Thursday’s Workwear Report: Metallic-Fastening Blazer

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

I just discovered that Mango has a bunch of fun blazers as well as suits right now. Averting your eyes from the styling here (i.e., that hideous zipper on the pants), you’ll notice that this flattering blazer has some really nice details. The shoulders have a rounded, structured look; it’s got a nipped-in waist with an interesting straight metal fastener; and to me it looks a lot more expensive than $79. It’s available in white, “nude” (pictured here), and black, so if you’re looking for a basic black blazer to keep in your wardrobe, give this one a try. I would hope to see the white on sale soon — since it’s October in a few days — and the pale pink is also nice. It comes in sizes XXS–L. Metallic-Fastening Blazer

For plus sizes, here’s a pink and black pinstripe.

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  1. Anonymous :

    Over-the-knee boots for casual wear–still on trend or out of date? Silly on a 40-year-old mom? The Mom Edit is still recommending OTK boots for fall. They look so cute on Shana, and styles that suit her generally suit me, but I don’t know if I dare.

    • Still on trend, I wear my black ones with dark gray or dark skinny denim. I’ve also worn with a short dress or romper with black tights. I like the gray suede ones if you are looking for them!

    • Anonymous :

      All of the bloggers still wear them, perhaps more than ever. I think they would be fine on you, though I would probably buy flat ones rather than heeled.

    • Anonymous :

      Honestly, I think they kind of look silly on everyone. But it floats your boat, go for it :)

      • Anonymous :


      • Anonymous :


        OTK boots read at dated to me. I feel like bloggers are trying to revive them but the moment is past.

      • I agree, unfortunately.

        You can get away with it if you are 25 or a blogger, but for you I’d go for a classic knee high or bootie that will last you long term.

        I think you kinda know if your style can get away with it, and if you are questioning it… probably better to look elsewhere.

    • I strongly recommend the faux-leather/ faux-suede version. I tried on the leather version and overheated pretty quickly. Also, make sure they stay up for regular activities.

    • Life is short. Wear the boots.

  2. Need help finding a dress! :

    I have an upcoming firm event with a themed party “fire and ice” where we are supposed to wear either red or white clothing. I have nothing in my current wardrobe that would really work. This isn’t the type of event that professional attire would be appropriate and people tend to take these things pretty seriously in my office. I would love any suggestions for cute dresses that are red -would prefer blue undertones since that tends to look better on my skin tone- or white, somewhere between going out and cocktail in formality, and not too on-trend (no coldshoulder or bell shaped sleeves please)!! You ladies always have great recommendations and would love some help here. I’m looking for standard sizes – about 5’6″, typically wear a size 0. Thanks so much!

    • Maudie Atkinson :

      There are so many good RTR options in red that would be perfect for this sort of thing. Comment forthcoming (will be in moderation) with a few links.

      • Maudie Atkinson :

        Very classic and virtually always flattering:

        I’ve rented this one and LOVED it.

        You said no cold shoulder, but what about one-shoulder? I’m loving these:

        • pugsnbourbon :

          These dresses are gorgeous – I especially love that one-shoulder dress. You have awesome taste, Maudie.

        • I would never have the guts to wear it, but I love that jumpsuit!

          • Maudie Atkinson :

            If you love it, I’d bet you could muster up the guts if you just tried it. You just have to commit to it and fake it until you make it.
            Conventional wisdom says I’m too short for a jumpsuit (~5’3″), but I love them. And I picked up this one (in black) on Ebay this year, NWT, and I have basically looked for every excuse to wear it since because I love it so much. I had some good tailoring done, and that made a world of difference.

      • Anonymous :

        Ooo, I rented this red one and it looked incredible –

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I needed a white dress for a white party and found several to choose from at White House Black Market outlet.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Argh I just had to attend a White Party at work — the ice half of your party, more or less. (I was very annoyed because I did not want to buy a one-time dress but whatcha gonna do?) I wore a Michael Kors wrap style sweater dress that I found at Saks Off 5th. I wore some jewelry made out of crystals to lend a sort of icy feel. Because There Are Limits I wore sparkly gold shoes instead of white.

    • Calibrachoa :

      I immediately thought of this dress:, XS%26COLOR%3DRed%26DEPARTMENT_TYPE%3DDresses%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D27%26ruleId%3D19|BS|BA%26slotId%3D1

    • I’d wear something like this dress with a clear crystal (ice) necklace and silver shoes.

  3. In need of a very small, crossbody bag to hold phone, keys and lipstick at a formal event. I will be working the event and will have my hands full of various things during the night but want my phone on me. Dress is a short, sequined, long-sleeved shift with black and copper undertones.

    Recommendations? Ideally something discreet and something I can use for this same event in future years regardless of dress (though I hope to have dresses with pockets in the future).

    • If you’re not looking to spend much I’d check out Charming Charlie. I’ve gotten a few basic bags there on the cheap.

    • I’d recommend a light gray or black crossbody with a chain, as that seems to be more formal to me than a leather strap. I pulled a few recommendations, starting with most elaborate to most simple. Hope this helps :)

    • Shopaholic :

      I agree with the suggestion of a black bag with a chain. If you have friends in the area, can you borrow something? I know I have a couple things that fit that description and I would gladly lend them to a friend for a night so perhaps your friends have something similar?

      Also – your dress sounds fab!

      • Thanks! I am excited to wear it. Do you think a chain would catch on the sequins?

        • Shopaholic :

          I don’t – I find the chains tend to be a bit chunkier (at least on the bags I have), or there’s a mix of leather and chain so it doesn’t get caught on anything I’m wearing.

    • Anonymous :

      Another vote for black cross-body with a chain, although be careful with chain selection – I got one that is impossible to unkink. I think you can often find these for not much $$ at H&M, Mango, J Crew Factory, etc.

    • I actually found a black crossbody with chain at target recently – mine has revamped their entire clothing/accessories section

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Would you consider a wristlet, or is that too interruptional? I would worry about sequin-catching with a cross body strap.

      • I don’t think i can do a wristlet. At various points I will be wielding a tablet and need to be ready to help move things (auction items, etc). Worried a wristlet would be more trouble.

  4. Hamilton Tours :

    Are there any good Hamilton themed tours in NYC? I know my way around lower Manhattan pretty well but someone probably knows it much better than me.

    Also if you love my little pony, there are good mlp you tube Hamilton videos.

    • Cornellian :

      I have no idea, but come uptown and check out Hamilton Grange and the church across the street! Take the b/c to 135 and walk along the park north.

      • Hamilton Tours :

        That and Hamilton Heights are awesome!

        I have to be in NYC for some meetings and since one has cancelled, if I can’t grab a client for lunch, I will likely head to Trinity Church / Fraunces Tavern since I will be closer to that. I’ve been a million times, but I’ve never actually looked for the graves (if the song is right).

        I grew up near Weehawken, so I could do 10 Duel Commandments in my sleep :) And I’ve done the Battle of Monmouth in 100-degree heat. And Ft. Lee NJ is named after Gen. Charles Lee — I have mixed feelings about him — why does he get a city??? Does he have some redeeming quality?

  5. Looking for advice on what to wear with this jacket in a business casual setting.

    I’m thinking black slim ankle length pants but not sure what to wear under the jacket.


  6. Anonymous :

    Does anyone have restaurant recommendations for Breckenridge, Colorado? We’ll be there next week! We are looking for both more causal spots for lunch and a nicer place or two for dinner. Thanks!!

    • I like The Crown and Empire Burger for casual lunches. Hearthstone and Relish are good choices for a nice dinner. There are a lot of good restaurants around town so you won’t be short of options.

    • Relish for a fancy dinner!

    • My favorite chef in DC (Daniel O’Brien of Seasonal Pantry) now has a restaurant in Breckenridge. It’s the Breckenridge Distillery Restaurant.

  7. Side Hustle :

    Those of you who have a side hustle – care to share how you got started? I have an idea but am balking at the start up costs and could use some anecdotes about others’ start up processes.

    • Anonymous :

      Could you give a bit more info — I understand if you have a killer idea and don’t want to give it away. But even a general idea of what you’re talking about may elicit ways to do your Thing with lower costs or a slower roll-out.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 Mine cost a website hosting fee and some business cards.

      • Side Hustle :

        Sure. (didn’t want to come off like I was advertising!) I want to start a short term rental service – like Rent the Runway but travel gear based. Inventory to get me off the ground would run me about $3-5k, and I’m worried to pull the trigger on this. We have two small kids, have no debt aside from our mortgage, and can definitely afford this, but I’m having trouble justifying spending the money on my idea.

        • Anonymous :

          So I think you start with a business plan and a budget. Assuming it’s a total failure, how much money are you willing to risk. Your estimate of start up costs sounds low to me, but I think the idea has a lot of potential

        • Anonymous :

          What sort of gear? That seems like a complicated business idea because there are already a lot of businesses that do this for a certain kind of gear (e.g., business that rent photography equipment, businesses that rent camping stuff etc) and I feel like this is an area of the market where it would be really hard to beat the prices of the big stores or convince people to switch to your business. Certainly as an amateur photographer I want to rent my lenses from a well known camera store, not an individual I don’t know anything about, even if the individual offered better prices.

          • Side Hustle :

            Camping gear, primarily. Many places do do this already but I’m interesting in breaking into a market that’s interested in camping but less willing to purchase gear to try it out.

          • Anonymous :

            I’ve never heard of camera rental. I’d love this for an upcoming vacation. Can you share a few of your favorite rental companies? Thanks!

          • I feel like that’s actually a great idea! I know a lot of people who don’t have enough space in their apartments to keep a backpacking backpack when they only do it once every few years, and ditto with tents/stoves/etc., but I feel like $3-5k might not be enough to get all the inventory you would need. I think you would also need a business plan that included a slow on-ramp, maybe renting to people for short trips, because I would never rent gear for a long trip (that might result in me being stuck a two-day hike from anywhere with a broken ____) without reading lots of reviews on the reliability of the gear and the company sending it to me.

          • @Anonymous 9:52, not the original poster, but I use Borrow Lenses and have had great success. I haven’t rented a camera from them, but several good lenses. One arrived smashed once (turns out it was just the filter they put on it and the actual lens was fine) and they gave me no trouble at all. I had nightmare scenarios running through my head of them charging me for it…

          • Anon at 9:52, my go-to places are Adorama and my local camera store. I have a DSLR and a decent set of everyday lenses, but for trips where I’ll be doing any wildlife photography I like to rent an L-series (professional) zoom lens that is better quality and longer telephoto than anything I have. I got some amazing bear photos in Alaska that way.

        • I like the camera rental part, but doesn’t REI already offer gear rentals?

          I’m in Canada, and you can rent basically anything outdoors related at MEC, and they’ll let you use the rental price towards the purchase of the item. I’ve rented snowshoes at REI before, but I’d assume they offer similar rentals as MEC.

        • Definitely start with a business plan. Define your target customer, define your prices for rental, how many rentals you’ll need in a time span in order to break even, how much to turn a profit. How you’ll find your customers. How big your customer base will need to be. One issue: you’re going to need a big customer base with a steady influx of new customers, because your target group may only do this once or twice a year — or do it once and never rent anything again. Also, plan for when / how to clean and replace equipment. Any insurance issues with renting gear to people?

          And … watch a LOT of Shark Tank and see if you have really good answers to all the questions the investors fire at the people doing the pitches.

        • Do some research first. The big box stores (REI, EMS) rent equipment and so do local mom-and-pop outdoor shops. I think for them it’s a loss-leader or break even to get people to actually buy the gear after they rent.

          OutdoorsGeek, Gear to Go, LowerGear, and Mountain Side Gear Rental are in the camping gear rental business. Also, local universities and rock climbing gyms rent gear too (I’m in Philly).

          Depending on where you are located, you may have no competition or tons of it.

          • Having a solid business plan will help give you the courage to make the investment.

    • There is a Canadian version of Rent the Runway, called Rent Frock Repeat. I’m mentioning it because they are in the middle of a kickstarter campaign right now, and some of the higher-priced rewards include a business consultation or talk with the company’s founders. May be worth an investment for some good business advice for starting up?

    • Check out the podcast “How I Built This”! Its a series of engaging interviews with big name entrepreneurs about how they began their businesses.

    • Not trying to discourage you, and I know others have mentioned this, but this past summer I did an RV rental to Zion Canyon, Bryce Canyon and North rim of the Grand Canyon. I was shocked at how many stores were in each place that rent everything you could possibly think of for a camping trip. And they are located so conveniently to the parks and the campgrounds. You will be competing with that, so you will have to factor that in.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Can you tell me more about your RV rental experience? This is exactly something I would like to do in the future. Did you need any kind of special license? Was it manageable to drive? What were your obligations in regards to the waste tank?

        • Road Trip :

          Oh, it was great! There is no special license required and it was very easy to drive. We only had to empty the waste tank two times over the course of a 10-day trip, and the RV has a notification system to tell you when to empty it. We emptied it at the camp sites as they have a hose that plugs into the side of the camper and dumps it right there. Not a problem at all. One of the best things about the RV was having the bathroom on the road since the route we went on was a lot of “middle of nowhere” (which I loved!), so it was great not to have to plan stops or use a gross gas station bathroom.
          We stayed at some camp sites with hook up for the RV and some without, so I would recommend getting sites with hook ups if possible, so you have air conditioning and water. We did need the air two nights since it was summer. If you don’t have a hook up you can still use the generator, but not during “quiet hours” at the camp site which is usually like 10 pm to 6 am because it is loud.
          We didn’t use the shower in the RV since it would have been only marginally better than using the sink to bathe, but each of the camp sites had really nice showers, so we used them. And once during the trip I used the camp site laundry facilities.
          I would recommend this trip! And my kids loved it too! But keep in mind that even though you are in an RV, it is still camping, and camping for over a week was a bit more than I would normally like!

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Thanks for all the info! If you are comfortable sharing, what was the cost to rent?

          • Road Trip :

            The cost to rent was about $2,500 for an RV that slept 4-5, plus gas, which was about another $1,000 for the week.

          • Blonde Lawyer :


  8. zip wallet / iPhone 7 plus :

    My otterbox-clad iPhone 7+ barely squeezes into my large zip-around wallet. I’m seeking recommendations for something slightly larger — a wallet or small clutch.

    • I’m a Hobo evangelist. Which Otterbox? I have the 8+ in the Symmetry case and it barely squeezes into my Hobo Danette wallet with a tuckaway wristlet strap, which I love. If you have the Defender it wouldn’t fit. But I also have (and love) the Lauren, which is a big wallet but the phone would definitely fit comfortably.

      • Oh, I missed the zip-around part. No help there, sorry!

      • zip wallet / iPhone 7 plus :

        Of course, it’s the Defender. Huge case. Huge phone (but takes awesome pictures).

        Miss my blackberry.

        • Why do you need such a substantial case?

          • zip wallet / iPhone 7 plus :

            I destroy things. And buying a bigger clutch / wallet is cheaper than buying another iPhone, nevermind the inconvenience of being phoneless. Ask me how I know . . .

  9. Nordstrom personal shopper - DC? :

    Anyone have a favorite personal shopper at a Nordstrom in the DC area?

    • Anonymous :

      I really like Maureen at Pentagon City. She listened to my considerations well, and really did a great job sticking to my budget.

    • Anonymous :

      I love Nataley who is at both Pentagon and Tyson’s. She’s been great with me, a plus-size friend in her 30s, and my mom in her 60s. Can’t recommend her highly enough!

    • Not Clarissa at Pentagon. She was a nightmare. My friends and I still talk about how bad my appointment was.

      Me: Can you stop bringing me dresses and start bringing me some options for tops, maybe? Like I said before, I’m looking for going out tops since I have so many dresses already. Not in navy and no stripes.
      Clarissa: Navy is very in right now.
      Me: Yeah, I just don’t wear it a lot.
      Clarissa: I’m going to go grab some more dresses. You like stripes, right? Maybe in a navy.

  10. Anonymous :

    My parents need some legal advice with respect to their home owners insurance in Florida for hurricane-related damage. Can anyone here recommend a lawyer in the Ft Myers/Naples area?

  11. Anniversary Ideas - Boston :

    would like to start an anniversary ‘tradition’ starting with my 1st wedding coming up!
    we got married in DC and won’t be able to manage a trip back on the reg – looking for ideas in Boston for something to potentially ritualize.

    I was thinking Top of the Hub dinner – is that too tourist cheesy?
    Anyone have other Boston anniversary dinner ideas? open to cuisines, location, etc.

    • Honestly, the view at Top of the Hub is nice but the food’s just OK. What are you looking for in a restaurant — great food, great atmosphere, super Boston-y? Do you want to go to the same restaurant every year?

      If you want to go super fancy, Menton is where we went on our first anniversary. Food, cocktails, and atmosphere are amazing, but it’s really expensive. Other Boston restaurants I love for a nice dinner — Little Donkey, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Oleana, Alden & Harlow, Banyan, Myers & Chang.

    • Top of the Hub is pretty terrible for everything other than a scenic drink.

      Mooo is absolutely outstanding. No. 9 Park is amazing, too. What’s the pricepoint? Those are def expensive. What about something in the North End followed by dessert and coffee at Cafe Vittoria? I LOVE Tratoria il Panino.

      • Anniversary Ideas - Boston :

        pricepoint is flexible. looking to do it up fancy, at least for the 1st one :)

        thanks for the suggestions – will look into them all! I’m relatively new-ish to dining out here, but my office is in North End so was thinking about getting to a different area of the city

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I second Moo – it is so good and the service is amazing.

      • I wanted to love No. 9 Park, but I’m sad to report I left there hungry. All of the portions were little, and I didn’t think the price-to-value ratio was quite right.

    • Boston Legal Eagle :

      Our favorites are: La Morra (Brookline), Marliave (downtown) and Row 34 (new one in Seaport). I haven’t been to the Barbara Lynch ones, but I hear they are excellent.

    • Agreed on top of the hub being worth it just for a drink with a view.

      For all out I would vote Menton or O Ya.

      Less expensive (and would get you out of North End) look at Sarma or Oleana.

    • Eastern standard is great.

    • Giulia in Cambridge. Or I’d get out of town and head to Portland for a night.

    • Linda from HR :

      I like Top of the Hub for drinks, but I’m not a fan of the food – it’s not bad, but overpriced for the quality. And the menu is super limited, so unless you see something on there you simply must eat, go somewhere else. North End is touristy as well but for good reasons, Lolita’s got a cool aesthetic and good food, Smith and Wollensky is a chain but better food for the price. Legal Seafood is good, they have a high end location in the Seaport (second floor, I think).

  12. I like this jacket. Does anyone know how the sizing runs? TIA!

    • I don’t know for this jacket in particular, but Mango has a reputation for running slightly small, and their jackets tend to be tight/narrow through the arms & shoulders.

    • I really like it too! Trying to convince myself I don’t need another blazer…

  13. Morning Glory :

    The only male in our department walked up to me a while ago and said “Are you tired? You look tired this morning.”
    I’m actually not tired at all. I went to bed early, got 8 hours of sleep, and had enough time this morning to curl my hair and make real breakfast. But now I’m going to feel self-conscious all day that I “look tired.”

    • Why do people think this is an OK thing to say to people? How could it possibly come across as anything but an insult? I hear this said (to me, to others) all the time and it drives me bonkers.

    • Why does it matter what this person’s gender is?

      • Sex matters because males do not say crap like that to other males in the workplace.

        • IMO they are usually much ruder to other men: dude, you look like *ss

          The nicest that would come out is that someone looks rough and/or commentary on growing a playoff beard.

        • I work with traders. If they say that to a woman, what they say to a man is a million times worse (but somehow meant with love b/c traders).

      • I have only ever had men do this to me. Often in front of an audience.

        • Legally Brunette :

          The only person I know who did this regularly was our admin assistant, a woman.

          • Same here.

          • Same. My (female) former assistant – who was very sweet in a lot of ways – used to always tell me I looked tired. I was tired! I was in BigLaw working 70 hours/week. It was still not a helpful or nice thing to say.

        • I liked Lorelai’s response to Luke on Gilmore Girls: “Thanks! I love it when guys say that to me.”

          Unfortunately, I think this is too flirty for most office settings (or maybe most conversations in general).

          • That’s flirty? It sounds sarcastic and kind of rude to me, lol (not that the original comment isn’t rude too of course).

          • In the context of the show, yes. But you may have had some unintentional insight into my life. Haha.

      • Of course it matters, and you’re either stupid or being willfully obtuse to suggest otherwise.

    • I get the “you look tired” a lot because I have underage circles that look worse, not better with concealer. Over the years I’ve just gotten used to it and respond with “I’m not actually, it’s just my face” which makes the person saying it feel dumb and realize they’re basically saying “you don’t look good”.

      • It’s not a male thing. I was tempted all the time to say this to a friend and had to keep reminding myself that she just had deep, dark, circles under her eyes genetically. My comment would have come from a place of “you seem tired. I noticed and I care about you. How’s your day going?” NOTE: I did not say this. Just wanting to chime in to the thread and say that these comments are not always coming from Horrible People with Horrible Motivations.

        • Morning Glory :

          I know that people can say this out of concern when they mean well. FWIW, the coworker in question is not a Horrible Person with Horrible Motivations. But I beg everyone in the universe to please find a better way of expressing concern than saying what amounts to “your face looks kind of bad today.”
          Also, if someone said your phrasing to me, I’d be less likely to be offended, since you’re saying I *seem* tired, not I *look* tired.

    • Delta Dawn :

      Why do people say this?? A new assistant at work came into our office specifically to tell me I look tired. I’m super pregnant and I have a toddler, so I am sure I do look tired. I AM TIRED. My response was to look incredibly taken aback– not that difficult since I was pretty taken aback– and then say incredulously, “I… I’m… sorry???” She promptly apologized. (She also told me “the baby needs more than pop-tarts” when she saw me eating one the other day, so I haven’t put much stock in her comments, but why must people say these things!?)

    • That’s annoying. Twice in one week, I had 2 different people (one male, one female if it matters) ask if everything was ok because I looked really upset. Everything was fine; I wasn’t upset about anything at all. I guess I just have bad RBF or something? Not sure how to change that…

    • My 15 year old daughter told me she was offended yesterday when two boys in her class told her she looked tired. She had dressed well, put on make up and was pretty well rested so she objected to their comments. So it’s starting young … Based upon some good comments above, I’ll talk with her tonight about some appropriate response if there’s a next time. Seems to me just another way of focusing on girls’/women’s appearances.

    • Did he tell you to smile too?

      F that d0uchenozzle. You look fine.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      “I DID NOT ASK YOU HOW MY FACE LOOKED” <– what I would not actually scream but would want to.

    • Anonymous :

      “Likewise but I didn’t want to be rude and say anything.” is my go-to response for this.

  14. Investment Question :

    Does it make sense to hold a higher ratio of risky investments (i.e. index funds) in a roth ira– since the potentially higher growth is tax-free; and hold more bonds/etc in a regular brokerage since capital gains are taxed? Or am I thinking about this wrong?

    • You’re thinking about this wrong. Assessing risk should be mostly about your time thresholds.

      • +1

        And in a ROTH, b/c you can inherit them tax free, that horizon should be lengthy and it should be the last $ you ever touch (if you think you are adequately funded for retirement; if not, it should probably be the first $ you touch but you should start saving more now).

      • Investment Question :

        I don’t think I am. This is a horizon of 30+ years from now. What I mean is… if I’m going to hold 15% bonds and 85% index funds, does it make more sense to hold most of those bonds in my regular brokerage account, since the (arguably smaller) gains are taxed; and hold more of the index funds in my roth ira, since the (arguably higher) gains won’t be taxed?

        • Cornellian :

          Bogleheads has an article on this. I’ll post separately.

          • Investment Question :

            Thank you, that’s exactly what I was looking for! I was thinking that index funds were actually more tax inefficient while bonds were more tax efficient, and apparently it’s the other way around.

          • Cornellian :

            I think you would have been right say, in the late 90s, when yields were different and ordinary income was more heavily taxed.

          • I think it also means that if you have a taxable account, put enough $ into that category that you can get the more-tax-efficient Admiral Shares (vanguard term) and not the regular ones.

  15. Cornellian :

  16. Money and the Office :

    Am I the only one who has gotten annoyed at the constant asking people for money to fund gift cards for bosses? We get bombarded with emails during the holidays, each boss’s birthday, and now because one of them is leaving. I’ve given so much under pressure during the last few years and I really don’t want to participate this time. Am I being cheap?

    • Money and the Office :

      It actually got ugly at one point last Christmas when they told us how much they expected us to contribute and someone replied suggesting that a slightly lower amount seemed more appropriate. The organizer snapped and said she would then cover anyone who “couldn’t” give

    • This makes me so glad that my company doesn’t have a habit of regular gifting.

    • Everyone in my department was just hounded relentlessly over a 2 month period to get my manager a “bag she’s always wanted” for her 50th birthday. Turns out that bag was a LV Neverfull. Besides the fact that I think this is a totally tacky bag for a 50-year-old to own, the facts that 1) she made it known that she wanted one from us and 2) this means that people gave an average of $50– kind of makes me sick.

      • Why is it tacky for a 50 year old to own this bag? That’s pretty judgy.

        • It’s tacky for a grown a$$ed woman who has her own job to be forcing her reports to get her a luxury item. She needs to buy it with her own money!!!

          • But that’s not whyanony at 10:28 said it was tacky. She said it was tacky for her to own due to her age, which is ridiculous.

        • Anonymous :

          In Anony’s defense, the LV Neverfull does read young

      • Pretty Primadonna :

        While I do not agree that this bag is tacky for a 50-year-old, I cannot believe her staff was pressured to buy her a designer handbag. This is laughable. GTFOH

      • Wow, that’s a big ask of coworkers.

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      My boss just sent an email saying he NEVER wants us to give him a gift for anything EVER because he thinks it is highly inappropriate and hated it when he was solicited to give for these types of things. I respect him so much for that.

      • +1000. FWIW I have sent the same e-mail. The office is for work, not a weekly shakedown for lord knows what with people you really don’t even know.

    • Read Ask a Manager’s posts on gifting up. You are right, and your colleagues are wrong.

    • nonononono
      I am a senior manager and I’m cringing at all this. Collections for cards or gifts for the boss? Never!!!

      OP I’m so sorry. You should get a gang of colleagues together and collectively refuse to contribute. If the coordinator of the gift has any attitude about it, point her to the many, many articles about not gifting your boss.

      I would be so embarrassed and awkward if my staff gave me a gift.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s horrifying. I really wish offices would implement a no gifting-up policy!


  17. Law as second career? :

    I’m interested in exploring law as a possible second career. (Yes, it may be a horrible idea; yes, I may be crazy. But I won’t know unless I investigate, right?) I have no legal folks of any type in my circle of friends or family, so at this point I’m operating on nothing more than a hunch that law would be a challenging and interesting field to work in. I know informational interviews with some local attorneys would be very helpful down the road, but I’m wondering if anyone can recommend some preliminary sources of information (blogs? books? volunteer opportunities?) that would help me decide whether or not this could be a viable path.

    FWIW, my background is in the arts/humanities, and my work experience has been mostly in higher ed. I’m 39 with two young kids.

    • I don’t know anything, but I’d suggest reading a lot of archived threads here. Lots and lots of stories about lawyers and law school and changing careers.

    • What specifically about it do you think you’d find interesting and challenging? What sort of role do you envision for yourself? Do you see yourself mostly as the introverted paperwork type or do you imagine you’ll be a Matlock/Law & Order in the courtroom all day? Basically, why are you attracted to the field?

      • Law as second career? :

        Critical thought. Close reading. Logic. Structure. The craft of argument/story. Writing and research. Being part of a learned profession. The opportunity to work closely and meaningfully with individuals/families in a way that is, well, tidier (?) or less int!mately hands-on than medicine or social work. I am an introvert who prefers one-on-one interactions. I’m a bookworm and a perfectionist. Paperwork doesn’t bother me unless it’s truly repetitive administrivia.

        I’d be happy to hang out a shingle eventually. I am not looking at this for big money, but rather for the opportunity to stretch my intellect and do, again, a particular type of meaningful work–that I could presumably do for another 20-25 years. Hope this helps.

        • The law will not get you any of these things except maybe in appellate practice. You want to be a law student, not a lawyer.

          • Yea, that description sounds right out of a Tier 4 law school marketing piece.

        • So I used to be a mediator in small claims court in Brooklyn, and I always tell people that the most important thing I learned is that the vast majority of people, the law isn’t about nuanced arguments in a marble chamber. It’s about “the f*ing dry cleaner ruined my shirts.”

          What I mean by that is that to make this decision, you need to get a real, hard sense of what most working lawyers do, because for the most part, the gap between the most idealistic version of a lawyer’s life and the reality of a lawyer’s life is vast. The stuff you’re reading comes from the most cerebral end of the profession (appellate litigation) – you need to get down into the nitty gritty of what life as a solo/small firm corporate lawyer looks like.

          By the way, you say you don’t want to be a litigator, but what you describe as appealing about the law is all litigation stuff – I’m a lifelong corporate lawyer, and I spend very little time in persuasive writing and zero time doing research (I don’t even have a Westlaw pasword). My job is 60% negotiation, and 40% contract drafting (which is a very particular style of writing – there is no art or craft of story here). None of this is to say that you couldn’t do this and enjoy it and be good at it, but you do need to really try to talk to and read accounts from everyday working lawyers (not law professors or Supreme Court litigators) to figure out if you would like this. I don’t get the sense right now that you do.

          Are you a regular reader here? You can get a very good sense of what a corporate lawyer’s life is like from reading these threads. Of course, we all vent a lot here, but it’s going to be more accurate than the stuff you’re currently reading.

          Also, trust me, if you are a solo or in a small firm, you will be 100% down in the mud of people’s personal lives, so if you don’t want that, you need to consider large firm practice instead.

          • cbackson is wise. I have worked in transactional and business law, both on the private and government side, and now work in a JD-preferred transactional/business position. I haven’t done legal research since my last legal writing class in law school. I only have a Westlaw account because I get one through the school where I am an adjunct professor, but the only thing I use it for is my own personal curiosity once in a while.

          • +1 To all of this. I have worked as: a medium firm litigation attorney, a solo practitioner, a prosecutor, and now a civil government attorney.

            In addition to all the points about the things you’d enjoy being litigation-type things, I echo 100x that solo practice is a lot of people sobbing or screaming about their problem in your office. It will not be nice and comfortable. It will be gut-wrenching and you will be dealing with (in some cases) the most stressful event in someone’s life.

          • Anonymous :

            Second. I was a lawyer for 11 years and the three times I needed to do legal research I was at a firm with a legal librarian. She did the research for me: she had the passwords and, quite frankly, the practiced skills to get me what I needed without charging the client a fortune. I did patent prep and prosecution so it was all writing all the time. It was super cerebral with interesting problems rooted in new technologies. I used my best critical thinking skills on a daily basis. Over time, it became super boring to have to think that hard every day and very isolating. I am happy to have been a lawyer but have zero desire to return to the profession.

          • I would slightly disagree. I am in-house, and I spend a considerable amount of time writing letters, reviewing contracts and advising on potential strategies for pre-litigation disputes. And yes, a lot of time on negotiation and contract drafting.

          • I agree that the skills the OP references are applicable in litigation, but disagree that it is only in appellate litigation. I do both trial and appellate work, and I spend a lot of time/most of my time doing persuasive writing and tedious research at the trial stage of a case. That was true even when I was in school and helping with domestic cases, though less so than with corporate defense and employment cases. Elder law, which the OP mentions as an interest, may involve less persuasive writing but, I would think, could involve a fair amount of researching, especially at the outset of practice when she is learning the law and how to apply it in drafting agreements/wills/trusts, etc.

        • You may want to become a patent agent, instead. You’d need a degree in a STEM field (you could go through a “second bachelor’s” program, or could get a master’s degree and then prove you have the level of expertise necessary) and then would have to study for the patent bar, which you can take without being a lawyer or in law school. Of course this would require some level of interest in science or engineering, but if you are working in higher ed maybe you can take some courses for free or cheap to gauge that?

          • I wouldn’t advise this. You can’t get a master’s in STEM without an undergrad in STEM, and an undergrad STEM degree is likely to be just as costly as a law degree and will be more time-consuming (4 years vs 3) and probably more difficult, especially for someone coming from a humanities background who is decades removed from high school math and science. It makes no sense to me, especially since there’s no indication OP is interested in science or engineering. Being a patent agent makes sense for someone with a STEM undergrad degree or close to it (e.g., a minor in a STEM field) who is interested in exploring a legal career, but not for a humanities major with an interest in estate planning.

          • That’s incorrect – you can definitely get a master’s in STEM (depending on the field) without a bachelor’s in it; I know several people who have done so. In addition, she doesn’t need a master’s – she needs either a bachelor’s (she already has one, so she could go through a “second bachelor’s” program, as I suggested, which could take as little at 18 months) or a master’s and to demonstrate competency to the patent board.

            When I wrote my comment, OP’s comments about her specific interest in elder law weren’t up yet. Based on what she said she was looking for – intellectual challenge, critical thought, working with logic and building coherent and nuanced arguments – it sounds like patent agenting is a good fit and is law-adjacent. It is easily amenable to private practice (which she also said she was interested in). And while she didn’t express an interest in STEM, she didn’t rule it out, either.

          • I thank you for the suggestion,but STEM is not for me. Seriously, thank you for reading my post and making an interesting, constructive suggestion.

        • I will weigh in as an appellate litigator. I love my job for all of those reasons. However, in my state (which is small and largely rural, to be fair) there are very few places where one can do this work full-time and exclusively and they largely exist at the government level. The only people I know who do this full time are my fellow co-workers and our opposing counsel (we do criminal work, so the public defender side and then the prosecution side). There are a couple of firms who have appellate shops, but only one has enough work for a full-time, exclusive practice and they represent largely big hospitals in med-mal cases (not hating, just saying.) My state is poor and so very few clients have the money to pursue an appeal, especially all the way through our state supreme court. Maybe your practice climate is different in your area.

          I will also say A LOT of appellate litigation involves kind of boring record review, kind of boring drafting, a fair amount of repetitive arguments, lots of client control. Not every case presents a big, fun, new issue to research and that is even in my state where our state constitution provides fertile ground for expansion.

        • Being a lawyer is not going to give you those things.

    • So you’ll graduate at 44. It’s going to be very hard to find a job. Will you take on debt? The law is often not particularly interesting. You won’t be able to become GC of a college right away if ever. The first 5 years of practice are often a grind. What if you can only get a job doing doc review?

      • What if you can’t get a job doing doc review (depending on where you live there may not be doc review jobs) and you end up making small firm money for lots of work?

        Don’t take on debt to do this, and don’t quit a job that pays your bills to do this.

        Honestly, I’d start with researching what it costs to go to law school in your area and doing informational interviews with lawyers doing things you think you might like to do. Anonymous is right: the law is often not interesting, like most jobs.

    • I need more details before I can give quality feedback. “Law” is a really broad career. FWIW, I started law school when I was 40 and had two preschoolers at the time. I knew it was worthwhile to me because I was already doing law-adjacent work and having the JD would enable me to continue with my career at a higher salary with a reasonable workload.

      Almost universally I was told not to consider going to a law firm after I passed the bar because they would not give me credit for the non-legal work I had done. This would only have been a reasonable option if I wanted to switch to a different area (from transactional to litigation or from financial services to immigration). I was more concerned with maintaining income and work/life balance so law school did not involve a big switch for me.

      If your situation is similar, I can offer more feedback. If not, I’m sure others will chime in to help.

      • Same here, I went to law school when I was 36, part-time and graduated at 40. I was working in a law-related field when I made the decision and knew what the work would be like. It was a way for me to advance in what I was already doing. I wish I could point you in a better direction to get information, but your best bet is probably sitting down with attorneys in the field you think you want to work in and getting their feedback.

    • Have you considered being a paralegal instead? You could probably do a training program pretty quickly and cheaply through your local community college.

      There are several areas I’d caution you about:

      1. Finances– can you do this without taking on debt? Can you spend three years of your life not earning money while affording childcare for two kids? Are you thinking you’re going to work in biglaw and make huge sums of money when you’re out of school? Or are you looking for some kind of small local firm job that probably won’t pay very well? Will this move benefit you financially or will it cripple you with debt?

      2. Your pride– I’ve worked in several different industries. I currently work at a law firm and it is the most rigidly hierarchical “know your place” industry I have ever seen. Are you ready to be treated like a moronic 25 year old when you’re 44 and have been in the workforce for 20+ years? This is not like the typical workplace where you can “push back” on something from someone higher on the food chain unless you’re brought in as some kind of subject matter expert, which I’m guessing you won’t be.

      3. Hours– Billable hours are soul sucking.

      4. The extra stuff– If you want to succeed in your career, there are a lot of extra expectations. You don’t just go to work and then go home. You need to be on boards or otherwise active in your community, do a lot of after hours networking on top of the large number of hours you are expected to bill. Eventually you’ll need to do business development. And you probably need to be available 24/7 and won’t be able to take vacation all the time. This is why a lot of women with young children (and partners who are not interested in picking up the slack) don’t make it.

      • +1 to all of this, and the idea to become a paralegal is a good one.

        The ideals OP described are what drew me to wanting to become a lawyer when I was a starry eyed kid. Having done it for many years now, it’s nothing like that.

    • Law as second career? :

      OP here. I should have added some details. I do realize that “law” is broad! I think I’d rather be an attorney than a legal assistant or paralegal. I think I’d rather hang out a shingle than be corporate in-house or in a huge firm. I think I’d rather do civil than criminal. I don’t think I’d want to litigate, but who knows? Elder law interests me at the moment, because I have several family members going through estate issues.

      I’ve followed Scotusblog for a few years. I’m reading Scalia’s Reading Law, and also flipping through The Oxford Companion to American Law, both just for fun.

      I appreciate everyone’s input so far.

      • If you are planning to be a solo practitioner or at a small firm, you are essentially running a small business, so beyond the legal knowledge, business skills are key.

      • See if you can join your local Estate Planning Council, or at least attend a meeting.

      • If this is your plan:

        1) you need to figure out what capital you have to go to law school and what it will cost you. This is the first and most important consideration. Solo practice is a grind, and you don’t start making money right away, so you need to manage your costs up front. Will you go part-time? Will you qualify for scholarships?

        2) You need to talk to people doing elder law to see if you will like it and do research on what those lawyers do. Do not go to law school without a solid idea. As anon said — seek out groups of elder and estate lawyers/professionals and go to meetings.

        3) You should have an idea of how you will fund your law practice — do you have a nest egg you can use for this purpose? Even if you have a no-frils office (or work from home), starting a law practice takes some money to start. Is this a practice area where you can get by without an assistant?

        4) Benefits/retirement planning: being your own boss is awesome in some ways (if you like business). But also talk to solo practitioners in your area about how they’re paying for benefits and planning for retirement. Factor in the years you’ll spend in law school if you’re not also working and contributing to retirement. You can contribute more to your own self-employment retirement accounts, but it’s not always worth it.

        5) Talk to solos about balance and market saturation in your area. In my area (suburban/rural outskirts of a major metro) and there are more lawyers than we need, mostly. In my market, at least, people who do wills/estates/elder law also have to supplement with civil or criminal litigation to keep the doors open. Ask a lot of questions. See if you can get candid answers about what you could actually expect to make when all this is over and you’re actually practicing.

        • +1 This is good advice!

          IMO, if you are an introvert, it’s going to be really hard for you to do the networking and hustling that you need to do as a solo to make it a viable business.

          • Agreed. Especially if you’re not interested in criminal litigation (and therefore can’t get on a court-appointed counsel list to make some connections).

      • Law school will not teach you how to do ANY practice. What you learn in law school is theoretical and you will have no idea how to actually set up a will or an estate when you are done. You can get the practical knowledge by working in firms during school (summers, externships, etc.). In theory. I did not participate in any of that while I was in law school because I had kids and other obligations (like working part-time in my previous field to keep connected with the industry and to keep $$ coming in).

        If you want to go out on your own, you will probably have lost wages well beyond the time that you are in law school.

      • And consider whether there are local practices where you might get some training for a few years before hanging out a shingle, and work on cultivating a relationship throughout your school years. I find the idea of anyone hanging a shingle on day 1 spine-tingling. I have litigated against some folks who did that, mostly 2008-2010 grads who did not have other prospects, and I just end up feeling bad for them because they just did not know anything and made a lot of mistakes. I will say, though, with time passed, some of them are now competent and experienced in ways I really am not.

      • Wanderlust :

        This may be too late and get buried, but you may want to check and see if the area where you live has a Guardian Ad Litem program. Many have programs where you can volunteer in the area of elder law, representing people who otherwise would not have representation in things like competency hearings. You do not need to be a lawyer to do this.

      • Anonymous :

        The things you take about following (Scotusblog, Scalia’s Reading Law, etc) relate to a tiny subset of the legal field. And not even the one you identify as being interested in. I’ve been practicing for 7 years as a civil litigator; arguably, I’m in one of the field most impacted by Supreme Court decisions (as opposed to transactional, elder law, etc.). And in that whole time, there have been at most a handful of Supreme Court cases that are relevant to me.

        I think you need to spend significant amounts of time speaking to people with the practice you envision, but I don’t get the sense that you actually understand what being a lawyer will be like on a day to day basis

        • Absolutely I don’t have that knowledge. It’s a foreign world to me. I didn’t mean to imply that I thought reading Scalia was giving me a window onto the profession; on the contrary, I hoped it would show that my interest is genuine (because why else would Reading Law be my bedtime reading?) but my sense of direction needs help!

    • I want to make a recommendation for the book “Life After Law.” It’s about people who did the reverse of what you are considering – who left law for another career – but I still think it could be helpful for you.

      It’s about people who left the law, so you’ll get a good understanding of the downsides of the profession. The book is structured around profiles of people who left the law and what their careers have been since then. If you’re just looking for a change of some kind, maybe you’ll get some ideas about what else you could do besides go to law school. Finally, the book is about how to navigate a career change, including doing informational interviews.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      In addition to the good advice above, I just want to emphasize: talk to real attorneys (not the superstars, regular joes/janes) and ask what they do on an average day, and how they got where they are.

      I had NO idea what a lawyer did until I was one. I didn’t know how to ~file a motion~ (really) until I was about 5 years out of school and moved from biglaw (where I basically just cite checked and did doc review) to a tiny (two people, one of whom was me) firm. That was also my first time arguing in court (terrifying!). While that tiny-firm practice did have some fun research/writing/persuasion/advice aspects, it was stressfulAF, and all consuming, and there was a ton of completely administrative stuff that I had to deal with (printing the courtesy copies, mailing notices, blah. blah. blah.) and the money was meh and the benefits were nonexistant.

      But I like my job now (in-house at a small not-for-profit) for a lot of the reasons in your dreamy language: I like learning new things, I like giving expert advice, I like the variation, I like the drafting challenges. But I’m 10 years out of law school, and a lot of luck kicked in to get me where I am… I honestly don’t know if I would recommend it to you.

  18. I feel a little creeped out by a conversation I had last night with my best childhood friend. Yes, I have posted about her and my concerns about her here before. I want to know if others agree this is weird. I might sound unreasonably fixated, but please picture your best smart, insightful friend from childhood acting like the below.

    She met and quickly married a rich real estate developer. At the time, she had just quit her job, and she has since spent all of her savings and doesn’t appear to have any plans to work. She lives with him in a glamorous foreign location where she doesn’t speak the language or have any of her own contacts. So there’s my background worry that she won’t be able to leave him if she needs to, and maybe even that he wants it that way. She’s also TTC right now.

    She and I grew up in a beautiful place that has since become very trendy and expensive to live. Last night she mentioned that she and her husband are thinking of buying a place there and putting it on AirBnB, since “you make more money that way than with renters.” Firstly, I was so put off already by the obviousness of that. Is there anyone who doesn’t know that AirBnB brings in more money than tenants? So then I mentioned that that’s controversial in Hometown, since already so many families have been forced out by the cost of living, schools are closing, and neighborhoods are affected by AirBnB guests (as opposed to tenants) who aren’t accountable for their treatment of the properties at all and make it even less affordable for people who actually want to live there. I said gentrification is inevitable, to an extent, but AirBnB has added a new dimension to that in Hometown, and there’s a lot of understandable resentment among residents. She had never heard of or thought about this issue. She demonstrated no awareness of it. I felt like I was talking to a Stepford wife. This is her sole source of livelihood, and she has done zero critical thinking about it? I don’t insist she have any particular opinion, but total ignorance?

    I want to respect her decision to not work. It’s not my business and it doesn’t affect me. I also want to be ok with her becoming totally dependent on her husband, though I’m worried about that. But this was a new level of fear…like that she’s not even thinking for herself anymore, even about crucial decisions that supposedly they are making together. I don’t want to talk about this with anyone who knows her, because I feel I’d be insulting her deeply.

    • I think you’re about to get pounced on for your perspective on this. Your friend is allowed to say things (that airBNB makes more than renters) even if they’re obvious. From your account, it’s not like she condescendingly explained that to you, she just said it as a fact. Second, sadly, I don’t think most people would be thinking about gentrification when deciding whether to purchase one property for airBNB use. I think you’re being extreme in categorizing her as an air-headed stepford wife here.

      • Mrs. Jones :


      • +111 I think you’re allowing your general dislike / distaste for her and her lifestyle to color this particular conversation. It wasn’t weird, and she wasn’t being an airhead.

        • Agreed. I think you need to distance yourself from this friend, at least temporarily. You’re losing your ability to be objective about her because in general, you don’t approve of her choices in life. That’s okay – that happens; it’s happened to me. But continuing to talk to her when everything she says annoys you is not fair to her or to you. I would start being “so so busy” and not be available to take her calls. If you’re connected on social media, mute or hide her posts for awhile. Maybe this will become permanent; maybe not. But she’s not the friend you need right now, and you’re definitely not the friend she needs right now. Bottom line – this isn’t your life and it’s not your place to tell her what to do. Take a break from the friendship for a few months and then see how you feel.

          • Thanks. I have considered this. I think she will notice and force a conversation, which would be more like breaking up, but I understand it may need to come out.

      • +2. Plus, “we’re thinking about doing something” does not indicate that she and DH have even gotten to the point of extensive research yet. Maybe she would have thought about this on her own but just hasn’t at this point in time.

      • I agree with this. I say obvious things to my friends all the time. This morning, I was telling my friend (we’re both pregnant) that prenatal vitamins are huge and make me gag. That’s totally cliche and obvious but I still said it because it was on my mind and I knew she could relate. I think your disdain for her lifestyle is really coloring your views about this. I don’t see anything in the convo that suggests this is a poor business decision or that her husband is making her decisions for her that she’s not fully informed about.
        But maybe if you hate her this much, you should distance yourself from the friendship?

    • Flats Only :

      Admit to yourself that you don’t respect her choices and don’t waste your time concern trolling her.

      • +1

        You were “so off-put” that she made a comment that you thought was obvious? Be honest. People say things that are obvious all the time, frequently about money. I’m sure you don’t find it this off-putting every time. What you found off-putting is your dislike of this “friend” and your lack of respect for her choices.

    • I think you need to get over yourself big time. This is classic concern trolling. She’s rich. She’s buying a for fun investment property. There’s nothing wrong in her life, you just don’t like it and are judging her while pretending you are just so so worried. Stop. If you don’t like her don’t be her friend. No one wants a patronizing lecture about gentrification from an old friend.

    • You are unreasonably fixated. In the wise words of Frozen, LET IT GO, LET IT GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

      • +1,000,0000 in addition to what has already been said above. I would not want to be friends with someone who judges every part of my life like you do with this person’s. Are you only friends with her still so you can feel smugly superior?

      • A million times this!

      • Off topic, but when my mom put in her “notice” but still worked for 6 months (she was a partner and officer in a physician group, so it was different than most jobs), she changed her ring-tone for all work calls to “Let It Go.” It was really annoying, but since I rarely had to hear it, it was also hilarious.

    • I think you are rightfully concerned about her being in an area where she has no contacts and no language skils and no money (of her own). I would gently encourage her to take some classes to learn the language, maybe try to meet up with other ex pats and just in general build her contacts. But I agree with others that you’re overraching on the Air BNB issue.

    • Sorry to be so direct but it is perfectly ok for someone to want to make money. There’s nothing wrong with buying an investment property and doing what you can to make as much as possible, even if it means locals in a town you used to live in are priced out. This is what (done – not all) rich people do. She’s rich now due to her husband and she thinks this way as she’s likely losing touch with what it’s like to be paycheck to paycheck. There’s nothing about this that is unusual or worthy of intervention. If you can’t handle being around a rich friend and her lifestyle, then drift away.

      • *some – not all

      • That’s what is hard about this. She is my best friend, and I can’t relate to her at all right now. It’s interesting that people read dislike in my letter. I miss her terribly.

        • But you don’t like who she is now. And you’re not entitled to change her. Frankly her life sounds great and you sound increasingly like the start of a lifetime movie.

        • Two sides of the same coin, no? You miss who she used to be and don’t really like who she is now.

          Growing apart from longtime friends is very painful. I’m sorry you’re going through this.

        • It sounds like she *was* your best friend, and you miss the person she was. I don’t know that you actually like the person you see now.

        • No, you don’t. You miss who she was, and what you two had as friends at one point in your lives. You don’t miss her – who she is now – because she has moved on and is in a different place in her life, and it seems like you can’t accept that. Sometimes you get homesick for a place you can’t ever go back to, because the place doesn’t exist anymore or it’s changed so much you don’t recognize it. Your friend’s life and priorities have changed. It’s sad, but this happens. Not all friendships can last a lifetime. I’m the poster above who suggested taking a break from your friend. I had to do this at one point with my BFF when she was dating a horrible, abusive guy I couldn’t accept. She eventually saw what everyone else saw, dumped the guy and we’re still best friends. Let this situation play out. However things end up, it’s for the best.

    • I think you’re overreacting. Assuming that Hometown is either Vancouver or San Francisco. I presume that she wants a foothold in Hometown so she has a ‘home’ to stay in when she comes for visits. It’s likely that if the real estate is pricey and her DH was reluctant, that she suggested they rent it on AirBnB when they are not there to offset the cost. That’s exactly the kind of thing AirBnB was designed for. You were “so put off” by her just casually mentioning that AirBnB makes more money than traditional tenants? Kind weird and judgmental. Some people prefer less money but less hassle/risk with consistent tenants so it’s a legit part of a conversation about rental properties.

      If she wants to learn the local language, she can take lessons.

      She’s chosen a life path that is different and unexpected. I would be careful about making judgmental comments to her. Should she ever want to leave her relationship, I would hope that you want her to feel like she can call you and ask for help. You need to relax about her making choices that are different than your own. How she lives her life is not a commentary on your life.

      • You’re worried she is stuck in a foreign country.

        Now you’re worried she is buying residential real estate in her home town.

        This makes zero sense.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      There are many people that don’t care about the negative effects of gentrification and welcome it because it benefits them. Even if your friend was super liberal when you were kids, as she grows older and starts to see what benefits her personally, her opinions may change. Humans are inherently selfish. It doesn’t meant they are in bad place relationship wise.

    • You were told last time that you do not like this woman and you are not her friend. You also sound jealous of her (I don’t recall if that was said last time or not).

      “I was so put off already by the obviousness of that. Is there anyone who doesn’t know that AirBnB brings in more money than tenants?” Well, I didn’t. She was just trying to have a conversation with you. Her “friend.” If my friends rolled their eyes at every “obvious” thing I say, we would not have much to talk about. Everything everyone says is not earth-shattering new information.

      You do not respect this woman. Just own that and step away. You’re not doing her any favors by gracing her with your “friendship.” With friends like you, who needs enemies?

      • I actually didn’t call her for a while, and she confronted me about it in sadness. I’m also concerned that her husband is deliberately isolating her from her support system and don’t want to go along with that. She is not in touch with any other friends, so I am not so quick to write myself off in her life.

        • This makes no sense. You’re concerned her DH is isolating her so you didn’t call her for a while?

          • That was my explanation as to why I haven’t just faded away. 1) I did for a little bit, and she called me out 2) here’s why I haven’t lately.

        • You haven’t described any reason you think he’s deliberately isolating her, other than that they have moved abroad. Moving to a new city isn’t deliberately isolating.

    • Torts ahoy! :

      If you actually care about her, make sure she reads her insurance policy b/c most homeowners policies don’t cover AirBNB rentals and most rental policies are only for long-term rentals and not AirBNB ones either. If someone slips and falls on her rental property and she is uninsured or underinsured, she may be in for a rude surprise and lose the property (since she is otherwise not able to be easily served while out of the country).

      Maybe you can make more $ with AirBNB but you can also lose it all and then some.

    • I agree with most of the comments above, but also find it strange that on the one hand you think her DH is isolating her in a foreign country where she has no language skills and no way to earn money and yet on the other hand you’re concerned that she’s buying real estate in her hometown. The latter seems to be somewhat of an antidote for the former, no? Unless the property will be solely in her husband’s name, she will presumably have some rights to it and could use it as an escape hatch from her marriage, should she want to get out of the marriage down the road. If your primary concern is really her isolation and inability to work, knowing that she has real estate in her name in your hometown sounds like something that should give you a lot of peace of mind.

    • I don’t think you can be friends with this woman unless you can accept her choice to be a stay at home wife. It may not be a choice you or I would make, but it’s a valid life choice and doesn’t mean she is a terrible person or is in an abusive or controlling marriage. If you can’t accept that, you can’t be her friend. I wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who was judging all my choices and picking apart every single thing I say looking for evidence to support their judgment of me.

      • Torts ahoy! :

        She’s not a stay-at-home wife — she’s a budding entrepreneur with a new tie to your hometown in a country where she DOES speak the language.

        Every single thing she does is an irritant to you.

        • Anonymous :

          I agree with your second point, but really don’t think that an apartment rented out on AirBNB makes her a “budding entrepreneur”

    • Anonymous :

      Since my first reaction to this has been stated by many, I’m going to ask something different. Do you need to go see her in her new life? Is that a possibility? It seems like you are struggling to understand her current life/lifestyle and making a lot of assumptions based on the snippets you get from these phone conversations, mostly negative ones. Perhaps all of your fears will be realized, but you also might find out that your friend has a very full and happy life, albeit one different from yours and unfamiliar (or even unpalatable) to you. You say she is your best friend. You say you miss her. And you say you think it is important to maintain a connection, both for you and for her. Can you find a way to really go see?

    • Face it. You don’t like this woman. You liked her back when she was different, but you do t like who she is now.

      I don’t think I’d really like her either, so not a lot of judgment there, but what I will judge you for is how desperate you are to be in the right here.

      You have come here twice for validation that she’s awful. This is not concern for your friend. This is you not wanting to be her friend anymore but needing to know that you have dropped the friendship for all the right reasons. You need everyone to tell you she’s awful and no one is going to tell you that.

      So move on. Limit your friendship with her to liking her Facebook posts and maybe sending a holiday card. Friendships fizzle in this way all the time, sometimes intentionally sometimes not.

      I don’t have a single long term friend who hasn’t changed into a different person over the years, and I have changed to. That’s why we make new friends as we get older. My best friend from high school is not my best friend today. I still love her but I could not be in the same room with her for more than a few hours without wanting to kill her.

      Ish happens. Move on.

    • Stop being so judgmental and critical. That’s not how friendship works. You are picking her apart in your mind. That’s not healthy. She might actually be a great person, but you are looking down on her. Stop.

    • Anonymous :

      You just come off as judgy. It’s her life. I’d mind my own business if I were you.

  19. Target Sofa no more :

    I wanted to thank everyone for talking me out of buying a sofa from Target. Lugging that Craigslist find up the stairs was hard but totally worth it.

    • Tell me more about this conversation! Where is this thread from? I saw a target sofa (and even a Costco one) that I was very interested in.

      • Target Sofa no more :

        have a look at the crossover belt post from Tuesday. Comments on customer service, durability and really uncomfortable sleeping on a sleeper sofa persuaded me to go a different route. That’s why I love this forum!

  20. Death to flowy tops :

    When in the world are flowy oversized tops going to go away and tailored tops going to come back in style? I look terrible in all of these oversized tops, but finding a top that is tailored (not body conscious) seems next to impossible. Any specific recs on where to shop or tailored tops that work for the office? I found a great sleeveless one at Nordstrom Rack recently.

    • Ugh, this. It’s so hard to find a decent sleeveless blouse to go under a blazer these days.

      I have like 5 of the same sleeveless pleat-neck top from Calvin Klein in different colors in regular rotation, they’re modest, form skimming but not tight, and they’re on the shorter side so they don’t leave shirt-bulge under the waistband of a pencil skirt. Macy’s and Amazon have them.

      • Yep I have 5 of that Calvin Klein pleated neck top too, but from Nordstrom a few years ago.

        And amen to wishing the oversized top trend would go away. I’m bigger, but so are my boobs, and all that flowing just makes it look like I’m either pregnant or have a (large) burrito baby. I need some tailoring to at least pretend I have a waist.

      • Do you have a link? Those sound perfect!


          Amazon has several other colors and prints, but they all have their own individual page.

          • are these really dryclean only? or do you wash at home? thanks for the rec!

          • Anonymous :

            I absolutely machine wash them and just hang dry them, and they hold up better than all my other tops.

    • +1. You’d think that with a mom bod, I’d be all over the flowy tops but they are so deeply unflattering on me.

      For work tops, I’ve been wearing a lot of Calvin Klein shells with blazers or tailored cardigans on top. The knot top is a new favorite and I have several of the pleated neck versions, too. They are poly, which I don’t love, but I sometimes wear a thin cami underneath for softness and warmth. The bonus is that they’re machine washable and seem to be wearing like iron.

    • I hear you and am so on board for them to come back.

    • I would try Boden. They have some tops that are more tailored/fitted. Poke around their site for solid colors and search the clothing name to find all the colors/prices for each one.


      Martha top:

      Short-sleeved ruched top:
      Long sleeved ruched top:

    • Anony Mouse :


    • This is what I think every single time I try to go shopping :(

      • Anonymous :

        Is it because boxy tops are easier/cheaper to make? I’m also looking for more fitted stuff. Flowy can be so unflattering….I need a defined waist!

    • Ok I kind of like the flowy tOps because I don’t like my midsection but I wear them with something more tailored over them, like a blazer with a defined waist. That helps.

      In terms of tailored tops right now, your best bet is going to be going traditional. Like button front shirts in brands your mom would buy. Foxcroft does an excellent job with well-made tailored shirts. It’s in the “older” section of Nordstrom. Lands End and LLBean do the same thing, though I think quality wise they are a notch below foxcroft.

      I think the bigger over arching trend is knits. No one wants to iron or dry clean anymore so manufacturers make stretch everything. I don’t think waiting for the end of the flowy trend is going to mean a return to tailored, any more than I think corsets are going to come back mainstream.

    • Death to flowy tops :

      Thanks everyone. Boden doesn’t work for me for some reason so that’s out. The top I got from Nordstrom Rack is actually Calvin Klein as well, but this one. The square neck is incredibly flattering (the pleated one makes me look larger, probably bc I have big b**bs).

      I wish it came in other colors but I can’t find this same style anywhere. If anyone knows where else I should look, please do tell!

      • I’m also busty and probably would not have tried this one – I mostly do V-necks – so I appreciate hearing that it is flattering. How’s the fit? I’m usually a 12-14, 38GG (UK size), and need to choose L or XL – any advice?

      • Hahaha this is not tailored. You need a new word.

  21. Is it ever ok to ask about a networking event? Scenario — last 3 yrs a partner at my former firm (who is somewhat of a friend also) has held a networking event where she invites attorneys from around town to attend; I am inclined to believe it is a yearly event. I’ve attended a few times and would like to attend again this yr. Problem is she sends out invites for this thing so late — like literally 1-2 weeks before the event. I have a job where I travel with some flexibility so if I knew the date now, I could schedule trips such that I’m in town that day. Do I just ask — what day is the event this yr? Or does that look like I’m inviting myself and I should just hold off and if I get an invite and am in town, I can go; if not, then I skip it?

    • Clementine :

      I would send a polite email that just says, ‘Hope you’re doing well! As I was looking to plan my upcoming travel, I was wondering if you were going to be holding Awesome Networking Event this year. I’ve so enjoyed it in that past that I wanted to make sure I was in town for it. Hope all is well with Sherman and the tortoises.’

  22. Can anyone recommend a wedding bustier (brand/specific item) for a larger bust (36DDD/F)? I’ve seen some options online but the reviews are always so mixed about the boning and the cup/band size issue that comes with longline options. Please help me! Thanks.

    • You need to just order 7 of them from herroom. They all fit differently.

      • +1 Nordstrom and Lord and Taylor also had good selection and I returned all my rejects in store, so didn’t have to pay return shipping. Bras fit everyone differently, so its so hard to go by recs from others.

      • Ha, I thought I was going crazy reading this same exchange on APW.

    • My wedding dress tailor recommended a lingerie shop in the suburbs of my city. It turned out to be amazing. They had a huge inventory and the saleswoman was very good. Can you get a retail recommendation from someone in the local wedding apparel industry? (Central Foundations in Berwyn, if you’re in the Chicago area. It looks incredibly sketchy but the store itself is fantastic. Bring your dress.)

      • Flats Only :

        Ha! I love the name of that store. So utilitarian, instead of trying to sound sexy like most of them do.

        • Right? I’ve never been there, but am picturing no-nonsense 60 year old saleswomen intent on getting just the right fit for my “busom”.

    • Depending on the neckline, the Freya Deco longline bra is my go to. It keeps things where they should be. You might have to shop around on a few websites, since sizes often are sold out.

    • Go to reddit and read abrathatfits. Those ladies will have you fixed up in no time no have seen this exact question there.

      • * I have seen this exact question there

        I’m having a terrible time with autocorrect lately. Sorry

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      When my best friend who wears 36H bras needed this, we went to Nordstroms and specifically asked for their person who was best with large bust sizes. She walked out with a long-line she still wears and I walked out with a strapless bra that actually fit and was comfortable.

      Not every Nordstrom’s bra lady is perfect, but if you state your needs up front, I’ve found they will get you to the right person.

      It’s also worth a trip even if you don’t live near a Nordstrom’s. My friend lives about 3 hours away. Her bra lady has notes on which styles fit her well and what colors she likes. My friend gets phone calls whenever her stuff is on a good sale.

      • anonymous :

        Alert – I live walking distance from the enormous Chicago location – they no longer carry longline [email protected] in store and I had to order 19 online. The closest they have in store are strapless.

        In other words, if you go the N0rstr0m route, be sure to call them first as they might not stock them in store anymore!

  23. Job Change :

    What would you do? I have a great job. I am a government attorney with reasonable hours, interesting work that I care about (most of the time), and the pay is pretty good (could be a lot better, but I figure that is the tradeoff for reasonable hours and some flexibility with my schedule). I like most of the people in my office. I am in a medium (maybe small) city with a low cost of living.

    I grew up in a small rural town about 90 minutes from here. There is one attorney in town. His practice is mostly centered on land transactions (it’s a farming area), deeds, some wills/trusts/estates. He doesn’t do divorces or the other things I think of as the “nitty gritty” of small/local private practice.

    He is getting ready to retire and has offered to sell me his practice. He offered to bring me on at any time before he retires and train me on his business (I understand the big picture of what he does but would not really know how to be good at it without him training me for a couple of years). I am interested in the work because it affects many family and friends in that industry, who would also be my clients. His estimate of what I would make starting out with him amounts to $75-100K more than what I make now with the government. (This salary gap would close over time, but this practice would always make more than my eventual salary cap with the government.)

    I do not think I would have to move back to the small town; I think I could make the hour and a half drive two or three days a week (when I need to meet with clients) and work from home on the other days. I have two preschool age children, so I think I could do dropoff at 8, be in my small town office by 9:30, and attempt to leave at 4 to be home for family time around 5:30.

    I do really like my current job and could potentially stay here for my whole career. It does get a little stale at times (same thing over and over, but I know that’s true of any job), and I do get frustrated with government bureaucracy (that’s the way it is because it’s always been that way, no ability to change for efficiency’s sake, etc). I feel like if I bought his practice, I would be my own boss and have more control and flexibility (although government hours do provide their own kind of flexibility). Plus, I could make significantly more money. DH makes enough that we have always just put my salary into savings, so maybe I shouldn’t be as motivated by that as I am, but… money is money.

    I worry that I wouldn’t actually like the work itself as much as I think I would, and I worry that maintaining a practice whose base is 90 miles away is setting myself up for failure. We would not consider moving back to the small town.

    Any thoughts or advice?

    • Not a lawyer, but I have trouble seeing how you’d be able to run a local private practice when you’re 90 min away. Won’t you need to network in town? Would you need to visit sites for land transactions?

      • +1

        I’m a lawyer in private practice- business development is a grind. I would hope his clients will become loyal to you, but I’d be worried the business may be difficult to keep up. If it slows down and you don’t wind up making more money, would it be worth it?

        Also, yes government has lots of annoying inefficiencies, but consider how much you would enjoy running your own law practice- lots of admin tasks (or paying someone to deal with them.) If you like your job, I’d stay. It seems too risky and the commute + business development is a lot of stress you currently don’t have.

      • Agree. Here’s the thing – you won’t just be an attorney, you will also be a small business owner. I think you would need to have a significant physical presence at your business. I’m a government lawyer also, but in a small town and both observe the small firms and how they do business, and have some friends who are at the top of small firms and have heard their problems. I also think that to have success in a small town firm, you would have to have a great deal of flexibility in when you are available to work.

        • +1. I’m a government lawyer in a small city. This is spot-on. You can’t do this job from 90 minutes away.

      • Double agree times a million. This should be the biggest reason for you to decline. If you’re not going to move to this town, don’t bother. Not only will you resent the commute, the local client base will take notice of your unwillingness to be part of the community and take their business to someone who is. Being a local is going to be critical to your long term success.

    • Absolutely not. You have a good job you like. Being a successful small town lawyer requires hustle. You need to actually live there, build a community there etc. you don’t want to do that so this isn’t a job for you.

    • It sounds like an interesting idea, my concern is that I’m not sure how feasible it is to only work in small town twice or thrice a week. Won’t your clients want you to be around? What if things come up with a case and you need to rush back to small town?

      Also and more importantly, that is a LOT of commute time (3 hours a day!) especially with young children. If your kids get sick, will husband be able to pick them up all the time? You’re too far away to make that work. I personally could not sign up for a 3 hour commute. That would kill me. And what if that’s more time, given the traffic?

    • What about your government pension? While you may make more cash as a solo, you won’t have the security of a steady paycheck until death.

      • Also healthcare

      • This. You have to compare total compensation – not just salary dollars.

      • This job does not have a pension– just a regular retirement account that I could move if I leave.

        • Wow, that’s rough. Is there a significant employer match that you’d be missing out on?

          For healthcare, assuming you could stay on your husband’s, but getting coverage as a solo can be difficult.

        • What about healthcare and paid vacation? Especially with kids, those are huge benefits.

          • And sick leave — I’m rarely sick myself, but I took almost 3 weeks of sick leave last year to stay home with my daughter when she was ill. At 100% pay, that’s a pretty huge benefit.

        • But what are the differences between the tax advantaged retirement savings you can do as gov’t employee vs a self-employeed individual? Even if you get a SEP/SIMPLE + IRA (I don’t know if you can do both), that is still less than the 401(k)+IRA numbers (assuming 401(k) caps are similar to your gov’t retirement caps).

        • Healthcare? Quality of their retirement account match?

    • Stay with your current job. If you wanted to move back to small town, it would be a great option. It is a really hard kind of job to do as a commuter. People will often want to meet with you in person. They may or may not be available to meet in the daytime or before 4pm. Small towns often have expectations that prominent citizens like lawyers be involved and engaged in the community via various boards and committees. Those business building activities are important to maintaining and building a practice.

      Have a frank conversation with the lawyer about what hours he works, and whether or not he thinks it can be done via commuting. I suspect his answer will be no.

      • And consider what happens if another attorney decides to start a competing practice and actually live in town. Is there enough work for 2 solos? Why would clients choose you over someone who committed to the community by living there?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Second all of the above PLUS you do not want your friends and family to be your clients. Like ever. That is a recipe for disaster.

      As for the money, you work for the government so I imagine that includes a pension and other benefits (including health care) that you would have to fund on your own, so it might be a lot less than you thought if you work those things into your analysis.

    • What is your lease like, what is your cost for your admin who will be in the office (all-in — salary, healthcare, retirement, benefits), any office equipment, any contracts (office cleaning, do you have someone shovel show, etc.), malpractice, insurance, etc.? How will you secure client documents?

      I’d have a lot of questions. Might do it, I might now. You need more info.

    • I agree. Having a private practice can be super rewarding but it’s not like buying a medical practice or a hair salon. People aren’t just going to come to you for their annual appointments, they are going to need a lawyer when they need one and you will have to give them a reason to pick you over someone else. And while, yes, being the only lawyer in town helps, it’s not a guarantee. Just like you are thinking you can drive 90 minutes to this office to meet clients, your clients may decide they are okay driving 90 min. to meet with a different lawyer.

      Also – yes to all the other financial considerations like health insurance, pension, retirement, etc.

      I would say if you really want to try this, 1) you definitely need to have at least a year of working with this guy to learn his practice and get to know his client base so they keep coming to you when he is gone; and 2) figure out if you can leave in such a way that your job will let you come back.

    • This is about way more than money. You’re contemplating moving from being an employee to being an entrepreneur. You may be buying a book of business, but you’ll have to constantly hustle, network and market yourself to keep the business going if some clients decide not to keep their business with the firm after the other lawyer retires (very likely) or clients fall off due to moving, deaths, etc. That extra money you’re talking about will only come if you can get out there, make connections and bring in business. If you’ve never done that before, there will be a steep learning curve. Most entrepreneurs spend more time doing the marketing and administration for the business than they do doing the actual work of the business. And many people find they don’t like it.

      I would go to a local Women’s Business Center or Small Business Development Center and talk to a consultant or take some classes about running a small business before you make any kind of decision. Private practice can be great, but for a lot of people it doesn’t work. Especially people coming out of stable jobs with great benefits.

      • One financial consideration that hasn’t been mentioned, what is the buy-in price going to be and how are you going to fund that?

    • layered bob :

      I can’t tell you want to do here, but I can tell you that this sounds like my dream scenario/job and basically what I have been angling for since law school (without success because obviously there are just not that many attorneys with that type of practice in the small town I want to move back to). But I want to move back to the area I grew up in and I would love the entrepreneurial aspects of a solo practice, so that’s a totally different thing than the scenario you’re considering.

      If you do it, I would move there. Live right next to your office and have 0 commute.

    • Repeat of what other people said- when my husband got a new job in a different town, I thought I could continue my practice from about the same distance as you. I ended up sleeping at the office instead. If you want to maintain clients and the business, you have to have a physical presence in the office. If you only want to work part-time in the office, expect part-time results.

      • You also need to consider the fact that as a solo- you don’t get vacations, you don’t get sick days. EVER. If you are sick- all your clients get cancelled and money goes out the door. A week’s vacation? HAH! You have to consider the costs of missing all the new potential clients you could be meeting plus the cost of vacation.

        • +1. Plus, if you are the only game in town, you don’t have other attorneys to even help cover if you have an emergency. For instance: I was a solo in a small town for a while. I broke my arm badly (heels. Ice. Bad.), and I had a court appearance that afternoon. I was able to get a local lawyer friend to cover the hearing with a motion to continue while I was at the ER getting my arm set.

          I also never took a vacation, or a vacation free from work. I didn’t get paid if I didn’t bill, and I wanted to get paid. Also, I had lots of deadlines that needed to be met, even if I wasn’t bringing in new clients.

          All that to say: solo firm life isn’t quite as flexible, even in a small town, as it seems from the outside. There were plenty of evenings I was able to leave at 2 or 3 and maybe do a little work from home. There were also plenty that I was working until 9pm.

          • This is my dad and he is literally always working. He loves it, so more power to him, but I would suspect there are very few people like him. It was nice as a kid because we always had flexibility to travel and we did that A LOT. But he always brought his work with him. It’s certainly not a lifestyle I would choose for myself.

  24. Baconpancakes :

    Re: merino sweaters post recently, there’s a tan BR v-neck sweater for $40 and a tan Uniqlo v-neck sweater for $30 that would both suit my needs. I don’t expect them to wear like iron, but I’d want to get more than 1 year of wear out of it. Which one would y’all recommend? Alternatively, if anyone has seen a tan merino v-neck of higher quality/better longevity, I’d be very interested!

    • Love all of my uniqlo sweaters. I think they wear better than BR.

    • The Uniqlo ones are pretty thin. Much, much thinner than my old (at least 10 years old!) BR merino sweaters. I would guess current BR merino sweaters are thinner than my old ones, but probably still thicker than Uniqlo. I love my uniqlo merino sweaters (I have two cardigans and a v-neck), but to me they’re more for a cool summer night than real sweater weather. If you wait for a sale, you can also get the uniqlo ones cheaper than $30.

      • The BR merino sweaters now are definitely not very thick. I can’t compare to the Uniqlo ones, but I wouldn’t bet that they’re much different.

    • Try Woolovers? They have thicker sweaters (and don’t look how they look on the models) and they work well when I’ve been in Chicago, Ottawa, and Vermont in the winter.

  25. Attorneys – Are there any tips or ways to increase your chances of being named a Rising Star? Someone I know emailed me to ask a question about my practice area because they were nominating me, which of course got me thinking about whether there is there anything I can do to increase my chances of being selected (without cheating, of course). Any tips?! I suppose what he did was a good idea – let me know he nominated me, which got the wheels turning in my head – I could do something similar for my contacts.

    • Remember it’s a fake award made up to sell advertising. That being said, figure out who the sponsors are, and then find a reference from one of the sponsors. If you can find references from all sponsors, that helps as well. Reviewers react to “big names” as well so if you are connected to a Senator, Governor, AG etc… those are great for letters of recommendation. Being nominated is a tremendous vote of confidence in your skills, but all of these awards nowadays are designed to sell advertising space. If your company/ firm etc… is going to buy an ad, you will get it.

      • Thank you for this. Clearly I need to learn more about the process – I had no idea all of this was required.

      • +1, I kind of thought anyone whose employer has bought ads in the past will get it. If your firm hasn’t, they could call and buy an ad. You’ll get it.

    • I’m not familiar with Rising Star. With respect to other publications, such as Chambers, they allow you to nominate your own references and you can be selective in which references are given. Do you have the same flexibility with this publication?

      • I’m not sure, I’ll look into it. I don’t know much about the process, to be honest. I didn’t know there were sponsors or that I needed references either. Basically just learned someone nominated me and thought – hell, I wonder what I need to do to make this happen.

        Rising Star is basically the “Young Lawyers” version of Super Lawyer, if that helps. I did know that it’s all just marketing and advertising BS, but it couldn’t hurt. I suspect it would do more for my firm’s appreciation of my networking efforts than anything else.

    • If you watched the last episode of the HBO show Insecure, Molly, a black female attorneys found out that her white male counterpart was earning substantially more money than her pushed her law firm for an early review so that she could get a raise. The firm refused to do an early review, and when the firm heard through the grapevine that she was looking for another job, but nominated her for one of these “rising star” awards. Yeah, it a great thing, but do not let it sideline you from the compensation and the quality work that you need!

    • TJ – I actually was nominated as a rising star this year and the partners at my firm basically told me it was bullsh*t. Would you list it on your firm bio/how do others use it for marketing?

      • I have seen it listed on firm bios and would probably do the same. The owner of my firm has his awards in his firm bio. Someone tell me if that’s a bad idea though! IMO, a lot of it is BS – I think it’s kind of a networking/marketing ploy to nominate someone and then let them know about it, but I do think the fact that you’re nominated says something about how others perceive you. I think if my firm were to know, I think they’d be happy I was networking enough that someone from another firm that isn’t just looking for our business nominated me (which is how I’ll frame it when I tell them because networking efforts are part of our performance).

      • I would list it on my bio. My firm would do a small announcement about it on our social media pages. That’s about it.

      • We list it on our bios, but that’s it. I was nominated once and I’ve automatically appeared on it every year since.

      • Small Law :

        +1 I got it this year for my niche practice area and had no idea how or why. I’m only a couple years out of law school so I took it as a win and went with it for all its limited glory. I will put it on our website, etc for marketing.

        If you looks around, SO many attorneys get these kind of things and I never realized all the money in it until now. I mean — there can only be so many “top lawyers” in America for xy law and yet it seems everyone has been named one kind of top attorney.

  26. I took an introductory programming class at my local university and loved it. I’d love to keep up my coding skills, but am not sure I have the time to continue taking formal classes (I have a 3 yo daughter and work full-time) and I’m also not sure I want to invest all that money (it’s a public school and I have a discount through my spouse, so it’s affordable but not free) if I’m not going to be working towards a degree and I don’t think I need or want a degree in CS. I work in the tech industry in marketing so general background knowledge is helpful, but I don’t need to write code for my job, and a CS degree wouldn’t lead to more pay/responsibilities at work unless I switched jobs, which I don’t think I want to do. I’d love to think that I can just keep up with this on my own through online tutorials and projects, but realistically I feel like my coding skills are going to go the way of my high school French (i.e, vanish) very quickly. Any advice from anyone who has been in a similar situation?

    • Check out your local tech coworking space, mine has very inexpensive coding classes that I love. A few friends have also done CodeAcademy online and loved it

    • You already know about Codecademy/Course/EdX/etc. in seem, but there are plenty of in-person groups focusing on this – do you have a chapter of Girl Develop It near you? My inclination would be to look for groups that cater to women looking to improve their programming, since they tend to be friendlier spaces. And you can join local clubs that run hackathons/app development seminars/bootcamps/robotics programs (some of these may require a bit more experience than you have right now). Volunteering to use your programming skills can also be a great way to add and hone your skills – maybe focus on web development, starting out – so many non-profits have terrible websites.

      I will leave some links in another comment.

      • Help yourself learn to code:

        Help kids learn to code:

    • Good for you! Speaking as someone who has a technical but non-CS job, and has to program about once a year: It’s true that the specific details of the programming language you learned will disappear quickly if not used regularly. On the other hand, the abstract ideas stay with you.

      My advice would depend on what your goal is.

      1) Do you want to stay fluent in the particular language you learned? Maybe join a “coding challenge” website like TopCoder or Project Euler, and do one of their challenges every couple of weeks. Ignore the macho competitive branding of these websites.

      2) Do you want to replicate the enjoyable experience of your first programming course, and give yourself a new perspective on the material from that course? Take a course (either online or in person) in a fundamentally different language — eg, if your first language was JavaScript, take a course on C or Haskell.

      3) Are you trying to develop industry knowledge, for the sake of your career? I am not completely sure what to suggest — there is so much more to building a tech product than just the programming. But maybe, now that the basic process has been demystified for you, you have the confidence to dig a little deeper into the software/app/etc you do marketing for, and how it works. Ask someone about the basic technologies your product is created with (eg, “Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP”), and slowly google around, maybe even take a small tutorial with each, until you have a sense of how the pieces fit together.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Another good way to maintain coding skills is to find an open source project using the language/technology you are learning and help with that. Go to some open source events and ask about projects with a good-sized and helpful team. You can have concrete things you need to learn and accomplish.

      If you discover that you really enjoy it and want to switch careers, it makes great practical work experience. I’ve been offered two jobs based on my work on user experience for open source projects, and multiple friends have been able to make this work.

  27. What’s a good, light hold hair spray for holding curls or waves that has no lingering scent? I’m only looking for something I can get at the drugstore or target. Thanks.

  28. Fellow curly haired gals, does anyone else get these hairballs on the end of your hair (for lack of a better word)? I wash my hair every other day and use conditioner every time. On the days that I don’t wash or wet my hair, I pull it back in a low ponytail. By the end of the day the ends of my hair are INCREDIBLY tangled, almost matted, and there are sometimes these balls of hair at the ends. My hairstylist said this happens because of split ends but not true — I get these hairballs even after I’ve just been to the stylist.

    I have very fine hair so I’m reluctant to use a super rich conditioner for fear of weighing down my hair.

    • Is your hair long enough that it’s hanging between your back and your chair when you’re sitting at your desk? I’m wondering if there’s something like that going on that’s causing the tangles. (FWIW, I don’t usually wear my curly hair in a loose pony, but when I do it doesn’t seem unusually tangled at the end of the day.)

    • Anony Mouse :

      Curly girl here, 3A and very fine, starting to go gray. :( When you pull your hair back, do you finger-comb first? Also, what sort of products do you use? Do you do a regular session with clarifying shampoo and deep conditioner? I notice that my hair gets frizzier/more matted when I skip a week of that.

      • Anony Mouse :

        To clarify, I use deep conditioner once a week, and a light conditioner followed by a leave-in the rest of the time (usually every other day).

      • Thanks for the responses so far. I actually rarely lean back in my chair (I usually always sit forward) so I don’t think it is that. I use Aveda invati shampoo (for thinning hair) and DevaCurl conditioner. Never tried a deep conditioner though, any suggestions on a brand?

        • fellow curly :

          I’ve tried both cheap and expensive deep conditioners, and honestly like the Aussie 3 minute miracle the best. Sometimes Sephora has sample packs of conditioning masks. You could also use your regular conditioner and just leave it on forever. I put the conditioner on after towel drying and then put on a shower cap and wrap my head in a towel and clean my house or whatever for an hour or four, then rinse it out. Sometimes I sleep with the deep conditioner on my hair (curly hair is dry and I live in the midwest so it’s dry here most of the year), and rinse in the morning.

    • My hair is quite curly but on the fine side as well. I would actually try using less conditioner, not more. Have you ever tried an apple cider vinegar rinse? It makes my hair smooth, soft, and detangled like nothing else. I alternate between washing with shampoo/conditioner and rinsing with ACV. I dilute the ACV 50/50 with water in an old shampoo squeeze bottle, squeeze a bit against my scalp and scrub it through my hair just like I would with shampoo. Then I rinse and run a comb through it, and style as usual (for me this is gel + hooded hair dryer, but you do you).

    • I think the balls occur when strands detach and contract like a slinky. So mid-strand breaks could be part of the reason. Perhaps detangling before you style it and keeping the ends more slippery would help, like a light oil at the ends of your hair.

    • This sounds like shed hair that is getting tangled in your ends. I usually get these because of split ends, and not in the first several weeks after a cut. I would use either an ACV rinse like described above or a conditioner with more slippage (Aussie 3 minute) to work these out and keep hair smoother generally.

    • I’m a curly girl and when my hair starts getting tangled that’s a sign that I need a cut.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      My hair is also super-fine. One that has helped me to be able use a really rich conditioner is to only apply the conditioner to my ends. I have a lighter conditioner that I apply closer to my roots to help with flyaways and volume.

  29. We’re getting married in the spring and will have about a dozen guests total. For dinner after the ceremony, we were thinking of reserving a private room at a nice restaurant. Has anyone done this? I worry about it not being romantic or special. Any tips or considerations from those who’ve done this or been a guest?

    • My BFF did this and it was great. To make it feel more ‘wedding’ she went with super simple but traditional decor like chair covers and traditional flower centerpieces and candles. The Restaurant did three long tables in a U shape (16 guests).

    • I think it depends on the restaurant. I’ve seen it done well and I’ve seen it done a bit less so. The less so scenario was usually the result of a room that was just a back room/basement and wasn’t decorated. I think if you check out the space ahead of time, you should be able to find what you like. You can always supply extra flowers or candles or whatever other decorations and you can bring a small little speaker (like bose) to provide nice music. Do it!

    • Anon in NYC :

      I think that sounds lovely. I had a ceremony and reception in a private room at a restaurant, but ~70 guests. I think that the private events coordinator will be a good resource for you – he or she will be able to tell you what the restaurant can do to make the dinner more personal and meaningful. Like, working with you on the menu to tailor it to your specific tastes, or maybe you and your spouse can build a personalized playlist that they can pipe through the sound system. The restaurant would probably have floral arrangements on the table by default, but perhaps their florist can make specific arrangements for you. Are there details about other weddings that you like that you can incorporate and scale to suit your reception?

      FWIW, I think the thing that makes weddings romantic and special is the palpable love and joy you can feel radiating off the couple. Congrats!

    • Yes, I did a variant of this (eloped and had a small restaurant dinner later). It was wonderful. Ways to easily make it special: get flowers from a florist (way less expensive than for a large wedding because you aren’t talking about a ton of tables), have toasts planned (as in, designate a couple of people to prepare something, but we also had a lot of people stand up unprompted and it was lovely), dress up and tell your guests it’s your reception so they dress up too. It was such an easy way to have a wedding, I highly recommend it.

      • PS – for our actual elopement, we had dinner with only our witnesses (6 people total including us) at a fancy restaurant and it was the most magical night of my life. Everyone toasted sincerely and less speech-ish since we were just at one table, and it was the most love I’ve ever felt. At our bigger dinner, it was 50 people, still awesome, but a little less magical than that perfect, intimate dinner. For our wedding dinner, I didn’t do anything other than make a reservation and say we were getting married. The place was fancy and they handled making it special, and I never thought there was a detail missing.

    • Due in December :

      I didn’t do this but in retrospect, this would be my perfect wedding. Go for it.

      If you don’t already have a restaurant in mind, I’d try to find one with a room that already is really nice aesthetically and has a good atmosphere. Then any decoration, flowers, etc. is gravy. I had a friend have a small wedding (ceremony and reception) at a private room in a DC restaurant, and it felt quite special. I think a lot of it was due to the location. It was an entire upstairs (so there was no running into other restaurant patrons on the way to the restroom), there were windows, the lighting was warm and intimate, the room itself was decorated well.

      I’d focus on:

      1. Lighting (assuming goes into the evening, not too bright/sterile overhead lighting, tea lights or candles or string lights if needed on tables)
      2. Music
      3. Size of room (not too large if you only have 12 guests total)
      4. Flowers or equivalent

      Also, if you can afford it, if you are in an area with a difficult parking situation and people are driving I’d prepay for valet parking.

      • Yes – just to underscore, finding a restaurant that is already lovely is key – that will give you what you’re looking for. For us, the interior design/feel of the restaurant was as important as the food. Luckily, we’re in SF where that’s easy to find, but I’d especially focus on that angle.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Echoing everything from above, I’d also suggest looking at Costco for bulk floral deliveries. I also like save on crafts .com for inexpensive vases, decor and cute wedding items to make it seem a bit more festive. They also ahve bulk tea lights and candles for lighting that others mentioned.

    • I did this and was also a little worried that it wouldn’t be romantic or special. I LOVED it. The room/restaurant was lovely. The two families didn’t know each other, so this setting gave them a chance to really talk, and it was just such a special day. I wouldn’t change it for anything.

    • Delta Dawn :

      Can you print, or have the restaurant print, a special menu? That would feel more special than the regular restaurant menu– it could be designed to coordinate with your invitations, or any other printed materials you used. You could have one at each place setting. That plus flowers/candles/etc would feel very “wedding” to me.

    • Anon prof :

      We did this, and I was so glad we did. We worked with the restaurant on a short list of choices for the dinner and brought in a wedding cake and flowers. The only thing I would do differently would be to have assigned seats even though we only had about 16 people.

  30. Hypothetically, Congress passes some form of a tax bill. When do those changes go in effect? Does the bill specify the date? Can they be retroactive? Just trying to figure out the possibilities for my 2018 budget and want to account for whatever I can. Thanks!

    • Mnuchin said it’d be retroactive, but whether it will be depends on how it’s drafted. We’re still weeks away from them releasing any legislation, much less passing anything, so we’ll all just have to wait and see.

    • I think at this point, trying to plan for hypothetical tax changes is crazy. They haven’t even released details of their plan.

  31. Has anyone here seen the Megan Kelly show? She is supposedly going to avoid all things political, but I can’t see how that’s going to work out. I thought her whole rise to stardom had to do with her willingness to go to battle with people like Newt Gingrich. I’m wondering why NBC made the decision to make her the next Katie Couric.

    • Anonymous :

      Spoiler Alert: It is not going to work out. She’s ill-suited to the format, already made gaffs, and is in the crosshairs of her co-workers.

  32. Career advice :

    There is a woman who at another organization who I really admire and think she has had an interesting career path. We have a good working relationship. Would it be appropriate to email her and ask if she had time to chat about her career? I’m not trying to get her to help me find a job, but I am interested to know how she got to her position and more about some of the work she does. What would be the best way to approach this? I don’t want to waste her time by emailing her and especially if we meet up.

    • Legal Aid Lawyer :

      Do you think it would make sense to invite her out to lunch? Perhaps a good way to frame it is just what you said: that you have enjoyed working together, and you are interested in hearing more about her career.

    • Yes – 100% do this. Ask smart questions. Most people will be flattered and generous with their time and advice.

    • Yup. Buy her lunch or breakfast.
      Keep your questions open ended. Give some background about yourself and your goals/difficulties you see so that she can target her advice or select appropriately.

  33. Sloan Sabbith :

    Two things:
    1. There’s a lightning deal on amazon for the bag Kat posted the other day, the reversible one. Prime members have early access.
    2. I said yes to going on a date with a guy immediately on Bumble (out of the norm for me, I usually try to figure them out before I agree, but he was cute and I was tipsy. Anyway). I was messaging with him and mentioned I went to law school here. He immediately responded with “Wait you’re a lawyer?” I said yes and told him a bit about what I do. He said he’s “not a big fan of lawyers,” which, yeah, I get, we can be awful, but his reasons were that lawyers are sometimes required to argue against truth or justice. I tried to smooth it over a bit because it got kind of intense, but he hasn’t texted me since Sunday (and uh, I haven’t texted him either) and we are supposed to be going on a date tomorrow. Although I realize people not liking lawyers is a thing based in some truthfulness, I also don’t like that he didn’t even look at my profile which says I’m a lawyer, for one, and two, uh, I don’t agree with many of the points he made. Should I cancel this date?

    • Well, if you haven’t texted since Sunday I don’t think the date is evening still happening. But no, this dude sounds awful and you should not go on a date with him.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        He was kinda weird about texting- he originally said “OK, touch base on Friday” and I said that I’d kinda prefer to chat during the week because we hadn’t chatted at all. So I don’t think that meant the date was off, but I did text him to cancel it.

    • Yep, cancel. He doesn’t sound like he’s worth your time.

    • Clearly you should have told him you were an air hostess ;)

    • Oh my god yes cancel. (Although it sounds like he’s already canceled in his mind.) I do a ton of online dating and would be beyond annoyed if a) someone didn’t even skim my profile b) made a snap judgment about me based on my profession c) held what sound like simplistic, rigid and narrow-minded ideas of what lawyers are like d) didn’t express any willingness to consider you with an open mind and e) isn’t texting you.

      If you’re smoothing something over before you’ve even met, it’s not worth it. (I canceled a lot of dates with Bernie Bros when that was all happening.)

    • Never too many shoes... :

      And this is why many women lawyers I know tell guys they are teachers for the purposes of internet dating…

      • Seriously people actually do this kind of thing? How does this work out in real life? If you end up hitting it off with the other person, at what point do you tell them that you’ve been lying to them from the very beginning?

      • If they are just looking for a hook up, fine, but if they want a relationship, I don’t think this is a good idea for a million reasons. It’s funny though, I was friends with a guy in college that was very religious. He wanted to marry either a woman who would stay home and raise the babies or a teacher that could be home when the kids were out of school and summer. He seemed very confused when I asked him why he wasn’t in school to be a teacher so he could make sure his kids always had a parent home since he didn’t know if he would find a future teacher/SAHM wife. He turned out to be a big jerk (no surprise) and we aren’t friends any more. I learned through the grapevine that he married a woman and has a kid with someone who has a serious corporate job and does a ton of travel. He’s a lawyer. Either he finally grew up or they fight constantly.

    • No advice but as a fellow lawyer I also disagree with his points, what a jerk. Those stereotypes really bug me…

    • Yes. No need to waste your time.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I canceled and told him why in no uncertain terms. Kindly, but firmly. Thanks, Hive.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        As a side note, this means I won’t have an after work event tomorrow, which is extremely exciting. I’ve been at events every night this week week and I’m done. One more tonight.

        • I have had to limit myself to 2 after-work commitments per week…I just can’t do the every night thing like I used to. So exhausting, and I don’t have adequate time to play with my dog :-).

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            This is also a problem. I need a lot more puppy time than I’ve been getting this week.

            I usually try to really limit myself, but it just didn’t work this week.

    • Next!!!

      And no more tipsy swiping. :)

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        To be completely fair the tipsy swiping wasn’t the problem. It was the tipsy agreeing to go on a date, which I certainly won’t do again. Tipsy swiping makes swiping less awful!

  34. Party Places :

    I’m turning 35 in a few months and I need help selecting a place to throw a bash in! For my 30th birthday I rented a fabulous party house in Palm Springs, invited all of my friends to spend the weekend and we had a great time grilling, partying and then I had a catered theme party for the main party. I’d like to do something similar for my 35th, which is in February (winter reduces the number of available places). I’d like to find a place that’s not too distracting with external influences (like Vegas), but also where there’s enough to do to keep us occupied and is relatively easy to fly into since friends will be coming from all over the country. Current leader is New Orleans, though definitely looking for other suggestions!

    • Not sure when in February your birthday is, but be aware that Mardi Gras is February 13, 2018. You’ll have a difficult time renting a house and buying plane tickets, and it doesn’t sound like you’re going for that environment. Any other weekend in February (especially later) will be fine though!

      • I’ve been to NO later in February and the weather is divine!

        • Honestly, it’s pretty variable in February. It could certainly be 70 degrees and sunny, but it could also be 40 degrees and rainy. It could be both in the same week.

      • Party Places :

        Sorry, should have specified that we’re planning on President’s Day weekend, which is the weekend after Mardi Gras!

    • No suggestions, but check your timeline if New Orleans is the front runner. Mardi Gras is February 13 next year and I recently glanced at prices for a trip a friend is planning and they’re getting up there (at least for me) and I’m sure getting booked up early.

  35. Phrasing a Networking Reminder Email :

    Might repost in the afternoon thread but can someone help me phrase an email? I had a great talk with an old boss right before labor day and he offered to get me in touch with some well-connected people about potential jobs. He was upfront and said he’d be busy over the following weeks due to the hurricane season (its disaster relief work). I’ve been super busy this past month that I just realized today an entire month has gone by without hearing back. I’m not quite sure how to phrase this email but id like to ask him to get me in touch with the people he mentioned. Please help!

    • “hi oldboss!
      It was great to catch up with you in August, and you gave me some great food for thought. I know you have likely been very busy based on the hurricanes. Is there anything I can provide to you regarding the follow up with Hickory, D*ckory & Dock to assist? I really appreciate the introductions!”

  36. Favorite business formal flats?

    • Rockport Adelyn

    • Everlane modern pointe

    • Sigh.

      My favorite business formal flats are my pointed toe, patent Annuly/Annulio flats from (ducks) Ivanka Trump. I’ve worn them since before Obama was elected to his second term. I have black and nude, and i actually have a spare, unworn pair of each stashed in my closet for when the current ones give out. Again, purchased years and years ago.

      I refuse to throw them out because i spent my money on them (and, to be honest, because they are great shoes). And they will probably last me forever bc i work from home unless i’m on travel and so only need business attire ~2-3 days per month.

      But i wish they’d been made by someone else.

      I have been eyeing similar flats by LK Bennett but hard to pull the $275 trigger for something i wear so infrequently.

      I console myself that I stride powerfully into meetings while walking all over the Trump name.

      • Anonymous :

        LOL walking all over the Trump name

      • The most comfortable strappy evening shoes I’ve ever had are Ivanka Trump. (When has there ever been a strappy evening shoe that didn’t kill your feet? This was a miracle find!) They’re a couple years old, and of course I wear them infrequently, but I feel ya on the Trump feeling…

    • Anonymous :

      Shoes of Prey — I have basically the plainest shoe they offer (almond-toe, black leather:
      — my thanks to the commenter who suggested them a couple months ago!) but if you are looking for something slightly different, their gimmick is that they are customizable.

      They look very sleek but feel substantial (solid sole, etc). They take some breaking in, though.

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