Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Island Time Cardigan

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

nic zoe long cardiganNic and Zoe’s four-way cardigan is perpetually a best seller in regular, petite, and plus sizes — at the same time the brand has offered this longer cardigan over the years as well. It’s often been highly rated, but I don’t think I’ve featured it before because, well, I haven’t really liked many of the prints. But I saw this one in soft neutrals, styled here with a simple black top and bottom, and it looked classy and refined for a more casual day. I like. It’s available in regular and petite sizes XS-XL, as well as plus sizes 1X-3X, for $168-$188. NIC+ZOE ‘Island Time’ Print Open Front Cardigan

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  1. Did your April Fool’s post go up too early, Kat? Damn this is ugly.

    • Diana Barry :

      Harsh, but I agree with the sentiment – this print is terrible!

    • Anonymous :

      I actually really like this. Would be a winter pick for me though.

    • Seriously. Why are plus size goes always covered in garish prints? Do they think we somehow camouflage into equally garish wallpaper?

      I’ve been searching for plain, nice cardigans and this should be an easy quest, but it feels like I’m not just searching for a unicorn, but a special unicorn who has a SILVER horn instead of a gold one.

    • This is beyond hideous.

    • Yea, I actually have this cardigan in an eggshell color and it’s great. But agree, this print is terrible.

  2. SoAnonForThis :

    Under md guidance, I have been taking Xanax every day for a year, in gradually increasing doses. The major anxieties in my life have leveled out and I am now decreasing my dosage, very slowly, under my doctor’s guidance. This was my choice, not his, for a variety of reasons. He supports it. It’s making me ‘slower,’ is less effective during actual panic attacks, and I want to be off it to get pregnant. I am reducing it by .25/month, with some extra pills as needed.

    This was my first month, and it’s been really hard. My husband and I are fighting so much, I’m anxious and tired. At first I was really shaky and nauseous, which was scary. I am in therapy, but my therapist has been out of town all month. She has given me a lot of tools for de-stressing, but I’m still struggling. She’s back Thursday.

    DH supports this decision and is being so supportive. But it is a difficult time for both of us. We just starting seeing a therapist to help navigate this. Anyone else dealt with de-toxing from psych drugs, or even from booze? Really could use some practical suggestions.

    • I don’t have any personal experience with this but just wanted to mention 2 things. One: I think the book Expecting Better has a chapter about anti depression meds and pregnancy. From what I recall the takeaway is it may be better to be on them and feeling good than off them and miserable. Two: if you’re determined to be off, several people I know have had excellent results with meditation, esp. transcendental meditation. These are not people that are normally into new age stuff and I have personally seen a marked difference in them so I’d say it can really help with anxiety and panic attacks. A good friend swears by the HeadSpace app as a good way to start. It may not solve all your problems, but maybe try it and see if it helps a bit?

    • Veronica Mars :

      I can’t speak to the detoxing, but the “Anxiety and Phobias” workbook on Amazon (5th edition is identical to the 6th and cheaper) has been enormously helpful for me. It provides so, so many ways to destress and has more practical information about anxiety than I’ve seen anywhere else. It also has a whole chapter on medication that’s so frank, and so completely empowering and assuring. I’ll look when I get home and see if there’s anything on going off meds.

    • Anonymous :

      No specific advice. Don’t be too wedded to your reduction schedule, it may need to be slower than you’d like.

    • Are you on a bridge medication to help you with this taper? Is this a psychiatrist?

      I would restart your meds until the doctor is back in town.

      It is not a good treatment to take Xanax alone and daily for anxiety, for the fast majority of people. But severe anxiety disorders sometimes use it a lot. It is a risky medicine, although very effective. You will need a slower taper with more bridging support. This means long acting meds, therapy, and personal efforts to apply the stress reduction skills you learn (mindfulness, exercise, CBT techniques).

      A bridge might be transitioning to a longer acting benzo to help make the taper less abrupt. The doctor must guide this. I assume you are already on an SSRI? The SSRI dose may need to be changed while you taper.

      I totally agree that therapy is essential and that self help Amazon book is good.

      And it is a lesson for all of us…. Try to not make major medication changes of psyche meds when the doc is out of town.

      It will get better. Please, it is ok to restart your normal dose until doc is back….

    • My spouse’s Dr prescribed a beta blocker that helped hugely with physical manifestations of anxiety. Ask your physician about this option.

      • Great idea. I take a beta blocker for performance anxiety, and it really helps. Back when I was a musician, it wash the most popular “recreational drug.”

    • Is this a psychiatrist overseeing your taper? If not, and if you can, I’d start seeing one. S/he can help you, and maybe offer your other medications that are “safer” to use with pregnancy.

    • I was taking Lexapro for nine months for anxiety and depression and decided I wanted off of it due to the weight gain and numbing of feelings. I tried to taper off slowly but it didn’t go well – I felt sick all the time and unable to concentrate. Also very anxious. Went to see a new MD who suggested I stop taking the Lexapro I was taking completely (was down to 7 mg or so) and just take Prozac for one or two days until the symptoms disappear. It worked and I tapered off immediately. So that might be an option. However, I was of course faced with all the feelings I had been numbing by taking the Lexapro. It’s now 6 months later and I’ve been using meditation, talk therapy, diet and herbal supplements given to me by my functional/integrative MD. It’s not easy to keep the anxiety and depression at bay (unlike you, I haven’t gotten completely rid of the main stressors in my life), but I’m slowly getting better.

      • FYI, Xanax is a benzodiazopene and totally different from Lexapro/Prozac. So do not attempt to use them interchangeably. Xanax is physically addictive in a way that most anti-depressants are not. Is the therapist the doctor who was prescribing the Xanax, or was that a psychiatrist or physician? If possible call whoever was the prescribing doctor and talk about what you are experiencing and see what they suggest. I never took Xanax long term, but have tapered off anti-depressants after long term use a couple times. A very very slow taper was the smoothest for me, but I still found it a bit rough, mostly due to the return of moodiness and anxiety, as for me anxiety and depression are very linked, and panic that I would suddenly get depressed again. I think talking to a doctor to try to get some clarity on how much you are experiencing is temporary side effects of discontinuing the medication–e.g., nausea–and how much is more likely the underlying mood disorder being less masked by medication would probably help you get a clearer plan of what to do. And I agree that considering going on an SSRI anti-depressant, if you are not already, might be worthwhile, as I think they are generally considered fairly safe for pregnant women. My psychologist recommended Mass General’s “Women’s Mental Health” website as a good resource for reliable info on medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding. I personally found my anxiety to be much better while pregnant, but then it came back with a vengeance post-partum. Good luck! (And yes, never go crazy in August. It seems all mental health professionals take the month off – so frustrating!)

  3. Is Marc by Marc Jacobs no more? I noted the regular MJ line seems to have a lot of lower priced items in it, more in line with the MBMJ pricepoint. Has it been subsumed into the MJ line? Not complaining, just curious.

  4. Closet Redux :

    Anyone have a favorite gluten-free dessert recipe? I don’t have a ton of experience baking gluten free, but am otherwise adept in the kitchen. Baking for a friend!

    • Look for flourless chocolate cake recipes and make sure all the ingredients (chocolate, etc.) are labeled gluten free.

    • What about a Pavlova? I think it should be naturally gluten free, which seems to me better than adapting something to be GF. Also, look into Passover recipes and flourless chocolate cake, etc.

      • Another vote for pavlova – I like to do make it more interesting with flavoured whipped creams, interesting fruit combos and yummy additions like salted caramel sauce or white chocolate curls.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        Yes, make a pavlova! I just made the one below this weekend and it was fantastic. My only change would be to make Ina Garten’s lemon curd recipe instead of the one in this recipe, since this one was a bit gloppy from cornstarch and making it directly in the pan instead of over a double boiler makes it harder to control the heat . It was beautiful, easy as long as you use a mixer, and not too heavy.


        • Aunt Jamesina :

          And I definitely vote for making a dessert that is normally gluten-free rather than making one that is trying to be something it’s not. Other ideas: homemade ice cream (or ice cream sundaes), almond (or other nut) crust pie, cobblers with oatmeal streusel, panna cotta with jam or honey on top, cheesecake without the crust.

    • During summer, my sister makes some fabulous gluten free cobblers and crumbles with gluten-free oats and fresh fruit.

      • Clementine :

        Another vote for cobblers and crumbles! This weekend, I made a great GF/Vegan crumble with peaches and topped it with a GF oatmeal/unsweetened coconut/coconut oil crumble topping. Very popular with everyone and gluten/dairy/egg free.

        • Just be careful with the GF oats — some people with Celiacs can’t have those … others can!

          • Clementine :

            Very good point! I’ve made the same crumble topping with a mixture of ground almonds and coconut when I was out of GF oats.

    • Anonymous :

      Check out the bl*gger Iowa Girl Eats. She is gluten-free for medical reasons and she has tons of GF recipes.

    • The blog Iowa Girl Eats features all gluten free recipes. You might be able to find some ideas there.

    • Flourless chocolate cake.

    • A lot of cheesecakes can be easily adapted to gluten free.

      Thank goodness for my pastry chef husband, who makes an AMAZING ricotta cheesecake with strawberries; he skips the crust and makes this gorgeous layered thing in a mason jar. Why he bothers is beyond me, since I’d be just as happy spooning it out of the mixing bowl.

    • Pignoli cookies (which has the added benefit of being dairy free as a lot of people are both). I make them for my cousin who has severe celiacs.

      Almond Paste
      Egg Whites
      Pignolis (pine nuts)

      I have found the brand of almond paste does make a difference – we use Solo. I think the recipe was right on the can last I checked.

    • Not a cake, but try “bark”: chop dried apricots and salted almonds and mix with melted chocolate (chocolate chips work well); spread mixture about 1/2 inch thick on cookie sheet and freeze until solid. After freezing, defrost and break into large chunks. This will keep at room temperature.

    • Creme brulee! Requires a kitchen blow torch, though.

      • Ostensibly you can use an oven broiler. Have yet to be brave enough to try it, though!

        • Broiler works, but it won’t get as crunchy and even a top, also, you’ll heat up the whole thing, so you’ll want to chill it for 10 minutes or so after broiling (but not too long, or the crust will get soggy again).

          But it’s still delicious. I love creme brulee!

    • King Arthur Flour has a bunch of mixes and flours, if you want to start there. And recipes on their site for free.

    • Is the friend celiac and will react to a tiny amount of gluten, or is she gluten free but can handle cross contamination? I ask because I have a friend that has severe celiac and has had bad reactions from cross contamination (someone cutting fruit on a cutting board that had previously been used to knead dough on for instance, even though it was washed, someone cut both the regular cake and gluten free cake with the same knife, etc), so she doesn’t eat *any* food that others have prepared, and always feels terrible when people go out of their way to make her a gluten free desert that she is afraid to try.

      It’s great that you want to make something for her, but you may want to ask, because if she said “no, don’t worry about me” – she might *really* mean “no, even if you make something gluten free I probably won’t eat it, so *really, truly* don’t worry about me”.

      • Another celiac :

        I completely agree with Meg here.

        I have celiac disease and while it is lovely when people offer to make me something and I really appreciate the sentiment, non-celiacs rarely have the knowledge to make something that is safe for me to eat (no non-dedicated wooden or plastic cutting boards or utensils, for example).

        So, they went to all this trouble for me, and then I can’t eat it anyway. Not a good experience for anyone involved.

        • Really great point and something I didn’t think about. I have Celiacs and we have 2 whole cabinets designated for gluten-free pots and pans and utensils, i completely disregarded that this would be someone cooking in a normal kitchen with cross-contamination.

      • Yes. Absolutely agree. My husband has Celiac’s disease and is incredibly sensitive to cross-contamination. He stays away from food made by others because even well informed and well meaning friends can cause him to get very sick. Even certain brands that claim to be “gluten free,” and especially “gluten free oats,” are known in the celiac community to not be celiac friendly. Always better to ask your friend

    • There’s something I’ve been meaning to try, can’t tell you how good it actually is: soak some peaches in blackberry wine or blackberry brandy, then grill and serve with whipped cream (plus maybe some toasted almond or hazelnut slivers!)

    • Make something that’s naturally gluten free instead of trying to use gluten free flour as a substitute in an otherwise gluten-ful dessert. Gluten free flour is in my experience incredibly uneven in quality, flavor, and baking properties, and the results are frequently extremely meh. Lots of good recs for things like this above! My favorites are oat-based cobblers or pies with nut-based flourless crusts.

      But also double-check with your friend on the cross contamination issue. My boyfriend has celiac but isn’t sensitive enough for cross contamination to be a concern, and he eats gluten-free oats (I use them to make oat flour in a food processor for cobbler topping). I actually didn’t know others might be more sensitive so I learned that reading this thread today — v good to know!

      • SuziStockbroker :

        ELaw, regardless of whether he is sensitive or not, cross contamination will damage his small intestine. :(

    • Cut up blueberries, strawberries, raspberries. Put in casserole dish. Cover with halved walnuts. Drizzle the whole thing (over the nuts) with honey, and then put in the fridge for awhile. It’s delicious.

  5. Paging Travel Bags :

    Someone on the afternoon post yesterday was asking about cross body bags for travel. I have one from Le Sportsac that I really like. I forget the exact measurements, but it’s got lots of compartments and plenty of room for books, my cell phone, camera and water bottle. I bought a couple of sizes from Zappos so I could test them out at home.

    • Travel bag? :

      THANK YOU! I ordered a bunch from REI based on recommendations yesterday but will order some Le Sportsac ones too.

  6. Another medication question :

    Similar to the question above, I could use, I guess, either some reassurance or some prodding to call my psychiatrist about a medication prescription. When I went in, at my therapist’s advice, I was constantly wound up. She prescribed a low-dose of lexapro as a start but also Klonopoin, 0.5 mg twice a day. That’s made an amazingly huge difference and I feel basically functional and human again. When I called her after a week, as instructed, she said it was a low dose and I could keep taking it again until I saw her in a month and then taper off–or that I could try tapering down to 0.25 mg if I wanted to, but it didn’t really matter. She seemed blase about it and I didn’t ask too many questions though maybe I should. Now I’m kind of freaking out (after googling, natch), that I’m setting myself up for dependency issues if I don’t taper off now. But I’m also kind of worried about doing so and returning back the totally freaked out state.

    I know this isn’t the forum for medical advice, but anyone have any relevant experience?

    • Omg STOP. For the love of god just listen to your damn doctor, who thinks its not a big deal to keep taking the medicine that is really helping you until you see her in a month.

      Stop googling it. Start googling Chris Hemsworth instead.

    • With the caveat that I have not taken Klonopin and I am not even remotely close to being a doctor, if it’s working and your doc is okay with it, I personally would just keep taking it and wouldn’t freak out. I am a full believer in better living through chemistry. I will likely always have to be on an anti-depressant and always have some anxiety meds handy for really bad days. It makes me much happier over all and I don’t care if I have to take it for the rest of my life if my life looks like it does now!

    • What dose are you on? My doctor told me that she recommends a 9-month regimen of Lexapro because she saw few dependency issues in that timeframe with lasting benefits. I was on 10 mg/day and tapered off over 6 weeks and had minimal withdrawal symptoms.

    • If you are really worrying about it, call the doctor back and talk to her, the actual expert. It isn’t a big deal to call back. Just do it.

  7. Paging Cap Region 'Rette :

    You mentioned on friday that you’d be willing to talk offline about Albany. So I’m posting a burner email. I’d love to ask a couple questions if you have the time. I can be reached at a.corpor*tte at gmail (replace the * with an e). Thanks so much

    • Was that me? :

      So, I don’t know if that was me, but I’ll be reaching out to you this evening.

      • No, that was not me :

        No, that was not in fact me, but I will still be reaching out. $1400 in Albany gets you a pretty nice 2BR apartment downtown. It’s a very walkable city. It’s actually also a really decent place to live, particularly if you have a car and can get around easily.

  8. First Day Advice :

    Any tips and tricks for your first day (week, month…) at a new job at a new company in a new city? Thanks in advance!

    • Research more than one way to get to and home from work, in case you hit unexpected road or public transit closures. If you are driving, get yourself a good paper map for your car – you never know when you’ll hit the dreaded convergence of construction, accident or detour + no GPS signal and have to blindly figure your way home.

      If you are given business cards early on, put one (or a few) in your wallet and day planner so you can pull it out quickly until you memorize your new work phone number and address (I still have to check my card taped to my monitor for our main line phone number and zip code, I just can’t get it to stick in my head). If you don’t get your own cards right away, put your boss or assistant’s card in your wallet.

      If it’s a company that uses ID badges, there is a good chance you’ll get your photo taken that first day, and that picture will last for a long time in the company system. So wear something that won’t look weird in a head shot, but look like yourself (if you always wear glasses or always wear your hair down, don’t go for contacts plus hair pulled back on your first day). But don’t stress if the photo doesn’t look great – no one looks good in their ID badge photo, it’s worse than the DMV.

      Travel light on your first day in case you are taken on walking tours of the building, to lunch or training, etc, before you are shown your desk. If you are like me and need to write things down to remember them, have a pen and small notepad in your purse.

  9. Stuck at a fork in the road :

    Good morning! I’m sure that this question has been asked and answered – but I’m having trouble finding it.

    I’m stuck between choosing to go to graduate school or to go to law school. I’m in my early twenties and working as a paralegal in Big Law in DC, so I’m looking to do a part time program either way. I want to go into international law (i.e. international criminal tribunals, advocacy work, being Madeline Albright, etc…). I was all set for a masters program and happy with my choice, but in the past couple of months I’ve been coming back to the idea of going to law school. I’m not sure if it’s just a fear of not doing well on the GRE because I’m really struggling with the math portion, or not having a clear career path post grad school, but it’s a thought that’s been nagging at me. I’ve been getting conflicting advice, and thought I would reach out to the wise hive to see if anyone had any helpful advice. Is there a clear pro or con to going to law school vs grad school I’m not seeing?

    • How much does money matter to you? It sounds like if you don’t go to law school, you want to do the type of work that happens in policy and/or international development. Satisfying work — sure — but not the most lucrative in DC as there are a LOT of those types of people wandering about. Sure there are LOTS of JDs too, but if you do the “traditional” path of top 10 law school (which isn’t going to be part time – so there’s the opportunity cost of tuition + lost salary for 3 yrs) to biglaw — you start of making more right away, which does give you options down the road.

      • Stuck at a fork in the road :

        Money doesn’t matter too much to me – I’d like to be able to live somewhat comfortably and to be able to raise a family eventually, but I don’t have any desire to be wealthy. I’m more concerned with doing work that contributes to the greater good – so big law isn’t as appealing because I’m not sure I’m willing to compromise my own feelings, or what have you, to work in corporate law with no control over what I’m doing for three years….

        • This seems a little naïve to me. Even if money isn’t a priority, law school is really expensive. Unfortunately, what you want to do doesn’t have a clear career path and 99% of people who think they want to do that either find that they don’t or can’t get there.

          signed – someone who wanted to do international human rights law and is now doing a form of commercial litigation.

          • I agree with Anon. Don’t go to law school – you don’t want to be a lawyer. People will tell you that you can do other things with a law degree. That’s almost entirely BS.

    • Go to law school if you want to be a practicing attorney. If you don’t want to practice law, don’t go to law school.

      It sounds like you’re struggling because you’re not exactly sure what you want to go longterm. Figure that out before committing to a time consuming, expensive degree with career prospects you may or may not like.

    • “I want to go into international law (i.e. international criminal tribunals, advocacy work, being Madeline Albright, etc…).”

      This is an extraordinary difficult field to break into. Unless your mother is a judge on the European Court of Human Rights (or similar), it’s not a viable path. I urge you not to commit yourself (your money, your efforts, your opportunities to seek other experiences in law school) to something with such a low chance of success. This sort of job is incredibly rare, and there will be hundreds of extremely well qualified and well connected candidates vying for them.

      What type of graduate program would you be doing?

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      Don’t commit to any graduate degrees until you have a clearer sense of what you want to do with it and the best way to get there. I’d say to give yourself another year or two. Only go to law school if you really want to be a lawyer.

    • This might just be my personal bugbear based on personal experience, but I swear a solid 40% of the people I went to law school with wanted to “go into international law.” Myself included, although I was less interested in human rights tribunals and the like and more interested in trade and economic development.

      I’m sure it was in large part a product of the law school I went to — certain are known for their international law programs. But once you get out of law school? Public international law is, like, not a thing unless you’re Amal Clooney. Even my classmates that got the most prestigious internships, like at the ICC? They are doing commercial litigation. I know one or two who ended up at the State Department and you know what you do there? Employment law. Vendor contracts.

      The main outcome for students of international law, if they really hold firm to their interests, seems to be academia. Once you become a professor, of course, you get to do some fun stuff — advise the EU, serve as an expert witness on international investment disputes, whatever. But legal academia is a small, prestige-minded world with a limited interest in anyone that didn’t go to Yale.

      Anyway. Don’t go to law school if your only interest in the law is “international law.” You are better off with a Masters program — the employment outcomes may be nearly as limited and the dream of being Secretary General of the UN may be just as far-fetched — but at least the level of debt lower.

      • Anec-data time. My brilliant friend who graduated from a private southern college with two degrees in two years and went to Harvard Law couldn’t get a permanent job working for an non-profit focused on improving women’s access to legal resources in India. She currently works at an Axiom-like place doing contract management.

        Another friend interned at an International Criminal Tribunal in law school, wrote and published papers on international criminal law and currently works at a law firm doing commercial litigation.

        All this is to say that even for really motivated, really bright people, who go to the right schools and take all the rights steps, international public law is a very small field and very hard to get into. So if you’re going to go to law school, take on the debt, potentially miss years of salary, etc, make sure you’re willing to be a lawyer who doesn’t get to practice international law.

        • So I actually know someone from law school (not Harvard but similar caliber) who got a job doing exactly what your friend wanted – working at an NGO in India to improve women’s rights. She felt her work was meaningful, but ultimately her organization lacked the resources to provide the depth of help she wanted to provide, she faced terrible sexual harassment in her city, and ultimately had a dangerous parasite infection that forced her to return to the US for good. She left law entirely and now is in public health.

          Seriously though, there are no fresh law school grads doing war tribunals at the UN. Department of State hires maybe 2-3 new lawyers a year that do real international human rights work – I know one, and she was a SCOTUS clerk and has a background in public service. There are just a few positions at international NGOs, and most of them are not permanent (just fellowships).

          If this is the only area of law that’s appealing to you, do not go to law school.

      • Anonymous Lawyer :

        I have to agree with this. I know maybe one person who works in international law, and he went to Yale. I have other friends who did different graduate degrees who work in fields that are more closely related to working for the greater international good. Take a look at the work the lawyers around you are doing, and consider whether you’d be okay starting your career doing that, because in all likelihood, that is what you will be doing when you graduate from law school.

      • Another anecdote: I always wanted to be an “international lawyer,” even though I had no idea what it was. After graduation — I landed in a practice group in Biglaw doing what almost no one gets to do: public international law. And? I hated it! I am now doing commercial lit and soooo much happier.

        • What biglaw firm has a public international law group?

        • My magic circle firm in London had a public international law group. Everyone wanted to work in that group, but OMG the egos of the partners there.

        • Don’t want to out myself, but several magic circle firms do, as well as Amlaw 100 firms with international arbitration practices.

      • +1. I worked with teenage girls forced into prostitution in India before going to law school. On paper, a great candidate for ‘international human rights lawyer.’ Rocked the LSATs, went to a very good law school and did relevant pro-bono work (asylum, etc.) throughout. Did not receive even one offer in anything related to this field. I ended up in employment law.

        TL/DR ‘International Law’ isn’t really a thing unless you speak 10 languages and live in Brussels.

        Get a masters and live in DC if that’s the field you want to get into.

        • Adding to this. Pre-law school, I literally had a seat at the drafting table for the US govt. on certain international trade agreements. My future in international law seemed certain with my experience and credentials.

          Spoiler alert, I came out of law school with loans (in DC), ended up at BigLaw commercial lit. I’m now in-house in a completely unrelated field.

        • +1

          I did some limited international commercial arbitration work when I was a litigator and the Americans were the only ones without any language skills. Everyone else in the room spoke about 4 languages. Not only is international practice a difficult field to get into even if you have all of the right legal education credentials, if English is the only language you speak it’s even more limited.

          Law school is expensive and not likely to land you on the career path you want OP.

      • Yes, unfortunately they are right. I received a certificate of concentration in International law, interned at an international criminal tribunal and at the united nations headquarters, clerked for another one for a year after law school, and I’ve been working in med mal for the last 8 years since. Still love the experience but when people ask why I didn’t stick to “international law” it’s almost laughable.

      • This. I went to a law school that had no particular focus on international law, but still knew a number of people who professed that was what they wanted to do. Almost 10 years out, they are all in Big Law or the government, doing things that are very much not international law.

    • Are you currently involved with any international advocacy groups or non-governmental organizations doing work internationally? There’s no reason to put off getting involved until you have an advanced degree. I’d say get a year or two of volunteering experience with one of these organizations and then make a decision based on the need you see.

    • Have you considered a joint degree program? Many universities offering joint law degree and a masters in international affairs/public policy/business. These are generally 4-year programs. That might give you more options. I will echo what others are saying about a stand-alone law degree – my law school has a strong international law program and very few of my classmates ended up working in an “international” practice area. The few who did generally work in international business law (for example, in house counsel at a multinational corporation) or in academia.

      • This. Columbia has a highly regarded international affairs program that you can combine with law school

      • No. A joint degree will do very little to help you get one of the very few legal international public law jobs out there. And a law degree isn’t necessary for a non-legal job in that arena.

        • Anonymous :

          disagree – getting in the door on the policy side at an IL organization during grad school can help you get your foot in the door on the legal side afterwards.

    • Don’t do it. A vanishingly small number of people actually get those jobs, and a huge number wind up taking whatever legal job they can get because $1500 a month in student loans hurts.

    • Do tons and tons of math problems. Math is just a language and makes sense the more you practice. And I vote that you become a planner or engineer. We need more women in technical fields.

      • Anonymous :

        I love you, Godzilla.

        I’m not a lawyer or an engineer, but it strikes me that being worried about the math portion of the GRE is not a reason to reconsider your entire career path. It is a reason to go check some math textbooks out of your public library and work through the chapters that you don’t feel confident on.

        • Love you, too. It seems silly to make a half million dollar decision over math anxiety. Do your homework!

      • Yes! As someone who is not in a math field but who ended up taking pretty serious math classes in college (as a prerequisite), it can be learned! Girls in math rock!

      • Math is not an innate ability, it’s like reading or golfing, something you can get better at with practice. Sian Beilock wrote a great book, “Choke”, which talks a lot about math anxiety. It convinced me that most people who think they’re inherently bad at math have been taught to be afraid of it.

    • Anon in NY :

      A law degree, if your intended field is international law, is going to be tremendously helpful. I’m in a similar field without the JD and a ton of job opportunities are closed to me because of it. Also, you can command a higher salary. Would totally do law if I could have a do-over.

    • I have a MA from a top APSIA school, but when I was fresh out of undergrad I was looking at law school and worked at a corporate immigration law firm briefly because I thought it would be a good blending of my anthropological interest in immigration/cross-cultural issues and a decent pay check. (Spoiler: it was neither.)

      I’d suggest a third option: Most gov agencies are only hiring externally at lower grades right now. It’s a major mid-career mobility issue, but it could be an opportunity for you. Find a GS7-GS9 position that at least touches on an issue you’re passionate about, ideally with an agency/department that will support your graduate studies, financially or at least with a flex schedule. I felt like I couldn’t in without the MA, but once I was in, I saw a lot of people who managed to make it through the application process without the debt.

      Seriously assess how much academic debt you want to take on and view it as a negative paycheck for the next 20 years. Drop $80k on a Masters (*after fellowships*)? That’s a negative paycheck of $600/month. With law school debt, it sounds like you’d price yourself out of being able to do the work you describe as your interest areas.

  10. Anyone like me.... :

    I’m in my 40’s, slender, eat pretty healthy (low carb, all lean proteins) and cook all meals of real food, even grow veg in my garden.

    My cholesterol has been creeping higher and higher for years. Ugh.

    I am reaching a point where I would need to do a drastic dietary change or start meds. I’m not on any meds and a little bummed about starting one.

    Anyone like me? Food is such a pleasure for me, and I’m bummed…..

    • I’m not an MD, but I believe exercise can have a significant impact on your cholesterol levels — maybe add/increase activity as a first line of defense against meds or diet modification?

    • Me! Same except I’m in my early 50s. My total cholesterol is around 215. My PCP is not putting me on a statin or counseling me to make drastic dietary changes. He says I am at low risk for cardiovascular disease regardless of the total cholesterol number because my HDL is high and my overall health is excellent. Have you talked to your doctor?

      • Really appreciate your input.

        My Total Chol is quite a bit higher than yours, and I also have very high HDL, but my LDL is also up. I was surprised to hear that my doc says LDL < 100 is still the preferred range for me, although I am lower risk as well. I'm in the 120's for LDL.

        One side of my family history has a lot of cardiovascular risk factors. And there is quite a bit of discussion it appears that many women get under treated/diagnosed with cardiac disease these days because for us heart disease sometimes doesn't present with the classic signs.

        Again, she's not pushing meds right now, but because of my trends she has said that's where it looks like I am headed unless something changes.

        • I just checked and I’m actually about 230 total, 145 LDL. My doctor uses a risk assessment tool that calculates my overall risk as very low (yours may not be, of course). You might talk to your doctor about how she assesses your risk, besides the cholesterol numbers. You can find do-it-yourself risk assessment tools online, such as Framington. I’m also curious whether your doctor is recommending that you change your diet now (and how), as part of the “unless something changes” approach.

    • Talk to your doctor about cutting out animal protein. Try substituting some of the your meals with plant-based protein and see what impact that has on your cholesterol.

      • Thanks for the idea. That is definitely drastic for me, although I personally could do it for myself. But I am the caregiver for my disabled father, and cook for him almost every night. There is no way I could switch him to a plant based diet even if I wanted to because of his health reasons, and honestly….. I am eating so healthy now already to satisfy his needs! Ugh…

        I am so exhausted from caring for him on top of my life that I cannot imagine cooking two proteins every night.

        We eat fish 2-3x per week, lean chicken 2 nights, some cheese one night, eggs one night – as a typical week.

        • You definitely have to do whatever works for you, but there are certainly ways to not change the amount of items you have to prepare and still end up with animal protein for him and plant protein for you. For example, make him chicken breast (which you would have made anyway), make spinach as a side for you both, and make lentils as a side for him and as the main course for you.

          • Good thought, but unfortunately Dad can’t eat lentils and wont eat other plant based proteins. I would need to make a separate dish for me.

    • I don’t eat nearly as healthy as it sounds like you do (but it’s a goal for me) – but I have been told my cholesterol is creeping up and I need to watch it. My doctor’s main advice was to increase whole grains and soluable fiber – the most common recommendations are oatmeal and legumes.

      I know you mentioned you eat low carb, but I’ve found that having a meal that balances fat, protein and (whole grain) carbs helps me avoid the blood sugar spikes I get when eating carb-heavy. One go-to for me is steel cut oats + a small amount of fat (peanut butter/almond butter, full fat yogurt, etc). I’ve found that oatmeal or other carb-y meal on its own without some fat and protein causes me to feel hungry again in an hour or two – but a little bit of fat and protein help a lot. I also mix flax seed meal into my oatmeal sometimes for a little boost.

      My number one downfalls when it comes to poor cholesterol food choices are butter and cheese – so I have to be very conscious of how much of those I am eating, as it’s way too easy for me to go overboard on those.

      • Thanks for your ideas Meg. Maybe I could try to start with oatmeal with breakfast. Doesn’t appeal to me at all, but maybe that could help.

        I have cut out most butter, except some with cooking fish occasionally, mixed with olive oil.

        • Oatmeal – there are many interesting things you can do with it. Try it cooked with coconut milk and ginger for Thai flavor! Add some Indian garam masala and black pepper! Add onions & tomatoes and your home grown veggies and seasoning, maybe Ramen flavoring.

    • My mom went through this about 10 years ago (son in her mid-late 50s). Also super healthy, had actually been a vegetarian for several years, cooks all her meals, naturally slender and also very active. She was told it was mostly genetic and her doctor was pushing her to just go on medication, but she was very resistant to the idea and ended up going on a quest to learn everything she could about lowering it naturally. It took a year and it was back to the normal range and she has maintained it since.

      Things I know worked for her:

      – breakfast is cheerios or oatmeal. Nuts, berries, no sweeteners. She also switched to almond milk over cows milk
      – she does daily green smoothies with a banana, whatever fruit is in season, almond milk and about 2 cups of spinach.
      – Cheese was cut waaaay back.
      – she added back in salmon to her diet. The only meat she eats still to this day.
      – I know she also walks every day and really committed to her treadmill every morning when she was on that first year.

      So, its definitely possible without giving up everything you love. Moderation is huge (in all things :))

      • Thanks so much for this! This is very helpful.

      • My mother did the same but after she tried the meds and her liver numbers came back as very high (or bad sorry not sure exactly). So she went off Lipitor and has a similar diet and it worked. She cut out ALL oil though, and made vegetables with water and used garlic instead. She eventually added it back in (oil helps you absorbs the nutrients!) but anyways my point was she was able to do it pretty quickly by similar breakfast and cutting the oil in addition to what is above.

        Same meals but separate pans? Add more garlic to yours?

    • I don’t have any useful advice for you, but I just wanted to comment how your situation REALLY underscores how much genetics play into this… Because I eat a pretty high colestirol diet- lots and lots of eggs, cheese, butter and meat- and I am consistently told my cholestorol is “excellent” “no worries there!” I have my own health problems of course but not cholesterol. so if it’s any comfort, don’t be too hard on ypursf about this.

      • I second this. My diet is atrocious and I’m overweight, but my cholesterol and blood pressure are off the hook. It’s not your fault. I understand wanting to avoid medication, but personally, I’d take the medication and enjoy my food.

        • Thanks guys. I really appreciate this too.

          I guess I just feel a little guilty about not trying harder, and kinda…. want to take the medication and enjoy my food. Food is SO WONDERFUL!!!!!!!! And such a simple pleasure for me.

          I mean, if I could afford a chef to cook wonderful healthy fresh perfect low cholesterol meals for me every night I would gobble them no problem. But I’m just a regular person, trying to make it work for my family.

    • I’ve also understood this to have a strong genetic component. But anecdata: Also get your thyroid checked. Ex-H is an exercise-nut vegan whose cholesterol was through the sky, had other health issues and even had a mild heart attack. The cardiologist wanted to put him on statins and other meds. A workplace health screening/blood test showed he had basically no thyroid function. When he went on thyroid meds, his cholesterol dropped by something like 50 points. (And the fancy board-certified cardiologist never thought to check for this, which almost killed him.)

      • Wow – great idea Jules.

        Having low thyroid is actually really common in women, especially as we get older. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe you need to eat more whole grains? Fiber, especially from whole grains like oatmeal, helps to reduce cholesterol. If you’re low carb, it’s possible you’re not getting enough. Sometimes it is all just genetic, though.

    • More anecdata: I have a friend whose cholesterol goes way up when she takes BC pills. Her doctor almost refused to believe it was related, as I guess this is not very common, but she tried going off the pill and her levels dropped right away. (She was suspicious as she hadn’t taken the pill longterm and therefore could correlate the increase in her cholesterol with going on the pill). So FYI for everyone, something to consider.

  11. In-House Question :

    Hi ladies – hoping for some perspective on the best transactional practice for eventual in-house work. I have an opportunity to work at a great firm in commercial/tech transactions or corporate securities/capital markets. I like both very much and my ultimate goal is to get a meaningful role (GC or assistant GC with real advancement opportunity) in house at a consumer products/retail or entertainment company (hoping to work at a place that really connects with consumers and makes products/entertainment people care about). I think commercial transactions is more helpful day to day for a company, but corporate securities offers a much more complex practice/set of skills.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

    • Do you have a sense of what the in-house lawyers at these companies handle internally and what they shift to outside counsel? How many of the skills you’d pick up in securities work will be transferable?

    • In my experience, IP-heavy companies might hire a tech-trans/commercial atty as a GC, but the vast majority of GCs have corporate/securities experience. I would look at The Lawyer Whisperer blog for more advice on this.

    • Of all my former BigLaw colleagues, the commercial/tech transactions associates typically had several clients approach them to go in-house over the years, whereas the “sophisticated M&A” types found it to be slightly harder and also when they found an in-house role, it tended to be more BigLaw in terms of availability expectations (like they would go in-house for a bank). As far as subsequent advancement, I’m not sure yet from personal experience, but the ability to issue-spot a wide range of topics seems to be a prereq, so going for the narrower specialty could be a downside.

    • The road to GC is made a lot less navigable without a securities background. I think a lot of companies would rather hire an AGC with securities knowledge and have them learn transacational from outside counsel or from their existing legal team, then hire a corporate generalist and try to teach them securities. Especially if you have any interest in working for a start-up. That being said, try to get exposure to both. Work on the securities team but get CLE on transactions, work with the transactions team when possible, etc.

      • Vintage Lawyer :


      • WestCoast Lawyer :

        Agreed, when I was looking to go in-house I really wished I had the commercial background, since it seemed that nearly everyone was hiring for that, but I managed to find a great job with a securities background and I get much more exposure to the executive team and our board of directors than our commercial lawyers, which is a skill set that should put me at an advantage for GC positions. After speaking to friends who do commercial work, they all assure me it’s pretty easy to pick up.

    • In-House Question :

      Thanks all! This is incredibly helpful! :)

    • Going to slightly disagree with folks here. I worked for a few years in capital markets at a v5 firm and consistently had recruiters tell me that for in-house positions, companies look for a broader skill-set than capital markets work. That’s because most companies outsource their SEC work to a firm and don’t have a dedicated in-house lawyer who handles securities matters. Assuming you’d be looking to go in-house somewhere before reaching the GC level (and then work your way up to GC), I would not limit yourself to securities work at a firm. It’s a pretty narrow field.

      • In-House Question :

        Very interesting to know – especially interesting that you’d receive that feedback even coming from a v5. Thanks for sharing!

  12. I have what many would consider a cush in-house job in a cool city. But the leadership I work with are not lawyers and their work style is not something I want to be associated with. If it weren’t for them, I think I would like this job more…but they are not going to leave any time soon. Am I crazy to consider going to a big firm in another state? I feel silly giving up a “dream gig” that allows for so much life balance…Anyone made this kind of move before?

    • Why not hold out for another good in-house job in the cool city? Is there a reason you want to move to the other state?

    • Diana Barry :

      What do you mean by “their work style is not something I want to be associated with” – are they just jerks? Does the company not have a good reputation? Also, ditto to CHJ’s question.

      • The company is well respected, but the leadership of my department does not have a good reputation. TBH I don’t feel like the people in charge are even qualified…seems like they were just shuffled around for political reasons. I feel like any minute something could blow up and the underlings do all the heavy lifting while the leadership is absent or unavailable. I wish I could make my peace with it, but I don’t think I can.

    • I have a similar in house type jog and love it. I work for non-lawyers and find it refreshing. They are not constantly nose-to-the-grindstone, but I also think they work more flexible schedules and do more than is apparent based on face time alone. Plus having that work-life balance is amazing, especially since I have a young child. But if you’re not happy, and you’d be happier doing something fast paced in a new location, why not try it? Very little in life is actually permanent…You can always change back later if you put in the work to do that!

    • I have a similar in house type job and love it. I work for non-lawyers and find it refreshing. They are not constantly nose-to-the-grindstone, but I also think they work more flexible schedules and do more than is apparent based on face time alone. Plus having that work-life balance is amazing, especially since I have a young child. But if you’re not happy, and you’d be happier doing something fast paced in a new location, why not try it? Very little in life is actually permanent…You can always change back later if you put in the work to do that!

  13. Midwest Mama :

    For those of you who take a Vitamin D supplement, what dosage do you take and how often?

    • I take 2000 (IU? Whatever the standard unit is) in the summer, and 6000-8000 in the winter. But I live in Canada, and this is based on a doctor’s recommendations, I don’t know that 6000 is the norm.

    • Oil-based, 2000IU daily

      • Also 2000 IU daily, after testing low at my annual exam.

        If I’m back in the normal range at my next exam my doctor said she’ll recommend going back to 1000 IU daily. I also don’t typically have any other foods that are Vitamin D fortified (I almost never drink milk, for instance) and I don’t get much sun exposure.

      • Same, but specifically told to take D3.

    • My OB-GYN recommended 5,000IUs of D3 daily because my level was low at my last exam.

    • 2000iu, with blood test showing this repletes a me to the correct level.

      If you haven’t had monitoring, ask your doc for a test. You could be very low and need a high dose replete on briefly. But you don’t want to take too much.

      800iu is where you should start if you haven’t been monitored.

    • 1000 per day if I do not see the sun in the summer (I walk to work but not always) and everyday in the winter. But I am redheaded and absorb the D very quickly outside allegedly since I do not wear daily sunscreen on my arms or legs (just my face and neck).

  14. Oh, this is really, really bad. Not that I’m in the least bit surprised.


    • SuziStockbroker :

      Yes, she wouldn’t “allowed herself” to be sexually harassed. So, for everyone who has been sexually harassed, must be their fault for allowing it, amiright?

    • I mean, he phrased this badly but it’s pretty clear he means she wouldn’t put up with sexual harassment and would take it up the chain to HR, not that Ivanka would never be a victim of harassment. Gross comments to be sure, but far from the worst to come out of the Trump camp in the last day or so, let alone over the course of the entire campaign. I think the criticism of the Khans and the stuff about not knowing Russia has gone into Ukraine is way worse.

      • totally. a lot of stuff is way worse. Doesn’t make this okay though.

      • I don’t know. I watched a speech at the RNC by like one of his female golfing buddies and she said that when she complained to Trump about not being taken seriously as a woman, he basically told her to toughen up and deal with it. She told the story approvingly, but it’s the same idea – women should be tough and be able to withstand sexual harassment, or else they’re weak and probably don’t deserve the job anyway. It ties into his whole anti-PC sentiment as well. Sexual harassment is just a PC way for covering up women’s weaknesses in the office and their inability to just deal with it and get on with their lives.

      • AHAHAHAHHAHAHA willfully myopic! What if you work for a small company that has no HR? What if HR is your boss? What if you just want to do your job until you find a new one, go to grad school, pay off your loans, etc. and not deal with a “case file” in HR or a lawsuit that will drag it all out? What if you were 100% in the ‘right’ but don’t want the associated drama of your boss torpedoing your career and reputation to other employers, thus making you a problem hire. What if you don’t want to talk about what you were wearing and pick over what you may have done ‘wrong’ with important people at your office?


      • Aunt Jamesina :

        I think context here is really important. He made the comment while discussing sexual harassment by Roger Ailes. He basically said Megyn Kelly and the other women who were harassed by Ailes didn’t do enough to stop the harassment. I also agree with nutella’s comment above– WTF are you supposed to do when it’s the CEO?

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      Of course, it’s much easier to be “strong” and “powerful” when you have the financial security to be able to walk away from the job and tell them where to shove it without having to worry about how to pay the rent and put food on the table.

    • This was Donald Trump in a USA Today interview, a day or two ago, when asked about the same thing:

      “I would like to think she [Ivanka] would find another career or find another company if that was the case.”

      See, women? You just need to move along.

  15. 5,000 IU softgel, daily

    My vitamin D was low a year ago and this has gotten it back to normal range

  16. Would you guys have any reservations going on vacation to South Florida with toddler-aged kids given all this Zika stuff? I don’t plan to get pregnant at all. More curious about any issues surrounding children.

    • No. Zika would only be an issue for me if I were pregnant or TTC. Also not sure when you’re traveling but at least right now it’s only in one specific neighborhood in Miami. If you’re traveling soon and you avoid that neighborhood the risk is very low.

    • Hey there–oddly enough, I for some insane reason have been added to the area’s Zika taskforce (I have no idea why), and we just had a meeting on this.

      There have been no issues with children at all comparable to the risk facing unborn children. Due to weakened immune systems, toddlers can be more susceptible to symptoms of Zika, such as the flu-like symptoms of fever, aches and pains, and general soreness, but the virus is not life-threatening. Toddlers are not going to get any of the issues associated with Zika and unborn children, such as microcephaly.

      Even women who have already given birth to a healthy children, and then have contracted the virus, are still recommended to breastfeed their children; the benefits outweigh the symptoms of Zika flu–microcephaly and other complications seem to be limited at this point only to unborn children.

      The CDC has noted cases where toddlers have been bitten by Zika-infected mosquitos, developed the virus, and made full recoveries without any developmental delays or other lingering issues.

      • Also, the affected are in South Florida is very small, about a square mile in Miami.

      • Obviously, microcephaly can only impact an unborn child – and likely only really early on – as a head can’t shrink. So that makes sense. But I’ve heard that there is evidence of on-going learning disabilities and impairments in children who are infected even post-birth. Honestly, I probably would not risk it if there were other options. But that’s just me.

        • Same here. Caveat that I have only read the headlines and haven’t delved into actual research, but the general coverage of possible side effects for already-born children is enough for me to stay away.

        • Lancet had a recent study that third trimester infections can cause microcephaly as well.

    • No. Because Zika is only a real problem if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.

      • Wildkitten :

        There are other complications that are rare, like Guillan-Barre, and we’re still learning more about the virus.

  17. Working at a gov’t agency for the last few yrs. Came here from a big firm after 8 yrs there. I typically don’t work much with interns, not interested in hiring etc. (at my old firm and at this job), however there’s one intern here who I started talking to on a coffee run with my team yesterday. Turns out he’s interested in the law firm I came from (among others) — he’s a 2L starting OCR at a top school. While he ranked my old firm for an interview, he didn’t get one — though it wasn’t the firm turning him down, it’s some matching process the school uses. In talking to him — he’s bright, articulate etc. and would interview really well. In talking to others about his work — he’s apparently been great all summer. And it turns out he’s from a tiny rural town in Wisconsin — and the one partner with whom I have a relationship at my old firm is from the same tiny town.

    I pass his resume along, right? He basically said — even if I don’t get an interview there, it’s fine but I’d love to connect with that partner bc he thinks they’d have things in common. How do I say that to my partner contact via email? It’s easy to say — here look at this resume. What’s a polished way of saying — this kid would love to have you as a mentor without it seeming to awkward for the partner — who may be thinking, why would I care (though he’s a nice guy and tends not to be like that). Can someone phrase this for me?

    • “Partner, I hope you’re doing well! I had the privilege of working with Intern this summer at Agency, and he told me that he had a strong interest in Firm because Plausible Reasons. Intern has gotten stellar reviews from everyone here. He wasn’t able to interview via the OCI process, so I offered to reach out to you to see if Firm would be interested in considering him for a summer associate position. His resume is attached. Also, he’s from Palookaville, too- I’m sure you two could have a great discussion on Quaint Small Town Life.

      Take Care,

    • Partner –

      Hope you are doing well. I came across a bright and articulate 2nd year law student at my current employer and wanted to pass along his resume in the event you had an opening at the firm or would be interested in chatting with him in an informational or mentoring capacity. He has had positive reviews all around this summer and XYZ positive traits., so I think he could be a positive asset for the firm. It also turns out he’s from Rural Town, WI, so he was interested in comparing perspectives on growing up there.

      If you’re willing to meet with him, I’ll let him know to set up a meeting with you.

  18. Rant: I’m starting Accutane tomorrow, and so I’m going through my iPledge book, filling out the paperwork, and setting up my account…I get that the birth defects are bad, but holy invasive questions. I have to register which two birth control methods I’m using with the government (iPledge website) every month?! I knew I’d have to tell my doctor, but it just seems ridiculous that I have to enter it in some database. Also, this book is full of pages and pages of going through the different birth control methods, listing the advantages/disadvantages quite explicitly. It’s infuriating to me that this isn’t taught in schools. Also, one of the answers to their practice questions is “I may find it hard to not have sex during treatment.” Idk why I just find this whole process really offensive. Doctors can’t ask people if they have guns in their house (and OMG register guns! we’re basically north korea), but to get a prescription I have to read 38 pages of instructions not to get pregnant, fill out contract-like paperwork, and register my birth control usage monthly.

    (I get that this was probably written for teenagers and not a 28 year old college graduates/businesswoman who has her sh!t together and just needs her face not to be painful and swollen and look scary, but seriously. This feels like overreach, and I’m a liberal who normally can see the reasons for the madness.)

    • It sounds kind of patronizing

    • Not at all trying to justify the patronizing tone of the paperwork – or your other well-made points about the things that our gov’t can’t control at all – but just want to point out (as an accidentally pregnant 37 yo) that you do not have to be in high school to have that happen. Haha.

      • I guess, but I’m 28, I don’t want to have kids, so I have a copper IUD. 99% effectiveness, I don’t have to do anything other than check the strings every now and then. When I used birth control pills, if I had a close call/took a pill late or something, I used Plan B. I do think that as a rule women can control their pregnancy decisions. Although I don’t judge the accidents happen people personally, I do think it does a disservice to pretend that people who use birth control correctly still end up pregnant – other women hear that and then assume that it’s not going to work anyway so then they let their habits lax to sub-standard usage (a pill late her and there, a little late on the shot, etc), then they end up pregnant “while on birth control.”

        • That’s awfully sweet that you think just because you don’t want to have kids you automatically won’t get pregnant. I forgot – that never happens. It’s all about intent and desire with pregnancy. Oops. My bad. Carry on.

          It can happen. Hence the backup method required for Accutane.

        • This got off topic, which was my fault – I’ll plan on using the secondary bc (and disclosing it to not only my doctor, but the gov’t, gah). And maybe I’m being harsh on the accident pregnancies…I’ll admit that I have a bias towards relying statistics and scientific studies over anecdotal evidence. A statistic of 99% effectiveness would make me very secure in every other part of my life, so it seems consistent to trust the scientific stats on this one too. But everyone has to do them, so that’s just me.

          • I agree with you on so many of your points, but I think it helps to put the 99% effectiveness stat in perspective with a lifetime of birth control use. That only applies to one year at a time, and with repeated years the 99% rate falls drastically. I don’t want to butcher the explanation but I think this does a fair job:


      • Yeah I personally know two people who were conceived/born while their moms had copper IUDs, so it does happen. It’s hard to think what more the moms could have done, beyond trusting their doctors to install the device correctly? I guess using another method. I try not to think about it too much because I do NOT want another kid, and I only use one method.

        • Oh wait shoot! I still think it’s gross that the gov’t insists on having a database of what’s going on in your uterus. I was just venting my fears but I don’t want to invalidate your creeped-out reaction, because ugh, get outta my uterus, gov’t.

          One of my favorite stories is a woman who, asked “what do you use for birth control” responded, “my personality.”

        • Anonymous :

          I was conceived when my mom had an IUD. Of course that was decades ago, but yikes. She told me that after I told her about my IUD, since she was concerned I was going to a Zika area. I feel fine about mine, though .

    • Even if the BC methods had been taught in school, I think the information would still have been provided in your literature. This sounds like an informed consent situation – where the doctor/drug company has the responsibility to thoroughly educated you on what is going on with the treatment. And I believe informed consent is often written at something like an 8th grade level.

      Some this could also be considered a condition of approval the drug – you can only promote the benefits if you are also controlling for the risks (by having explicit monitoring of the BC side) and making sure you are within the supported population and not contraindicated (by virtue of behavior) for the treatment.

      Also, CYA – we fully informed you of all these things so you can’t sue us for birth defects if you get pregnant.

      • Oh, it’s totally CYA. But this isn’t a informed consent stuff from the drug company or doctor – this is a specific law/program implemented after a Senators child killed themselves while they happen to be on Accutane (happen to be = key words. correlation, not causation, studies have shown). Huge deal, lots of publicity, now we have this crazy informed consent procedure that focuses a lot on my womb.

        I guess I’m most annoyed that a guy wouldn’t have to do most of this stuff. This is only for women. If I wanted to get an abortion, there are all kinds of laws making sure that I have “informed consent” for that too. I feel like I’m being treated like a feeble minded little woman who needs lots of government hand holding to make medical decisions with my doctor.

    • This was actually one of the reasons I chose not to do accutane. I have zero interest in the govt have any knowledge of what I do or do not do with my uterus.

      I was lucky in that I was not severe enough to really NEED accutane. My doctor was offering it up as the last attempt to finally clear up my skin. I decided I would rather deal with always having a break out of some kind than potential liver damage and registering with the government.

      For those with true cystic acne though, I have so much sympathy and think the whole process is nonsense.

      • Thanks for your response – I’m glad you didn’t have to do this. Outside of this really ticking me off today, I’m kinda excited to start it now because nothing else works and my face literally hurts from cysts when I smile. I didn’t want to do accutane for a long time and have tried all kinds of other approaches, but it’s been getting worse and worse the last few years so I’m finally this as the last resort. I didn’t realize until today, though, that I actually had to register my birth control types. How about we cut this program instead of planned parenthood funding?

        • Anonymous :

          I’m sure that the literature explained, in great detail, the absolutely horrific birth defects that can result from conception that occurs while a woman is on Accutane. The paperwork, etc is mandated for incredibly legitimate medical reasons. I can sympathize with your annoyance but you’re completely overreacting. If you don’t want to do the paperwork, you can choose to not take the medication.

          A very happy, clear-skinned Accutane user

          • I agree they should make it very clear what the side effects are, and I understand making you agree that you will take birth control very seriously and have back ups in place. But, the requirement to register it EVERY MONTH WITH THE GOVERNMENT is overkill. And a waste of taxpayer resources.

            Also, I’m just going to throw this out there – abortion is legal. If you find out you conceive on accutane you aren’t actually required by law to go through with that pregnancy. And if this isn’t something you’re comfortable with, then the 2 forms of birth control alone shouldn’t make you comfortable enough to take a drug that causes that severe of potential birth defects. Because every birth control method has failure stories.

          • The paperwork, sure, I can buy that that could be a legitimate medical reason – true informed consent on the birth defects when you start. Monthly pregnancy tests and doctor appointments, fine. But I don’t buy that the monthly iPledge requirements is for a legitimate medical reason, though. It’s an overreaction to a very sad story that happened to someone important that got a lot of publicity. There are legitimate and serious medical reasons why people shouldn’t do things on all kinds of prescription drugs and there isn’t (to my knowledge) a monthly registration required for them.

            And anananom, I 100% agree all of what you said. Abortion is legal and safe and this would be a instance where that right could/should be exercised. And yet, that is no where discussed in any of the iPledge program materials and paperwork.

        • Anonymous :

          The government registration seems like a huge waste of money. It’s not like there was a wave in flipper babbies that prompted the more serious registration, was there? I remember taking it in the 90’s and having to sign a pledge, but I was definitely not on birth control because I was like 15 and not in the realm where I’d be getting any for years. I can’t remember if I had to disclose it. I don’t think I did, but I may have had to write down that my form of birth control was abstinence in a packet. My dermatologist didn’t really bother to discuss it beyond having me confirm I understood her spiel.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s when I would respond 1. Husband fixed. 2. Not f***ing dudes who are not my husband.

  19. Along the lines of the question above — for those of you in biglaw who may help with recruiting, what do your firms consider “good grades” from top 10-15 law schools? If you’re looking at a school where the median is 3.3 (which if I recall is a B+), is a 3.47 considered good or bad or in the middle? This would be for vault firms ranked in the 30s-50s — so not Cravath but more like Akin or Sidley or their competitors.

    Was asked to pass along someone’s resume and I don’t want to do it if the firm’s going to look at it and think I’m crazy to think he has good grades. But I’m far enough out of law school that I no longer remember what good vs. bad grades were — and honestly I tend to just judge based on law review or not (which this guy isn’t).

    • I’m not sure what the median at my school was but I had a slightly less than 3.5 (at a T25 law school) and graduated with honors and had no problem getting a job at an AmLaw 50 firm. I think generally the better the school, the more the grades can slip. Harvard doesn’t even give grades, right? So I would say a 3.47 from a T15 is probably considered pretty good grades by those kind of firms. Although hopefully he has something on the resume like law review or moot court as well.

    • Also relevant: class rank. If that information is not conveyed on the resume (or even what the median is) that might deserve some skepticism.

      My law school decided to bump its median from a 3.17 to a 3.3 for the class after mine. Kinda changes the perspective.

      • Some schools don’t give you that info. I went to Penn (in the last decade) — we didn’t have class ranks or GPAs. We could pass along the transcript and the employer could look at how many As v. Bs we had and I am assuming they could call recruiting to ask what the usual medians were for Penn but the students didn’t know it; I assume firms did that and used your law review/journal status to decide how well you were doing. We only found out at graduation where we fell depending on whether we graduated top 10% or top 25% or whatever for graduation honors.

  20. All the Totes :

    Last Call has all of its Neiman Marcus brand bags on sale for $29.99 (others 60% off). Lots of options for tote bags with zip tops. I think it may be time to upgrade from my free at a conference tote. I’m kind of feeling the Honeycomb Colorblock Neoprene Tote. What do you look for in an all-around tote bag?

  21. Tampa Therapy :

    Can anyone in the Tampa area suggest a therapist? I don’t really know how to go about finding one and I think I need to start going for anxiety/depression issues. Thanks.

  22. Hmm, thanks for this info!

    My preferences are a zippered top, zippered pouch or two inside, and an interior divider…the color, size and material varies.

    Oh, also a snap hook for keys is handy too.

  23. Wildkitten :

    Another arrow in the quiver for the P asking about legislating equal pay:

    • Wildkitten :


  24. Anon for this :

    I have an interview tomorrow with a mid-sized corporation. I’m wearing a pants suit but can I wear peep toe sandals?

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