Thursday’s TPS Report: Pintucked Waist Seamed Ponte Knit Fit & Flare Dress

Eliza J Pintucked Waist Seamed Ponte Knit Fit & Flare Dress | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Reader R wrote in to recommend this dress, noting: “I love this dress – I have it in each color! I work in Big Law in DC and feel comfortable wearing it to work with or without something over it. I HIGHLY recommend!”  I think it looks fabulous, and love the aubergine (pictured) color the best, but note that it’s also available in cobalt and red.  It’s $98 at Nordstrom in sizes 2-16. Eliza J Pintucked Waist Seamed Ponte Knit Fit & Flare Dress

Here’s a plus-size alternative.

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P.S. Re: auto-playing audio/video ads: I keep forgetting to mention this — the ads below the fold are all in my control right now, but the top ones (the leaderboard above the logo, the one at the very top of the sidebar, and the big one right below the content (usually Garnier) are from my ad network, Style Coalition.  None should be auto-playing video or audio — if you see anything please let me know right away, preferably by email and I’ll try to take care of it.  Please let me know WHERE the ad is (above or below the fold) so I know whether to look for it myself or talk to the ad network.  Thank you!



  1. Inhouse Salary :

    I have been offered a junior inhouse position in an east coast city (not NY). The salary offered is -10k lower than my current Biglaw salary (which I revealed to them when pushed, it is lower than lockstep) but the potential to earn a 10k bonus. Maternity leave is 4 weeks paid. The recruiter, and to some extent the general counsel, emphasized that most associate take a paycut when leaving Biglaw. Is it still wise to counteroffer? I am thinking of asking for $15k increase in salary, additional 12 weeks paid maternity leave (a huge stretch, I know), and a $20k signing bonus. This is a midsize, regional company with a legal team of 3-4 lawyers. Thoughts on my proposal? Would love to hear your thoughts before attempting to negotiate…

    • Inhouse Salary :

      I feel I am hesitant to negotiate because they may rescind the informal offer? I am basically happy with the terms except the maternity leave is just not enough. Apparently they do not fall under FMLA coverage…

      • Are you sure it is not 4 weeks paid and some amount of time unpaid? I do think it would be unusual for an attorney position to offer a maximum of 4 weeks off, total. Is it an extremely small company? FMLA is unpaid leave.

        • Pardon the Ignorance :

          “FMLA leave” refers to 12 weeks unpaid leave for companies with >50 employees, right? If so, if a company offers X weeks paid, you have a right to take up to 12 weeks more unpaid, per FMLA? How does short-term disability pay factor in?

          • Depends on the personnel policy. They can require your leaves to run concurrent. So, you would get 4 weeks paid and then an additional 8 unpaid for a total of 12.

      • If they don’t fall under FMLA coverage (less than 50 employees total?), 4 weeks paid maternity is a relatively generous offer. And that’s a very minor pay cut for going in-house. I made slightly less than BigLaw salary when I was at a firm, I never met anyone in-house that did not take a pay cut to do so. I think countering is good, but yours seem high, simply based on what I’ve seen being in house now.

      • CapHillAnon :

        Negotiate. Of course. Check out the Book “Ask for It” by Linda Babcock for guidance on this. The company is not going to rescind the offer because you negotiate–it is standard that people negotiate their job offers.

        • One would hope, but in my field (academics), one school did pull an offer to a candidate because of her negotiation (this was last year). Agree with others–focus on maternity leave only in negotiation, since that is the biggest issue.

          • CapHillAnon :

            That’s awful. I should have added that is it standard in the legal field to negotiate (barring unusual situations, or when the hiring representative says upfront that there is no room for negotiation.)

          • CapHillAnon, it’s actually standard in academics to negotiate, too. This story made national news (I wasn’t the candidate, and it wasn’t my school, I’m relieved to say), and my conclusions were that the manner of the candidate’s negotiation (over email, asking for a whole host of things that are not standard for the kind of school she was interviewing for), AND sexism (I suspect had she been a man, this would have been better received, because it would have been more gender-typical) were at play here. So I still think she should negotiate, but just be careful about the how and how much. Totally agree with your recommendation on Babcock; that’s a great book.

          • Wildkitten :

            Her negotiation style was absurd – she immediately presented a laundry list of unreasonable requests. So, in this case I also think the OP should be careful what she asks for, but the answer isn’t to ask for nothing, it’s to be smart and ask for something reasonable.

          • I remember seeing this article, too. It was entirely outrageous what she was asking for; hardly a counterexample to true and reasonable negotiation.

          • Okay. Not to make this a big deal, but for people who aren’t in academics, each of the individual things she was asking for wasn’t, in itself, outrageous. (Pre-tenure sabbaticals are a thing. Reduced teaching loads for research time are absolutely a thing. Full semester maternity leave is also a thing. Pay bumps are also, of course, a thing.) What was too much (not, I would say, outrageous) was putting them all together as a list (even if her email CLEARLY said she only was expecting some of them, and wanted to discuss them), and frankly, doing it over email.

            As a non-attorney, what I was getting very clearly from the discussion here was that at least two of the things would-be in-house was asking for are not done (signing bonus for in-house, and pay bump OVER big law pay). So I don’t think it’s unreasonable to compare what this attorney was thinking about asking for to what this academic did.

          • Pretty Primadonna :

            I agree, ArenKay. Knowing that attorneys usually take a paycut when going from BigLaw to In-House, it doesn’t make sense to me that OP would negotiate for anything exceeding a match to her current BigLaw salary. The caveat is that the In-House company is dying to have you, they have to fill the position RIGHT.NOW, and you have some very specialized knowledge.

            As far as the other things listed, I don’t find them unreasonable.

        • Anon for this 'un :

          Caveat: It’s not standard for first-year associates to negotiate their legal job offers. Yes, I’ve seen it happen (with a candidate that got an offer out of the 3L market). We didn’t pull the offer, but it the list of requests were so unreasonable and the candidate was so out of touch with what was appropriate to ask and how to appropriately ask that we went very, very cold and she declined.

          The moral of the story is that it’s very important to make a request that is reasonable in light of your experience, the position, and the market in your area. If what you’re asking for isn’t going to make business sense for your employer, don’t do it.

          • I think it’s important to be appropriate- but it can also be difficult to know what that is when you re changing job types. Big Law is lock step (and extremely generous), especially for new grads, so asking for something different is weird.
            Going into a private company is a different story. HR almost always tells you there is no room to negotiate and they are almost always fibbing.
            Something I’ve had a lot of success with is bypassing HR and going directly to my would-be direct supervisor to discuss salary, but I learned this after 3 moves within my extremely large company. In my current company, even if you are way underpaid– you are never going to get more than a 10% bump, to get it would require VP approval, but a 3% bump is very normal, even when HR tell you they absolutely can’t do that at first– also learned this from experience within the company. I think online research here is key and if possible, talking to someone you trust within the company if possible– but in a similar role at a different company if that’s what’s available.
            FWIW, most 4th yrs I know did take somewhat of a pay cut when moving from big law to in-house. I do think it’s somewhat expected and I do think that asking for 15k increase is probably not going to go over well. People want to make that first move in and are willing to take a pay-cut to do it. You can always state that you would like an expectation of re discussing salary/professional goals at the next review and see how that goes as well (I’ve also had luck with that). I really recc’d looking up Ramit Sethi’s negotiating tips on youtube and practicing a lot with a friend and getting feedback to have the best shot.

        • How do most people negotiate? In academia, I always had either a dept chair or search committee chair as my main point of contact, but they never had decision-making power over compensation. So I would call that person, go over the package offered and then ask “do you think they would go for x?” or say “I really wish that was y”. In one case, he had no clue, said he’d go to bat & he came back with a higher salary. Another time, my contact was very savvy and knowledgable, so came up with the idea of $$ for computers and related equipment, as well as a few other things. I’m switching fields now, so want to hear how it’s done elsewhere.

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldnt take a job with only 4 weeks maternity. I do think nearly everyone takes a pay cut to go in house, and 10k is reasonable. You’re negotiation proposal is a raise from BigLaw and that suggests you don’t understand the market.

      • Agree with all of this. You’re going to sound silly asking for 15k more plus a huge signing bonus.

        Take the paycut in exchange for the life-changingly better hours, negotiate on maternity.

    • lawsuited :

      I mean, I really don’t want to discourage you from negotiating, but I think asking for an additional $15k salary AND an additional 8 weeks paid maternity leave AND a $20k signing bonus (which is very different from the $10k performance bonus they’re offering) is tone deaf. I think you need to pick 2 of the three (I’d probably drop the signing bonus) and tone down your asks across the board. Asking for an additional $10k salary and an additional 4 weeks of paid maternity leave is worth a shot, although I agree that a pay cut to go in-house is usual.

      • lawsuited :

        And like anon and JJ said, definitely check whether unpaid maternity leave is available. It’s hard to imagine that a mid-size regional company would have less than 50 employees.

      • Anon in-house :

        +1. I’m in-house in a large, east-coast city, and EVERYONE took a paycut from Biglaw. If you propose a HIGHER starting salary, you will really come across as tone-deaf.

        I’d investigate the maternity leave and propose a higher bonus bucket. You’re probably not going to get any movement on the starting salary.

        • Yup. and honestly, it’s going to be easier to take the paycut leaving now. The gap between biglaw (or close to biglaw) salary and in-house is only going to expand as you get more senior.

      • My concern with negotiating either paid maternity leave is that unless you intend to use it very soon (like, you are pregnant right now) I could see a sweeping company-wide policy negating it. For instance, if they change the policy to 6 weeks at 60%, I doubt they would honor a commitment to 8 weeks paid that you negotiated 3-4 years ago. Same thing with a bonus – if the company does away with bonuses, you are SOL.

        How junior a position is it? Instead of additional maternity leave, could you ask to keep you years of experience on the vacation schedule? So for instance, coming in at the 5 years of vacation point instead of at 0 years?

        Could you ask for clarification on the maternity leave – is it 4 weeks paid, and then up to x weeks unpaid? Or is it 4 weeks paid and then they expect you to use up any other leave you have and get back to work? Even companies I’ve worked for that didn’t qualify for FMLA allowed for at least 6 weeks off after childbirth, even if they weren’t paid.

        Doing the math, if say, the offer was for $100,000, 4 more weeks of paid maternity leave would be worth $7692, or around 7.5% of the salary. I think you are more likely to get an overall salary increase of 5%-10% negotiated initially (and would be better off with that long term) than asking for an extra 4 weeks paid maternity leave – just because most places I’ve worked they aren’t going to make individual adjustments to the maternity leave, unless it is for that year that the person is being hired. But then again, I don’t work in law, so correct me if I’m wrong and this is actually common.

        • I think you’re right, Meg. I think your proposal would go over much better at my company versus asking for a 1-off maternity leave change (unless you intend to use the leave in the next 9 months). And the signing bonus would come across as tone deaf.

    • Check your state laws on maternity leave too. My state has a low number of employee threshold and requires an employer to provide unpaid leave during the period of temporary physical disability. I have never had kids so I don’t know how long that would actually be.

      • Agree with everyone else — 4 weeks is too little, check state laws, gauge how soon you’ll need maternity leave. Other Qs that may or may not be on your radar re: mat leave:
        – How soon can you use it? (Do you have to “earn” maternity leave after a year of working?)
        – How much unpaid time off do they allow?
        – How much vacation time are you getting (and do most people use that with maternity leave, so it’s actually 6 weeks paid)?

        Agree with everyone else that asking for all three things is coming off a little tone deaf. Maybe negotiate for more vacation time instead — that one helps you across the board as well as with maternity leave.

        Also see if you can get stock options or the like? I think a higher salary/higher signing bonus are both not going to happen. Ask to keep your salary level maybe (and be ok if they counter with $5K instead of $10K) but that’s me.

    • I was always taught to negotiate base before bonuses, because base is forever, and bonus policies can be widely outside of your negotiating power in the long term. That is to say, whatever you think you negotiate could easily be negated by later events.

      I think it’s tone deaf to want a signing bonus to join in-house. I have not heard of that with any of my friends that went in-house.

      I would inquire more fully about mat leave, and that would be a separate conversation from negotiating. Don’t negotiate until you know more specifics.

      • Anon in-house :

        Signing bonuses aren’t unheard of; however, instead of cash, we give them in the form of stock grants that vest in tranches over a few years.

        • Agree re stock, not cash :) I’ve never heard of any of my friends who got a cash bonus, especially because the in-house market is hot…attys fleeing firms are grateful to move in house and don’t push it, even if they are joining a great private company!

      • I received a cash signing bonus going in house straight from law school, but it was significantly smaller than this. I didn’t really ask for an amount, but simply asked (in an email chain about basic HR stuff before I accepted) if there was a signing bonus associated with the position and was thrilled to then be given one (I also wasn’t negotiating much for anything else because I had no experience).

        It seemed like a non-issue to everyone I dealt with, so I wouldn’t assume they are totally unheard of.

    • You sound incredibly tone deaf and outside the realm. How about you tell me the name of the company and I’ll take this offer you feel is so obviously below you.

      I’m in hiring at a large company and if I got that request from a Junior lawyer I’d rescind the offer.

    • OP - Inhouse Salary :

      Thank you ladies for your responses. My initial reaction was to tentatively accept the offer and inquire about maternity leave. It was because of this site that I thought I should always negotiate and ask for more salary and it was the recruiter who suggested a signing bonus (though I did pull both of the figures from thin air). Thanks for the reality check. I’ll inquire as to the mat leave – 4 weeks is a dealbreaker for me – and see if there is some leeway there even if unpaid.

      Also, I reached out to former associates and 2 of the 3 associates who left my group (very in demand field right now) in the last year say they ended up with slightly better compensation packages then they were getting at the firm. So, I don’t think its necessarily true you have to take a paycut to go inhouse – it depends on your year and the industry.

      Regardless, the package is fair and thanks for the reality check.

    • My friend who just transitioned from biglaw to in house had a small salary increase but move was a no brainer because now she will work 45 hours a week and the benefits were way better. I don’t think they will rescind it. And it’s always good to negotiate. You are your own client and you want them to know that you would be tough on the outsiders if you represent their company so I don’t see anything wrong with countering slightly higher than what you have.

  2. Calling all former law clerks! :

    It’s my first week clerking for a judge. I don’t have a co-clerk, so it’s basically on me to figure stuff out. The judge is very nice and available for questions, but there’s still the horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that goes “OMG, WHAT. AM. I. DOING? HELP.”

    This is a normal feeling, right? I came from a firm job where I was somewhat on autopilot, but was surrounded by coworkers to ask for help, and I always received very high praise and great reviews. The “starting all over knowing nothing” feeling is new to me and unnerving.

    Any tips and tricks welcome!

    • Very normal. Reach out to the other judges’ clerks.

    • Yay Kat! I love this Flair dress and will ask to get reimbursed from the manageing partner. I am sure the judge will love it also! DOUBEL YAY!

      As for the OP, I never did CLERK for a judge, but I think I understand the issue’s you are faceing b/c my boss, the manageing partner, spends alot of time with his freind, a judge, who I appear before EVERY week! Here is my take: You must figure out what it is the judge like’s and does not like, and ONLEY do the thing’s he likes. If you are the onley one workeing for him, you will have to do all of the legal research, like I do. You will also have to do all of the legal writing, relying ONLEY on the breif’s you get from attorney’s at law, like me, that provide them to do. You should alway’s start with the breif’s, but do NOT trust them b/c they can be a littel slanted. Note, tho, that we law firm partner’s do NOT want to jeprodize our reputation’s by stating something false. We are onley trying to extend the law to our facts.

      You will have fun, and after it’s over, you can apear in front of your judge where you should have some advantage, that is if you do a good job, which I am CERTAIN you will! YAY!!!!!

    • Former clerk :

      Completely normal! I clerked for district court then appellate court and had to go through the same feelings all over again. You can definitely do this! Remember that pretty much everything has been done before, read through the judges recent opinions/orders, and don’t reinvent the wheel.

    • Very normal! For my clerkship, I took old opinions and tried to “copy” them for the form and style when drafting new ones. I also had the contact information to the old clerk, who was happy to help out if I needed a tip (as I was for the next clerk after I left). I was generally scared to death of my judges, but actually, they were really nice and I’m pretty sure they were always happy with me.

    • Midwest Mama :

      Definitely normal. I’ve clerked at the trial court and appellate court levels and felt like I didn’t know what I was doing when I started both. I would second the suggestion to read through your judge’s past orders/opinions to get a feel of his/her style, structure, length, amount of detail, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback on your first few projects either, so you can pick things up quicker. And I agree, you can do this! No one knows what they’re doing at first, and your judge knows that. If you’re willing to provide more details (level of court, fed vs. state) maybe we can help with more specific advice.

    • Does your judge have a secretary or deputy / court officer? Make them your friends now. They know all the tricks and secrets.

      • This. My judge’s courtroom deputy was the best resource for issues like how judge handled certain procedural issues, personality quirks, his work style, expectations from clerks, his mood, schedule, family, et al.

        We had a great system- don’t know if this is in all federal district courts- that had all of the judge’s orders on a searchable database and the case citations were hyperlinked to westlaw/lexis. This is your first go-to for legal research, getting a sense of how your judge might handle similar issues. What you’re feeling is totally normal ;)

    • I would say (and I’ve never clerked) that even the friendliest supervisor would prefer that you “batch” your questions and not interrupt intermittently. I am usually really friendly to new hires, but sometimes I have to encourage them to respect my time. Also, I would try (in a limited way–don’t spend hours spinning your wheels) to figure stuff out via other avenues and save “bigger” questions for the judge.

      • Yes! I actually have a 1:1 with my boss weekly. I keep all my “can wait a few days” question in a list for that meeting and then go over all of them with him. If an emergency comes up, I obviously will talk to him sooner… but I think this has helped to not only cause less distraction for him, but keeps him updated on what I am working on, what I have achieved, and what I need help with.

    • I have some advice. I did a Fed. DCt and then a Fed. COA. I don’t know where you are, but I’m going to give advice based on the federal district court, primarily because that is the more challenging adjustment.

      First, I agree with what other commenters have said re: looking through past opinions and orders from your judge. I did 2 clerkships and each judge had their own quirks. The key is just to read what they’ve already done, and you’ll gradually learn their style, their structure, and how they word things. It will become second-nature to you after a few months, I promise. You will absorb their quirks!

      Second, find some ways to stay organized. One of the best things I did was to keep a few “working” documents on my computer. One was a list of case names and their docket numbers, which was a thin column. I kept it updated, and would print it out and tape it to my computer monitor, so I always had that information right there. The other thing was a big table chart, where I had a row for each of my cases. I kept certain information there, like the names and contact info. for the lawyers, and then a really wide row for my personal notes. I made entries by date: I would record when I had done things and when filings had come in, informal notes about what my judge had said about the issues, and upcoming deadlines or hearings. Having that chart was soooo helpful. It took a bit of work to keep it updated, but it wasn’t really that bad. And having it paid off so well — it helped me stay on top of my work, helped me keep my notes about things all in one place, etc.

      Another “organization” type thing I did was to keep my legal pads labeled and organized. Over the course of the year, I probably used up 30 pads. And given how you’re working on so many cases at once, and in various parts, you need to keep your notes organized! What worked for me was to always use one pad at a time, until it was used up. I hand-wrote in a footer at the bottom of each page: on the left side, I put “[case name] — [brief description of content, e.g., MSJ, Phone Conf., etc] — [page no. for that content]. On the far right, I put the date. Using that system made it so easy for me to go back and find the notes that I had taken on a case before. Without that footer, I would have had so many pages that had random notes scribbled on them, and no idea what they were about.

      Regardless of how you organize, make sure that you have an airtight system for keeping track of deadlines. This is one of the most important things to do! When you’re juggling 60 cases on your docket, there’s no other way to make sure that things don’t fall through the cracks, so update your calendar with deadlines for every assignment that you need to complete (no matter how small), and keep that calendar updated!!

      Third, when you get training on non-law duties that you’ll be expected to follow, TAKE NOTES! I had to know how to work some technology (like making conference calls over the courtroom phone, or all the ways to use the regular phones, or using the exhibit equipment). There’s no way I could have remembered all the stuff just from the training they gave us. And that stuff is important, because if you’re in the middle of a hearing and the judge asks you to dial someone in, or a lawyer needs to get some exhibit projected on the screen, you need to know how to do it RIGHT THEN! So take notes, make sure your notes are really clear so that you can refer back to them easily, and then keep your notes somewhere that they will be easily accessible.

      Fourth, just give it some time. This is going to be overwhelming for awhile, probably a few months. But then one day, without expecting it, you’ll know what you’re doing. Or at least, you’ll have a better sense of it! Don’t be too hard on yourself right now.

      • Emma, I’m transitioning from a district clerkship to an appellate one, starting on Monday. I would love to hear any advice from you or others on making this switch. Thanks in advance, and good luck to the OP!

        • You’ll enjoy it! Life will calm down tremendously, although you’ll be stressed in a *different* way. It is so much easier going from DCt to COA. There are some new things to learn, but the adjustment is nothing compared to starting at DCt. COA is like going back to law school.

          First, the biggest change I noticed was just the pace. DCt is exciting, and COA is so much slower. You have a much smaller load of cases, but they are much more complicated. It takes a bit of time to adjust to the different working environment. For example, nobody calls the COA!

          Second, do a little bit of work in the beginning in nailing down your standards of review. Moore’s (on Lexis) is pretty good for that. Going forward, a threshold question will always be: “What is our standard of review?” So read a little bit about plain error versus abuse of discretion, etc., and get a general sense of when they apply.

          Third, spend time reading your judge’s prior opinions. It will help you to read as many opinions as you can, because you’ll absorb different information than you likely cared about in DCt. For example, look up some opinions from your court on the collateral order doctrine. Read some random opinions and pay attention to how they disposed of cases when they disagreed with the court below (e.g., reversal vs. remand). Or, can one panel overturn another panel, or can the first panel only be overturned by SCOTUS or en banc court? There is a whole host of issues that will be important to your work next year. But don’t stress out about it . . . you really will pick it up in time.

          Fourth, if you’re going to travel for court weeks, make sure you have a decent suitcase and garment bag.

          Finally, just enjoy yourself. Clerking for COA is probably the best job you’ll ever have. Though it depends on where you are currently and where you’re going, your workload is probably going to decrease, and you’ll spend most of your time working on legal issues that are genuinely challenging and interesting. You’ll have a great time during court weeks. It’s awesome!!!!

  3. Marshmallow :

    I’m nearing the end of my first year in Biglaw and while I’m generally happy with my job, I feel like I need to work on being more proactive and starting to look at the big picture. During my first year I’ve felt that I get too “in the weeds” with my own tasks and miss out on opportunities to help in other aspects of the case. After a big win on a case that was taking up most of my time, I am in a slow period right now. Any tips for professional development things I can start to work on while I have this time? Things to read, practices I can start putting in place, etc. Thanks!

    • Does your firm offer access to PLI or a similar on-demand CLE program? You can listen to programs on a variety of topics.

      I like checklists/notes on closed matters to help me remember what worked or didn’t work, so you could create some of those.

      Honestly, as 1st year, you kind of have to get in the weeds and focus on individual tasks. I’m an employment litigator, and the first 1-3 years of my career were mostly handling small projects, one-offs and offering support for cases. Around year 3-7, I started handling more cases with increased independence. 7-10 has been more ongoing client relationships, major cases/issues, and pre-litigation counseling and advice.

      I’d also reach out to the people you worked with on this case and ask if they have any other work and let them know you enjoyed working with them. If you have a particularly helpful associate/really good partner who is willing to do a debrief to do a post-mortem of the case (e.g., what did we do well, what could we have done better, what should we have done differently based on 20/20 hindsight), that could also be really helpful and show initiative.

      • Marshmallow :

        Thanks, this is all helpful. I like the checklist idea and it actually reminds me I had started keeping a checklist of discovery issues to watch out for, so that’s definitely something I should go back to. And we have PLI, which I’ve never used, so now is a great time to do that.

    • Nurture your friendships, especially with law school classmates. It’s so easy for everyone to take friendships for granted but honestly in ten years’ time, these people will be your network. They’ll be how you find your next job (and the next and the next) and they’ll be how you find clients. The best way to network is to be a good friend. Then you get the double benefits of having a strong group of friends and of having a strong professional network (which are almost always the same thing). So if you have a slow period, set up lunch dates with as many people as you can.

      • Absolutely agreed with this. My new (awesome) job fell into my lap as a result of a friendship that I made 8 years before while I was a summer associate. It’s not a waste of time to nurture friendships that can lead to business results.

      • Marshmallow :

        Also great advice! Thanks.

    • On top of what’s been said: Contact your local bar association to see if you can write an article in your practice area or on current developments. Or if your ABA section is active you could reach out to them. You could also speak at CLEs. Since you are in BigLaw you have probably claimed all of your AVVO/Findlaw/Super Lawyers profiles online but if not, now is the time to do that or update your profiles. If there is a local women’s law chapter that is through local/state bar, ours is very active. I have hired most of my law clerks through networking there and many of my friends have lateraled from biglaw to in house because of connections made there. If you don’t have a social media presence, you could start one or improve on what you have to boost your firms SEO presence and your own name. Check with your law school alma mater for mentorship opportunities.

  4. What’s the most bizarre thing everyone has ended up doing for work recently? This week I’ve been spending a lot of time in a graveyard for a research project which just seems so out of the ordinary for me.

    • color matching… trying to find *just the right* red.

      • also – I’m an attorney in-house… so… yeah.

      • Semi-nonymous :

        Color matching as an attorney? What are you doing? Is this for some kind of interior decorating or matching a previously existing object

        I ask because I am a dork and because I work in color, so I’m always interested when it becomes something someone outside picks up and then says “oh, this isn’t as straightforward as I thought”

        FYI, if its something that needs to be painted/shellacked/varnished otherwise applied, the red won’t cover in one coat, so it will change colors depending on what you are painting over and how many coats you put on.

        OK, I’ll stop being a dork now. Unless you have specific questions, in which case, ask away.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I don’t think this is dorky at all! What does it mean to “work in color?” I just finished re-doing my house and there were all kinds of issues like you mention so I’m fascinated!!

          • Semi-nonymous :

            When I say I work in color, I mean that I work in a field where I regularly use color science to do things like match colors of 2 different materials (for instance – not at this job, but at others – to match a paint or a plastic material for the base of a lamp to the fabric lampshade). There is a lot of math and science behind it, but also a certain level of art – because at the end of the day there is no such thing as a perfect match, and whether something is “close enough” depends a lot of the end user and how much they pay attention or care

            Fun (or not so fun things) that can play into the perception of color:
            -the lighting – two objects can match in one light but not another
            -how glossy (or not) the objects are
            -the surrounding colors can majorly change the perception of color
            -for things that aren’t completely opaque, the color underneath can shift the final result

            There are programs out there that teach color science, all the way up to the PhD level (a lot of people in those fields go into either companies that do printing or companies that do displays) but my experience is all taught from other color scientists, on the job training, one good textbook and a lot of reading what is available via google.

            All that stuff about “the dress” and whether is was white and gold or blue and black? That was so my thing, I was so geeked out about it. And I also geek about about stuff like this:

            Ok, I’ll stop now. Except to say that what I’m doing this week would seem bizarre to other people but is actually so normal to me I’ve stopped noticing it as being weird. I’m running tests where I spill various things from around the house like wine, coffee, tea, mustard, markers, etc onto my test subjects and seeing how well they clean off. Such is the life of an R&D researcher – making messes in the name of science!

          • Senior Attorney :

            OMG this is all just awesome! I love stuff like the yellow/gray X’s. And yeah, the dresser in my bedroom matches the bedding sunlight and totally doesn’t in artificial light and what’s up with that?

            Have you seen those videoswhere people get special glasses and see color for the first time?

            I spent a whole day down that rabbit hole recently…

          • Semi-nonymous :

            Not sure if that was a rhetorical question or not, but the short answer is that the bedding was probably colored with dyes and the dresser paint was made with pigments, and they absorb and reflect different wavelengths of light differently.

            The term is called metamerism, and the long answer involves a lot of graphs, but it is basically that there are a lot of different ways to get to a final color (for instance, you could make brown with red+yellow+blue, or with red+yellow+black) and each one of those pigments or dyes will react slightly differently under different light sources – so they could be a great match in one light and terrible in another. When trying to match different things like bedding and a dresser, you need to look at it in a variety of light sources to see how they do and don’t match, and whether you can live with it or it will drive you crazy.

            This is why I can’t wear all black outfits – one of the blacks always looks greener to me than the rest under certain lights. I’m sure the rest of the world doesn’t notice, but I do, and it drives me craaaaazy.

            And yes, I really want a pair of those glasses to play with. I’ve already setup a series of experiments in my head of what I would try with them, and I also just want to walk around outside in a garden and see if it blows my mind.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Thanks, that’s so interesting!

            Would those glasses change your vision even if you didn’t start out colorblind?

        • Anonymous :

          I’m curious, too. Do you work for Pantone? Or for Louboutin (cannot spell in English let alone French)? Is it a licensing thing (I know that there is a Pantone color called Duke Blue)?

          I took an internet test once and it said that I had no color accuity. Maybe it was bad monitor / bad lighting? I feel incredibly sensitive to colors (especially when they are just so, so wrong sometimes).

    • lucy stone :

      Negotiating a contract for the purchase of zoo animals which discusses the ability of the seller to “stud” them out.

    • Visiting a number of plumbing supply stores in bad parts of town in a different state, to try to buy something to use as a trial exhibit.

    • Signing up with a work account for so I can make a monthly comic for our department.

    • This was a couple years ago, but while working as an associate attorney at a small firm, my boss had me pick his child up from school and order him sports tickets (yes, I was often treated as a personal assistant).

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      Interviewing a member of a hit squad to use for “background” on my case re: the reasonableness of an insurance policy for kidnapping ransom. it. was. fascinating.

      • Anonymous :

        THIS is also very interesting.

        What is the internal dialog of insurance people like? Is this person kidnappable? What are they worth? Could we rescue the person instead? WHERE IS LIAM NEESON?!

        My husband asked once if a child of ours who was in a particularly foul mood was moving too far away from us in restaurant. I assured him that if anyone kidnapped her at that moment, they would most certainly bring her back (and would probably want damages of some sort).

    • Helping grade a School Bus Road-E-O (Rodeo) – driving challenges in a school bus (for school bus drivers) to demonstrate their ability and finesse (and safety). We have a company event, but there is also a state-wide event later in the year. Include things like the Dollar Stop, where the driver must completely cover a dollar on the pavement with their right front tire.

    • lawsuited :

      This summer I had to do a site inspection on a farm which involved me tramping through mud/manure, climbing on a barn roof, and being chased by a cow that “doesn’t like women”!

    • This sounds awesome. I am jealous.

      • Oh but to answer your question, I once had to draft a dating consent agreement for a client who was married but also sleeping with his assistant. He was worth a lot of money and was concerned if he ever wanted to fire her or break up with her she would sue him for sexual harassment. He had purchased her a condo, cars, etc., so who knows what would have happened. Drama I am sure. His wife was not in the US and, according to him, was fine with this mistress/exec assistant scenario.

    • I have to watch a lot of really bad youtube rap videos.

    • This question and thread was epic and probably the most interesting thing I will read today.

  5. Rural Juror :

    Posted this too late yesterday – I’m looking for a beige/tan/taupe lightweight wool pencil skirt. Ideally I would want the JCrew no2 pencil in super 120s, but that’s not offered in beige right now. Anyone have any suggestions? I want it to be a nice quality wool (suiting wool), and the less “warm” the color the better, but I’ll settle if I have to. Budget of around $150. TIA!

    • I'm Just Me ... :

      Talbots? Either the Italian Flannel or the Seasonless Wool.

    • Can’t help on the skirt (though I’m now interested in purchasing one myself), but wanted to say that I’ve been watching 30 Rock recently and love your username!

    • There’s a nice Classiques Entier wool suiting skirt in a color they call “Brown Slate” that may work for you. $168, not on sale, but free shipping.

  6. Football Widow :

    Looking for some commiseration I guess. I’m so frustrated with my SO – we had plans last night to have a date night in, but then he ended up having to draft for his fantasy league. What was supposed to take 45 mins-1 hour ended up taking 2.5 hours because apparently it required research. He’s not usually inconsiderate but he was so distracted last night, he ended up interrupting everything I said with some tidbit about football or his fantasy team.

    And then we had planned to go get drinks and dinner after work today earlier in the week, but apparently he forgot that football started tonight so now he’s meeting his friends to watch the game.

    I’m sure this is just a one-time thing because he’s usually so sweet and thoughtful but man I’m so frustrated. I like most sports, just not football so it’s not some cliche s3xist thing but I really hope the rest of the season isn’t like this.

    Just needed to vent I guess…

    • It’s fine for him to have plans 2 night in a row that don’t involve you, but NOT fine to only remember them at the last minute. Totally inconsiderate and immature. I would be upset, too.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I highly doubt he “forgot” football started tonight. I know you say it’s not your thing, but if you want to spend time with him, why not tag along?

      • Football Widow :

        I was going to, because I usually hang out with his friends and watch sports with them. But he specifically said something about not inviting me this time but he’d invite me another time. So I don’t feel like he wants me along. I’m trying really hard not to turn this into a thing with him which is why I’m venting here. I’m trying to pick my battles and this is not really a hill I want to die on but ugh letting me make you dinner so you can spend time researching players and drafting a fake team is not really the way I wanted to spend my evening last night.

        • Senior Attorney :

          How about “Haha! Good one! You totally tricked me into making you dinner so you would be well-nourished while doing your fantasy football thing! I’m not gonna fall for that one again haha!”

    • I think I’d let this one slide, but also say “hey I’m disappointed you bailed on our plans! Let’s do something special this weekend instead.”

    • Senior Attorney :

      Sorry you’re disappointed, but really, if he’s usually sweet and thoughtful I’d give him a pass. This is obviously a huge deal to him so your choices are (a) be a big ol’ buzz-killer about it, or (b) sit back and enjoy watching him be all boyishly enthusiastic.

      • Football Widow :

        You ladies are wise and right – I’m trying to let this go…

        Think I need to hit the gym to get out the frustration this evening.

    • welcome to dating someone who does fantasy football! My husband completely disappeared the night of his draft last week, but I expected it and he told me it was coming. Just let this slide if it’s a one-time thing….But he will be obsessively watching more football if you didn’t know how fantasy worked. Last fall my husband stole the TV on thursdays and all day sundays. It was fine because I like sundays at home in the fall, but just an FYI.

      • Football Widow :

        He claims he doesn’t watch that much football but I don’t really believe him. This is our first full football season being really together so I’m not sure how things are going to work.

        I don’t know if it’s better to be abandoned completely or to be dragged along to watch football every Sunday…

        • If he’s playing fantasy, he’s more than likely watching at least a game or two each week. It’s obviously something he enjoys, so I think your options are to learn to enjoy it enough to join in watching the games or to let him have this time and devote it to your hobbies or whatever else you want to do.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I feel like “really being together” does not necessarily require spending all of one’s free time together. I would be perfectly fine if my guy spent Sundays doing something fun that he loves, and I would find something fun to do that I love. Maybe we would meet up for a sleepover after or not, but in any event we would both be happy.

          Honestly, calling yourself a “football widow” and being all grumpy about this is not your best move, I don’t think. Don’t you have girlfriends with whom you could brunch? Chores or projects that need doing?

          On the other hand, we are all entitled to our dealbreakers so maybe you need to pay close attention to how this plays out and then make decisions accordingly. But if you’re not going to break up with him over it, I think you have to consider it a “price of admission” thing and figure out how to be happy anyway.

        • Meg Murry :

          I think the issue is that “all that much” is a relative thing. If you don’t watch football at all, him watching 2 games a week might seem like a lot (it would be to me, personally). If he comparing himself to his friends that are football obsessed and follow every single game that is on television or the radio or internet, 1-2 games really does seem like “not that much” to him by comparison.

          I think for me the bigger dealbreaker would be him canceling already established plans for something that wasn’t once in a lifetime, like last minute tickets to the Superbowl or something. Or was it more that he remembered he was going to meet his friends for the X vs Y game on the 10th, and he remembered making plans with you for dinner on Thursday, but he didn’t put together that Thursday and the 10th were one and the same? Because I’ve done that (and so has my husband) so I’d give him a little slack this time, but I would let him know that I was disappointed and ask him not to cancel our plans at the last minute again.

          But can you make plans to go somewhere he wouldn’t like instead? Or skip dinner and just have a night of ice cream in front of a chick flick or in a bubble bath? Make some lemonade (or sangria!) out of those lemons!

      • +1. My husband becomes obsessed with football, but we now work out agreements on which games are really important to him and he will watch those and fold laundry at the same time. So it works for me because all the laundry gets folded. (And I totally slack on folding during the week so there is always a laundry mountain for him since there are 5 people in our house, haha.)

    • Anonymous :

      I’ll say that last week, my wonderful boyfriend planned a surprise dinner at this restaurant we’ve been DYING to try, but he unwittingly planned it the night of my fantasy draft (in which I crush all the men I work with every year). Football is not really his thing at ALL, but he didn’t complain that I stared at my phone making draft picks the whole way to the restaurant.

      • Wildkitten :

        Your boyfriend sounds like a saint. I would not have the same reaction.

    • Another perspective — dating someone who’s really into televised sports would have been a deal-breaker for me. I just have zero interest in spending that much time in front of the TV, much less spending lots of time discussing other people playing games. So if you are realizing that you maybe feel some variant of that, it’s okay. There are lots of guys out there who are not into following pro sports. I married one and we spend our free time eating meals with friends, going on field trips to places we think could be interesting, engaging in various hobbies, reading books together, etc. I’d much rather go for a long walk after dinner than watch the game and it’s nice to be with someone who’s on the same page. What I’m trying to say is, you do you, and just realize that it’s okay to not want to be with someone with whom you feel like a football widow :)

  7. lucy stone :

    Has anyone attended the IMLA conference? I am going for the first time and am super excited.

    Also, any Vegas tips? I’ll be flying solo since my husband is in trial.

  8. NYC folks: any recommendations for an attorney to handle co-op sale closing?

    • I’ve used Sunil Agarwal (in Queens) and was very, very pleased with his knowledge and responsiveness.

  9. I’m thinking about extending a business trip that ends on Friday and taking a weekend in Paris) flying out Sunday). Any recommendations of things I must do in this day and a half?
    Places to eat or visit? I’m hearing about super long lines at a lot of the venues and that it can be hard to get around.

    Hotel recommendations?

    • Anonymous :

      What boring people are you talking to? It’s super easy to get around and get into nearly everything!

    • I stayed at the Artus Hotel in August and was impressed. I really liked the location – easy walking distance to the Louvre and Notre Dame as well as a metro to get to the farther off places – and the concierge. They also upgraded my room for free to a really nice (and big!) one.

      There were lines at large attractions, but they often moved really quickly (though I read you can reserve a time for the Eiffel Tower to skip that line). I found it really easy to get around. My favorite site was Saint Chapelle – there was a wait for it but it was incredible and easily the most awe-inspiring church I’ve ever been inside.

    • I was just in Paris for two weeks. Getting around is no issue – buy some tickets on the metro/RER/Train station in advance as you get there, and use those. Previous times I have really been taking the metro to get around, but this time it was so much nicer to take the bus. It’s not as speedy (but you also don’t spend ages walking down into the metro system and up again) but you also get to see the city as you drive past.

      A tip would be to plan to go to one big attraction, and as as soon as they open to avoid too long queues – and then spend the morning doing that. (Louvre or Musée d’Orsay, the Orangeries or the Rodin museum, for example). Stop at a boulangerie or a supermarket and pick up food (and wine) for lunch and eat that as a picnic on the Champ de Mars while looking up at the Eiffel tower. (Honestly, I don’t think getting up into the tower is worth the queue time if you have so little time.)

      Wander into some shopping for the afternoon, if you’re into that, or try another museum/attraction. Personally, I really loved walking around in different areas of town, soaking in the environment.

      Check out Yelp/Tripadvisor for Paris dining recommendations. Note that a lot of places need reservations.

      Evening – either the view from Sacre Coeur as the sun is setting, or the sparkling lights of the Eiffel tower.

      A lot of stores are closed on Sundays, so get the shopping in before that fi you need to. Sunday morning is also a nice time to head to another museum/attraction, just check out when they open.

    • For shorter line and cheaper ticket, walk up the stairs to the Eiffel Tower. I disagree about the earlier post about the view. I thought it was cool. Never buy a baguette in plastic, only paper. If you attempt and slaughter your French, they will try English back to you but not until you embarrass yourself first. If you start right out with English, people will likely brush you off.

      If the weather is nice, grab a little picnic at a boulangerie close to Luxembourg garden and then go to the park in the middle where all the little boats are to people watch and eat your snack. Arc de Triomphe/Champs Elysees is cool to walk around. I wouldn’t go up into the arc de triomphe though. The outside of the Louvre is cool. It’s crowded if you want to go inside. I liked Musee d’orsay too if you want to see a museum with fewer crowds. In line you can listen to Rick Steves app. Definitely download Rick Steves free apps about Paris and take his walking tours where you go. It’s up to date, worth whatever cost if any, and very interesting and informative. Plus it’s good if you are alone.

      If you aren’t trying to stay at a fancy hotel, I’ve stayed at the reasonable family owned Hôtel Kensington
      79 Avenue de la Bourdonnais
      75007 Paris
      They had wifi but no elevator. It’s right next to the Eiffel Tower and a few blocks from a metro stop. It was small but clean and much less expensive, freeing up money for the FOOD.

      Get Le billet for metro, or 10 individual passes.

      Not sure about restaurants since they change so much but Yelp and google usually have some good up to date reviews I think.

      Again not to beat this Rick Steves thing over your head but he has like 2 day Paris plans and he even routes the day for you which is important when you don’t have much time. I wouldn’t go up to Versailles since you don’t have much time.