Coffee Break – Phoebe Tote

 Phoebe Tote by Vince CamutoI really love this canvas and leather tote bag from Vince Camuto. Cobalt snake with teal accents? Sign me up. I really like that there are many interior pockets — perfect for your technology. It was $198, but is now marked to $118 at Piperlime. Vince Camuto Phoebe Tote Handbag



  1. What would you wear to an interviewer when the company recommends “business casual” attire? I come from the “always wear a suit to an interview” mind-set, but I don’t want them to think I can’t follow directions. It’s a start-up, if that helps.

    • Professor TBA :

      Dear hive – I have an academic fashion question. When you wear full academic regalia, what do you wear under your robe? Is it better to wear pants? A skirt? At my own graduation, I wore a light dress under my robe, but I’m not sure what the norms/standards are when you’re on the faculty side of things. This is all new to me–any advice would be most appreciated.

      • Professor TBA :

        Oops – sorry, Lupie. Didn’t mean to post here…

      • I would think it’s probably ok to wear either a skirt or pants under your robe as faculty.

        • Research, Not Law :

          Either are appropriate, assuming they are appropriate for the occasion without the robe (no jeans ;) ). On women, I personally prefer skirts under robes. I think it looks more feminine.

      • I wear a sleeveless dress and heels. It may depend on where your graduation is held but ours is indoors. I also hold my cap on with pink sparkly bobby pins and carry presents but our faculty are fairly irreverent and I’m long-tenured.

      • I wore a JCrew halter dress, no bra, and a cardigan to our last commencement. Then I ditched the cardigan because it was 100*. I’m pretty un-busty, so it looked fine – several mothers of my students commented on how nice I looked (sans gown.)

        Usually I wear pretty shoes and a lightweight dress as a. the shoes are all anyone can see and b. those gowns are so hot.

      • I wear a dress, as I always get too hot, and I think that when I wear pants, I look like a male Hogwarts teacher. In June, I wore a print Susie Chin for Maggie London knit faux-wrap dress that Kat featured here on [this site] and black Cole-Haan Air Talia mid pumps that Kat also posted. Comfy, cool and the print of the dress had black in it so it coordinated well with the black gown.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I would say pencil skirt, skirt and reaasonably fashionable button down or blouse. I was at a (young) startup and we definitely noticed and wondered about fit with people who wore a basic suit + hose to interviews, when they were previously told over the phone that the office was extremely casual and interview dress was business casual at most.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        That should read, pencil skirt, *heels…

        Also, I’d keep the jewelry/accessories brighter and fun as well.

      • Kontraktor :

        Yeah but do you blame people? I feel advice always says to wear a suit because apparently even when a company tells you not to, it’s secret code that means you actually should. Even separates (here on this site) are often discouraged for interviews (though I’ve worn colorful separates to a lot of interviews, especially ones held on casual Friday’s where interviewers were in jeans). So… there is a lot of conflicting information out there about what is okay. But, I think colorful separates are nice for a more casual interview, or if it is actually really really casual, a nice crisp pair of slacks and pretty cardigan with a good/possibly statement necklace.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          We didn’t ding them if we hadn’t told them explicitly that the interview was business casual but we did if we had told them and they disagreed. Not a HUGE ding but a question – are you the best fit for our organization, would you be fun to get drinks with, can you listen to instructions. I would say definitely makes sense to default to suits if the company doesn’t give you any information. But if they tell you explicitly to dress business casual? I would dress business casual.

          • Kontraktor :

            Oh I totally agree. I was commenting more on the ethos of this site in particular (but also other general career advice places) whcih seems to insist on a suit always. I feel there have been multiple threads about people interviewing for more casual/creative/whatever environments and people always seem to go suit-rabid for some reason and insist it’s the only option. I agree with you in that I don’t think it’s always the best choice.

            The whole ‘fit in’ thing and also understanding what clothes are appropriate for what situations are what have made me very insistant on not always wearing a suit to an interview. I wish more people would follow suit. <– bad pun intended

    • I answered in the earlier thread and don’t know if you saw it, but I’d go with some nicely coordinated but not entirely matching suiting separates. So for example, “the skirt” in storm grey with a black blazer and a cream shirt underneath. Or a black sheath dress with a patterned blazer over it (or a colored blazer). Or a black pencil skirt with a colored blazer in a not too out there color. Or if you want to wear a suit, I’d stick with a more casual color, like beige or something with a more fun shirt underneath.

      Another option is a pant suit with flats to sort of dress it down a notch. No matter what though, I’d definitely wear a blazer and not a cardigan because I think it projects more of a sense of authority and polish.

    • Dress pants, blouse/non-knit top, cardigan, nice belt (either in belt loops or belt the cardigan), heels, one fun jewelry item.

      I just did this for a series of interviews in business casual offices. Landed a great job and felt about right when interviewing with people wearing jeans or khakis.

  2. Super anon :

    In light of the conversation from last week (the week before?) on professors teaching during sabbaticals, apparently there is a proposal floating out there to have a practical skills requirement in the California bar. I attend one of the schools named in this article debating the pros and cons. I have to say that we have done a lot more practical hands on training than some of my friends who attend/attended other law schools and 2 years in, I have seen a difference between what we have learned to do and what other have. General thoughts?

    • Maddie Ross :

      I think your link is broken, but I’m curious to read the article. As a senior associate, I tend to think more practical experience would be a good thing before people jump into being associates, esp. in Big Law.

      • Super anon :

        Weird. Hopefully this works.

        • Maddie Ross :

          That worked, thanks. I guess I didn’t realize how CA specific this was until I read the article. Honestly, my view is that I think schools should be more focused on the practical side of things, as well as law firm management and marketing techniques. But I don’t think there should be a separate Bar requirement for certain states that others do not have.

    • Cynical Lawyer :

      Honestly, the thought of letting Bar examiners–in effect–dictate law curriculum makes me deeply uncomfortable. That stems largely from the fact that Bar exams are already almost completely irrelevant to the practice of law. Why would Bar examiners know better? Why not let natural experiments (like Irvine) go forward and let students vote with their feet?

      • Cynical Lawyer :

        Just to be clear, I am not dissing skills training as a concept. I’m saying that schools should be allowed to innovate and experiment without Bar examiners purporting to have some one-size-fits-all-solution.

    • I went to a school with a strong emphasis on practical skills training. So much so, it was actually written into our graduation requirements. You had to take at least one “skills” class prior to graduation (Interviewing and Counseling, Negotiation and Mediation, Pre-Trial Advocacy, Trial Advocacy, or Appellate Practice). I took most of the classes on the list and it was a tremendous help to me when I started practicing. I was a lot more confortable dealing opposing counsela and clients and actually getting up in front of a judge and presenting an argument than were some of my colleagues who were exposed to less real-world (or simulated real-world) experience than law school.

      • Super anon :

        Ours is written in as well. We have to complete a clinic prior to graduation rather than a “skills” class. I would also agree with your last sentence. Last summer (after my first year) I was much more comfortable interacting with clients than some of my fellow interns, for example I led intakes (after being taught how to do them with real clients in our Legal Writing class). This summer it seems like more people have caught up. I think there is a lot of value in the skills aspect, but that it doesn’t have to come from the classroom. I am working on a pro bono case at school with the worlds least communicative attorney, which has really taught me a lot about a) how to be persistent and b) what is appropriate attorney communication (content, looks, sounds, etc.). I feel more comfortable in my other skills because of these things. Still not sure it needs to be mandated, and I picked a school, to some extent, based on skills training.

    • karenpadi :

      I’m undecided. I am in a niche area of law and, honestly, law school was mostly a waste of time in terms of preparing for my career. So maybe more practical skills would have been helpful but I’m not convinced they should be required.

      Being on the recruiting and mentoring side of things, our law school recruitment objective is literally “get ’em early and train ’em while they’re cheap”. We do this using paid summer and school-year clerkships.

      One law school we actively recruit at has floated the idea of an intensive 3L course focusing on skills in our niche where students work on “real cases” with “real attorneys (from various firms)” and “real clients”. It was a great idea in theory. But they forgot about “real ethics” like conflicts and privilege. Ah, academics.

      I think paid clerkships are the best way for law students to get the best mentors and the best experience. When students start getting credits for work, some perverse incentives are established like “I’m paying to work, so I’ll just call in sick.” “Why should I care about mentoring this student? This student is here to get some easy credits; we aren’t paying her; and she’ll be gone in a few months anyway.” I strongly advise against taking or offering any practical experience for credit in a niche field.

      • Just curious-why does it matter on your end if the student is getting credit or paid? In either case, especially if it isn’t an SA position with potential for an offer, they are still leaving in a few months.

        • karenpadi :

          We only have clerkships with the potential for a permanent offer.

          In my niche, clerks are pretty helpless and don’t add a lot of immediate value. Any mentoring or training we do is really an investment in non-billable time that we expect to pay off in a year or two.

          If the firm doesn’t view the clerk as an expense, there is no pressure to spend time training the clerk that would otherwise be billable . Clerks who are getting credit tend to get ignored (why assign them anything if they aren’t costing the firm any money?).

          • Anonymous NYer :

            wow that’s a terrible perspective. Not a knock on you personally, but your firm and entire ‘niche’ if that’s how everyone looks at students/future practitioners. How are they supposed to learn? How would anyone ever become interested in a particular area of law if no one will help them? This has to be done from the top down in an organization – I don’t expect an associate to change the tides and invest extensive otherwise-billable hours on a student (paid or otherwise), but viewing them as a waste of your time is horrible.

          • Constance Justice :

            I don’t know that this is always true. I am in the same niche field and I have had luck with clerks for credit. Sure, they aren’t profitable, but they give associates management experience, and that in turn often causes the associates to hone their own skills. It is also a great way to give more students a peek at a niche that is often misunderstood by students. If they have a good experience, word gets out, and we end up with a better crop of interviewees.

    • I think maybe the California Bar should start by requiring graduation from an accredited law school.

    • I took the California bar exam in 1998, but I thought we *had* a practical skills component on both Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. For three hours each day. Did this change?

  3. This, unfortunately, is too much of a look for me. I would feel a little too flashy for my life in this.

    Anyone who has access to the NAS presale have the dimensions on the Kooba Baxter Leather Tote (#530056)? I am coveting it and hoping it is too small. Also, bonus points for anyone who touched it. I currently live 3 hours away from the nearest Nordstroms (I guess it’s a good thing that that counts as one of the few negatives to where I live) and would only be ordering it.

    Also, now that I’m living vicariously through those of you with Nordstroms cards — are there more than 3 Michael Kors watches in the sale? I’ve had my eye on them for a while and was thinking about pulling the trigger.

    Anyways, thanks in advance, if anyone has time.

    And! my highlights have started to grow out and I’m pleasantly surprised at the color underneath, more auburn than I expected. Maybe I’ll go au natural and celebrate my grey. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll do that after my brother’s wedding :)

    • There are about 16 Michael Kors watches in the pre-sale. Not sure about the Kooba — the Nordies site is being super slow right now.

    • Kooba Baxter is not showing up on the site at all.

    • Thanks everyone for looking. Weird, it’s in the catalogue. Better for my wallet though, and gives me more incentive to buy a Kors watch. Thanks!

    • Anon in Midwest :

      Cute! Here’s a link to the product page, with dimensions.

      • Anon in Midwest :

        Sorry, here is the link:

  4. Professor TBA :

    Dear hive – I have an academic fashion question. When you wear full academic regalia, what do you wear under your robe? Is it better to wear pants? A skirt? At my own graduation, I wore a light dress under my robe, but I’m not sure what the norms/standards are when you’re on the faculty side of things. This is all new to me–any advice would be most appreciated.

    • AnonAdjunct :

      I am a professor in the south, and I always wear a light dress. Like a sheath dress, not a sun dress. Full regalia gets so hot! That seemed to be the norm among female professors at my school.

    • In my uni, female faculty usually (but not exclusively) wear skirts – but it also depends on the weather. If it’s cold, they’ll wear slacks just like the guys do. And virtually always comfortable shoes for all the standing and walking.

    • I wear whatever will give me as much ventilation as possible. You do want to consider if you will be taking the regalia off around other people, but if not, a cotton sundress is even doable. One year I wore shorts and a tank top underneath to our baccalaureate ceremony, as we have to stand outside in the Georgia heat for a half-hour.

      • AnonAdjunct :

        That sounds awesome, as i am in a similar climate! Unfortunately at my school, faculty walks out of the ceremony in a line into a separate room, takes off their regalia and throws it in a collection basket, and walks out of the room and into a reception for the graduates. I so wish I could get away with shorts and a tank!

        • We pose for pictures with the grads, but then have about 20 minutes before we meet up at the president’s house (on campus) for a garden party. So there’s time to go freshen up (and in my case, change clothes) before then.

    • See my answer above. Lightweight dress and heels.

  5. Alanna of Trebond :

    I have descended from bar studying to say that is the most hideous bag I have ever seen. And I usually like the picks! This is the type of bag that when I am scrolling on endless, I smile to myself thinking that no one will ever buy that bag.

    • That just seems like a challenge for people to start posting uglier purses. I mean, at least this one doesn’t cost $3000 like this D&G number.

      • Wow. I wish I could un-see that.

      • a passion for fashion :

        i actually luike that bag. i didnt at first, but then i realized it is a really big, dr-ish type bag and i got to tell you, i would totally work it.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I actually think that the posted bag is uglier. But that one’s pretty bad. It has a sort of Mary Poppins carpetbagger vibe though. If it were dirty, could fit in with the Derelicte line by Mugatu.

      • Right? I got my sister this one for her birthday and she loves it. (there’s one in every family)

        • LMAO!

        • Nordstrom q. :

          That’s a lot of quirky cute per dollar.

        • If you need a follow up for next year —

          • If anyone here knows the cartoons “Pokemon” , I have seen a couple young ladies sporting a pikachu bag..

  6. momentsofabsurdity :

    I love this top. Must – not – spend – money…

    • SoCal Gator :

      So cute!!!!!! I must resist polka dots….I must resist polka dots….

    • No! You all are terrible with the creating/enabling my new polka dot addiction! Aaaahhhh!!

    • SoCal Gator :

      Oh dear. Just got an email from J Crew with their new polka dot collection, including this cute polka dot dress. Help! Save me from myself!

      • Oh hi polka dots. I think/hope you’ll be coming home with me soon.

      • The tie polka dot blouse from j-crew is calling my name right now. I have my fingers in my ears and I’m singing to drown it out.


    Hi all –
    wedding dress shopping here – planning a spring wedding at the court then a simple dinner after. Thoughts? Anyone have any ideas on how French Connection fits? i can be any where from a 0 to 4 in dressed. Any thoughts helpful!

    • Very cute dress. They also have it on the Nordie’s site if you want free shipping and returns.

    • Its really cute, but might be a hair short for me to feel super comfortable with sitting in.

      Have you seen this one on Bluefly?

      Its only available on there at the high end of your size range, but the length is a but more workable (unless you want something short…then rock on with your bad self. :-)

    • I find French Connection to be on the short side (not that I mind), and to run slightly smaller than some other brands (e.g., I might do a 6 at j crew or banana, but definitely an 8 at French Connection).

    • mezzaluna :

      Very cute dress!! FC does run a little small, in my experience.

      • right, not bad but young womany slim n short. for that genre– girl about town, pippa middleton who wears it a lot– it’s better quality than you’d think. it’s young in cut but not cheap in quality. taste thing.

  8. Motoko Kusanagi :

    Does anyone own this? Is it decent quality?

    • I bought something very similar by the same designer during the last Nordstrom sale, and I love it. I’ve worn it a few times and haven’t had any snagging/pulling/pilling. However, it’s going to make it’s first trip through the wash this weekend, so we’ll see how it holds up.

    • I have it in 3 colors. I really like it. It’s generously sized (Im a medium-large, and have a medium and it has plenty of space). Its very drapy and very soft and cozy. It’s not SUPER formal though. It works perfectly in my world, which is pretty far on the casual end of business casual, but it doesn’t read super formal. I really like it right now because I’m pregnant and I know I’ll be able to wear it through the nine months.

    • I also have three colors – wasn’t it featured here at one point?

      It’s OK. The fabric is very thin and drapy – which is good if you’re in a hot climate, I guess – but if you like substance and body you will be disappointed.

      Mine said dry clean only (I think) but since I immediately splilled on myself wearing the light colored one, I handwashed it and it was fine. I initially tried spot cleaning and that did not work at all – the change in texture of the one spot was too different. A full tumble in the wash on the “handwashed” cycle and line drying sorted that all out.

      There’s a different cardigan by mod.lusive that may no longer be availble online – it’s shorter in the front and longer in the back and I prefer that one. It has more shape and is figure flattering. They still have it in stores on clearance.

  9. MaggieLizer :

    NAS review:

    1. Halogen sweater jacket (530806) is lovely. I got it in the rust umber and a friend got it in blue ocean. The orange compliments my (very fair) complexion and the teal would look great on anyone. The sleeves were long for me, so I might go to the store to see if the petite fits better. Otherwise it’ll go to the tailor.
    2. The (New) Skirt (530869) in blue ocean is nice, but I think the material is thinner than the original. I sized up per the comments here and needed it. It doesn’t have as much room through the hips but doesn’t seem to crease too badly with wear (yes, I’m wearing it today. I couldn’t resist).
    3. Vince Camuto Ruched Top (556904) is a good staple; the ruching is flattering and the top half is lined so you don’t need to wear a cami.
    4. Halogen Girlfriend Cardigan (530757) in blue aster and green gold is light weight but still warm enough for fall/winter. It runs a touch big, so if you’re between sizes take the smaller size. The blue was lovely, the green gold is going back – it’s more of a pea soup than a mustard.
    5. Trina Turk Ponte Dress (550929) was unflattering on me. The fabric is lovely but it was too long from the shoulder to the waist and the horizontal white lines at the shoulders and waist made me look broader than I am.
    6. Eliza J Wrap Dress (542275) was also disappointing on my short-waisted figure because the blousiness of the top obscured my waist. I tried it with a different belt, but it took something away from the wrapped look. The pockets are also right on the widest part of my hips and jut out a little, even though the skirt fits fine. It was also a bit too short on me for the office.
    7. Enzo Angiolini ‘Tanen’ Pump (361117) in teal runs a bit big so I’m going to try the smaller size and see which works better. The color is true to the picture.
    8. I know we don’t usually review lingerie, but seriously, 730023 is my new favorite bra. Super comfortable, supportive, and the front is low enough to wear with low-cut tops. Lurv.

    • My only review so far of a NAS purchase is of the Patagonia TorrentShell jacket – not work appropriate, I know, but it is FANTASTIC! I’ve needed a lightweight rain shell in a neutral color (they have black) and it’s so nice and light. We get a lot of rainy but hot days in DC and it always feels so gross to wear a hot raincoat…can’t say enough good things about this piece.

    • Anonymous :

      Why don’t “we” review lingerie? Kat did a post on it a while ago…

      • MaggieLizer :

        Space and helpfulness. I like to stock up on lingerie at the sales, and if I reviewed every. single. item. you’d never get to the end of the page. And I’m not sure how helpful it would be to read lots of reviews for every item Nordie’s carries because fit is just so individual for most people. I didn’t mean to imply we shouldn’t review it or anything.

    • I LOVE that bra. I’m posting this from my phone so it’s harder to check item numbers but the Natori understated tshirt [email protected] is also amazing.

    • anon prof :

      My Halogen sweater jacket (530806) arrived yesterday, and I can’t decide if it’s going back or staying. The v is very wide and low–I thought it would be cut more like a quit jacket. It looks more normal on the model than it did on me. My new The Skirt should be arriving today, and I sure am curious to see how it fits. Getting new ones a size smaller has been the major incentive for me to work out this summer, so I can’t believe they redesigned it…

  10. Unsure about the purse. It looks like it would definitely be the boss of me and not in a good way.

  11. To the DC lawyers out there, what’s your take on the current hiring environment? I’m starting to put my toe in the water and wanted to take a temperature reading. I’d be looking probably at mid- to small firm or government. (I’m an ’05 JD if that helps.) Any thoughts?

    • I’ve been looking at gov’t or in house for awhile (’07 JD) and there are definitely postings but there is still far more supply than demand. Private practice seems to be moving a little better (or at least that’s what I keep being told by people who tell me not to leave private practice). I still think it will depend more on your connections than anything else.

    • The laterals that I know (4-6 years out of school) that have obtained the very competitive DC gov’t jobs (DOJ civil rights, DOJ criminal appellate, etc.) say that it takes about 1 year of solid job hunting. And these folks were all top of the class, COA clerkship, etc. The 1 year part surprised me because I didn’t think it was THAT competitive, but evidently it is for the really top gov’t jobs.

      • That doesn’t surprise me, not for those divisions.

      • I’m on detail in DOJ right now and totally in awe of my colleagues. They are mostly people who could work at any top firm and getting these jobs is very competitive. (Luckily, my mediocre self was able to sneak a back way, at least temporarily.)

        • Anonymous NYer :

          haha I’m sure you’re not mediocre, but I feel the same way about myself, and jobs like those (maybe not thaaat coveted) are my dream jobs. I need to figure out a way to sneak through the back in a couple years when I have more experience…

    • Anon Pulling the Trigger :

      I am same year, looking big firm and gov’t and relocating from NYC. I was just told by a recruiter I have no hope of a firm job. (I am looking for a new recruiter.) Hoping you have better luck!

      Are there recruiters who specialize in mid-sized and smaller firms?

      • “No hope”? I appreciate the honesty of the recruiter, but wow. I did talk to a recruiter awhile back and my impression is that many smaller firms use recruiters to hire. These tend to be the higher end small firms and I think they don’t want to get deluged by using online postings.

    • I believe DOJ is still under a hiring freeze.

      • There has been some hiring here and there but management has to get exemptions for them. The new hires that I’ve heard about have had stellar law school/clerkship/big law experience credentials.

    • I got OUT of DC b/c I could NOT get a govermment job b/c I did not have conectiones like others did. You have to know someboedy to get a job. FOOEY!

      The manageing partner gave me the $100 gift card today b/c I locked the new cleint! YAY! I will wait for a SALE! YAY!

  12. mezzaluna :

    Not wild about the bag…

    Wedding attire question! Backyard wedding in the northeast, on the Long Island Sound… wedding likely to have a laid-back feel to it. I’ve got a black and white dress picked (link to follow) and am looking for a fun turquoise necklace to brighten things up and make it more summery. Unfortunately, every turquoise necklace I see lately is HUGE. I’m not opposed to a bib necklace but one they all seem to cover the entire chest! Also, I’m open to coral / red / seafoam green colros. Any suggestions? TIA!

    • mezzaluna :

    • Try the limited. I found some not too over-the-top necklaces there recently.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Don’t know how big is your “huge,” but, jcrew bubble? I don’t think it’s too big on and looks great with lots of things – LTF

      • 2/3 attorney :

      • 2/3 attorney :

        Or this might be great with that neckline:

    • I’m really not a fan of the bubble necklaces either. What about a turquoise beaded necklace?

    • drums and wires :

      This one from Kanye East’s shop is cute:

    • How about this? I just found her shop on etsy – no affiliation, but I recently ordered one of her necklaces and the quality seems pretty good.

      • Same anon here – some other etsy finds:

        This seller has a few different colors (including coral, seafoam, and turquoise) of this cluster-type necklace if you want something less chunky:

        And this seller has lots of cute options in coral and seafoam colors:

  13. Grr. I’ve been having some possibly-cardio issues, and will get a heart monitor to wear for 30 days tomorrow.

    I wasn’t freaking out until I just read the wikipedia article for my possible issue. Anything that can lead to “sudden unpredictable death” is not good.

    Guess I’ll just live my life as though every day is my last. Yeesh.

    • Internet research of medical conditions is always scary! Seriously – the internet can make a mosquito bite seem like a huge deal. Sorry to hear about your condition, but do not let the internet get you down.

      • Seriously. I’ve freaked myself out more than once on WebMD.

      • Yes, yes, yes, step AWAY from the Internet. The site where you read that does not know the details of*your* particular condition or other, possibly significant information about you and your health that could affect your prognosis. Do not freak out unless your doctor tells you to freak out.

        And I’m sorry you’re going through this. Fingers crossed for good news.

    • Thank you.

      I hear advice that you should do some research on your own, but I trust my docs and don’t want to be worried unless they are worried. So I will step away from the internet for medical stuff.

      Thanks for the good thoughts.

    • I’m sorry you’re going through this and hope you feel better! My doctor told me this – if you’re compelled to do internet research go to mayo’s site and/or NIH/pubmed. They are reputable and have things broken out in logical fashion so you don’t get every awful side effect known to man. Try and think of it this way; you have realized you have a potentially significant health issue and you’re taking the most appropriate action for that prescribed to you by a well trained specialist. The changes they let you go and you’re severe enough that you may drop dead are significantly less then you getting hit in a crosswalk by a car. This is the logic I try to use to calm down when my sh*t hits the fan, so I hope it helps. If not, have some dark chocolate and red wine – good for the heart!

    • i hope everything turns out ok and you get to the bottom of your issue. Good luck.

    • 1. Hope you feel better super soon
      2. Almost everything can lead to sudden unpredictable death on the internet. headaches, warts, sore ankle, feeling cold, just kind of feeling lazy (yes I looked that up), legit all have either cancer or death as a possible outcome.

    • Do you have Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, by any chance? My mom has it, and the research kind of cracks me up – usually no big deal, but may lead to sudden death. Anyway. I agree with everyone else – the Internet can freak you out about anything.

      • I’m not sure yet. I’m getting the monitor tomorrow to wear for 30 days to find out.

        But Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is one of the things I was looking at as a possibility on Wiki. But who knows. My doctor hasn’t mentioned it yet, so why freak myself out.

        You mom has been able to lead a relatively normal life? Should I worry if I get that diagnosis?

        • I was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White 12 years ago, and it has been pretty benign in my case. I am a textbook case and have the exact symptoms and onset described on the mayo clinic website (its the only internet med website I use, btw). I’ve probably had about 6 episodes of rapid heartbeat total, but it is very scary when it happens. FWIW, I have decided to undergo an ablation procedure next month to “cure” the issue. I don’t want to deal with the unpredictability of when I might have an episode of rapid heartbeat, even though for me it has only happened once every year or two and usually resolves on its own. DH and I are going to start trying for baby #2 soon, and I don’t want to risk having an episode while pregnant.

          All in all, my doctors have said that its a very treatable condition, and I’ve been able lead a very normal life since diagnosis, without any meds or other treatments. Just would rather be safe than sorry and undergo a low risk procedure to eliminate the condition. Almost had an episode while pregnant with baby #1, and don’t want to risk it again.

          Hope you are able to diagnose your issue – I wouldn’t worry if you get a WPW diagnosis. And try not to do random internet searches for your own sanity in the meantime! Good luck!

  14. academicsocialite :

    Just want to say I picked up a whole bunch of things on sale at Talbots and love everything… they have really stepped up their game in the past couple of years. Particular shout-out to the shoes – I got a pair of nude-for-me pumps and a pair of suede peep-toe wedges in a lovely blue color – they seem like great quality for the price and TTS.

    • Midwesterner :

      Thanks! I may have to stroll in there tomorrow. I’ve always bought work stuff at Talbots and was kind of dejected a few years back when one of my colleagues referred to it as “talBOTS” (emphasis on the second syllable) and “that old ladies’ store.” Phooey on her!

      • I’ve always thought the Talbots stores looked like stuff my mom’s generation wore.

        But each time I get the catalog, I’m like, I WANT EVERTYHIGN IN HERE NOW PLEEEEZ.

        I find the catalog and stores so very different.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      How are things fitting? Their stuff looks really cute, but I thought Talbot’s fit model runs big and boxy?

      • I just ordered some pants for the first time. (I feel like I crossed a line – shopping at Talbots! Ack!) Anyway, everything fit about the same as Ann Taylor. I was happy to find a lot of styles in tall sizes.

      • academicsocialite :

        Agree with Suzer – fit is comparable to AT. Knowing Talbots’ reputation for boxier/conservative fits, I did steer away from anything too structured. I got a black ponte faux wrap neckline dress for fall/winter on final sale – perfect for pumping when I go back to work – which fits generously and I sized down one size. I also got a navy loose fit wool cardigan which I love – it’s really great quality. And a belt, a work-type t-shirt, and the fore-mentioned shoes. So no blazers or pants or anything that would be difficult to alter if needed.

  15. iPhone TJ –

    Anyone have recommendations for stylish, non clunky iPhone cases? I love the Kate Spade cases but have heard they break really easily. Would appreciate any recommendations!

    • This might qualify as “clunky” but I LOVE my OtterBox. (I’m also a clutz and not allowed to have nice things.)

      • Second my Otterbox Commuter. My phone got run over, and despite the shattered screen, it still worked. It’s not pretty, but not terrible in black. And if it saves my ridiculously expensive iPhone from my total klutziness, then I’m all for it.

    • I got mine from

    • I really like some of the selections I’ve seen in store at J.Crew

    • Specifically, I have this case.

      And yep, I take this to meetings, etc. Fortunately, at my company, it’s okay to show some personality.

    • DC Association :

      I have one from Old Navy that says “HELLO” on the back, each letter a different color. I absolutely love it!!!! I get tons of compliments on it. It’s not clunky and it was $10.

    • Anonymous :

      I have the Otterbox Commuter in blue. I used to have the Otter Box Defender but found it to be too clunky. It made my phone too big to fit in my suit pockets. The Commuter is a bit slimmer but still provides lots of protection.

    • I have a casecrown case that I’ve had since nov (which is a record for me). It’s black, sleek, and hasn’t worn in areas. It’s also lined so the case wont scratch your phone. The best part is that I have dropped my phone lots and and the case cracked, but it’s healed, if that makes sense. FWIW, I had an otterbox defender and I’m pretty certain the rubber nub for the power button made my power button lose it’s “spring” and it just stopped working. Similar thing happened to a friend but it was her home button and I’ve heard similar stories from repair techs about increased cases of the Defender and the button issue.

    • Senior Attorney :

      FWIW, I’ve had my KS case for a year or so of heavy use and it’s still going strong.

      • This is comforting, because I just got mine.

      • Same. I find it a little hard to take off if I need to swap out sim cards, but it has held up way longer than any other case that I’ve had. It has a few cosmetic chips, but those came from it falling out of my hands as I climbed my stairs with grocery bags. Fell approx. 20 feet and phone still works great and the case only has a few chips.

      • I used to have a silicon Kate Spade case that was indestructibe and protected the phone very well. Then I upgraded my phone and got a hard shell KS case to go with it, and the case broke within a month. This was the third KS product I’ve bought that had a quality issue, which is so disappointing because I love the style of the brand so, so much.

    • I have a Speck Candyshell case. I have dropped it a couple of times and okay so far (knock on wood).

      • mintberrycrunch :

        I also have the speck candyshell and really like it. I have dropped it a bunch – so far so good (now to find some wood to knock on…)

      • Also have a speck case with an easy to grip surface (hard to describe, but it’s not completely smooth). I really like it, and it has done a great job of protecting my phone.

  16. Thanks for all of the great suggestions. I am loving the Society 6 cases…so unique!!!! I can show some personality too so I may have to go for one!

  17. Links in Comments :

    Is it me or do others wish the links in comments opened up the web page in a different window rather than the same window, taking one away from [this site]? I visit a link to see something someone is referring to and then have to back browser and whatnot. I mean, I could cut and paste, I know, but for reals, that’s so much effort.

    p.s. and why does one get punished for being a fast typist with the dreaded posting too fast?!

    • Maine Associate :

      As you click on the link, hold the Control key. A new window will open with the link.

    • Right-click, Open in New Tab.

      • SAlit-a-gator :


        • Links in Comments :

          I should have known you ladies would have a trick! Thanks so much! How sad that I never even knew this. Le sigh.

          • this just changed my whole [site] experience. I have been so frustrated by the same thing & am just sitting here going “duh”

    • Posting too fast has nothing to do with how fast you type. It’s a glitch in wordpress – if two or more commenters try to comment at the same time they get that message. If you keep hitting refresh, your original comment will post.

      • Merabella :

        I had another issue yesterday where it said that I had already commented, and that it would not post a duplicate comment. Even though I never commented. So frustrating.

  18. Anne Shirley :

    NAS- midnight eastern tonight for the careless among us?

    • I am really excited for it.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      That’s 10 pm my time, yay!!

    • It’s midnight PST, so 3 AM Eastern, right?

      • NAS Question :

        What do you think of this leather jacket? It would be my first one, it seems like a good investment at this price. The review that says it looks like pleather scares me. It’s Halogen Seamed Leather Jacket # 530844, has anyone seen it in person?

      • Anne Shirley :

        I feared that was the case- I’ll be waiting until morning then.

  19. Ladies – looking for suggestions on how to phrase an email to law firm practice group leaders about out of office dates for wedding and honeymoon in two months. Obviously, I want them to know and will or have told people I’m working with so I can prepare ahead as much as possible. But, I don’t want to give the impression that I’m necessarily asking for permission or that the dates could change. Thanks in advance –

    • “I just wanted to remind everyone that I will be out of the office and unavailable from September 1, 2012 to October 2, 2012. Please plan accordingly.”

      I’m not sure why this is a big deal.

      • Lurking fear that they will say no or think the amount of time, 7 business days – it’s an out of state wedding in my hometown – is inappropriate.

        • None of that is really their business. And it’s perfectly reasonable. I’ve had colleagues take a month for a wedding/honeymoon.

          I don’t think anyone would expect you to change your wedding date for a work project.

        • Wait a minute, is this your wedding and honeymoon or someone else’s? No way in hell is 7 days inappropriate. In fact, it’s too short. This is your only opportunity in your entire professional life to take a vacation where no one will dare call or email you with work. Take three weeks.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Yes, exactly. Wedding and honeymoon are the ONLY untouchables in our entire professional lives. Take three weeks.

        • Kontraktor :

          I mean, it is what it is, yes? You can’t change your wedding date or your honeymoon dates. You can’t not get married because work people might be weird and get their p*nties in a wad about time off for a life event that tends to be planned months if not years in advance. I agree with Rosalita. If they press for any additional information, follow up with something equally as brief, “The PTO is associated with my wedding and associated travel activities. Thank you.”

        • Kontraktor :

          Random afterthought. This reminds me of a company whose offer I recently rejected. They had weird leave policies that amounted basically to only being able to take leave “when business needs allowed” (so in my mind, that = never). I asked if this applied to mat leave as well. They said yes, they would try to work with people for longer leave periods so long as business needs allowed. I spent days cracking up over what a stupid attitude that was… like, yes boss, I’ll tell the labor to stop right now and yell at my baby to delay its birth for a few more hours to meet the business needs. Or, yes boss, I’ll get my magic paladin husband to lay hands on me to heal my c-section wounds immediately to reduce my leave time to accomodate business needs.

          People who don’t get that some life events can’t be changed or accomodated are ridiculous. A wedding is one of these events. Enjoy your time off and just be blunt and objective when telling your work of your plans.

      • I do this but don’t put the first date, just the second. they don’t need to know duration, just return.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Take 3 weeks! It’s the only time law firms respect until the grand “vacation” of maternity leave.

      • BigLaw Optimist :

        I know I’m late to the party – but take three weeks! REALLY! Everyone is right – it is the only untouchable vacation you will get, so you better make it long and enjoy it. :)

        • Thanks all. Clarification, yes it is my wedding. Life is really too short for this type of worry.

          • I’m late to this conversation, but want to add to the chorus saying you should take more time than 7 work days. I was an SA at the small-ish DC office of a big national firm and a (male) associate got married that summer and took off about three weeks. The associates referred to The Honeymoon Exception to the usual limits on time off, it was a thing.

            For my wedding I took off only about a week or a week and day– I was on a one-year clerkship and had no vacation time so we scheduled the wedding to coincide with the 4th of July holiday court closing and the circuit’s judicial conference when my judge would be away. It really was not enough time to do what needed to be done right before the wedding, have the wedding and do an abbreviated honeymoon. It just seemed rushed.

            Take more time so you can relax and enjoy this time.

  20. Nordstrom q. :

    My birthday is Saturday and DH wants to tke me shopping at Nordstrom’s jewelry counter tomorrow (Friday) night? Will the big sale have started and thus it might be busier than usual? Or, does it start Saturday and so should we want in hopes of markdowns? Thanks ladies.

    • Sale starts tomorrow. Fine Jewelry never looks busy to me; regular jewelry gets more traffic. Plus, Nordstrom plans for these things and always has people around to help you.

    • Agree with eek. Just wanted to say we’d love to see what you pick!

      • Nordstrom q. :

        Thanks guys. I’ll let you see. You’ve inspired me to trade up my staple cheapie hoop earrings for the real things. I’m talking a number of my basics and hoping to replicate shapes and sizes. Plus get something new and different. Good DH.

        • Merabella :

          I got these amazing hoops with inset crystals for my mom a few years ago from Nordstroms. They weren’t that expensive in the grand scheme of things (I think $125). She absolutely loves them and gets compliments on them all the time.

  21. I have a question for anyone familiar with unemployment eligibility. I live in a state (NJ) that allows part time work while collecting unemployment benefits. From what I understand, the weekly amount is reduced by any earnings, which are of course reported to the agency.I’m a lawyer, and someone recently asked for my card…which made me wonder: in the unlikely event that someone wants to hire me to represent them in some minor matter, what do I do? Is that considered contract work? Part time work? Self-employment? I haven’t been unemployed for long, and I’m not really looking to hang a shingle yet.

    • Also in NJ and was unemployed for 6 months last year. I would log onto the Division of Labor’s website every 2 weeks and answer something like 6 questions, one of which was “did you do *any* work in the period for which you are claiming benefits?” And then if you answered yes, there were a couple subsections about how many hours you worked, etc. I don’t think you are asked to define the work as contract, self-employment or part-time. The website might have guidance, or you could call the office of miserable job-seekers or whatever that state agency is called.

  22. karenpadi :

    I just want to say yay! I set up an appointment with a Nordie’s personal shopper for next Saturday! She didn’t seem horrified when I told her I hadn’t bought new work clothes since September.

    • Would you post your experience afterwards? I’m thinking of doing this but a bit intimidated! Which is weird, I know.

  23. SoCalAtty :

    Update/opinion question re: my potentially imminent house tear down and rebuild – it is going to be a tight budget, and since we already have appliances, I was thinking about spec-ing the appliances I plan on putting in there, and using my current appliances and just having a gap in the cabinets until I save up for the fancy stuff. I’m thinking I would rather do that than stress about a remodel budget. I won’t mind the lesser grade appliances + a gap in the counter for 6-8 months after the house is done in exchange for not having to stress about the budget. I think I would rather do that than skimp on the tile or finishes. It won’t cost me anything to install/take out and then reinstall, because my husband is a contractor :)

    Thoughts? I feel the same way about furniture – what I have is just fine until I accumulate the “new house” stuff.

    • anonynonynon :

      That sounds like a great to me — why take on the stress about the appliances if you don’t need to?! In life, everything is a process. If you can’t afford it without stressing your finances, no one says you have to have a perfect remodel all at once. I think you might even enjoy it more because you won’t be stressed about finances when you have the final result!!

    • Anne Shirley :

      I’m not sure I have the timeline down, but if this would mean not having your kitchen done by the time you (hopefully) have a baby, I think I’d downscale the project. Skipping appliances for finace reasons says to me the budget is already way too tight for comfort. Like spanx on a 95 degree day.

      • The kitchen would be done, I would just be using the appliances I have now rather than spending a ton on the GE Profile or Wolf or Viking matching set of stainless steel appliances. The project itself can’t be scaled down because my current house is 730 square feet and is being completely torn down, but that’s why I’m thinking of skipping the appliances and new furniture and using what I’ve got.

        I love the idea of it being a process! Also, I’m not trying to live on the property while this is being done – it puts our mortgage payment on hold so we’re getting a cute little studio nearby.

        • Oh also – appliances are like 25k. It isn’t so much that MY budget is tight, there is a loan limit on the financing, do anything over comes directly out of my pocket. So anything over X is cash, and I’m basically exactly appliances + furniture over that budget. The loan limit is artificial and not related to the appraisal value, but it is FHA do they can only give me so much. I would just rather not come out of pocket if I don’t have to all at once. Ferguson (the appliance, lighting, and plumbing supplier) offered me 0% financing for 12 months, but I hate being tied to financing. I’m thinking paying cash and financing myself is smarter.

          • Anne Shirley :

            Sorry, had not realized there would still be appliances there, just not fitting in the cabinets quite right. Think your plan sounds like a good idea.

          • Merabella :

            I think waiting to pay cash for these things is a good idea. Financing just sets you up for payments down the line, and you want to pay off your credit card bills and save up money for the new baby. I think you are taking the right approach.

  24. I have been so jealous reading about the Nordstrom sale and then they announce today Canada is getting 4 OF THEM- including one in my city!!!!!!! Yay for the capital not being last for once! I am very excited.

  25. Late-evening roll call.

    Who’s still up? (Working or not.) I am still working. Alas.

    • onehsancare :

      Not so late here, but I pulled an all-nighter yesterday and haven’t been home yet.

      Feeling bummed. “Super Lawyers” came out. I don’t know why it hit me hard, but there’s a lump in my stomach about “Poor me . . . I’m not in there and I’m never going to be.” I moved to government seven years ago and I’m doing good work for what I’m doing, but it’s not going to knock anyone’s socks off. I work really hard, but it’s just not showy stuff. Add to that the fact that there are no government lawyers of any sort in our edition of SL, and the realist sitting at this desk says, Yup, not gonna happen.

      If I finish my trial memo for tomorrow instead of reading about the Nordstrom sale, though, maybe I can get to bed before midnight!

    • I should be working. I swear I’ll start, after i clean up the kitchen . . . and look at maybe one more shoe site . . .

      • LOL. I got sucked into browsing Ann Taylor’s new collection, as well as all the pages of the sale/final sale stuff. *sigh*

        At least I got started on the piece I’m supposed to finish by 10am tomorrow. Plenty of time, right? ;-)

    • Working at home (or “working”, since I’m clearly taking c’rette breaks). On the plus side, shopping time is soon.

    • Just put my kids to bed and back to working now.

    • anonynonynon :

      Still here. Still studying for the bar. Feeling like my bar-taking skills practice has gotten totally repetitive, and it’s time to quit any minute now.

    • Constance Justice :

      Took a break to have dinner and spend time with the family, now trying to get back in the swing of things for a few more hours…

    • Also bar studying. I am so tired of this. At least it’s almost over!!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Reading, not working. Though I am logging into my work account to send my assistant a link to the cute iphone case above.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      I’m up and working, but it’s only 10 here

    • Still here. Studying for the bar. Starting to get really serious about the likelihood of not passing. I think that’s okay. It’s a practice run for next time, right? Right?

  26. onehsancare :

    You say “studying for the bar,” and out of the mists of memory jumps my mnemonic for the Statute of Frauds: MY LEGS! (Marriage, Year, Land, (something), Guaranty, Surety). Damn it. Now I’ll be trying to think of the E one instead of finishing this **&&^ memo!

  27. onehsancare :

    Goods!!! I would have gotten executory promises, but would have thought I’d already taken care of the G. Good thing I’m thirty years past that–but see, this time is NOT WASTED!

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