked 10-20 more hours a week on a previous project without additional responsibilities and the case was completely boring to me and it was truly awful.

      My hours are actually pretty flexible and I only need to work about 50 but the hours aren’t capped, I’m desperately trying to pay down my student loans as quickly as possible, and I actually have more than enough work aside from coding documents that keeps me busy for all those hours.

    • Typical hours: 8:30 to 5:45, occasional Saturday morning (maybe 4 times a year). Small firm (10 lawyers) in the midwest. Insurance defense. I have never tried a case, and honestly we rarely try one as an office, but anyone in trial works pretty much every waking moment for the duration of the trial.

      • Not sure anyone is reading this thread anymore, but I definitely found it interesting, so here goes:

        Hours: 9:30-5:30, and occasionally work on something at night and on weekends (but always from home).
        What/where: in-house generalist at HQ of big global company.
        How bad is it? I love my job but can’t really work from home during business hours.

        Hours: 10-6, lots of working from home on nights and weekends (and many weekdays when I couldn’t bring myself to go into the office).
        What/where: litigation associate at small satellite office of a biglaw firm (small office was in very big city the firm was/is trying to break into).
        How bad was it? It was miserable. I cried quite often and hated my life. My husband has told me I am like a different person since leaving this hellhole. The problem was primarily a personality conflict with a partner, but I also grew to loathe the whole practice of big firm litigation and the emphasis on billing, billing, billing.

        Before before
        Hours: 9:30-9:30, or later, plus most weekends.
        What/where: litigation associate at huge biglaw office in very big city.
        How bad was it? It was miserable, but exciting because the clients/matters were all very high-profile and in the news. It was also my first job out of law school (other than clerking) so I was eager and didn’t mind the ridiculous hours and insane demanding partners in the beginning.

    • annonymous :

      Typical hours: 8:45-7:15, but highly variable.
      What/where: Software architect, small company but not a startup
      How bad is it really: It’s great, I choose to work longer hours than I probably really need to. Good money and interesting work.

    • Typical hours: 0900-1730/1900
      What/where: Legal advisor (administrative/contract/employment law) at an int’l tribunal in Europe
      How bad is it really? Compared to US Big Law… cake walk. I’ve worked 2 weekend days TOTAL in over a year at the job. Vacation is plentiful and respected (30 days of leave a year plus 10 official holidays). Colleagues are generally great, interesting people with unique backgrounds. Work politics and the vagaries of int’l civil service are frustrating at times, and there is always more work that needs to be done than can be done, but unlike at the firm the demand isn’t that it be done NOW, it’s that you prioritize and usually tomorrow or when-you-can-get-to-it will suffice. “Downsides” are limited flexibility with schedule/face-time (you need to be there during business hours, regardless of whether you’re also going to work from home or work late), outdated technology, and substantially lower compensation than big firm. But there is a pension, and the salary scale is supposedly comparable to US civil service so it’s really not bad money at all (just not biglaw).

  11. Relationship TJ :

    How did you know your husband/fiance/significant other was the “one” or the right person for you? Is it normal to be a little nervous before taking a big step in your relationship – moving in together/getting engaged/etc.?

    My boyfriend and I are discussing moving in together and while I really love him and find myself excited about the idea of combining our lives and creating a future together, sometimes that level of commitment makes me a little nervous (both of us view living together as “the next step before marriage/get engaged in a year” type thing).

    He is an awesome guy and I can see myself marrying him and being very happy with him. However, as our moving in together discussions get more serious & the end of my current lease draws near, suddenly I find myself a little nervous about taking that next step in our relationship and having that level of commitment with someone. Is it normal to be nervous, even if it’s the “right” person or do these doubts speak to a larger fear?

    • Merabella :

      I had some of these feelings before moving in/getting engaged/getting married to my DH. Not overwhelming “GET OUT OF HERE!” fear, more like “what if this is the last person I ever have a relationship ever, omg this is my life?” kind of fear. I grew up with divorced parents (they split when I was 2), so I never really knew what a married couple was like outside of what I saw at friends houses or on TV. I think that being nervous about any major life changes is totally normal. You should evaluate your feelings before taking big steps, if it is just normal big changes anxiety then go ahead, if there is something more major nagging at you, pay attention to those feelings (ie, he is emotionally unavailable, verbally abusive, isn’t nice to his mom/sister/friend’s girlfriends, NOT he leaves milk on the counter/doesn’t shut the cabinet doors/puts his dirty socks next to the laundry basket).

      • Relationship TJ :

        Yes, that second fear you described is exactly how I feel – the “This could possibly be my future/this is my life/woah this could be it” kinda fear.

        My parents also had an incredibly ugly divorce, and I think some of it is my fear of ending up like them that’s coming out, more than that my boyfriend is the “wrong” guy for me.

    • For what it’s worth, no one would think your feelings were unusual/worrisome if you were a guy . . .

    • Kontraktor :

      I’m not sure how much help I will be, considering I met my husband at 17 and about 3 days later wrote in my journal that I thought I met my husband. Yikes. :-P I guess more seriously, there was always “something” about him I couldn’t put my finger on, even from day one. I think he was just so different than anybody I had met before and I wanted to get to know him better. We were “friends” for about a year before we started dating, and during that year, I saw him as a man who had such great moral qualities and values that he would be a great person to pursue a relationship with. From the very start of our romantic relationship, both of us conveyed to one another the fact that we were hoping to date with the intent to get married, that is, we wanted to date people in order to evaluate them as potential marriage partners, and that’s how we were approaching this relationship. So, it was kind of more serious, I suppose, from the get go, and just happened to work because we were on such a similar moral and value-based footing. I think we said ‘I love you’ about 3 months in. I would say we always talked about marriage frequently in a theoretical sense because it was a goal we both wanted, but we committed to it (as in, we want to marry each other) I would say about 2.5 years into the relationship and got engaged about a year later. It probably happened at this time for no other reason than my husband needed a little time to grow up, be out in the real world a little, and cement his outlook on life a little more solidly than it was set when we met when we were young. I think I knew I wanted to marry him earlier, although I can’t exactly say when I knew, because I always thought of my husband as a great potential marriage partner in some form.

      • Kontractor, I’m like you!

        I was introduced to the man who is now my DH by mutual friendly acquaintances. (I was 22 and new to NYC, so I was trying pretty much accepting many friendly invites from age-peer coworkers and friends-of-friends to hang out so I could make friends and explore the City.) If you’d asked me then for my life plan, I probably would not have listed getting married.

        But when DH and I first shook hands and looked at each other, I thought: this man feels *so right* to me. I was struck by his sincerity as well as the intelligence and kindness in his eyes. We chatted for about an hour, exchanged contact info, and I went home thinking, in full-Ellen-caps, “I WANT TO MARRY THIS MAN.”

        We dated 5yrs before marrying, though, so I didn’t just leap into things/onto DH. ;-)

    • Well, one thing to keep in mind is that living with your boyfriend will also tell you something about your relationship – the nuts and bolts of how you do when you live together. It could be really different. So seeing it as “We’re on this train and headed toward marriage and can’t get off” may be the wrong way to see it. Yeah, you’re serious enough about each other to live together, but there’s still more to learn.

      • Merabella :

        I totally agree with this. I think some of your anxiety is because you are seeing this as marriage is now inevitable that we are moving in togetherandthisistherestofmylife AHHHHHHHH!

        Take it one day at a time.

        • Relationship TJ :

          You ladies are so right. Thank you. I do need to slow down and take it as it comes, rather than viewing it as a OMGthisisallhappeningrightnowsofastwhatisthis kind of scenario.

  12. Hi Ladies,

    I’m a first-year associate in {somewhat smaller} BigLaw, and I am having a crisis at work that I need advice about. I am very, very upset about the situation, and appreciate any wisdom that you all may have for me.

    I am on a case with Partner A, Partner B, and Senior Associate. Last week, I wrote a brief. Partner A, the lead partner on the case, gave me some verbal comments. Partner B marked up my draft, made some more comments, and sent me his Revised Version of the brief last Friday. I met with both Partners simultaneously, and they instructed me to incorporate their comments/suggestions into the Revised Version that Partner B had sent back.

    I did so, and sent them back a Final Version of the brief the following night. I proofread the brief extremely carefully. I believe it had no mistakes, because I was thorough and methodical. A day and a half later, Partner B angrily emailed me and said: “Why is this Final Version completely different than the Revised Version I sent to you on Friday? You were only supposed to address my comments, not change the whole thing.” He was upset that I had made what he viewed as significant edits to the Revised Version of the brief, rather than addressing only his comments.

    I wrote back, apologetic, and explained that any changes I made were simply 1) reflecting Partner A’s verbal comments, as well as his own, and 2) an effort to ensure consistency and clarity within the brief. (I have certainly learned my lesson, though).

    Partner B seemed to accept this explanation, but nonetheless instructed Senior Associate to “start over”: meaning, take his Revised Version and physically incorporate the changes from my Final Version into the Revised Version.

    Privately, I expressed to the Senior Associate that I thought this was a bad idea: one, it was simply a waste of time–my Final Version was similar enough to Partner B’s Revised Version that it didn’t make sense to start over from the Revised Version. Two, I was concerned that much of the editing and proofreading I had done would be lost. The brief now was due in two days and I knew she did not have the time to proofread as exhaustively as I had. Senior Associate replied that she didn’t have much of a choice: if this is what Partner B wanted, this is what she had to do. (Partner A was absent from these conversations. Not sure why).

    So, Senior Associate edited the Revised Version to Partner B’s liking, and then met with Partner A and Partner B to proofread the brief. I was not included in this meeting. Subsequently, I helped Senior Associate bluebook the brief. I noticed some mistakes in the brief, and told Senior Associate as much. At this point, though, we had to file the brief, and Senior Associate told me that we simply didn’t have time to incorporate any more changes in the brief. The brief was filed, with a few mistakes. I was pretty upset, given how much work I had put into it earlier.

    Of course, this is a somewhat simplified version of what happened. There was much, much more chaos involved. Senior Associate had only a day and a half to finish the brief that would have been finished earlier, had I not “changed” Partner B’s writing.

    I was pretty upset by this whole incident, but today, things got worse. Partner B emails Senior Associate and myself today, cc’ing Partner A, and criticizing us for filing a brief with errors. He sent a long email explaining to us the importance of proofreading, to which Senior Associate responded, somewhat defensively. Here’s the rub: I had caught all of these errors, and fixed them, in the Final Version of the Brief that I had sent earlier, and that Partner B refused to use. I told Partner A about the issue, with whom I have a good relationship. Partner A thinks I should tell Partner B, but I disagree: I think being defensive and pointing out “Actually, I caught the mistakes–YOU guys didn’t” will only make things worse for me.

    I am pretty devastated by all of this. I worked really hard on this brief, and honestly, if I were to do it again, there is not much that I would have been able to do differently.

    The other problem is: in my last review, I was (gently, but still) berated for making mistakes, and told, “you do good work, but you need to improve in this area.” I have since been absolutely meticulous about proofreading and editing. Now, I am worried that Partner B believes that my work is sloppy, and will give me a bad review, and accuse me of making mistakes.

    I don’t know what to do. I am exhausted, depressed, and on the verge of tears. I feel like no matter what I do, I can’t please people. Should I explain what happened to the Partner who conducts reviews? Should I explain what happened to Partner B? Or should I let it go?

    • Some people are just jerks. Partner B is unlikely to realize the error of his ways just because you have pointed something out to him. In my experience, explanation will be be perceived by him/her as excuses. Given the fact that the brief was actually filed with the errors, I would probably just let it go. Partner A and the other Associate know what really happened. Plus, this is probably not the first time Partner B has done this. S/he likely has a reputation for such behavior which is well known by others at the firm.

    • I was thinking you should let it go to avoid being defensive until I got to the paragraph about your last review. This makes it seem like you should find a way to say something to Partner B, to start getting rid of the idea that you make mistakes. I don’t know a good way to do this, though – you can’t just yell at him/her snarkily that if they had done things your way this wouldn’t have happened. Ideally Senior Associate would speak up here, since s/he knows what went on, but I realize that’s unlikely.

      So, I do think you should reply to the e-mail chain with something about how you absolutely understand the importance of proofreading, and were careful to catch all the mistakes Partner B pointed out in your Final Version. Then maybe add something about how time constraints prevented incorporating all the Final Version corrections into the Revised Version. This avoids blaming Partner B or Senior Associate directly, but hopefully they’ll both realize their contribution to the problem. Then maybe add something about how it won’t happen again, without suggesting that this episode was your fault.

      I should add that I am pretty non-confrontational, I hate defensiveness and blame-shifting, and that what I typed above still sounds kind of defensive to me. However, in the spirit of NGDGTCO (which I have never read, but feel as though I have from reading the comments here), I don’t think you should just suck it up and take blame for a problem that was basically Partner B’s fault.

      Finally, this sounds like a really stressful situation, and I’m sorry you’re going through this. Please try to relax, and remind yourself this one incident is not your whole career, let alone your whole life.

    • You will not win. Let it go. Also – what I learned far to late in my first year was the following: NOTHING is about you. Stop caring what other people are thinking about you and accept that they are not thinking about you and concentrate on putting forth good work.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i would try to let this one go. since you sent out a version of the brief without the errors the partner brought up, it sounds like you have something of a record to protect yourself in case this ever comes up in a review. if you go to partner b with your explanation, it may come across as making excuses or trying to place blame on the senior associate, neither of which will do you any favors. chances are this will be overlooked in the long run – even if you WERE the one to file the brief with errors, it’s not a career-ending mistake.

      sounds like this was a really brutal stretch…have a glass of wine/bunch of chocolate/bubble bath/whatever your indulgence of choice is, and then JSFAMO.

      • Thank you so much. This is good advice. I think tonight is a night for some chocolate. Need to keep things in perspective.

        • Yes, regardless of which way you go on this (respond to Partner B, relate issue to Reviewing Partner, let it go) don’t do ANY of it until you’ve had a change to ruminate and cogitate on the issue. You can’t let emotions come up, and they’re clearly high now on all sides.

          Give yourself at least a day and probably even the whole weekend.

          You can also do the whole “accountability and fix” theme, I’m not great at it yet, but the idea is you would say something like “I hate that a brief got filed with [firm’s name] on it with errors, there were no errors in the first version I sent you, what can I do about this to ensure it doesn’t happen in the future. Here are some ideas I had over the weekend/last few days [if there are any, it sounds like the way to fix it is not work with Partner B again, but I doubt that’s an option!]”

          • SoCalAtty :

            I absolutely agree with CA Atty! Give it time and then decide. I probably take a lot more blame than I should sometimes, but I always take the blame and offer solutions. Or just say “in the future, I will ensure that I get revision to you at least X amount of time in advance, deadlines permitting, so that I have time to do a second proofreading before filing.”

            It’s good you have your original draft. I always email drafts because of this, even if I also print it out.

    • I had a similar experience, but as a summer associate. A Partner asked me to write a motion to dismiss, from scratch, the day before it had to be filed, on an area of law I knew pretty much nothing about. So I stayed at the office until about 1 am and had a reasonable draft completed, obviously not perfect, but at least a structure of the law and argument. I sent it to him in an email saying I would appreciate knowing if I was on the right track, and would be back in the office by 7:00 the next morning to finish it up. The next morning I find a berating email about how unprofessional it was to send him a less-than-perfectly edited draft (given the short time frame, it seemed silly to spend hours proofing something that may have been way off base in the legal reasoning and analysis).

      I was very upset about this, but learned over the course of the summer, that this was just that partner’s MO. In fact, in my review, my feedback was “everyone has said you do excellent work, except for Partner, who never has anything good to say about anyone, so we don’t really count Partner’s feedback.” Wow.

      I’m glad I didn’t spend more time stressing about it, but I can’t imagine if I had to work with Partner indefinitely. If Partner B is anything like this partner, saying something will not do you any good. As others have said, other partners are probably aware of this tendency, and will discount accordingly. I truly sympathize with you, and am very interested to read all the advice from ‘Rettes who have been there before. Hugs!

    • Former BigLaw Litigation Partner/Now In House :

      Consider back channels to deliver your message that you are taking the comments about proofreading that were made in your last review very seriously. Find someone in your office who either is involved in the review process or is only one person removed from it and to whom it would not be weird for you to [faux] vent, in person, something along the lines of “Oh, what a pain, I was told to be really careful about proofing in my last review, and I have been, and I am working on this great case with Partners A & B and Senior Associate, and I *know* how well my proofing is paying off because I totally found all the typos in Brief — but then there was some mixup and we ended up filing a different version of Brief that I had not worked on and some of the typos I had corrected in my version didn’t get caught. What’s a girl to do?”

      At best, this person will now be in a position to staunch any discussion in the review process that Brief being filed with typos = you not proofing as you were told in last review.

      At worst, nothing.

    • Due to this having been raised in your last review, I’d send a polite email to Partner B, not CCing others, saying “Dear Partner B, as you may have noted, these errors were corrected in my revised brief. As I was not given the opportunity to work on the final brief, I’m not sure how the errors got back in.” Then print out that email and a copy of your revised brief and bring it to your review in a folder, just in case. You have to CYA.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        This is way too much throwing Senior Associate under the bus, and you will pay for that in the long run. I’d go to Partner A, who say your last, correct version of the document and voice your concern, let him/her stand up for you at review time. but keep you version, as well as all of the correspondence related to this, including the time frame etc.. It will be helpful at review time if it comes up….

      • I would not do this. Sending emails like this is so tempting, but it will make people angry like no other. By using email, you’re allowing them to read any kind of tone or intention they choose. If you need to address a touchy issue, always do it in person. I know email seems like such a controlled, easy way to go, but it really isn’t. If you wouldn’t say something to a person to their face, don’t say it in an email. It’s so predictable. I’ve seen it again and again. Email about touchy issue = future blow out and tension/resentment 70% of the time.

  13. Wow, this was very long. Many thanks to anyone who reads this.

  14. Crosssfit :

    Crossfit- is this something professional women do? Mostly I am concerned about whether or not I have the time as a young lawyer to make a commitment to crossfit. Also I am convinced that my life as a young lawyer (I spend an hour tops at the gym every day doing cardio an weight training) has not prepared me for crossfit. The only people I know who do crossfit are students who live with their parents or are self employed in alternative fields. However I am very interested in it. Thoughts?

    • phillygirlruns :

      i am in biglaw and i do crossfit. caveats: i have fairly regular and predictable hours (for the most part, 8-6ish with occasional weekends) and this is basically my only hobby, but it’s not that much more time consuming than just going to the gym/training for long-distance races/other things that plenty of professionals do. i’d say a third of the members at my gym are lawyers and another third are doctors/residents. there are a lot of professionals that do crossfit – it’s kind of a “disposable income crowd” since memberships are usually fairly pricey.

      • Crosssfit :

        Awesome! By awesome I mean you are awesome!

        Is crossfit an every day commitment? I think I could with difficulty manage that

        Are you in really good shape? I am mildly worried I will show up, do the two pull ups I am capable of doing and be laughed at. I wouldn’t call myself in terrible shape – I work out regularly and have a trainer but I’m nothing impressive.

        I just really hate quitting things – I know if I start crossfit I’m going for at least a month.

        I was considering going to a freebie beginner class on Saturday – they advised to wear whatever I usually wear and bring a water bottle, is that correct?

        • just Karen :

          I just wanted to say that you’re my hero for being able to do two pull ups. Upper body strength is clearly not my forte.

        • phillygirlruns :

          it’s not an everyday commitment unless you want it to be. i recently got pretty serious about my training and i tend to go 5-6 days a week – but there are plenty of people who go both more and less often than i do.

          i started about a year ago and was not in terrible shape…actually, i thought i was in decent shape when i started. i ran a few miles here and there every week, did other cardio and did some basic weightlifting (dumbbell curls, leg press machine, that kind of thing). this was a completely different kind of training for me and it whooped me every. freakin. time. i scaled almost every workout and often finished last. BUT i loved it – the people at my gym are really, really great, and everyone was incredibly friendly/welcoming/supportive.

          i was pretty lousy at everything for the first 4 months or so and then really started to improve. i lost a whole lot of weight and am substantially better at everything – the first class that we did pullups, i couldn’t even support my full bodyweight hanging off the bar without my wrists screaming, and now i can do tons of unassisted pullups and a whole host of other neat party tricks. the fact that you can actually do two pull ups already would put you ahead of at least 50% of the people at my gym.

          and yes, wear whatever. i wore my regular running shoes for the first few months, then invested in a pair of chucks that do make most of my lifts easier/more efficient.

          • phillygirlruns :

            oh – meant to mention that i have been blogging my workouts for a couple years now, including the past year at crossfit – my username at blogspot, if you’re interested in seeing how things were for me as a beginner.

      • Anonymous :

        Ditto the “disposable income crowd” comment. I quit Crossfit in part to find a gym that wasn’t so full of lawyers. The gyms around here have lots of 30-60 minute workouts throughout the day, starting early and ending late, so lots of professionals go there. If you intend to train for competitions, of course, that could be a very different story.

    • My boyfriend is an attorney and does cross fit. A few of his coworkers / lawyer friends (male and female) are also into it. Right now he goes about ~3 times per week, and works out on his own another 2 or 3 days a week. It seems like the people that he works out have a really, really wide range of interests. Some are professionals, and some are more like what you describe in your post. Some people get SUPER into it, and their social circle revolves around that, and others just go to work out there.

      One of the things he liked is that they scale the work outs to accommodate people of all abilities. So, although he wasn’t in great shape at the beginning, he was still able to participate. He has seen great results from it. On the downside, it can be a bit pricey to start because you have to take the basic sessions to learn some moves. And he has had to pay a lot of attention to knowing his limits, and not push himself too far (to where he has bad form) in order to avoid injuries.

    • I’ve been doing Crossfit for the last few months, and it sometimes seems like half of the people at my early morning WOD (workout of the day) are lawyers. Of course I live in the DC area, so half of the people ANYWHERE are lawyers…

      I think it’s mostly professionals, men and women — it’s expensive, so that self-selects. Generally I’m there about an hour, I try to go 3 times a week and do something else 2-3 times a week, but that’s super optimistic and usually I do Crossfit 2x week and something else 2x week.

      Everything should be scalable — bands for pullups, lower weight, etc.

      But, I think a lot of this depends on what gym, or “box” you go to. I’ve heard that some places are much more hardcore/obsessive about it than others. I’d ask around, see if you can do a free ‘trial’ workout, check out their webpage etc.

    • My brother is evangelical about crossfit, and his wife loves it as well (although she is currently on mat leave, so your question about scheduling doesn’t apply as much there). He belongs to a crossfit gym that basically has classes every two hours, so you can drop in at any time that works for you (once you’re finished the training courses). I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m very tempted, it sounds like a nicely varied workout and (at least if you’re at a good gym) totally adaptable to different fitness levels.

    • karenpadi :

      I did it for two and a half years. I dated my Crossfit coach for 18 months.

      It was all well and good until I got injured. The coaches aren’t trained to address injuries or even how to actually scale in a meaningful way (yes, the cert includes a bunch of scaling options–but I found most of the progressions unusable).

      Here’s my take:
      1. Be very careful to avoid injury. The WODs are nuts/insane/crazy. I actually started stopping WODs at 25 minutes. I know they are only supposed to take 10 minutes. But that isn’t the reality under what’s-that-guys-name-at-HQ? Dave Castro, maybe? Anyway, he doesn’t do the WODs himself and the WODs posted on the main site are a complete joke (they are super tough and impossible to do if you are training at less than a professional level).

      2. Go to a gym that does their own programing. See #1.

      3. Don’t let them tell you (a lawyer, I assume), that you aren’t “mentally tough.” Whatever. I got so sick of them telling me my injury was in my head and that I needed to work on my “mental conditioning”. Bullsh*t. As a lawyer who works 40-50 hours each week, I was mentally exhausted, not in need of more “mental work capacity”.

      The good things about Crossfit:
      1. The community at the boxes can be a lot of fun.
      2. It’s the only place I know of where women are encouraged to learn how to Olympic (Oly) Lift and say the words “clean” “jerk” and “snatch” in fun ways.
      3. Oly Lifts. Oly lifts. Oly lifts.

      • This is what I was talking about with watching your limits. SO gets annoyed that some coaches say he can do more, and it’s just in his head that he is not there yet. Problem is – he could do more, but not safely.

        • This is such an important point, and it’s worth noting that it can happen in many contexts, not just Cross-Fit. I did Bikram for several years at a great local studio where I did grad school, and loved it. I moved to my post-grad town and eagerly hopped right on down to the Bikram studio there. Alas, that place was operated like a boot camp, with the “yoga” instructor literally yelling at practitioners that they could get deeper… Having suffered a random yoga injury, with a muscle near my collar bone of all places!, I understand the importance of knowing your body and your limits, and being able to challenge yourself without injuring yourself. But that is a hard-earned knowledge, and unfortunately newbies to particular sports can become unwitting casualties to over-aggressive instructors.

  15. Circadian rhythms threadjack: Morning Larks/Night Owls/Something In-Between?

    I’m an owl. It’s 5:10pm and only now do I feel like I’m hitting my stride with all the writing I need to do. I find it incredibly hard to write large blocks of anything earlier in the day. I have done some of my best writing from 5-9pm.

    If you could get up and go to bed whenever you wanted, when would you?
    Me: Get up at 10-11am, go to bed at 2-3am.
    My circadian rhythms are really not compatible with most corporate jobs. *sigh*

    • Sometimes it feels like I am an early riser but I get really productive late at night too. My productive times are 7-10 am and then again sometimes after 5pm I hit a patch where I plow through more work than I have done from 10-5 in 2 hours. I need a job where I can take a nap and run errands from 10-5…

      Dream wake up time: 9 am; Dream bedtime 1 am

    • Anonymous NYer :

      I’m exactly like you. In law school I used to plan to write papers, etc late at night (like, starting at 9) and I would bang almost an entire 20 pager out by the time the sun went up. Then I’d go to bed. Obvs, not at all translatable to the professional world. Still trying to figure out my stride to stop being nocturnal.

    • I am an owl too. Now that I’m doing bar prep from home, I have reverted about to my sleep until 10 or 10:30 and then stay up until about 2-3 am. I was just saying that law may not have been my best choice, and maybe bartending school would have been a better bet! It may help for BigLaw all nighters, though thankfully it sounds like my section is flexible on morning hours so long as your work is done. After reading postings here, I am suspicious of this “perk” until I get the lay of the land.

    • So the odd thing for me is that my body totally agrees with your ideal hours (wake up 10, bed 2), but I actually get my best writing done in the morning, particularly for conceptual work. It’s like I get better stuff done when I’m half asleep and can’t think of the various ways that reviewers are probably going to critique me. Unfortunately, I have to absolutely fight to get myself into the office early, so I often miss out on my golden hours…

    • I’m about the same! My best drafting and most focused working occurs between 5-9pm. Left to my own devices, up until 2 or 3 and sleep until 11. It is so tiring and counter-productive to fight it every blessed day!

    • When I was on sabbatical and could work however/whenever I wanted, I got up at around 7:30 every day, worked out, then got to work on my writing. I can’t remember what time I went to bed, but I think, if I could, I’d probably slide a little later. On Saturdays, I wake up naturally at around 7:00 or 7:30.

    • SoCalAtty :

      I swear sometimes I’m crepuscular – active early and late. I’m great early until about 10am, then I’m not productive, and then as it starts to get later I’m productive again. If I could get up, start at 7, work to 11, nap or do something else until 4, and work until 8 I’d be good!

      If I have to be up all day, I’m a night owl. Dream wakeup would be around 9-10, dream betime 1-1:30am…

    • I’d wake up at 10 30 and go to bed btwn 2-3 if I had my ideal. Instead I do 7 wake up, midnight bedtime. Sometimes, what I really wish for is a 3-4 hour sleep requirement. That’d be the best!

  16. Re: RubbaSweepa – “Does the Rubba Sweepa work on people hair? Specifically long, thick, shed-so-much-it’s-amazing-I-still-have-hair hair? My hair clogs up most vacuums and I’ve been looking for a good fix.” – This is EXACTLY the kind of hair I’m sweeping up, gurl. It’s a magical broom, for reals.


    • Awesome! You may be my SO’s new favorite person, as it bothers him soooo much more than it bothers me. (I’ve had thirty-mumblesomething years to get use to it).

      Did you buy it off the Fly Lady website?


  17. This is in follow up to a comment I posted last week re two female attorneys in large office with many male attorneys and wanting friends. The other commenters said,sure, go out to lunch with the guys. I am talking about, however, real friends. You know, the kind you can confide in and go out for dinner with-your support system. I had that at my last job and I miss it. Is it acceptible to have that kind of friends at this office even if they are male?

    • Just so depends on the office.

      I had that at my first job. I loved everyone I worked with, they loved me, we’re all still in touch with each other and I can’t wait until the next time I can travel the 2,000 miles to see them again.

      At my last job I tried to find that but there was so much freaking drama it all went to he l l so fast I still don’t know what happened. It turned out this girl who was in a relationship with that guy was also sleeping with that other guy who was living with his not-in-our-office girlfriend…of course I know little to none of this at first so I’m thinking we’re all just friends, we go out and have fun and drive the drunk one home from the bar and confide in each other…and then my secretary pulls me aside to tell me about all the rumors.

      At my current job most of the attorneys and support staff are much older, and they would not be amenable to that kind of friendship. I’ve been here 6 months and I’m just about ready to start branching out to find people here in my new city, but I’m going outside of the office.

    • yes it is :

      I don’t see why not.

    • I think its acceptable, but not guaranteed to happen. But you don’t have to find “work friends” at work necessarily. This was part of the reason I joined the Junior League and go to [this site] meet-ups and go to professional organizational meetings. Yes, its good for networking, but you can also make professional friends who work near you who, even if they don’t work in *your* office can still be your work friends.

      Anyway, that’s my experience.

  18. Y’all, I just found out that my MIL is going start work as a distributor for Ferragamo, Lacoste and Emilio Pucci eyewear. This means fabulous eyeglasses and sunglasses at awesome prices. I AM SO EXCITED.

  19. I need to (virtually) celebrate with someone — I’ve just had a paper accepted to a major journal in my field, with only very minor revisions. One reviewer liked it so much that s/he had no comments other than “great paper!” and the editor has asked me to revise ASAP so that they can publish it right away. I’m over the moon! I was so distracted by the good news that I came home early (and am now having a beer on my porch), but my SO won’t get home until 8-8:30 and I am just DYING TO CELEBRATE WITH SOMEONE!

    • K... in transition :

      yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! *throws confetti into the air*

    • That is awesome! Congratulations! And for those of you out there who don’t know, what she is describing hardly EVER happens. She’s a rock star!

    • Congratulations, that’s awesome!

  20. Probably too late in the day to get many responses, but I’ll post anyways.

    I work in a small office of about 17 people, a few more from satellite offices are occasionally in the office. There is one of my female coworkers who I can tell really bothers several other people. She is the type of person who always knows something about every subject. Even if we are discussing a completely random subject that only one or two other people know anything about, she STILL knows more about it than we do. I have to say that she’s very smart and intelligent, but she is very socially awkward and cannot carry a conversation without saying “ya know” in a filler sort of way, several times.

    Long story short, I know there is no way to change her personality, and I don’t want to. However, is there any way to subtly clue her in that no one likes a “know it all”?

    • I have to say, not really. Now, if you have any kind of relationship with this woman (i.e. get coffee occasionally, etc…) you might, emphasize MIGHT, be able to say something without her being hurt about it, but as just a co-worker…I just can’t imagine it.

      Now you could ask her to get coffee or lunch or something and say (I’m totally winging it here but trying to make it nice) “Hey Kathy, you know, sometimes in the office when we’re talking about something, we want to talk through all the ramifications from step 1 rather than getting right to the answer at step 10. It’s our process. So sometimes when you step in with the answer it’s so great that you know the right step 10 but we don’t get to go through our process and I worry that the others might not understand it as thoroughly as you do. Next time something like X comes up, could you try to let them work their way to step 10 without your input?”

      But most know it alls don’t realize they’re know it alls, particularly if she’s socially awkward as you suggest. So, depending on her, she could take it as a learning moment or she could take offense and you’ll have made an enemy “can you, ya know, believe Heather called me a know it all! Right to my, ya know, face! Ya know!”

      Honestly, I’d let it go, particularly since it doesn’t sound like it bothers you too much. Let someone who is really bothered by it come up with a way to talk to her. After all, she’ll likely get the message even if she is offended, but she’ll be offended at that person instead of you! :-) (At least 1/2 kidding…)

    • If you don’t expect she’ll be able to change, I think by clueing her in, you’d mostly just be telling her that no one likes her. From what little you’ve said, it sounds like she could have Asperger’s. If I were you, I’d try to assume she’s not intentionally trying to irritiate you (and perhaps can’t help it) and just let her be.

    • annonymous :

      Late comment, but I am this person (I thought you might be writing about me but I work in an office of ~50, not 17) and I am sorry. I only improved when I got the feedback directly and repeatedly from my supervisor (who is an amazing boss) and it’s still something I have to work on all the time. (And in response to E – I have been identified as having Asperger’s tendencies by 2 therapists and 1 psychiatrist, but don’t have (or want) an official diagnosis.)

      Unless you are this person’s supervisor, I’m not sure there’s a good way for you to do this.

      Do NOT let her take over meetings or discussions that you are running – when she tries to do that, cut her off and say “Actually, Jane, we’re still on Point X, the solution you mentioned may be where we end up but we need to work through these other options first.” If everyone does this, she may pick up on it.

    • It’s not your job to fix people. This is the time to learn to let go.

  21. LilacWine :

    Random thought after seeing one too many gaping dress shirts on women at work today:

    I fix the gaping problem by wearing a sports bra under my dress shirts. Not sure if this tip works for anyone else, but might be worth a try! I have the Moving Comfort Alexis bra in white, and I’m a b-cup. Something about the extra support of the sports bra holds my chest in just enough to prevent any gaping. Another bonus is that even if it does gape, the bra makes it looks like you’re just wearing a camisole underneath, and you get the extra support all day. Might not work if your bust is bigger, but my shirts always gaped before I switched to the sports bra.

    • Tiny safety pins or snaps (sewn in) work, too. For me, the problem with sports bras is I get smushed in boobs. But maybe that’s just me and/or my sports bras.

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