Coffee Break – Meesh & Mia

Northwestern University Ruffled Polo in PurpleI’m not really a “raa raa” kind of girl, but: for those of you who actually do have some team spirit for your college or grad school teams, check out Meesh & Mia.  They have merchandise for more than 100 schools and universities, and  they actually do have a ton of cute items, from ruffled polos to faux wrap tops to stylish cardigans and dresses.  For today’s coffee break I’m liking the ruffled polo, which I think would be a great way to support your team.  This top is $48 at Meesh & Mia.



  1. sorry for the immediate tj! but I’m in a state of panic and can’t talk to anyone in real life.
    I just found out my dh is having an affair with his ex, who lives in Asia. What do I do?! Looks like they got back together about 2 months ago, when he visited Asia. My hands are shaking while typing this, and my mind is blank! Do I confront him? Do I need some sort of plan! Help…

    • Oh dear. I am so very very sorry.

      Number one, you just found out, and you’re probably all kinds of shocked and hurt and I can’t even imagine. If you’re at work, can you leave and go somewhere, even if it’s just to sit in a parking lot in your car?

      • e_pontellier :

        Yes. Get to a place that feels safe — hopefully you have a car nearby. Also, maybe make a playdate for your daughter tonight, if at all possible.

      • Absolutely agreed. So very, very, very sorry that you’re going through this. I can’t imagine the shock you must be feeling – is there a way to take the afternoon off or at least some time to collect yourself? Even just getting to your car, a nearby coffee shop, a restroom on another floor, etc might help.

        Is the way in which you found out enough to make you certain that your DH is having an affair? If so, I still wouldn’t confront him until you’re composed and the shock has worn off. And also agreed that I would find a way (if possible) that if you do confront him, your daughter is not in the house at the time.

    • Oh – I can’t even imagine how you are feeling right now. I agree — get someplace where you can put your head down and breathe.

      I think of course that you need to speak to him about this, but give yourself a few hours to start absorbing this.

      So, so, so sorry. Thinking of you.

    • Anon for this :

      The others have given you really good advice already. This happened to me a few years ago, and my number one regret is that I didn’t take enough time to just digest it and think about how I wanted to respond. Do you have the option to take some time for yourself? Take your daughter and go stay with a friend or in a hotel? Take a sick day or two and get out of town? I am so, so sorry that this is happening to you. It took me several days before my hands stopped shaking. =(

      • I agree.
        Figure out what you want to do. Obviously, you wish it wasn’t happening. But assuming that is (and are you certain? how/what did you find out?), how do you see this situation resolving itself? This is not something you can necessarily know now, but do you think this is something you can forgive? Do you think this is something you can both get past?

        As far as a plan, I think it would be good to have some options in the back of your mind depending on how your relationship is set up. I am not sure it’s realistic to take your daughter away without your husband knowing something is up, but perhaps you can tell him you’re really not feeling well and turn in early tonight. Take some time to think through how you want to confront this.

        I am sure there will be others with better advice. I am so sorry you’re going through this. Whatever happens, just know that you will get through this.

    • Take some time and also make sure that you have correct information. Do you have reliable information that something in fact did happen?

    • Merabella :

      Can you make an appointment with a therapist? You might not want to talk to friends or family until you have collected your thoughts and digested this new information. A therapist can help you make some sort of plan of action as well.

      I personally wouldn’t confront him until I was sure that he was having an affair, and you had an idea what you wanted to do.

    • I am so sorry.

      If you can, leave work and go somewhere even a hotel and just sit for a bit. Are you 100% sure your information is correct? If so, can you make up an excuse to stay at a friends house for the night? Or say you have to pull an all nighter at work? Give yourself some time to calm down and then before you confront him ask yourself 1) is it safe to confront him? will he fly off the handle/be vindictive etc? if so, hold off and get thee to a lawyer asap. if not, take a few days off work pro-actively and plan out when you want to talk to him and have an option to get away for a few days.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Yes, definitely consider whether you need to talk to an attorney immediately, particularly if your financial or physical well-being may be compromised once you communicate with him about his infidelity.

        • Heartily seconded.

          Also- I agree with not talking to friends who know you both as a couple or family just yet. They will most likely project their own agendas– some relatives will demand that you divorce him immediately because they want you to behave as they would; others fear whatever shame they think divorce has and will tell you to stay at all costs– again, they will have their own agendas and they will only complicate matters.

          They have vested interests but it’s not their interests that matter– it’s you and your daughter that you have to prioritize. A good therapist can give you practical advice while helping you vent.

    • Anon Analyst :

      Check out marriagebuilders dot com. There is a section on there about infidelity and steps on how to handle it. But short term, others have given good advice about taking some time to yourself to absorb this information. So sorry about your situation.

    • I have no useful advice for you but wanted to send good vibes and internet hugs your way!

      • Legally Brunette :

        Me too. I’m really sorry that you’re dealing with this. Hugs.

        • Men suck when they stray but a lot of times it is meaningless sex. Find out if all that it is you can have the upper hand in dictating what he can do going forward. If he does want to go with the Asian woman, get a good lawyer and make him PAY BIGTIME. What a slimey weenie he is. No sex until you are sure he is clean. No HIV or VD or anything else! PTOOEY !

    • What I Did :

      This happened to me. One year out of law school, five years into my first marriage, I learned that my husband had been having an affair for one year. He was not home when I found and read the letters between him and his mistress. I called my sister, told her, she asked what I wanted, I said “a divorce.” I took a shower while my sister called my dad, who came to pick me up. We drove to where my husband was, I got out of the car and told him “I know you are having an affair with X, I want you to leave, I will be out of the house until 8 tonight, go get your things and leave.” Then I spend the day with my dad. When we got back to the house at 8, we called a locksmith and had the locks changed. I met with an attorney that week and filed for divorce. No kids.

      I have never regretted not trying therapy. He cheated. No excuse for that. He is now (I believe) married to his mistress. I am in a MUCH healthier and happier marriage.

  2. To give a bit of background – we’ve been married 8 years with a 3 year old daughter. Things are going well, or so I thought. Our careers are progressing well, and we’ve been discussing purchasing a house recently too. So this is a complete surprise!

    I know of his ex, and also know they break up partially because of distance. And if I didn’t appear, they might even get back together… But, my 8 years of “happy” marriage? What do I do?

    • When you say you don’t have anyone to talk to about this – are you sure? Please don’t be ashamed to speak to friends or family about this. I’m not saying you are, but aside from the tons of Internet hugs we’re sending you, you need real hugs, too. For the time being, you need some time to process this. I agree with e_pontellier. I’m sorry, this situation must be awful.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Breathe. I’m so sorry this is happening to you. Don’t worry about thinking longterm right now – allow yourself a few minutes/hours/days/whatever to process the shock and hurt of this. Focus on taking deep breaths.

      So, so sorry and hugs to you.

      • Thanks all! And sorry about starting two threads in my state of panic!

        I’ve arranged for a backup nanny , and called dh to say we’re having dinner at a restaurant tonight. Haven’t told him why, but we often do last-minute dates, so he’s not surprised or anything. But this is what I don’t understand. Our marriage is “perfect”! We’re best friends. We talk about everything with each other, and still do. We work in the same area, and would meet up for coffee/lunch several times a week. And there’s nothing I cannot give him that she can, well, other than the fact they started dating first year college when life is so pure and carefree. So why? And does the reason even matter?

        • Cornellian :

          I’m not sure going to dinner with him right now is a good idea. the consensus seems to be it’s a very bad one here, actually.

          • Merabella :

            I agree that dinner right now doesn’t seem like a good idea. The wounds are still too fresh, and you need to take some time to process this information before jumping into a conversation with him about it.

          • Agree; besides, OP is feeling very emotional and may lose it when they meet in a public place – she does not need any additional stress.

          • Agreed – I don’t think you should go to a restaurant tonight. I would get some takeout and stay at home.

          • Yes, please wait to talk till you have had some time to yourself to think and process the information. I am so sorry you are going through this.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            I’m so sorry, help. +1 on Cornellian saying going out to dinner is a Very Bad Idea. Being in a public space while you are so emotionally raw is going to add even more stress as you either try to keep yourself composed so you don’t make a scene, or you break down and have dozens of strangers staring at you. Not good, either way.

            I agree with everyone else that you need to take some time, alone or with a BFF or family member who won’t judge you regardless of which way you decide. You need to have your ducks in a row as much as possible before you talk to him about it, because the conversation may cloud your judgment or confuse you. Be able to articulate what you are feeling and why, even if you are extremely emotional when you are conveying that information. Are you sure he cheated? Is the information you have reliable? (He may deny that he cheated, so be prepared for that) If he did cheat, how do you feel about that? Why do you feel that way? Does it matter if he cheated more than one time? What are you worried about? Do you care to hear his explanation or excuse? I think writing a letter to him about how you’re feeling right now, even if you never share it with him, will help you to collect your thoughts in this incredibly difficult time and prepare you for when you do talk to him about it.

        • i like the idea that you get out of town for a couple of days just to get some breathing room and to digest.

        • Are you going to confront him tonight in the restaurant? I don’t know if I would recommend that…will you have had enough time to process?

          Did you find out in a way that makes you 100% certain that he is having an affair? And I’ve heard before and agree: men don’t cheat because the other option is better – they cheat because it’s different. I know it’s difficult, but please please please don’t compare yourself to her.

        • Please say you are using dinner as some sort of cover for why your little one is at the nanny and you have no plans to actually be at a restaurant. Because I can’t imagine being in a public place for a conversation that will involve anger and tears. You need some time/space to think before you talk. I assume you are sure you have completely accurate information about the situation…

        • Ouch. Again, do you trust him (safety wise)? Dinner seems like it has a million ways of going wrong, unless you feel like you need to be in public.

        • Anonymous :

          This is sort of sensitive. I had an affair. We were best friends, we were perfect, we had loads in common, we talked about everything, did tons together, etc. and so on, you get the idea. We didn’t have a child and I am sure that complicates things even more for you, but I throw this out there just to say that when I did this, it really wasn’t about him or even so much about us. It sounds so cliched but it really was just about me and about the fact I got carried away and before I knew it was this ‘thing’ and it went on for months. I felt awful about it and I think that almost made it worse because my poor partner never suspected it because, if anything, I was so much nicer to him out of guilt. We actually had a really great time during the entire affair because I stopped bugging him about small things that used to annoy me, I stopped griping about socks on the floor or about sleeping late on weekends when I wanted to go to some trendy brunch, you get the picture, and he was probably really happy about it all at the time. In a way, I was the happiest with him I probably have ever been, even though I knew my little juggling act couldn’t possibly ever last. I am saying all this because you shouldn’t be thinking, ‘how did I not see this coming?’ or the like – you didn’t because most people don’t. Period. Even things that seem like flags in hindsight only seem that way in hindsight.
          I am not making excuses for him or for myself, by the way. I should have known better. With a child involved, he certainly should have known better. I just throw this out there because I think the ‘why’ is the hardest thing to get through with an affair and maybe my perspective can help. No, the reason really doesn’t matter. I sincerely hope you and your husband can resolve this in a positive way.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Thank you for sharing your perspective, Anonymous. Regardless of how any of us feel about what you did in your own marriage, it is valuable to hear your side, just as it is valuable to hear a diversity of perspectives on any of the other issues we discuss here.

          • Thank you for this Anonymous! Yes, why is the one question I keep asking myself now. And maybe that’s why I want to talk to him immediately. Cuz I’m unconsciously hoping he could provide a good explanation.

            But if there’s no reason to this at all, how do I know it won’t keep happening whenever he is bored, or wants something exciting? And, Anonymous, I certaintly don’t mean to imply you’d do the same! Jus t wondering how to get through this!

          • Just to respond to your last question, OP, I think that trust can be a conscious choice. And so, if you decide to stay with your husband, at some point you’ll have to make a conscious choice to begin trusting him again.

            But, I think you really should discuss all of this with a therapist, and I think that if you do decide to try to work it out with him, that you should consider individual therapy and couples counseling. Your therapist will (or should) be able to help you with these exact issues.

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t think you ever know. You just work on it and trust. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. I know that some people would never have an affair and some people don’t think twice about it. I think most people don’t fall into either category. Certainly, I don’t.
            I think if your husband had this affair with an old flame, he is probably not cheating just because that’s his m.o. the way some people just do. It takes a lot of work for both people to make it work after an affair. But ultimately you have to trust each other. It’s not easy but it can be done. For what it’s worth, I haven’t considered an affair since that time. It’s been 7 years. I am not saying it could never happen. But I don’t subscribe to the ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ theory. I think some people will always cheat, but that doesn’t mean all people who ever cheated will again. Also, I think there is different kind of cheating. Love is complicated.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I’m assuming “dinner” is an excuse for why he doesn’t have to pick up your daughter tonight. Just in case you were planning on having this conversation in a restaurant, I want to chime in and say bad idea.

          My long term high school boyfriend decided to tell me, while we were having dinner at the Ground Round, that he thought we should “see other people.” I still remember how awkward and embarrassed I felt crying, trying to eat my food, trying to have this emotional conversation with him like a mature human being, all in public – knowing other tables and waitstaff were watching us and evesdropping on our clearly emotional conversation. It is a bad idea. If you need to be in public go to a park or a parking lot of a shopping center or somewhere else that is more private but allows you an “out” if you need it.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Just realized the nanny might be at your house w/ your daughter and that is why you don’t want to have the convo there. Could you ask the nanny to take your daughter out for the evening? Chuck-e-cheese, a kids movie, sleep over at the nanny’s?

    • I’m so sorry. Can you leave the office? I agree with e_pontellier – can you have someone watch your daughter this evening? I think that you should confront your husband (at least that’s what I would do). Tell him that you know. You do not need to have any decisions made about whether you’re going to stay, leave, etc. Those will come after this initial conversation.

      Then, regardless of what happens, find a therapist. You will need to talk this over with someone other than your husband and/or family and friends. Although, my personal view is that I wouldn’t bring in friends or family until I was in a better state of mind, in order to avoid unhelpful conversations. (Note – this is just what I think would be best for me, but this isn’t true for everyone. If you think you have a friend that can be sympathetic without bashing your husband, it would probably be really helpful to talk with her).

      Again, I’m so so sorry.

    • I am so sorry this is happening to you.
      All you can safely say to him is – your mind is a blur right now, and you don’t know if you’ll ever be able to trust him. Do not make or accept any promises.

    • I don’t have any specific advice to offer, but just know I’m sending you all the Internet hugs in the world.

    • All- thanks again for all the hugs and advice! I understand the concensus is not to be in public with him for such an emotional conversation. But let me elaborate my reasoning, and I’ll try to be coherent.

      Before all else, let’s just assume here’s no concern about him being vindictive, or aggressive. That’s not him. Please let’s take that as a given. Many of you said I should take some time. But in the 3+ hours since I found out, I actually feel very calm, and, well… blank. And I don’t think having a couple of days to myself would change that. It’ll just make me agitated because I want to hear what he has to say.

      Being in a public space, I feel, would actually act as a constraint on me, so that I don’t get too emotional. I’m determined to not say and do anything drastic tonight, other than hear his version. To answer some of your questions without going into details, I am absolutely sure it happened. After that, I will think about next steps…

      • Anonymous Poser :

        You know what’s right for you. Internet hugs.

        • So sorry to hear this but you sound like you are in a rational state and are in the best position to decide what is right for you. Best of luck tonight.

      • I am so sorry you’re going through this. Thinking about you and hoping for the best possible outcome in this situation, whatever that may be.

      • I just want to say that I would probably be dealing with this in a very similar way to what you are doing, and identify with your reasoning behind meeting up with him in a public place to try to keep my emotions in check. The idea of taking a number of hours/days to be alone and collect myself is the complete opposite of my personality would cause me more anguish, so I get what you’re doing. One bit of advice: At the beginning of your conversation, you might want to tell him something along the lines of, “If I cannot handle talking to you about this any more I am going to get up and leave quietly and I ask that you not follow me so that I can be alone and think to myself.” You ought to be able to make an exit with some dignity that way, and be able to process what he has said in solitude.
        You’re are strong and in control. I will be thinking of you this evening.

      • Honey Pillows :

        Best of luck with this. The only time I found out an SO was cheating, I was devastated but calm and dumped him on the spot, and he was only a boyfriend!

        The above advice to not talk to friends and family is spot on. No matter what the circumstances, the people who love you will immediately want to protect you, and that will probably mean getting you as far away from him as possible. You have to do what’s right for you and your daughter, what you feel is best, and what you know you can live with. If that means working it out, leaving, whatever, you have to “take care of you.” (As my mother often quotes from Pretty Woman, complete with the light arm punch.)

      • No advice, but hugs to you, and you sound like you are really strong.

      • I am so sorry. I have never been in your position, but I guess my only advice would be not to make any decisions too rashly. This is something you’ll be dealing with for a while and there is no hurry to decide what’s next. Maybe you’ve always thought that you would react a certain way if you were ever in this situation (no divorce ever! or immediate divorce!, for instance), but you should let yourself off the hook for that and just gather information and process your feelings. Again, I am so very sorry you are going through this.

      • :( I’m so sorry. If you can, get there early and ask for a quiet table that way if you need to cry/lose it/throw water on him you’re not sitting in the busiest part of the restaurant. Also, think about what you what for the next few nights. Do you want him to come home and keep up appearances for your daughter (but sleep on the couch), out of the house, etc, that way you don’t have to discuss it when you get home in front of you child. Hugs.

      • onehsancare :

        I hope it went well.

        Remember, you do not need to decide now what your next steps will be. You can take all the time you need to decide what will work for you.

      • I hope your dinner went well.

    • Hey, help – hope dinner went well (or as well as it could under the circumstances) and that you’re doing okay. Keeping you in my thoughts.

  3. need to Block Meebo :

    Has anyone figured out how to get rid of that extremely annoying meebo bar that pops up on this site? I love this site, understand the need for ads to pay for it but the meemo bar is over the line for me. If you have a solution, I would love to hear about it.

  4. Sooner or later, this will me mine.

  5. Equity's Darling :

    For those of you in jurisdictions that robe for court, I’m trying to decide whether to wear pants or a skirt under my robe for my bar call. Thoughts? I’m worried that a skirt may look odd if it’s too short or too long compared to the robe, but that pants might also look odd? I’m thinking of charcoal pinstripe, because a black skirt/pants with a black robe will never really match, as the materials are so different.

    Also, I need to get a gift for my principal to say thanks for the past year- what is an appropriate dollar value for the gift? I was thinking around $100, but I’m not sure if that’s too much or too little, since it’s not really a common situation, and some of my peers had mediocre principals, so they’re giving nothing or very little, and others had great principals, so they’re giving more. My principal checked in on me once a month or so, and was generally helpful, but not super involved.

    • TO lawyer :

      I wore a grey pin-striped knee-length pencil skirt under my robe for my call, and personally, thought it looked sharper than pants would have. BUT I’m biased because I rarely wear pants to work as it is. (Please take this with a grain of salt, but I felt that the robes were already so masculine-looking, I felt more me and feminine with a skirt on – if you don’t feel the same way, ignore this!)

      • Equity's Darling :

        This is a good point- I wear dresses and skirts most of the time, I may feel more comfortable in a skirt than in pants…

      • Rural Juror :

        Same for me. Charcoal grey skirt because I never wear pants. Also, I think robe + pants = too much going on on the bottom, especially if the pants are flare/trouser/wide leg.

        I didn’t get a gift for my principal, it’s not done at my firm. Nice guy and I like him, but a handwritten card would have been as far as I would have went.

    • The pants would not look odd under the robe…don’t all the men wear them?? Now as TO lawyer writes, if you’re concerned about having too masculine a look, that’s another thing (personally I disagree, but that’s my style). You might prefer the look of a skirt, in which case, it might be best if it’s either completely covered by the robe, or quite a bit longer. But I wouldn’t say that the pants would be objectively “odd”.

      Re the gift, that sounds fine — not too much, not too little.

    • lawsuited :

      I wore a skirt. The waistcoat is a little short, and some women who wore pants had their whole waistband and part of their shirt showing. Plus, wearing a skirt made by awesome shoes more visible!

      I got my principal a bottle of scotch because I know he drinks it, and I noticed that wine and liqour were common gifts around the office at Christmas time. If you’re not sure whether you should gift alcohol, don’t. You could just keep it simple with a handwritten thank-you note.

    • springtime :

      I wore a skirt, for all of the above reasons. I thought it looked better to be honest.

      And don’t forget to wear hose!

  6. Funny enough, I just got a catalog from the UCLA store today and I like their stuff better than Meesh and Mia. I’d rather wear an actual college logo t-shirt than an overpriced wrap top with my school’s name written in the corner.

    • Go Bruins!!!

      • I love all of my UCLA gear! I was just thinking last night that I needed to replace my shorts from college that I still wear as pjs at least once a week.

    • Cosigned. Team clothing is what it is — a way to show school pride and something comfy to wear to watch parties. I guess I don’t see the point in fancy-ing it up, much.

      • Research, Not Law :

        So, I’m actually not really a fan person and couldn’t agree more. But I come from a family that is and used to attend the smanzy events for athletic program fundraisers and will say that there are definitely occasions that warrant fancy fanwear and a market for people who want to buy it.

        I’ll be forwarding on this website. I’m not interested because thank goodness I don’t have to attend any more, but I have sisters/aunts/cousins who will LOVE IT.

        • Yeah, I’m really involved in my alumni association and some of that stuff would be perfect for events. If I’m volunteering at a college fair or hosting a happy hour for alums, it would be nice to be able to dress up a little and still show school spirit.

    • All over the Northwestern stuff! Go Wildcats!

  7. emcsquared :

    Has anyone looked into Klout? I got interested in what my score might be, but the more I added things and went through the process, the more sketchy it seemed. It felt like it might cheapen everything I do on social media afterward – like, am I doing this just to get the score? Has anyone else had good/bad experiences or have any thoughts on how to make it worthwhile?

    FWIW, I see it as purely a professional tool (I’m a lawyer) – I don’t have any desire or stamina to be a top “influencer” in any hobby or extracurricular activity.

    • I’m a marketer, and I don’t put much stock in Klout. From what I’ve seen regarding their financials, the market doesn’t put much stock in them, either (granted, I haven’t seen much about Klout in a while, so maybe they’re doing better than they were). I tend to agree that if you start doing social media for the purpose of increasing your Klout score, it will be a waste of time. I don’t think every social media platform is an effective tool, and to have a high Klout score, you generally need to be on many different platforms frequently. If you’re looking to use social media as a professional tool, some platforms might not serve you well. I think about Facebook for lawyers: what pictures would you put there? What does “liking” a lawyer’s FB page do for you? I would think LinkedIn groups and profiles would be much more effective in that case. But, if you want to up the Klout score, you’ll probably need to do something on FB. Are you going to want to consolidate your personal and professional FB, Twitter, etc. presence? I think there’s a lot of potential to get bogged down in random tools that don’t really improve your business if you get too focused on the Klout score…. and I don’t know of anyone that runs around introducing themselves with their Klout score/putting it on their resume, etc.

      • emcsquared :

        Thanks, this is what my gut was telling me but my head couldn’t interpret. I have no idea why my instagram or flickr posts should influence my professional legal image (unless I’m using them irresponsibly, of course).

  8. I could wear this with the sorority-themed Lilly Pulitzer scarf I bought last week, and would be just about the lamest late-20s professional in the whole world. It could be my “nostalgia” outfit.
    The scarf is awesome, by the way. In case any of you were wondering :)

  9. Reading this (“those of you who actually do have some team spirit for your college or grad school teams”) reminded me of a question that’s been bubbling around in my mind for a while…

    For those who have completed graduate degrees, how do you respond when someone asks where you went to school (assuming you went to more than one place)? Obviously grad school was more recent, but I feel more … allegiance, for lack of a better word, to my undergrad alma mater. And I worry that it sounds weird to say “I have a BS from School A and a master’s from School B.”

    • Jacqueline :

      I don’t think that sounds weird at all! I like hearing where people went to school when it involves multiple degrees — it’s a natural conversation starter (Why did you choose that school? Did you like that program? etc.).

    • e_pontellier :

      What a good question. I’m in law school, so whenever I’m asked “where did you go to school,” I answer with my undergrad school, because everyone who’s asking is a classmate at law school! Very interested in responses.

    • If random people are asking, they mean college not your masters. if you are talking to someone in your field who would also have the same masters, they mean the school you received your masters

    • I just do the “undergrad at A and law school at B.” It’s never seemed weird to me. But maybe because I’m a lawyer everyone already knows that I have two degrees? (So it doesn’t sound like I’m randomly bringing up the fact that I have a graduate degree.) I guess it depends on why they’re asking.

      • That’s exactly what I say. Even if the person asking doesn’t know that I have a JD, I wouldn’t want to seem like I’m hiding it if they’re just asking about my background.

      • Business, Not Law :

        I do the same (except replace law with “my masters”). My undergrad field is also polar opposite from my current profession/masters degree so it’s usually a natural progression of conversation.

        If you are worried about feeling awkward (or having it come across as you are bragging, it won’t)

    • Well, I did my u-grad at a satellite campus of the system I did my grad degree at, so I usually just answer with University of State, and then clarify between the u-grad or grad degree if there’s a follow up conversation.

      That wasn’t terribly helpful, though.

    • goirishkj :

      Hint–my handle doesn’t refer to my JD! Unless there’s a professional reason that I have to admit where I went to law school, I usually go with undergrad. My car has undergrad alumni license frames and my office is decorated with my undergrad logo, with no mention of grad school. Grad school for me was a means to an end.

      Of course I could just be an obnoxious brat so YMMV.

      • Given your handle, I’m confident you’re not an obnoxious brat. Go Irish!

      • Wow, I’ve been mentally pronouncing your handle as one word all this time. I thought it was slavic or something. I’m kind of slow on the uptake.

        • omg you are not alone. exactly, pronounced goy-rishk-ah.

          • Tired Squared :

            Em, I’ve been doing the same thing. Never realized it was referencing ND!

        • goirishkj :

          That name would me far more exciting than my real life boring name. Hmmm, I kinda like it :)

    • emcsquared :

      I try to take it from context – if I’m on Professional Business, I always default to my law school (to remind people that, um, I’m a lawyer).

      If it’s just a social inquiry, I assume they want to know more about me and are fishing for conversation starters, so I say both law school and undergrad (often with a little extra school spirit for my undergrad, since it’s the one where I feel closer ties).

    • i had a weird experience with this. I went to a name brand undergrad x and there’s another name brand undergrad y in my city. i then went to a regional ok-ranked law school in the same city.

      i’ve been rocking at my biglaw job and after my annual review concluded the reviewer (not from my city) asked where i went to school –x or y? i said x definitively and then stopped. and then realized he meant law school. it made for a very awkward fumble.

    • I just say that I did my UG at X and did my MA abroad.

    • LadyEnginerd :

      Socially, I go with “I did my undergrad at School A.” or, since I’m just recently out of grad school “I just finished grad school (unspecified – usually don’t mention the doctorate) at School B.” If I’m meeting people through SO, I’ll say “I met SO when we were both at School B,” giving them the opening they want to ask about how we met without mentioning exactly why I was at School B until they ask. :)

      School B is more useful for sports. School A is a hugely intimidating brand name that’s much less good at revenue sports. I usually judge the group as to whether a PhD or School A degree will scare people off more, or whether I’m OK with random acquaintances thinking I’m 6 years younger and a fresh BA if I’ll never meet them again. Yes, I’m underselling myself, but I usually want to make a less intimidating first impression and soften the resume in the hopes of making friends.

      Oh and professionally? “I did my doctoral work in SubField at School B under Advisor’s Name.” They care most about Advisor and secondarily about Subfield. School B usually serves as a signal to Advisor’s stature in lieu of a the person actually having met Advisor.

    • SugarMagnolia :

      I normally say, I went to A, but then B for law school”

      And it doesn’t sound weird at all.

    • I just say X undergrad, X for law. I always figured that if someone asked, they wanted to know both.

      • onehsancare :

        I’m on the west coast and went to a public law school after an Ivy League undergrad. I always assume that people are asking about law school (that’s the university with the big athletic program, after all) and answer with that. If they look more interested, I say that I went back East for college. Way too many times, naming my undergrad school felt (or was perceived?) as bragging, so I leave it out unless I’m asked specifically. Now that I write that, it looks like I’m playing coy, but I swear it doesn’t come across that way. Most people are just happy with the “back East” answer, because they really don’t care!

        • As long as you never, ever under any circumstances do the whole “I went to a little school in New Haven” or “I went to school in Cambridge.” Because we know what schools are in New Haven and Cambridge. (Ugh, I worked for a partner who did this. Seriously, we’re all grown-ups and can handle the fact that you went to Harvard and Yale.)

    • I always give my undergrad when asked, then that I did my masters in Boston/went to grad school in Boston. If they care where or want to hear about what kind of masters degree, they ask.

  10. Hey everybody – just wanted to say that I finally bought my new car yesterday and thanks so much to everybody who chimed in with suggestions on how to prepare. For the first time, I felt like I went in with all of the information I needed and successfully negotiated a really good deal for exactly what I wanted. I put out a pretty hefty number for what I wanted for my trade-in then negotiated to the middle (still very good). I was not always nice to the salesman – I held my ground. And my payments, for a car with lots of bells and whistles, is actually $4 less than what I was paying for my old car. I get my car tomorrow and I’m so excited!

  11. I have the ruffled polo from Meesh and Mia and I was a little disappointed with the fabric. It is not pique, and is pretty thin material. The color saturation is good, so it is not see through, but I am worried about how long it will hold up in the wash – especially at the price point.

    I did buy mine through one of the flash sites – either Totsy or Zulily, so at least I didn’t pay full price.

    • Good to know. I was thinking it was pretty cute, but maybe I’ll pass on this one.

  12. For any moms doing back to school shopping (or anyone looking for basics for themselves!), Old Navy is having a 15% off sale online today and tomorrow with code ONEXTRA15. It’s good on everything but jeans and their “everyday steals.”

  13. Any tricks on editing text down? I’m 700 words over a 15k limit and have made some substantial edits but I’m hoping a handful of words on each page might due the trick without destroying the context.

    • e_pontellier :

      This is shady and lame – so take it with salt – but if there’s anything you can abbreviate that you use a lot (e.g., using someone’s last name instead of “the defendant” saves you a ton of words), or any frequently used phrases you can hyphenate, you’ll save words.

    • In a legal writing seminar, we were told to look at the end of each sentence and see if it really needed to end there, or if we could end it a clause earlier. This was mostly aimed at getting us to stop writing in very wordy legalese and simplify, but I’ve found it useful in other contexts. Since I think you said you were working on your dissertation (thesis?) I’m guess my law school exam trick of just deleting all articles wouldn’t fly (since you want the thing to sound intelligent and readable, and not something that got pounded out in four hours).

    • A tip I recently heard for cutting down words in appellate briefs is to refer to people as just [lastname] rather than Mrs. [lastname] because the title counts as a word. I’m not sure if that would apply to your topic, though. You can also look for common “wordy” phrases to reduce. Here are a few examples from my style manual:
      Turn “at the present time” into “now”
      “because of the fact that” into “because”
      “excessive number of” into “too many”
      “take into consideration” into “consider”
      “the majority of” into “most”

      Hope this helps and good luck!

      • Here is a more comprehensive list.

    • new york associate :

      Are you a lawyer? If so, then do this:
      The Defendant –> Defendant
      eliminate all extraneous words, like articles, out of parentheticals, and generally cut parentheticals down as much as possible
      Look at headings and subheadings to see if there’s a shorter, plainer way you can state them
      Look at each sentence. Are you using words like “and” where a semi-colon would do?

      But really, none of this is a substitute for just cutting out a piece of your argument or whole blocks of text.

    • If you aren’t already, write in the active voice to the fullest extent possible.
      Also, cut out the word ‘very’ anywhere you have used it. It’s almost never necessary.

      • e_pontellier :

        Similarly, my dad always says to eliminate the word “that” — it’s also almost never necessary.

      • Rose in Bloom :

        Also any “throat-clearing” words should go, e.g. obviously, clearly, etc. If it is obvious, then just state it.

    • Check for adverbs and adjectives – do all of them need to be there? Would changing adverb+verb to adjective+noun make things shorter? Whenever a sentence has an “and” in it, check whether it is run-on and can be shortened. Search for “as well as”. Whatever comes after might be able to go.

      • Great advice, thanks! I’m searching for that and with and excess ands. I use a certain phrase 45 times, it has 3 words! But sadly I can’t acronym it as it becomes too close to the initials for the political party I’m studying.

        Also, once this thing is done, I’m banned from using the words “noted” or “notes” ever again.

        • Rose in Bloom :

          Can you change the phrase to a defined term? For example, if your phrase is x y z, your sentence would look like the following the first time you use the term. “Here, x y z (“X”) does this, X does that.” You would just use the defined term “X” for the rest of your paper. This won’t work unless the defined term sounds ok standing alone in a sentence.

          As for synonyms for note, I will switch to state for variety. Also, distinguish, write, explain, as fits the context.

        • If you can get rid of 2/3 words in that phrase (by shortening it to one defined word, or just dealing with the awkward acronym) in all but the first mention, you could shave off close to 90 words!

    • Is there anything you talk about a lot that you name using multiple words, but could use a “hereinafter”? Such as, “Kant’s The False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures” becomes “False Subtlety” for the rest of the piece?

    • Anonymous :

      I think a good strategy for cutting the number of words you need is to look for entire sentences or short paragraphs that are redundant. Look for them especially in the section right after the introduction — I know that when I set out to write something long, I often state things multiple times or add unnecessarily detail as soon as I start getting into the weeds because it feels like I need to explain everything at great length to hit the word count target. In any case, 700 out of 15,000 isn’t too much, so I’m sure you’ll be fine! If you run out of things you’re willing to cut yourself, hand it off to a friend you trust for suggestions — sometimes you need someone who is willing to be more ruthless than you can be with your own writing.

    • First eliminate passive voice, then qualifiers (maybe, possibly, etc.) that weaken your arguments, then adverbs (in hopes of finding a stronger/more precise verb), then adjectives if possible. Where it makes sense, join 2 sentences with a semi-colon rather than a conjunction/compound sentence, or separate the sentences.

    • At 700 words over you really need to revamp what you are saying – it will probably make your argument stronger in the end so just decide what idea has to go.

  14. All my internet hugs go out to help! and I hope everything works out ok.

    I love the outpouring of support, and I also find it fascinating the way different people would handle a really upsetting situation. For me, I would NEVER be able to take time to cool off. I would immediately go home, and ask my husband to take time off and meet me at home. I would have to confront him about it asap. So in that way its similar to how help is feeling, she does not want to wait. But I also would never be able to do it in a public place. I would want to be emotional, and like, not enjoy but just embrace I guess having a place to really cry about it. But I am actually not emotional in general, I feel like I am almost always in control of my emotions. But I wouldn’t want to have to be for that situation I guess.

    I know this sounds weird but I guess I never really thought about the different ways people would handle an emotional situation like that. I really admire the idea of being able to be cool and collected even though I can’t picture myself doing that. Do you think the different way people would handle it has to do with the individual, or about how the relationship in general works, the couple dynamic?

    • Honey Pillows :

      A little bit of column A… a little bit of column B…

      In all my relationships, problems were worked out calmly and dispassionately, even the cheating situation I mentioned above. Once I reach a breaking point, I don’t need time to myself to think, but I also don’t start weeping or screaming. In my everyday life I’m a highly emotional person, and I think that when s**t really hits the fan, my emotions go on lockdown as a self-defense mechanism. I also have a good deal of exposure to therapy techniques of communication, so I default to that. “When you do x, I feel y…”

      All of my breakups were fairly drama-free due to this, except for one, in which we had a really short, very passionate, fight-filled relationship. I called him a lot of names and he said some less than flattering things about my tuchus and my expectations of what I deserve in a relationship and I ran out of the bar.

      • You sound like me. Movies, TV, and even commercials make me cry. Sometimes I make myself cry just thinking about “what ifs” like if my sister died. But in relationships I come to the tough conversations totally cool and calm. I might cry to myself after the tough convo, but never during. And it’s not like I’m holding it back, I just don’t for some reason. Of course, I have also had a lot of therapy and do the therapy-speak as well, so maybe that has something to do with it.

        If I do feel like I’m too angry to make sense I remove myself from the situation until I have it straightened out in my mind. This once resulted in me taking the dog for a two hour walk, at the beginning of which I was ready to end it with my SO and by the end of which I realized that the thing I was angry about was really, really silly. Like, so silly I would never post it here because it’s so embarrassing.

    • Yeah, I am not a person who sits on things like this. When things are this big, for me, they take precedence over everything. No, I won’t freak out at the office (at least not with the door open…), but I would go to the partners and tell them that I needed to leave immediately, and I’d tell my spouse he needed to do the same.

  15. Separation/Divorce and Money Issues :

    Been on vacation for two weeks and come back just in time for lots of divorce posts. Interesting because I need some hive help.

    I’ve been separated from my husband for almost a year. We have a 6-year-old son. The H and I are still living in the same house (he sleeps in the basement) due to financial issues. To very broadly give some background, he is clinically depressed, cheated a couple times (after the last time was when we separated), has worked on-and-off for the past few years (was unemployed for 9 or so months, was employed again for 6 mo, unemployed again for 3 mo, employed again for 9 mo…when he unilaterally decided to quit because the job was “so miserable”). Also, we are renovating our house and it cannot be sold in its current state – he is doing the renovations himself (he is an architect). When we separated, he decided to cash out his 401(k) to have money in order to complete the renovations and to live on, which I was adamantly opposed to (yes, I had to sign it b/c we’ve been marred more then 10 years, but at that point I could no longer have a daily argument on the topic – I suggested he wait until after Jan 1 2012 but he would not). He got socked with $30k in taxes b/c not enough was withheld, and now he has a monthly payment to the IRS to pay them what was owed. He had gotten a consulting gig a couple months ago but just told me that “it didn’t work out like he thought.”

    I have been paying all of the bills myself – mortgage, health insurance, life insurance, utilities, food, child care, etc. I make enough (thank God) to cover these items with a little wiggle room but not much. The only things I’ve not been paying is the car insurance, his life insurance premium, his therapy, his meds.

    I’ve asked him multiple times to move out because I feel I can get no perspective on our relationship in this state of limbo. I’m not ready to pull the trigger on getting divorced without this important real separation. I feel all of the things about him that have made me unhappy and fall out of love with him (which I have felt for a LONG time) are always in my face. I told him before I left for vacation that he has to move out by August 31.

    Well my dilemma now is: he has NO money. Like, none. We have a joint account that I have not used nor contributed to since January 1, and where his 401(k) disbursement went. There is not one red cent of this left (I still have access to the on-line statements). While I was on vacation, he texted me to say that there was no money in the account, said he was not keeping track of spending and had no idea how much money was there (or wasn’t, as the case may be). His monthly IRS payment just bounced.

    How is he going to move out in two weeks? I really need to move forward but also…how do I kick out this person who cannot keep it together. But then again, I have to stop enabling him. He has no family in our area and not sure if there is a friend who could put him up. I haven’t asked him his plan yet since I just returned and I admittedly hate talking to him about these subjects because I am really bad at conflicts and having hard conversations, and because he just spirals into a pity party, self-loathing, blaming me, blah blah blah.

    Not sure what I am really asking. Guess I just needed to put this out there. Thanks ladies.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Hugs and sympathies and a probably stupid question that I ask out of naivete, not judgment – it sounds like it will be really hard, if not impossible, to “force” your husband to move out, so why can’t you and your son move out instead? It seems like you’re letting your estranged husband have veto power. You tell him to move out, he doesn’t, so… now what? You do nothing except ask him to move out again? You have money to move out. If you move into an apartment in the same district, your son will still have a lot of continuity, even if his home with you is now in a new location.

      Note I am not familiar with family law. It sounds like you really need to consult an attorney about protecting yourself financially.

    • Diana Barry :

      How is title to the house held? If in your name, then you can force him to move out by changing the locks. If in joint or his name, then I would ask a lawyer what your options are.

      Also, in some states (I think) there is a separate legal status to separation prior to divorce. I would ask your lawyer about that too. Please let us know if you need recommendations for a good family lawyer – there are lots of us who are lawyers and can probably find someone for you no matter where in the country you are.


    • My best guy friend is 29 years old and has no concept of money because he’s never had to support himself between girlfriends and parents. I love my friend dearly, but he lives outside his means and just failed to learn many of the life lessons that the rest of us had to learn in order to be self-sufficient and competent adults. Your husband sounds a bit like my friend, or a recent college grad who has never had to figure out how to make ends meet or balance a budget. And frankly, your husband is doubtful to ever learn as long as he has a crutch, whether it’s you or whoever acted as his crutch before you.

      I think you have to stick firm to the move out date you set. If that means he has to move away to move back in with family, so be it. After he finds a job there and manages to maintain a steady income for a while, maybe you guys could plan on visiting or spending time with each other to test out the divorce v. separation waters. But he sounds a bit flakey and an inability to hold down a job or keep track of a bank account do not sound like the trappings of a mature and responsible adult. So maybe it’s time that you force him to become one, no matter how hard it may be for him or for you. How else will he ever learn?

    • Separation/divorce and money issues :

      To answer these questions…we are both on the deed and mortgage. Hence I am not sure legally I can force him out but I can ask my attorney this. We are “legally” separated in so much as a document has been signed and notarized by both of us but there is no court filing to make this a recognized status as far as I have been told by the attorney. (We live in DC by the way.)

      Yes, SF Bay I could move out – i have thought of this – but then the mortgage would not get paid. I dont want to be a single mom dependent on just my income and not be able to qualify for a mortgage because the last one defaulted. Or heck, I need to be able to qualify for rents in this area which are not the most reasonable.


      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Could you qualify for a new mortgage now? I don’t know DC family law but if you bought a house in your name only while separated I’d be shocked if that became part of the marital estate. Then if you stop paying the old mortgage and he fails to pay, you have a roof over your head at a minimum.

        While I appreciate all the other posters “tough love” approach, unfortunately, if you file for divorce it might not work out that way. Instead, the courts will see a man unable/unwilling to work and no means to support himself. They will see a kid that “needs” both parents in his/her life. You will be ordered to pay spousal support and child support so that the kid can have “equal” homes.

        So while tough love sounds great in theory, you will end up paying for it in the long run due to the “duty” to support one’s spouse. This is often very hard for women to hear. I have to tell them “let’s reverse the roles.” Woman is depressed and hasn’t worked in years. Husband has supported her and put the roof over the family’s head and provided for the kid’s needs. Husband divorces wife and court gives joint parenting time. Maybe mom gets more parenting time since she is home and not working after school. Heck, the court calls her a “stay at home mom.” You would agree that the court would most likely grant her alimony and child support, right? That is your situation except you are the husband and he is the “mom.”

        You need some serious legal advice and you need to carefully plot each financial step going forward, including how much to support or cut off the depressed ex-husband. No one can force you to live with him and be married to him but they can force you to financially support him and should half the marital debt. And if he can’t shoulder the other half, it will fall on you anyway cause the court’s can’t force the bank to not go after you for the mortgage you signed. You can hold him in contempt but in most states that just means he has to show he is “trying” to work. Good luck!

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          should half = shoulder half.

        • Separation/divorce and money issues :

          Thank you for this. I agree that it could turn out that way with my having to support him. He is capable of holding a job. He has chosen not to stay at them. When the H quit his last full-time salaried position he said that no judge would look favorably on someone quitting their about six-figure salary willingly without another income source lined up. Regardless ou are correct that I should update my lawyer on these new developments and see what he says and you are right no matter what my name is on the current mortgage so I am liable. Only difference in the reverse scenario you describe is that he is not acting as a stay At home dad. During school he went to aftercare after school was dismissed. All summer my son has been in camp from 8:30 to 6. Maybe if he was I wouldn’t be so bitter! Ha ha

          I doubt I would qualify for a mortgage on my own now because of the debt on the current house. Unless I said that I were renting it out and therefore had income to support taking on more debt. But that would be a lie.

        • ^^^This.

      • Well, I’d start by asking him (calmly) what his plan is for moving out at the end of August, if he has one. He might have a friend or someone lined up, you don’t know (and could be panicking over nothing). If he doesn’t have a plan, tell him he needs one. Has he refused to move out? My impression is that he is not opposed per se but he has nowhere to go. So it would be more a matter of making a plan than changing the locks (which, for your son’s sake, is a drama you don’t want to deal with).

        Anyway, you have my sympathy. I remember you posting about this before. It seems like a really awkward and difficult situation.

    • What a pig he is. The sooner he is out the better. Just hope he doesn’t latch on to some unsuspecting ingenue who bankrolls him while he bad mouthed you. PTOOEY on men like this.

    • Well, my friend in a similar situation (H promised to move out and just wouldn’t) decided that the only way she could move forward was to move out herself and leave H with the house. He was then forced to support himself and figure out what do with the house.

    • I don’t have any practical advice, but I just wanted to say this sounds like a very difficult situation, and I am impressed with how collected and reasonable you seem. Good luck.

    • Senior Attorney :

      First, you definitely need to talk to your lawyer about this.

      Second, as a practical matter it seems like the easiest way to get a physical separation is for you to move out yourself. Failing that, would he be willing to move if you rented an apartment for him and paid, say, 6 months rent in advance? It might be a good investment. Just make sure you have no further liability to the landlord after the 6 months (or whatever) is up.

  16. Burned-Out Baby Lawyer :

    Apologies in advance for the threadjack…

    I’m a first year litigation associate at a big firm, I just passed my first year anniversary with the firm, and I think that I’m on the verge of burning out. I enjoy the work that I do for the most part, and I also like most of my colleagues, but for the past month or so I have had little to no desire to get out of bed and come in to work. I used to feel very motivated to do an excellent job, and have built up a reputation for being a diligent worker with a strong work ethic, and my recent lack of motivation/apathy towards my job is very unlike me.

    Our department is very busy, and as a first year associate I’m at the beck and call of not only the partners in our department, but every associate who is above me. In addition to that, I have my own files which also keep me busy. Over the last month I’ve felt like I’m losing my grasp on time management, and I sometimes feel like my work demands are too much. I can’t help comparing myself to other junior associates in our department who seem to have all of their stuff together, and it makes me feel like I’m going to wind up disappointing myself, my family, and my senior colleagues at some point. I find myself calling in sick way more often because I sometimes feel like I just can’t emotionally handle coming into work every day and being given more work. And my absences make me feel less like coming into work, because I don’t want to discuss my recent absences, which in turn causes me to not want to come into work…etc. My firm is known for working its lawyers very hard, and our culture is one of “taking one for the team”, where the firm is the team and letting the team down is a failure. Many junior associates have left the firm over the year that I’ve been here, and while there seems to be some concern among senior associates and management about this, most people refer to the “departed” associates as people that couldn’t hack it. I don’t want to be seen of in that light, but I feel like I’m drowning and that I need help. However, given the culture at my firm, I don’t feel comfortable reaching out for help.

    I don’t know if these feelings are part of Imposter Syndrome, if I’m burned out, or if I’m just physically and emotionally tired because I haven’t taken off any vacation apart from the holiday weekend and two stat days that I had over Christmas last year. I’m going away on vacation with my boyfriend on Sunday for a week, and while I hope that some time and (guilt-free) distance from work will change how I feel, part of me is worried that I’ll continue to feel as tired and down-trodden as I did before vacation.

    Has anyone experienced these feelings before with regards to their work? If so, does anyone have any suggestions on how I can deal with how I’m feeling about my work and what I can do?

    • At a minimum it sounds like you’re burned out. A year of keeping up a litigation pace without a break will do that. Turn off your blackberry during your vacation or set a limited window during which you check it. When you get back, schedule more time off down the road. It really helps me to have something to look forward to. More importantly, you have to set boundaries. Make yourself unavailable during the evenings; leave work at work. It’s also ok for you to say no and admit that your plate is full.

    • Does your firm have an Employee Assistance Program? I think that is what it is called. It may help to have a few confidential sessions to talk through what is going on. Take care of your mental health.

      • AnonInfinity :

        This might be too late, but a lot of bar associations also have an assistance program with counseling options if your employer does not.

        And I agree with the others — If you are calling in sick to avoid work, you are not in the right place.

    • FYI: just because people there say those who left “couldn’t hack it” doesn’t mean it’s true. Many leave for quality of IDE and because they dont care others think they “couldn’t hack it”. Don’t worry what others think, that sounds solo childish. . .

    • You should leave. When you start calling in sick because you can’t bear to go to the office, it’s time to leave. Start applying for jobs and start planning your exit. The entire legal field isn’t this bad and you can find another job that won’t cause you so much emotional and mental distress. And who cares that people say the associates who leave couldn’t hack it? That’s just something people at a miserable job say to make themselves feel better for being so miserable. Once you’re out of there, you really won’t care what those people think. Get out of there and start living your life again.

    • I agree that you need to find a new job. Think of “couldn’t hack it” as a way of saying “doesn’t thrive in this kind of environment.” There’s nothing judgmental about that — it’s just the truth. (For example, there are lots of litigators on here who say the conflict makes them feel drained and miserable. For others of us, the conflict is energizing and engaging. Neither is better than the other, just different temperaments.)

      But here’s why you need to find a new job beyond just being happier (which is, btw, sufficient in itself): you are right that you are going to fail at some point if you stay. If you feel constantly overwhelmed and are taking lots of sick days, you are on your way to a series of small or one large, crashing mistake. In these situations where you have a million things going at once, you’re exhausted, your heart isn’t in it, you’re miserable, it is so easy to make a mistake. You need to be 110% on your game all the time (which is soul-sucking and crazy-making, by the way) and you aren’t. So find something new now while you still have good references and, most importantly, a good amount of self-esteem left.

    • Anon for This :

      Your firm sounds a lot like my firm. At its largest, it’s a 16 attorney firm, and in the last 3 years they have lost 8 junior associates, largely due to the kind of firm culture you describe.

      I’ve been at mine just under a year, and am now in my last week, having given notice after having a serious panic attack that resulted in an ER visit and numerous days where I cried the entire way to work.

      I realize you may not be in a position to pack up and leave, but please, if you’re feeling this way, look elsewhere. In my case, I was able to start up a general practice with my father-in-law, and have some security because my spouse has a good job. But even if you’re not able to leave now, start looking if you’re still feeling this way after vacation (and after scheduling other vacation to look forward to). Your mental well-being is so important, and feeling like this doesn’t just take a toll mentally – it can make you physically ill.

    • “most people refer to the ‘departed’ associates as people that couldn’t hack it. I don’t want to be seen of in that light,”

      Don’t let the fact that someone might call you a quitter AFTER you leave hold you back. I view this behavior as a function of cognitive dissonance. The people still at the firm can’t/won’t acknowledge that it’s dysfunctional/unpleasant/etc. and rationalize away data conflicting with their opinions by pointing the finger at departees. I saw it all the time at my old firm. Once a superstar associate who always received glowing reviews left, all of a sudden people would start talking about how *actually* their work wasn’t *that* great and this one time they screwed up this and this other time blah blah blah. It was total crap.

  17. Anonnymizz :

    Thanks for this. As a coach’s wife its hard to find something that mentions school, but doesn’t look like a super excited 19 year old who got into their top choice, especially when you aren’t an alum. Most of the “issued” gear is over the top.

    • Merabella :

      I’m a coach’s wife too! I didn’t know there was more of us out there.

  18. Go Cats!

  19. Anonnymizz :

    Yes. I am a regular poster under a different screen name, but I am here, too!

  20. Burned-Out Baby Lawyer :

    Thank you to everyone for their support and advice yesterday and today. Many of your comments resonnated with me, especially comments about starting to look for a new job while my self-esteem is intact and I still have a good reputation at my firm.

    I will try and seek some counselling when I return from my vacation, and I’ll start looking around for a better place to work in the meantime.

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