Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Peplum Jacket

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

Armani Collezioni Peplum Jacket Neiman Marcus is having some killer sales, allowing you to take an extra 30% off of their clearance stuff. For Splurge Monday, though, I’m in love with this Armani jacket. The dark teal-ly green is very on-trend for fall (green on green on green!) but I always think jewel tones like this are super flattering, and often subdued enough to be worn without a lot of thought in a conservative office. Love this one with the shawl collar, peplum flounce, and streamlined look. I’d probably wear it with neutral colors — navy, gray, maybe black — and perhaps a pair of purple pumps if I were really feeling wild. The jacket is $1895. Armani Collezioni Peplum Jacket

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]


  1. Sure, feed into my obsession ;D

  2. Anony Doc Review Atty :

    Follow up from the weekend’s thread.

    Could you ladies STOP telling people not to use their work e-mail for personal stuff. I mean…if they do that, my job is going to get very boring, very fast! More inappropriate e-mails at work!!! More! :-)

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Haha I find myself weirdly intrigued by the unfolding drama of the personal lives in the emails I review. Sometimes it is like reading a good soap opera.

    • I never understood why people assume their personal emails won’t be discoverable, anyway. The rule should really be not to say stupid sh!t in writing, ever.

      • Meh, I don’t really care if people read what I write in my personal work emails. I figure somebody should be entertained (and clearly, people are). I don’t think me whining about my period and allergies are really that contentious or embarrassing, you know?

        • Its all kosher, until you have an affair with the manageing partner. ;-)

          • Hmmm, would complaining about his bad breathe add to an insubordination case?

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Or some random subordinate which causes you to get fired completely separate and apart from what the original doc review is for….

          • The best one I ever read (big securities case) was by an assistant about her high level boss, to another assistant: “did you hear about [jack’s] push push in the bush with [jill] last night?


          • In this case, I defer to J, as I would NEVER write about my coworkers. In my personal or work accounts.

        • Oh, I whine about my period and allergies to anyone who will listen. But I don’t tell them about the BJ I gave my husband last night…

    • Stupid Question :

      At my office, we can have a company-provided iPhone onto which we can load our work email account through the native email application. If we want, we can also load our personal email account through the native email application.

      If I load both my work account and my personal account, and I send only work emails on the work account and only personal emails on the personal account, how would my personal emails end up in a document review or in an IT person’s office?

      • I’m not really sure how the internets work but my very basic understanding is that whatever is sent through your company’s servers gets recorded, no matter what you’re doing. How that works with private email accounts (say, through gmail), I have no flipping clue.

      • In addition, if and when there is a document hold put in on a case you’re on for some reason (say your firm got sued in malpractice), your company might have a company come in and take a digital “picture” of your phone, which basically records all the current data stored on the phones servers, which would include your personal e-mails. This would also, possibly, include your Facebook postings, if you used FB through your phone. So it won’t necessarily capture every e-mail you’ve ever written, but it could capture a whole bunch.

        Now — this could be a big deal to you, or not, depending on how you use these programs. And it might not prove relevant to the case. But it would end up in front of a doc reviewers eyes. Which might make you uncomfortable — or not — depends on how much you rant about your employer over e-mail, I guess.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        I think this is how it goes – If the phone is company provided, they can get it all. If its your personal phone, with a work provided application, they have access to anything on the work provided application.

      • Also, if the opposing counsel has any reason to believe that you may have discussed topics relevant to the litigation in your personal email, they’ll add it to discovery and chances are the judge would allow it.

        As for the IT person, my company has a privacy agreement under which they commit to not looking at anything on your phone other than your work email. I would guess many companies have similar policies, but you should check.

    • Fine if you don’t know the person. Try working with someone after learning everything about the unfolding drama of their personal life.

      • Once you start reading a personal email though, you know it is not relevant to the case and you should stop reviewing it and move on to the next one. I doubt your client wants to pay for you to read all the “fun” personal emails if you know they are not related. Yeah they will come up in the review but you should be able to flag it as unrelated and move on without reading every juicy tidbit in it.

  3. momentsofabsurdity :

    Peplum *and* jewel tone teal? I swoon. Now if only I could spend $2k on a jacket instead of 2 months of rent…

  4. Love the styling suggestions! Any lower priced alternatives from the hive?

    • This Anthro option is similarish…though I struggle with how to style it (since it obviously needs a shirt underneath, but is short sleeved) — maybe a bow-tie silk shirt?


      • I think I like that one better than Kat’s pick! I love blue. I’d probably wear it with a shell or short-sleeved t-shirt with some kind of embellishment at the neck, bow or otherwise.

      • I like the color and cut of the Anthro better than the NM one. The price is far better, too! ;-)

    • And..um, this fits both peplum and what I think is “jewel tone” (both the red and the purple)…but its from VS so I struggle to truly recommend it.


      • momentsofabsurdity :

        TCFKAG — can you tell me the product name? Can’t open VS at work but I can google image search it.

        • Its called the Peplum-back jacket.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            I thought so! I have this jacket (actually this whole suit) in black. I love it but the skirt runs a bit snug, and it might be a bit much in purple. I got it on 40% off sale and wouldn’t pay full price for it since the material is not of the best quality.

      • http://corporette.com/2011/06/29/suit-of-the-week-victoria-secret/

  5. LeChouette :

    Monday morning advice request! I work at a big law firm and in the last year just about all of the associates with whom I am friendly have left (not due to anything bad about the firm, just your standard biglaw attrition).

    I plan to be at the firm for a another couple of years, and while my work is not the center of my social life, I do like having people to chat with / complain to now and again during the day, but it is hard to figure out how to make friends outside of the people you started with. Any suggestions?

    • I have the same probelem. In my firm, I am the ONLY lawyer under 60! Also the manageing partner make’s me eat lunch with him almost EVERY day, and even if he dident, I would NOT want to sociaelize with the other guy’s who are older and much dorkyer then my dad.

      I had a great weekend AWAY from work. I went to the Momapalooza festival on the WEST SIDE pier, and it was very SUNNY. I think I got a good base for a tan, b/c I will be going to the Hamton’s this summer! Yay!

    • Is it too simplistic to suggest e-mailing one or two people to see if they want to get coffee? This was always my strategy. Bonus points if you’ve worked with them before.

      • Agreed. I think people are generally willing to make new friends, they just don’t think of it on their own.

    • If you’re in BigLaw, join the summer associate events to meet other associates in your office.

  6. Commiseration request! Today is my first day back from maternity leave and I’m also fighting off a case of mastitis. I’m actually happy to be back at work (using my brain! going to lunch and the bathroom when I want! talking to adults!), but am obviously a little sad about not seeing my baby as much. I’m already counting the hours until I pick him up tonight…

    • Hang in there and don’t beat yourself up!

    • I understand completely. I have been back at work for about a month, but it’s been part time. Today is my first full day. I work from home, so I am so tempted to cheat and pick baby up early. Only 6 hours, 42 minutes to go….ha ha!

    • I’ve only been back from maternity leave for two weeks, so I feel your pain! Well, part of it–I have thus far avoided mastitis. I hope you recover quickly, I hear it’s the worst!

      I’m still loving using my brain. And choosing when to use the bathroom and when to eat. :) The hubs takes the baby to the sitter, so I’ve been getting in to the office extra early so I can pick her up early. Oh, and I’ve plastered my cube and computer with baby pictures. It helps that everyone wants to talk to me about her!

    • Diana Barry :

      Try to pump as much as you can out of that side – I hope you have antibiotics! Mastitis is the WORST. Baby will be happy to see you tonight!

      • Thanks! I do have antibiotics, thank God. I figured something was up when last week my fever went from non-existent to 104 within an hour. It really is the worst – and now I can empathize with anyone else that goes through it.

    • working mama :

      The first weeks are definitely the hardest and it WILL get easier over time! (Believe me about this – I delayed having kids for a loooong time just b/c I was terrified of leaving them with someone else.) Take comfort in knowing that you did your homework and whomever is looking after Little One KNOWS what s/he/they are doing. Some days you just need to cry about it (thanks hormones) and find a co-worker who has done it and will lend a friendly ear or shoulder. Also, see if your child care provider can email pics occaisonally – that is a big help. E-hugs to you!

    • River Song :

      I know this sounds incredibly odd, but have you tried placing cabbage leaves on your chest to help with the mastitis? It actually helped me. Just strip a few leaves off and put them on your chest. They’re the perfect shape! We left the cabbage in the fridge, which also made it feel cooling. Plus, my husband and I thought it was hilarious–and being able to laugh helps.

      • JJ’s supply may already be established enough that it’s not an issue, but I’d stay away from cabbage. It’s typically recommended as an aid for post-partum women who are trying to stop lactation.

        • Commiserating. Heading into work in a few, due any day now. Not same as your challenge but feel the mixed feelings too- want to get out of house and have interactions, don’t feel like it physically/emotionally. Good luck with your day. These are the things we do I guess.

        • Thanks, anonnc. It’s been 12 weeks, so I’m pretty established. But I had been warned by a lactation consultant (and I’m passing this along to others) to only use cabbage leaves when I began weaning because for whatever reason, they do aid in decreasing supply.

          • River Song :

            Wow, that’s so weird. I heard just the opposite. Well, fortunately–because I did use cabbage a bit–I have a really strong supply. Thanks for passing along the info! I won’t use it again.

  7. Shopping Help! I’m looking for a maxi dress, under $100, just for casual wear. I don’t want anything too loud because I want to wear it on a regular basis. Cannot be strapless or super skimpy on top.

    FWIW, I’m slender (5’7″, about 120), but slightly pear-shaped, so a dress that balances out top and bottom is best.

    I feel like I’ve been looking for this dress for months now, and just haven’t found the perfect one.

    • It took me a long time, but I finally found the perfect maxi dress for me at the Talbots outlet. I think I tried all the dresses at oldnavy and Boden and they all were either too skimpy or had that maternity look. I did see a couple possibles in Target this weekend.

    • by super skimpy, do you mean just from a cleav*ge perspective, or no skinny straps? Jcrew has a decent selection: http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/dresses.jsp

    • How about this:


      Has the upper half balance you want, its pretty neutral, and I think the chevron stripe is super flattering, even in the maxi-dress which can kind of swallow people up. (There are actually a bunch of cute chevron striped maxis out there, if you like the style.)

      • Probably not neutral enough for the OP, but loving this one by the same people: http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/felicity-coco-cowl-neck-stripe-jersey-maxi-dress/3270908?origin=related-3270908-0-0-1-1

      • TCFKAG, I really like that suggestion, but they’re out of the XS :( I’m just not enough of a pink person to do the other color.

    • Is there a Nordstrom Rack near you? They had a ton of maxi dresses the last time I went. Otherwise, Target? I don’t know if this is basic enough for you, since it has a print, but I was a hair away from blowing my no-clothes-buying fiat for this one when I took a stroll through the clothing section on a work-related errand: http://www.target.com/p/Mossimo-Womens-V-Neck-Maxi-Dress-Black-White/-/A-13990746

      • Jacqueline :

        I own that Target dress and love it. The print isn’t too loud, and it has more coverage on top, which I love. Plus, it has a little more structure than your typical cotton maxi. There’s a black underlayer so you don’t have to worry about the sheerness factor. And you can’t beat the price!

      • I’m not opposed to prints, just the really bright/tropical ones. I may have to make a target trip just to look.

    • this one at banana is gorgeous: http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=9053380020001&cid=50129

    • just Karen :

      I got this one in black when there was a sale code:
      I absolutely love it, but not sure if they’re going to restock the solids or not. I also have this:
      in berry, but it is definitely more casual and requires a strapless bra if you’re going to wear one at all (I wear mine around the house on the weekends without one and don’t feel awkward running trash outside or getting gas…went to the grocery store yesterday and forgot to put one on first…felt a little self conscious but the gathered fabric made it still decent.)

    • There are two gorgeous ones on the PURE website (some random British brand that mostly does silk and cashmere). Both are empire, perfect for pears. I have been swooning over them myself….

  8. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    Hey ladies, so…first day of bar prep. Any tips and tricks you can offer?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Don’t change the way that you studied for exams in law school. For example, if flash cards were your thing, then make flash cards. If not, don’t worry about them. If you are taking Barbri, try to keep up with the schedule, but dont drive yourself crazy because it is virtually moossible to actually finish everything they include. Also, if doing Barbri, take some time after the 1/2 day practice test results come back to analyze your results. If there is a subject you just haven’t gotten the hang of, don’t worry about trying to focus on it and instead focus on increasing your score in other areas to balance it out.

      Most importantly, take some time for yourself! Meet a friend for coffee, take a few hours off one night to go to the bar or see a movie. Try to stick to a schedule, but give yourself flexibility if you are starting to go a little crazy.

      Good luck!

      • Former MidLevel :

        This. Also, don’t let other people psych you out. There will be some people in your room that are always there early, doing flashcards/outlines/whatever method you don’t use. Doesn’t matter. Just focus on your own learning.

    • Anonsensical :

      Don’t overdo it. Make it your full-time job – 8 hours a day, 5 days a week is fine – but don’t go crazy studying nonstop. You might feel too weird and anxious to really enjoy the time you spend not studying, but it’s still good to take breaks. If you’ve already put 6 or 8 hours in and your eyes are glazing over and the words are swimming on the page, trust me, staring at them for two more hours isn’t going to help you. Put the books down, and go do something fun without feeling guilty. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so pace yourself accordingly.

    • Recentish bar passer :

      For the first month-six weeks: Go to BarBri every morning and then eat lunch and use the afternoon to create a really solid outline. Once you’re done with the outline for the afternoon, give yourself a good solid break, and then do a little more studying (maybe) but don’t push yourself too hard.

      Around six weeks in, start pushing harder, doing more practice tests, and focusing on the essays. Review your outlines and the notes from class. Ignore the big book of outlines unless you absolutely need it.

      In the final few weeks (after classes end) take the big practice tests they give you, and then actually watch the guy who does the video review of the tests. Seems like a waste of time, but he has the best advice ever for a ton of subjects.

      Practice good self-care. But you will get stressed out, so try to have other people in your life take over responsibilities like cooking, cleaning, etc.

      • Maine Associate :

        This and eat Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids (or substitute your favorite sugar-infused candy).

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Trust BarBri. You won’t have time to do everything that BarBri tells you to do, but do as much as you reasonably can. Stay away from crazy people freaking out. Know that sometimes the crazy freaking out person will be you, but try to lock that down as quickly as you can. Treat bar study like a job – clock in at 8:30 and clock out at 6:30 (or whatever), with a real lunch break. Be focused when you’re on the clock. Get enough sleep and exercise daily, even if it’s only 20 minutes on the treadmill. Eat real food, not crap. Watch your snack intake – I went up two sizes during bar study because I didn’t pay attention to what I was eating.

      Stay calm and stay focused. You will be fine :).

      • Our replies are so similar (I didn’t see yours before I posted). Its such simple advice, but its hard to do.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I will add that my greatest source of comfort during the bar were the words of BarBri lecturer Honingsberg, who shouted “Nobody!” in my head every time I saw a question I didn’t know and had the urge to freak out. His point was that if I took BarBri, and everyone else took BarBri, and I did a reasonable job studying, then the likelihood of anyone else knowing the answer to a question that I didn’t know was very unlikely, so I shouldn’t worry about it – everyone will get that question wrong. If I didn’t know it, nobody did :).

        For the first six weeks, I studied on weekdays and one 1/2 to 3/4 weekend day. After the first six weeks, it was a full weekend day, and then starting in July, it was 1.5 weekend days. And I walked out of the bar knowing I passed, so I think that even though I almost certainly overstudied, not having to worry for four months was almost priceless.

        • Agreed. This also reassured me when a commercial papers essay popped up on my state essay day. I reminded myself that NOBODY I knew understood commercial papers, so we were all going to equally horribly.

          But seriously, if something seems wildly complicated or obscure, do not spend half an hour trying to figure it out. Make an educated guess and move on. Half-an-hour spent on that costs you on the time you could spend answering all the easier questions later.

          • This happened on my exam with creditor’s rights. The BarBri people assured us it was very unlikely to come up, so I barely studied it at all. I almost panicked when it was one of our essays, but then I did what the BB people recommended and invented a fake rule and applied it to the facts. Not pretty, but I passed, and I know a lot of the test-takers were in the same boat.

          • This happened on the Washington bar exam when I took it a couple summers ago — there was a question with elements of employment law in it, and everyone responded along the lines of ?!? because it hadn’t been on Barbri’s list. But since everyone had done Barbri, everyone was pretty much in the same boat; I dredged some vaguely remembered stuff out of the back of my brain from my 2L year employment law survey course and plowed on, and you know, I still passed.

        • I can hear him now: “Gooooood ideaaaaa?…Gooooood ideaaaa?…NO! Be a sheep.”

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Amen, M. The most essential lecturer in all of BarBri. I STILL say “Goooooood ideaaaaaaaa???” in my every day life. It so perfectly encapsulates exactly what I’m trying to get across sometimes.

    • Don’t try to do too much. Set aside 8-10 hours in the day to do bar prep, including the class. Make sure you are taking the rest of the time to take care of yourself and enjoy yourself (at least until there’s 2-3 weeks left). Sleep, eat right (cook, if you like cooking), excercise (even if its only taking walks). Seriously, do not let yourself get miserable this far out. It’ll be a long two and a half months.

      Also, don’t let what other people claim they are doing stress you out.

    • My best advice is to try and not get behind. If you’re signed up for a program like BarBri, the pace they set is damn near impossible, but at the very least watch all the videos and try to do some sample questions every day.

      And flashcards were definitely my friend. There is an Iphone app called StudyBlue where you can make them online, then quiz yourself on your phone. Kaplan also has an app with some study cards (both apps are free).

      Good Luck! It seems horrible while you’re doing it, but it’s really not that bad. Just keep calm, and take lots of margharita study breaks :)

    • 1. Don’t exhaust yourself. Know when you work your best, and plan your “off” time accordingly, because you need it! I went to class in the morning, studied in the afternoon, and then relaxed starting about 6 each day. Just like law school, people loooove to talk about how hard/long they are studying. Ignore them.

      2. Keep up with Bar/Bri, but don’t be a slave to their schedule if it doesn’t work best for you. For example, I preferred to do the essays once ALL the topics in the essay had been covered, to make it a more realistic practice test. Also, I know that thinking/outlining the answers by hand helps me really cement the ideas in memory, which I wanted to do closer to the actual exam. As a result, my July was weighted more heavily with the essay work.

      3. Read this after you’ve had it up to HERE with the Bar/Bri hypos. Crude, but a much needed belly laugh in the midst of multiple choice hell. http://daisyjd.com/index.php/2009/07/bar-exam-humor/

    • I second the recommendations above. Trust your bar review course (I did Kaplan because their MBE support was better, IMO, and as discussed below I was very worried about that), make sure you’re taking time to take care of yourself.

      However, I will also add: make sure you’re doing MBE study in addition to essay study. In other words, make sure you’re doing MBE questions. I did plenty of essay study, but I made sure to do more MBE questions than I thought I needed, because multiple choice questions were and are the bane of my existence. There are patterns to the MBE questions, and the real trick is to learn how those patterns work.

    • I remember when I was studying for the bar, my friend reminded me of the saying “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” I thought about that constantly–the amount of material can be overwhelming but just sit down and get started. Don’t allow yourself to get behind on the subject/outline of the day, and don’t let other people freak you out.

    • The people I know who failed fell into two categories: The ones who didn’t do enough and the one who did too much. The ones who didn’t do enough spent the summer working or traveling and didn’t do much studying at all. The one who did too much did every single available BarBri and PMBR problem, never took a break all summer, and really worked herself into a state during the actual exam. You need to study a lot, but it is possible to go overboard, so keep that in mind.

    • How did you do in law school? If you did well, then just do your thing. You know how to study and you’ll be fine. Also, if you did well on the SAT, LSAT, and law school exams, the bar exam will be no exception. So chillax!

      More specifically, take it easy, especially for the first month. Go to class every day, but also go to happy hour, baseball games, cookouts, tubing, the beach, whatever (especially if my first paragraph generally applies to you). You won’t be able to read/outline everything. You just won’t. And that’s ok. These are the things that are, in my opinion, most important and highest yield: (1) do practice questions every single day. No exceptions. Doesn’t have to be a lot, maybe 5-15, but do them every day. And then, equally important, review the answers. If you got it right, why? (did you guess?) If you got it wrong, why? Review the law relevant to that question. I can’t emphasize how important it is to do this, instead of just grading your questions. (2) go to class. Even if you didn’t read/outline, you’ll absorb something by just sitting there and listening to the lectures.

    • new york associate :

      I thought the single most useful thing to do was to take practice questions. I did a lot of practice questions as education — I would read the question, guess the answer, read the real answer, and figure out why I did or did not get it wrong. For me, that was more helpful than lots of outline review.

    • If you are doing BarBri, did you do the pretest? If not, I’d take a couple of hours and do it under timed conditions. See where your strengths and weaknesses are and use that to adjust BarBri’s schedule (if you are killing it on Contracts, then do just enough to make sure you don’t slip, but reallocate some of that to some other subject you are having difficultly with).

      Know thyself. As others have stated, do what works for you and stick to that. I was lucky because it turned out I had extremely good instincts for the MBE. I needed to focus on the essays, which was hard because practice MBEs were so rewarding. I also learn by doing, so while I did some outlining and flash card making, outlining essay answers and doing MBE practice exams were far more productive uses of my time.

      If you have self-discipline, I would recommend doing self-study. I found going to the “big room” to watch the videos made it hard to stick to what worked for me. It is hard to avoid the anxiety and hearing what other people are doing. Pick a quiet place away from home and watch the videos on your own and do what works for you.

      Also, know that BarBri considers its job to be to scare the crap out of you. Essay scores are not indicative of how you will do. I ended up skipping turning in my essays and just self-graded.

    • River Song :

      A small, weird thing (apparently, I’m giving odd home remedies today): Suck on peppermints when you study, and, if possible, when you take the exam. Something about the smell/taste of peppermint energizes you. I tried it when I took my PhD exams, and maybe it was psychological, but I did feel sharper with peppermint, even on the third day when I was exhausted. I learned the trick from my mom. She teaches elementary school, and they actually pass out peppermints to the entire school the day of exams.

      • Anonsensical :

        This works! I used peppermint oil on my temples all through law school exams and the bar. Beyond that, there are studies suggesting that your recall will be better if you have more senses engaged. If you study while eating peppermint candy and take the test while eating the same thing, you’ll have your senses of taste and smell helping connect you to what you learned when you studied.

        • I second the hard candy idea! I used citrus cough drops, but they have some menthol in them. You couldn’t have water where I took the bar (coolers in the back) so the cough drops saved me from having to get up to get a drink.

          Just don’t crunch them, that would be really irritating to your fellow test takers! To get them into the exam, we had to unwrap them and put them on a tissue all lined up in front of the desk. That was fine with me!

          I even stuck 1-2 blueberry warheads in there in case I started to get tired…those will wake you up!

      • Parade Rainer :

        Oh, please don’t do this. Nothing will drive your fellow bar-takers nuts more than you crunching on candy. There’s also a strong chance it won’t be allowed–my state allowed absolutely no food or drink, including water. I have chronic dry mouth and knew I’d go into coughing fits if I didn’t have water for 3 hours, so I had to get special permission to have cough drops, and I was self-conscious the entire time I had one in my mouth to make no noise lest someone complain and I get them taken away.

        Also, any kind of “oil” conjures up memories of a girl in my dorms freshman year who soaked herself in lavender oil to relax. She smelled like rotten eggs and made those around her physically ill, and her poor roommate (who was desensitized from living with it) couldn’t figure out why no one wanted to hang out in her room and why her boyfriend insisted on opening the windows in January.

        I know there’s been debates on here about this kind of stuff and some people think others are just overly sensitive and they have a right to float about smelling like a garden and/or making loud noises, but the bar exam packed with high-anxiety people at 1000% of their stress capacity and hopped up on caffeine is not the place I’d want to test my rights.

        • River Song :

          You don’t have to crunch candy. I just sucked on it silently until it dissolved, but yes, you’re right, there’s nothing worse (or louder) than the sound of a plastic candy wrapper being unwrapped.

        • I can’t help but roll my eye to all of this. If a test-taker can’t block out the sound of someone unwrapping a piece of candy, practicing law is going to be hard for them. The suggestion was not to eat peppermint candy like you are an animal. I cannot imagine how a person eating a mint is going to harm anyone else. Also, if a test-taker’s situation is so precarious that a mint-eater is going to tip the scales, they’re probably not going to pass anyway.

          • And I’m pretty sure earplugs were allowed during my test taking. That was always the best at helping me focus – muting all the surrounding stupid noises. Including all the clackety-clack of the keyboard keys

      • Either origins or the body shop has a great peppermint calming cream i used behind my ears and writs

    • If you are in California: Bar Breakers by Jeff Adachi. Do the BarBri and PMBR stuff as rx’ed but in the last two weeks, focus on the BB.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Remember this is a test of minimum proficiency. You just have to pass. Think about all the idiots you know that are lawyers, and remember they passed, so you should have no trouble. (this is seriously mentally helpful). It’s just a test, allbeit a very long, annoying test. Do whatever has worked for you in the prior 20-something years of school to get you to this point.

      • This is a really good point. Basically, you just have to get a D or better to pass the bar. Most people leave the bar thinking they failed because if it were any other legitimate test, they probably would have.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Omg you just made me FREAK out. But my Bar prep starts tomorrow.

    • lucy stone :

      Give yourself a little break every day. I didn’t exercise regularly during law school, but during bar prep I spent 45 minutes on the elliptical every single day. I didn’t lose weight, but I also didn’t gain any, and it was nice to do something FOR ME.

      I also took a lunch break every day where I’d sit outside on campus and read a non-law book while I ate.

  9. Was thinking of the ‘rettes, especially Ru, when I got dressed this morning. Despite living in the rural South, for years I have dressed in black – head to toe black, or black relieved with ivory, white, gray or tan. When I visit NYC, people ask ME for directions. After a weekend shopping trip during which I purchased not one single black article of clothing, I am dressed this morning in color block pumps of gray, taupe and lavender, taupe pants, a flamingo pink cardigan and a slightly lighter shade of flamingo pink cotton structured shell. Thank you, ‘rettes! Other great ideas I’ve gotten from this website: Clarisonic, Dr. Jart’s BB Cream, how to proofread properly, NGDGCO, tightlining, a certainty that biglaw would not have suited me – nor I, it. Other great stuff too, that I just can’t think of right now. Love y’all!

  10. Hey peoples, I just wanted to share 2 random things:

    1. Just got back from Istanbul, Turkey. Freakin’ PHENOMENAL place – a wonderful mixture of all of the world’s civilizations in one place. I don’t think anyone can feel uncomfortable there – so if you’re looking for an exotic-ish vacation but still want European comforts, go there. GO. And the shopping is TO DIE FOR – superb fabric quality and cuts – modern and modest (and that’s just the Western style clothing). You have never seen such FASHUN. Look up the ticket prices ahead of time, I was able to score $600 roundtrip flights JFK-IST (depends on the time of year).

    2. Article on reverse leaders: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/05/find_the_reverse_leaders_in_yo.html. Self-actualization in my late-20’s – I think I am one of these people. Is weird to know that about yourself? Getting older is awesome. I see my supervisors trying to groom me to become a head honcho later on in my career but I’m resisting because I like being in the technical world. I know one day I’m going to have to give up the good fight and be a boss lady but I’ll enjoy being a super awesome peon for now.

    Happy Monday!

    • On 2. I was in a similar position. Felt like I was being groomed for leadership but didn’t always know if I was ready. It took me a long while to listen and learn and feel like I would be a good supervisor of people. Then getting to the point where I was willing to give up some of my day-to-day tasks in favor of administration. I am now in a position where I have the best of both worlds. Leadership and management, but still doing some of the other things I love (like teaching and contact with students – I’m an academic). I have learned enough about the step above me to know that I don’t want it. But it has taken me a long time (I’m now 47) to get where I am with all of it! Good luck and share the path with us.

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      “I know one day I’m going to have to give up the good fight and be a boss lady…” Not if you don’t want to. I prefer to serve as a leader by being a SME/individual contributor. I have no desire to manage people and have said so when asked about it by my managers over the past 15 years. My main reason is that I don’t do well with other people’s personal issues. Someone posted in the weekend thread about her boss’ reaction to some personal news, and I thought to myself I would’ve reacted in an awkward, uncomfortable way as well. Being a people manager requires an additional skillset that’s different from being a leader.

      • The thing is, I know that I’d be a great people manager, in addition to being a leader. And I have people managing skills in the awkward world of engineering, so it’s there – they all have my eye on me. Which is good and disconcerting. But just because I’m good at something doesn’t mean I have to do it. So we’ll see.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed your trip! I go to Istanbul fairly often because it’s my hubby’s hometown, and I agree that it’s an amazing place. Did you get to do anything “off the beaten path” while you were there? I always advise people to take a ferry trip to one of the Prince’s Islands — Buyuk ada or Burgaz ada — because they are so quaint. You can stand in a line forest and look across the Marmara Sea at this huge, teeming city. Also, I hope you found one of the dessert restaurants, Mado is the biggest chain and there are lots of others. Who ever knew you could get 57 different flavors of baklava??

      • I’m pi$$ed now that I didn’t try 57 flavors of baklava, only 6 or 7. We wanted to go to the Prince’s Islands but we decided to shop instead (I’m a Co*&^tte, with priorities, lol). Took a flight over to Izmir and then a train to Selcuk to visit Ephesus (left and came back the same day) – AMAZING ANCIENT ROMAN CITY STILL STANDING. It was a beautiful trip.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      On 1–yes! It’s so awesome. Everyone should go. And it’s fairly reasonably priced, especially compared to most of Europe. (I know a lot of the country may not like being constantly ignored for EU membership, but I for one appreciated the not-being-on-the Euro)

  11. TJ: My subdivision has a nice pool, and hubby and I love to go lay by it. However, as a redhead, I do try to limit my sun exposure, and there’s not really any shade available. Does anyone know of any kind of portable shade device that I could tote back and forth to the pool and use to cover my chair? Does such a thing exist? (house is about 2 blocks away, so it has to be relatively easy to carry that far back and forth, and, of course, a beach umbrella that requires sand to hold it up wouldn’t work). Hubby doesn’t mind the sun, so it really just has to be big enough for me.

    If not, would it be OK to bring something less easily portable but not permanant, leave it out of the way, and send out an email saying something like “Hey, you guys can use that if you want when I’m not around, just fold it up when you’re done (or whatever’s necessary so that it won’t get damaged in a storm), but if I’m there, I’d like first dibs.” Or is that just setting it up to get damaged and fall prey to petty squabbles (I’m new to the neighborhood, and, while my neighbors seem nice, I don’t know them very well.)

    • How about something like this? http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/58396?feat=beach%20shelter-SR0&attrValue_0=Blue

    • There are chairs that have shade on top something like this http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_10051_521703_-1?color=Zebra&Ntt=0021695689&Ntk=All&cid=CSE-GoogleProductSearch-0021695689

      which folds up and go. The email just seems a little.. I don’t know. Not passive aggressive, but like explaining you want first dibs seems like it has the potential to go the wrong way.

      • Yeah, I was a little bit worried about that. I could just fold something up and leave it in the club house and hope no one messes with it, but, since the pool stays pretty busy, I’d hate to find that someone else had already grabbed everytime I got there.

        • I think you could just carry it down to the pool when you go, since it folds. Or leave it in the clubhouse but label it with your name?

    • Same Situation :

      I am in the same situation. A couple years ago, we bought a nylon shade thing that rolls up into the size of a large yoga mat and goes into a bag with a shoulder strap. (It may be the size of a large yoga matt, but it is much heavier.)

      When unfurled, it is a nylon cabana that is wide enough for two lounges. You put the head-end of the lounge chairs under the nylon and the nylon covers to about your tummy. Your legs are in the sun, unless you are sitting straight up and your legs are indian-style. Basically, it is a nylon version of the classic resort pool style cabana.

      We bought it at Costco. They are also available online. I don’t recall the brand (and spelunking in the garage to find it right now isn’t an option), but it wasn’t too expensive and it seems well made enough to last for several years.

      • Same Situation :

        It is shaped like this (but it is unbranded):


  12. My cousin, who I am not close to but am friendly with, had an emergency c-section at 29 weeks over the weekend. Her child is just over 3 lbs and will be in the NICU for months. This is her first child after years of infertility treatments. She’s across the country, but I want to do/say/send something that will help even a little tiny bit during what must be an incredibly horrible experience. I have no children and no idea what that something is. What should I do?

    • They are going to be spending a lot of time at the hospital. Like a crap ton of time. Perhaps send a portable blanket and a nice neck pillow (like one of those ones for airline flying) with a note saying you hope this will make the time they have to stay at the hospital just a little more comfortable. And that you are thinking of them and the baby.

      Then a little later when they have time to come up for air they’re probably going to realize they don’t have any of their baby stuff yet, so you might be able to help coordinate with a few of your relatives to do a virtual baby shower. But not yet, the baby won’t be coming home for a good long time.

      • If you want to go the pillow/blanket route, I highly recommend Thermarest travel pillows (Campmor [dot] com has multiple sizes in prints and solids). I have given them as gifts and they’ve always been a hit for traveling and bringing something comfy when you’re sleeping in a strange place.

    • Do they live somewhere where they can pick up pre-made meals? They’re not going to have time to cook. Maybe you could get a gift certificate to a nice restaurant in their area and tell them to pick it up and eat it either at home or at the hospital. A baby that young normally can’t breastfeed, but your cousin may be pumping. Perhaps some reading material for while she pumps? Or a care basket for that: lanolin, breast pads, etc?

    • MaggieLizer :

      I’d probably go with a care package-type gift. You might consider coordinating with her to have a local restaurant deliver a dinner or two, have some groceries sent to her, or mail her a collection of healthy, portable snacks she can take with her to the hospital. Harry & David’s and similar sites also have some pretty fantastic cookies and fruit. It’s nice of you to think of this. Best wishes to your cousin and her baby.

    • Supportive e-mail, text, call and/or card. (And keep them up periodically during the time the baby’s in the hospital. Often things come in a spurt at the beginning and then peter out.) Just say you’re thinking/praying for her, the baby, and the medical team.

      Gift card to food places near hospital or house.

      Delivered meal that can be re-heated.

      House cleaning or anything else that will simplify life for her so she can spend more time at the hospital

      Before the baby goes home, check on current weight/size and send diapers and/or appropriately sized clothes. (Baby will probably still be small enough that premie clothes are more appropriate.)

      Do not send flowers now. Odds are they aren’t allowed in NICU and no one will be at the house to appreciate them.

      • This is great advice, especially the bit about staying in touch. Set a calendar reminder to email every Monday or something—not requesting an update, just a “thinking of you.”

        You’re a good cousin.

    • Jacqueline :

      This happened to a friend of mine. They were so overwhelmed and emotional — and they basically moved into the hospital for the next few months. Everyone’s suggestions are great, especially the meal and cleaning ideas. Anything to make their lives a little easier will be greatly appreciated, since they’re not going to have the time or the emotional energy to deal with life outside of the hospital.

      • Jacqueline :

        Also, best wishes to your cousin and her baby. You’re very thoughtful to think of doing something for her.

    • When my boys were in the NICU a group of our friends sent us a care package with gift cards to local casual restaurants (places that you could easily carry-out), a journal (which I periodically go back and read), snacks, lotion (the antibacterial soap you have to use for the NICU is very drying) and a Target gift card (for baby supplies). Of all the gifts we received when the boys were born, this was by far the most useful.

      Sending many happy thoughts and prayers to your cousin and her baby.

    • Agreed on the gift cards to local restaurants. I know when some of my relatives dealt with the long term hospitalization of a family member, they did a lot of eating out in the vicinity of the hospital. You may want to check with a relative who lives close by who can tell you what restaurants near the hospital are their favorites.

  13. Calling DC 'rettes! :

    My little brother is graduating from college and moving to DC in the fall for his first real job. As a graduation gift, I’d love to get him something experience oriented for the city…. can you think of anything? A membership to something fun/ intellectually interesting?


    • What is he into? Art? Music? Books? Sports?

    • If he doesn’t have his own bike, maybe a Capitol Bikeshare membership?

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      Newseum membership

    • Calling DC 'rettes! :

      These are awesome ideas — thanks all!

    • Second the bikeshare membership. Or a SmarTrip card. Or tickets to a Nationals game (or Redskins, or Caps). Or a series of small gift certficates to Cheap Eats-type places at different Metro stops throughout the city, so he has a reason to get out and explore.

  14. I love this!

  15. SoCal Gator :

    Just tried on but did not buy a Theory suit yesterday. Having lost a bunch of weight, I now fit into that brand perfectly and it did look amazing. But it’s so expensive and the sales person says it never goes on sale. Are there strategies to get a good price on a Theory suit or do you just have to bite the bullet and pay full price? And is it worth the hefty price tag when I can get a suit at a place like Ann Taylor that fits well?

    • are you in new york? currently there’s a theory sample sale going on at clothingline (google it) and it ends today. i think a lot of the merchandise is current season and they just took price reductions. otherwise, check out the theory outlet.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      The Nordie’s Anniversary Sale usually has a Theory suit. I also have seen Theory pop up on my Shop It To Me emails, so I think that sales associate is wrong.

    • Diana Barry :

      Did you go to an actual Theory store, or a dept store, or an outlet? I got 25% off my theory suit and $100 off using my Bloomie’s coupons and their personal shoppers during one of their seasonal sales, but I have no experience with the Theory non-outlet stores. The outlet prices are definitely better, but the fits may be off if the items are seconds or made for the outlet.

      • River Song :

        Like Diana, I used Bloomingdale’s. I had picked the suit out there, and signed up for the store’s emails, which I figured would have coupons, and they did eventually. That plus a sale made it affordable (somewhat). You might just have to be patient, look at a few stores, pick your suit, and wait. Stalk that suit.

    • If you are in NYC, you should go to the Theory Company Store, at 139 Fifth Avenue, 2nd Floor (NY, NY 10010). Everything there is 30-50% off!! And they have a ton of sizes. And the majority of it is current stuff. FYI, it’s no returns. The last time I checked, the hours were MTuWF 10-7, Th 10-8, Sat 12-5, and closed on Sunday.

      • Thanks for this tip. I’ve been to the Woodbury Commons outlet store and the Clothingline sample sales. I didn’t realize I have a third option!!!

    • SoCal Gator :

      Wow. Great suggestions. I just looked up and found two Theory outlets within decent driving distance so I am going to check them out. I will also keep an eye out for the Nordie anniversary sale and Bloomies, Saks and Neiman friends and family coupons. Thanks!

    • anon in SF :

      Do you live near a theory outlet? There is one outside of Boston, in the Wrentham Village Outlets, and one outside New York. Others too, I’m sure. I have had great success at the outlets, they tend to have a good selection so you aren’t just digging through left overs and odd sizes. The basic black suits are about 30% less than retail, and sometimes unusual colors go on deeper sales. I got most of my theory suits via the outlet.

      Agree they don’t tend to be marked down at department stores. But you can often get a discount using coupons, friends and family promos, etc.

    • Love Theory Too :

      You can also sign up for the Theory emails. I get emails from Theory all the time about 25% off sales and free shipping.

  16. Theory Sale Hunter :

    Check to see if there is a Theory outlet near you. They’re fabulous, and you can get some really great deals. One word of caution, though. They’ve started carrying some outlet-only fabrics that aren’t as nice as the regular Theory. For a traditional suit, look for “Tailor” fabric. It’s their main fabric and you can mix and match tons of tops and bottoms if you get a consistent color — I think I have 5 separates in “Dark Charcoal”.

    If an outlet isn’t an option, keep an eye on Neiman Marcus and Saks. Theory is almost always included in their Friends & Family type events.

  17. moving to CA :

    I’m taking the CA bar exam in July, but am continuing to work full time in my current job while I study. Anyone have stories to share of how you pulled this off? I’m a little worried that I just don’t have time to do all of this. (FWIW, I also have a toddler and am moving to CA in August, so things are a little insane.)

    • I’m doing the same, but for NY, and no kiddo. So, no great advice, but commisseration on the long days that are ahead of us. I’m going to do my best to keep up with the pace, but weekends will definitely be used to catch-up and do more than what is scheduled to maybe get ahead…

    • No kids, but I studied while working full time for my second bar. Here are my tips:

      (1) Use your lunch break. I closed my door, ate my lunch, and did an hour of practice questions. I also used this technique if I felt home was too busy to study (we were moving, too). I’d come in an hour early and bang out some questions, or I’d stay late.

      (2) Study for an hour after the kiddo goes to bed. There’s a guy at my firm who has small kids and is studying for the bar. He swears by doing an hour or two after the kids are all in bed.

      (3) Is it possible for your partner (if you have one) to take over some of the kid-care on the weekends so you could have half a day on Sat/Sun to study?

      I found that the second go-round I needed less substantive study and just did LOTS and LOTS of practice problems. That was the best way for me to maximize my time .

      • moving to CA :

        Thanks! I am doing the Attorney Exams, so I don’t need to do practice multiple choice questions (thank god) but I should probably just focus on writing essays. Same principle, just different format.

        • Oh, that’s so much better. The MC questions were honestly what freaked me out the most about the exam.

          Best of luck to you. Just set a schedule and keep to it as much as possible. The second time around will be easier than the first.

    • karenpadi :

      Honestly, I think you are going to need to take some time off. I’ve seen many attorneys try to take the CA bar exam when working full time and, to be honest, it’s a 100% failure rate. Look no further than Kathleen Sullivan, the Dean of Stanford Law School. Despite being a amazing legal mind, she failed it her first time around.

      Is there any way you can take a month off to study? Many of the attorneys I know passed the second time around when they took the time off.

      • moving to CA :

        I’m taking two weeks off to study, but this is freaking me out and making me think I should take more time. Arghh.

    • I worked 20 hours a week until just below the bar exam, and took plenty of time to enjoy myself, work out, etc (didn’t study on Sundays, went to the gym 4x/week). I just didn’t let myself fall behind, I did all the BarBri work and also did PMBR (does that still exist?), and I got enough sleep so my mind was clear during the day. You can do it.

    • I’m doing this for Texas so I feel the pain and insanity. Good luck!

    • I only had 3 weeks to study for the full CA exam (long story). It was my first bar. No kids at the time. I did 12 hours per day. I tend to be a crammer anyway and a very strong test taker. It was nerve-wracking but enough time. I listened to the barbri lectures, created detailed outlines, and didn’t worry about trying to memorize stuff in the books that wasn’t covered in the lectures. I didn’t have a whole lot of time for practice exams because I just needed to get through the lectures/material, but I did as many as I could squeeze in. For my next bar 1.5 years later I took 2 weeks off and that was fine. Much easier exam though and experience goes a long way for calming nerves

  18. TJ: I need help from the hive to find a swimsuit. I refuse to spend a lot of money on a swimsuit because I hate wearing them. :) I’m looking for a suit that won’t accentuate my small bust and will hide as much of my thighs as possible. Ideally, I think I’d like a one piece and skirt-thingy that actually provides some coverage, which seems surprisingly hard to find. Any ideas? I have seen a few things in plus size, but the length of the skirt seems to shrink in my size, rendering it useless for my purposes.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Have you thought about maybe doing a board shorts/tankini top combo? I see this at the beach pretty often and it’s both comfortable and functional.

    • May I make a humble suggestion, for years I bought things I thought would hide my thighs or make them look better (every low cut, skirted suit imaginable). Then I bought a suit with a higher thigh cut on the advice of a fashion mag…not believing them of course, and it actually was more flattering on my larger thighs. The skirts always did nothing but emphasize the area, IMO.

      If you’re really sensitive about the area, I’d get a “normal” suit with a wrap. That’s going to be infinitely more flattering then the skirted suits, which are going to be mostly aimed at the slightly more um…older set.

      But if you’re married to a skirted option, I’d check out Target, they have a few options. I kind of like this one: http://www.target.com/p/ASSETS-by-Sara-Blakely-Women-s-Halter-Swim-Dress-Pink/-/A-13860303#?lnk=sc_qi_detailimage

    • Lands’ End and LLBean offer separate tops & bottoms including skirts and shorts but their regular prices may not fit your price guidelines. Both offer occasional swimwear sales but supply may not include your preferred garment, size, or color (hmm…I guess that applies to all sales!). You can buy online and return to their real-world stores (Sears for Lands’ End).

      • I have a high cut black one piece with ruching around the belly that I bought at Target. This really does the trick. The skirt things just make me look fatter, like an elephant wearing a dress.

    • I second Lands End for both quality and fit. I bought my last suit from their ‘inlet’ and got each piece for around $15 (board shorts and tankini). I think they also have pieces on their sale/clearance area on the website.

      Good luck – I HATE swimsuit shopping.

  19. Robin Sparkles :

    I need styling help. I bought a navy sequined dress (knee length) for a fancy dress gala fundraiser thing, and now I’m having trouble deciding on shoes and jewelry. I’m have some thoughts, but keep feeling blah about them. Any suggestions? (link to dress below)

    • Robin Sparkles :


    • ooh, pretty! With a dress that sparkly, I’d keep the jewelry to a minimum, similarly to how the model is styled. For shoes, I envision satin peep toes, color up to you – black, silver, a pop of something bright? (Metallic strappy heels could look great, too).

    • I like the idea of silver metallics with that, like a silver metallic strappy sandle or peep toe with a metallic clutch.

      You could also go with another color. Like maybe a purple or green. I’d usually say red with blue like that, but I worry it would start to look patriotic (unless you’re into that sort of thing. ;-)

    • I think nude-for-you shoes with delicate silver jewelry like the model’s. And a smile (unlike the model). Have fun!

    • just Karen :

      Absolutely stunning dress – I think strappy metallics would be awesome – my normal go-to is silver, but I think bronze would be gorgeous with the navy.

    • I would wear a chunky but non-sparkly bracelet in either silver or gold and some fantastic bright pink but not-very-dangly earrings. No necklace or cocktail ring. I would go with black shoes, but that’s just because that’s what I own, and it would allow the earrings and necklace to pop.

      BTW, if you didn’t know — Rent the Runway rents jewelry, too. It’s a relatively cheap way to add something fabulous to your outfit.

    • Gr, my first attempt is in moderation:

      I would wear a chunky but non-sparkly bracelet in either silver or gold and some fantastic bright pink but not-very-dangly earrings. No necklace or c*cktail ring. I would go with black shoes, but that’s just because that’s what I own, and it would allow the earrings and necklace to pop.

      BTW, if you didn’t know — Rent the Runway rents jewelry, too. It’s a relatively cheap way to add something fabulous to your outfit, especially if you’re feeling “blah” about your current accessories wardrobe.

    • Awesome dress. I might do simple silver post or stud earrings, no necklace, maybe a silver bangle, and then go with a bold, statement lipstick.

  20. Jacqueline :

    Can anyone recommend a good high-waisted (or at least medium-waisted) skinny jean? I like my skinnies, but they’re all so low-rise that when I sit down I feel like I’m going to fall out of them.

    • I love American apparel skinnies (about 80 a pop and 15% off and free shipping online). I buy diesel skinnies when I can find them used.

    • Lauren by Ralph Lauren classic straight. Macy’s.

    • Old Navy Sweetheart Jeans. $22 – $30 and the rise is perfect: not up to your armpits but manageably midrise. LOVE.

    • Urban Outfitters’ house brand. They are awesome.

  21. Solar eclipse anyone? Who also saw it?

  22. momentsofabsurdity :

    Dear Banana:

    WTF is this dress?


    I know you make beautiful clothes but this is just unfortunate.

    • Are they trying to be Downton Abbey… and not really succeeding?

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I just sometimes want to ask the designer if they have even LOOKED at the dress they’ve designed (which is making their presumably slim and beautiful model look like she’s carrying a good 20 extra pounds…)

    • I feel like there is an idea of a pretty dress in there somewhere, but the execution is, indeed, unfortunate.

      • I feel like this could look better w/ the tie front tied higher on the waist into a tight knot instead of this low-hung loosey goosey business. A different color might help, too. The rose is just… musty. Deep blue might be good.

      • I wonder if they just made a mistake with the pattern-cutting, and when the factories made a bunch, and it became clear they were a f–kup, the company decided to sell them to recoup as much of the cost as possible.

        I refuse to believe that this was how the designer intended the dress to look. It’s a mess.

    • Hilarious!
      Can’t believe it has 5 reviews too!

    • As a soft and squishy lady, this would actually look pretty fabulous on me compared to most gowns.

  23. Question about Nordstrom (… not exactly price matching, but I don’t know what else to call it…)

    I bought a dress from Nordstrom a few weeks ago (maybe even 2 months ago), and now it is on sale. I haven’t worn the dress yet, and I still have receipt. They no longer have it in my size online or in the store, can I ask them to credit my card with the difference between what I paid and the new sales price? I really don’t want to return it and then buy it again, but it’s a difference of like $50, which would be lovely to have.

  24. Grr. Rant. A woman in my office is pregnant (about 4 months) and has been at “appointments” (presumably doctor’s appointments) two days per week, and doesn’t come into the office until 2pm. Of course, I hope her health is okay and Baby’s is too, and I don’t want to pry. Her doctor is near her home and she commutes about 1 hr, which may be why the appointments take so long. I want to be sensitive but most of her work is falling on my shoulders.

    I know it’s unfair that I’m annoyed by this and I’m honestly just venting, not complaining to any superiors or to her. I really am trying to be as accommodating as possible since I hope one day, people will be for me as well (especially if something is wrong with hers or the baby’s health!). Just annoyed today because a major project that was meant to be her responsibility just fell onto my shoulders since she will be out T/W/Th until 3pm each day, which means I will be working through Memorial Day weekend to get it and my other work done. Sigh.

    • Anon for This :

      I feel you. I’m experiencing a similar issue with a co-worker who’s often out for health reasons. I really appreciate that I work somewhere where the firm is accommodating of that because I could need it sometime. And, of course, I feel terrible that she’s having a rough time. But it’s difficult to balance with my resentment of how difficult it makes me life. (And to top it off, because she’s senior to me, it feels like a lose/lose situation for me – I take over much of her work when she’s not here, but am then instantly demoted back to the junior role when she is here).

    • From the other side - :

      I’m a newly pregnant associate, and we’ve learned that I’m a high-risk pregnancy and that starting around 15 weeks, I’ll have doctor’s appointments at least weekly. Also, because I will be seeing a doctor who specializes in high-risk pregnancies, my appointments will be an hour’s drive – each way -from my office. So my best-case scenario will miss only a half day from work every week.

      So, I have about two months to prepare for this, and have not yet disclosed at work. I’ve been thinking about what I need to do to cover my own b*tt, yet this rant has me wondering – if you could speak without reservation or tact to your co-worker, what do you wish she would do during this period so that you wouldn’t resent this? Face time, communication, organization, frequent apologies and chocolate, etc. I’d really love to handle this situation in a manner that would enable my colleagues to respect me professionally, or at least not resent me.

      Thanks for your input…

      • Anon for This :

        One thing might be to suggest to your bosses a plan for accomplishing the work you won’t be able to do so it doesn’t fall on one person’s shoulders. I think we (or at least I and the OP here) are aware that none of this is the absent co-worker’s fault, which is why we’re saying it here anonymously and qualifying it with this “Isn’t fair, but . . .” Because it’s not, and I certainly don’t and would never hold it against my co-worker. But when my work life is being constantly disrupted it’s really hard, and it’s something I think a good manager really needs to step in and address to make sure workload is distributed evenly.

      • I think communication and a knowledge of where her work is going. I know my manager should be aware of this and proactively distributing her work broadly, but that hasn’t happened. I know this shouldn’t fall on her shoulders, but if my coworker would notice and speak up – hey, I know my time is limited and I can’t work on this but it seems like Anon is getting all of it — can Coworker help?

        Additionally, it would be helpful if my coworker just spoke to me directly, “Hey, I am going to be out a lot and I know it is falling on your shoulders, I’m sorry about that,” I think that would help. Now its just big blocks on her calendar and my manager going “Oh you need to do this project now.”

    • Hm. At four months, most women have monthly appointments, not twice weekly appointments, so I would assume something is going on. If that makes you any more sympathetic.

      Is is reasonable to go to the boss and state the facts “Ms X is gone x hours a week right now, and I’m happy to step up and help, but I’m afraid work product is suffering from a lack of manpower. Can we get person Y to also help out in the short term?” As I’m sure you know, managers like it when people come to them with solutions rather than problems. If you frame it in terms of work product, etc, you may get more traction and sound less like your whining.

      PS: I don’t hear you as whining. But someone who doesn’t want to deal with the problem might.

      • Anon for this :

        I have had a similar issue for the past two years with a colleague with major medical issues who wants to “keep working”. It is very difficult: we are a small office and even “sharing” her work puts me behind. When she IS at work, she takes credit for most of the work coming out of “her” area, even though much of it is done by others, including me. I feel like a jerk sometimes for being so annoyed as she is seriously ill and the long term prognosis is not good. Our HR person knows the situation but hasn’t been able to do much about it. I feel like all I can really do is smile, grit my teeth, and keep going. It’s not bad enough for me to leave, but it sure has made what was a great job a few years ago less satisfying.

  25. Yep, I’ve done this a few times, and they will credit you back the money. It is quite nice :)

  26. Threadjack: Am planning to ask husband for a divorce; am not a lawyer, need divorce help.

    We are in our mid-forties, married 25 years. No issues of adultery/alcoholism/abuse, etc.
    2 children, in expensive private colleges; both of us have their education as highest priority, so I am not worried that we won’t be able to work something out.

    House is fully paid off; nothing of particular sentimental value to me other than personal belongings. We have several million dollars saved up, much of it actually in my name for legal purposes (H owns a small business) but he has been the administrator of most of it, so while there is plenty of money there, I don’t have a lot of access to it immediately.

    I am pulling together copies of all our financial statements, our will, house deed, etc. H is notoriously cheap but extremely fair, which leads me to believe that his reaction will be to want to minimize lawyer’s fees and tax implications. Honestly, if I get half I’m more than set; my job is well paying and extremely stable and my needs are few. I’m just financially very naive as he handled much of this (I know, I know …)

    Am meeting with a lawyer this Fri. What do I need to do / have done / have set up, etc. before I drop the bomb? My biggest fear is that I drop the bomb prematurely without having whatever needs to be done set up.

    Oh – I have supportive family and friends in the area so even if I moved out on a minute’s notice, I have places to stay.
    Thanks in advance

    • I can’t comment too much on the substance, but one thing you said (“his reaction will be to want to minimize lawyer’s fees and tax implications”) made me write just to say that NO MATTER WHAT, do not share a lawyer. This is a good way to save money, and it is allowed if both parties consent to waiving the conflict of interest, but it is almost always a terrible idea, and one party winds up dominating the process. You are already meeting with your own lawyer, so this might not even come up, but if your husband proposes it, either with your lawyer or another, please say no. I have seen very smart women fall into the trap of thinking this will make the process smoother…only to find out that it smoothly allowed them to get screwed. Make sure you have someone whose only job is to advocate for YOU. That doesn’t mean it has to be contentious.
      As for your meeting, the bomb doesn’t drop for real until you actually file. So your initial meeting with the lawyer doesn’t have to be the jump-off point unless you want to say something at that time.
      Good luck; I’m sorry you’re having to go through the end of a marriage.

      • AGREED! I did, I relied on his “good” nature and lost pretty much everything. Get your own attorney. The divorce process doesn’t need to be contentious; you need someone representing your best interests.

      • On the other hand.... :

        I’ve also been there too, and while all of the advice given is sound, I just wanted to say that in my situation we shared a lawyer and attended a settlement conference in which the lawyer was the neutral who drew up the pre-filing settlement agreement based on our paperwork and agreement at the conference. It worked well for us. However, our situation was much different than yours – very little money saved, house with huge mortgage, no children, and great disparity in income. By sharing a lawyer, I probably gave up more than I should, but on the other hand, it would have cost more to fight than I would have achieved. I just don’t want everyone to think sharing a lawyer is a non-starter. And I’m a lawyer – maybe that helped, maybe it hurt – I don’t know. What I do know is that you absolutely must not tell him until you know what you (both) have, your options, and you are prepared for any reaction. Even though you said you are going to be the one initiating this, I’m sorry you will have to go through the emotional turmoil that comes with ending a marriage. Best of luck to you.

    • I agree with Nellie – meeting with a lawyer doesn’t necessitate dropping a bomb immediately. I’d talk to your lawyer about what s/he thinks you should do before telling your husband you want to divorce. Just make sure that, to the greatest extent possible, you know about all the marital property and debts so that you can make sure your lawyer is fully informed before she advises you.

    • Don’t say anything to hubby until your lawyer counsels you that you are ready. He/she may want you to get copies of as many documents/account numbers/listing of assets before hand, so hubby cannot hide anything later. Also, not to be pessimistic, because truly “every” divorce varies, but I had a friend in a similar position who also said there was no way financially well off hubby would try to screw her-she only wanted her half and she knew he had many opportunities to make more $$ in the future w/o her-well, her divorce took over 2 years and cost over $200K in legal fees in a very small, regional city. Hubby fought her on EVERYTHING….they had far fewer assets than you guys (despite well paying jobs), so the legal fees basically ate up her entire settlement (outside of what she got for the house, which wasn’t much after mortgage was paid off). Good luck to you-theirs was a shorter term marriage with minor children, so I hope your situation will be a lot less contentious.

    • Been There :

      * don’t tell hubby until you have interviewed lawyers, chosen one, signed a retainer agreement and lawyer tells you to tell hubby
      * do not share lawyer
      * do not “not have” a lawyer (ie, don’t have just a single mediator who “guides” you both through your own process — this is [email protected]#*t)
      * make sure to talk to your lawyer about tuition and pension and Social Security issues
      * don’t assume you know how hubby will react

    • well, I’ll be the contrarian voice here, as someone who actually did her own paperwork, without a lawyer. My ex and I just decided that 1) we were both knowledgeable about the finances, and 2) we both wanted to minimize costs, and 3) we’d always been good at logistics. (Indeed, that was about the only thing we were good at, yet it allowed us to have a quite easy divorce after a terrible, abusive, marriage. Strange, but true.). Doing it ourselves worked out just fine; and the divorce cost less than changing the name on my passport!

      actually, now that I reread your post, what jumps out at me is that you’re not super aware/involved with the finances. In that case, probably want a lawyer and/or accountant to make sure you really know what’s what and what pieces of paper you need.

      What to do: get copies of taxes, mortgage, retirement accounts, other investment accounts and bank account, as much as you can find about his small business, pension paperwork, kids tuition bills. Your attorney should guide you through making sure you have all the paperwork.

      I moved out of a lovely house with a newly remodelled kitchen, into a little townhome, and have been thankful every second=)

      • Thank you all. I absolutely will have my own lawyer. My biggest fear is short-term cash flow, as we have money, I just don’t have access to it and can’t do anything with it without calling his attention to it.

        • Your own paycheck :

          Ask your attorney (once you get one) whether and when it is kosher for you to start having your own paycheck go directly to your own, new, you-only checking account. If you can do that as soon as you tell hubby, maybe you won’t have cash flow issues?

          • Anonymous :

            Thanks. Extended family members are going to gift me 13K and I’ll open up a new account. Lawyer says if it’s documented as gift to me, it won’t be viewed as marital property.

  27. Warning: long, rambling career question.

    Until recently, I was an associate at a litigation firm. That firm was acquired by a another firm, and I was left behind. I had already realized that litigation was not my passion. My plan was to look for a different path after at least 2 years of working there. Now I find myself looking for a new job much earlier. I’ve been thinking about what I liked and didn’t like about litigation. I really enjoyed the initial stages – analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of a potential case, doing legal research, and discussing overall strategy with partners. Before working at the firm, I loved being a law clerk, because it was all about research and writing from an objective perspective, rather than advocacy. I think I will be happier in a job that is more advisory and less adversarial, if that makes sense. I don’t mind public speaking, I can manage other people (I was on the executive boards of many student organizations and was an editor on a journal), I like learning new things, and I like research and writing. In law school, my favorite courses were all related to IP, media law, and telecommunications.

    So now I’m confused. I do have a lead for an adjunct position in an undergraduate legal studies program. I definitely think that I would enjoy academia, but it is probably too early in my career to get a full-time position. I have been looking for entry level in-house positions, but I am on the low end of the 2-5 years of experience most companies ask for. Are there other options I haven’t even considered yet?

    • Profiling (not *that* kind) :

      There is a profile for tenure track law teaching. You either fit the profile or you don’t.

      You need to spend some time on the AALS website. Also, there is some law prof who runs a blog about the law professor job market. Terms like “meat market” (the annual job fair hosted in DC by AALS in November) and “job talk” will become part of your life. As will the concept that your life is based on the year-long process run by AALS that includes the meat market and the idea of moving to some small town in the middle of nowhere because that’s the only offer you got.

      The profile:

      * JD from NYU, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Michigan, Chicago or Texas.
      * no more than 3 years in an AmLaw 200 or better firm.
      * at least one article published in a primary journal of a top 50 or 100 law school.
      * at least one clerkship, preferably federal, preferably appellate.

      Some of this you can change. Some of it you can’t. It’s not about you. Which I learned when I (a top 14 Law Review alumna and a partner in an AmLaw 200 firm) went through the entire process and came out with one offer by a lower second tiered school in a town I wasn’t interested in my own state that paid very, very little. I was crushed, not just professionally but personally. What was wrong with me! I was a hot-s#*t litigator in federal court in BigLaw. Why had I failed?

      And then a friend who is a very experienced HR professional but knows nothing about the law market or academe responded with this sentence upon hearing my story: “Oh, so you didn’t fit the profile. What’s the profile?”

      • Anon for this... :

        This definitely is the preferred profile, but it is not set in stone – see:


    • Just hired... :

      If you are interested at teaching (adjunct or full-time) at some point in the future, the best thing you can do is write. The longer you practice without writing scholarly works—i.e., law review articles—the more suspicious schools will be that you are not really interested in scholarship.

    • In House Counsel :

      If you enjoy research/writing and counselling, have you perhaps considered compliance work? There is a lot of work in the privacy/data security section which would relate to your interests in IP/media/telecom. Perhaps consider sitting for the CIPP certification to bolster your resume?

  28. Golf on friday- I’ve never golfed before. What are some good basics to buy for golf? I have no idea what people wear and it’s going to be a hot summer with weekly golf. Could use head to toe advice- have absolutely no idea what kind of pants (or shorts???) I should wear. Can I wear a hat/visor? Can I bring a water bottle? Are black sneakers okay? Thanks!

    • Maddie Ross :

      As a fairly avid golfer, I think the responses to these questions depend a lot on the location and the situation. Are you golfing with clients? A friend? As a summer associate on a planned firm outing? If you give more info, I will try to tailor my responses, but here are my general thoughts: You are safe in shorts or a skirt (I prefer skorts, though I would never wear one in “real” life), but your shorts or skirt really must be knee length or close to it. I would definitely wear a collared shirt. Visor and hats are more than fine. I personally find it hard to golf in sunglasses, so always wear some sort of hat. Are you planning on taking up golf as a regular hobby? If so, I would invest in a golf glove (about $15) and golf shoes (anywhere from $50-150). If this is a one time thing, tennis shoes are fine. I don’t think there’s an inherent problem with black sneakers, but it probably wouldn’t be my choice. Water bottles are definitely fine to bring too, although most courses also have water stations set up and a cart that comes around with drinks and snacks to purchase. Whether you bring your own (IMHO) would again depend on the situation.

      • I have an upcoming mix of client golf, couples golf and charity golf- would rather have the same basics for everything since this was a very unexpected expense of my new job and new city. I was hoping to get everything I needed at a secondhand store so knowing materials and brands to look for would really help. My main sport is fencing so…. All my clothing is wrong basically. The skirt option for golf intrigues me.

        • Maddie Ross :

          If you have several events, I would definitely invest in some appropriate clothes. My favorite golf skort I got at D*cks sporting goods on clearance for like $11. If you have a polo shirt already, see if you can get a skort or shorts that match it to save money. Clothing brands that are golf specific and not generally too expensive for ladies include Lady Hogan and Slazenger. Adidas, Under Armour and Nike also make golf clothes. If you really don’t want to buy something new, wear your longest pair of khaki shorts or khaki pants/capris. If you have places like Play it Again Sports, those can be a great place to find golf spikes (sometimes barely or never used). A glove you should buy new (at least, in my opinion; I go thru them quickly because I sweat so much). It goes on your non-dominant hand.

          • Thanks so much! In terms of colour, does the outfit just have to match? Are there taboo colours?

          • Try TJ Maxx if there is one near you. I’ve managed to get some pretty reasonably priced golf shirts there. Basically you want something that is in a moisture wicking fabric with a collar. I always wear skorts when I play golf, but didn’t purchase any till I really took up the game. Before then, I just wore longer shorts or capris. It is helpful if you pick something with pockets so you have somewhere to put extra balls and tees. I think the most important thing is getting a golf glove. You could end up with a bad case of blisters without it. I wouldn’t worry too much about having a coordinating outfit. There are no taboo colors…of course it would look odd if you showed up in all neon colors though.

        • I had a golf event awhile back, and I’m not a golfer. I got a khaki skort, despite that I would never ever ever (did you hear me, never ever) be caught dead in (a) khaki or (b) a skort anywhere else. Wore a collared polo on top of that. If you’re not going to take up golfing, you don’t need golf shoes. You can wear running shoes. This will look dorky, but it’s acceptable. I don’t think there are taboo colors. Not sure what you mean about “Does the outfit have to match?” You should look coordinated and pulled together, but that’s pretty easy with a basic skort (black or khaki) plus top of your choice.

          Get a visor, too, to shield your eyes. Second the sunscreen rec.

    • Former Summer Associate Events-Only Golfer :

      * Hat
      * Sunscreen
      * Cute but not expensive golf shorts and golf shirt outfit. I bought (15-ish years ago) a cute Liz Claiborne one with black and white checked shorts and a collared sleeveless shirt (shirt white, collar and placket same black and white checks).
      * glove (whatever cheapest one is in your local sports store)
      * shoes are not necessary. running shoes or court shoes are fine.

      * if you will be part of an event, there may be cold drinks and snacks at every other tee or being driven around in a cart for your convenience. Someone who has been in BigLaw more recently may tell me that this no longer happens. Otherwise, bring water and nuts (or whatever snacks you like). Don’t bring anything meltable. No purse — backpack or other sports bag.

    • MaineSusan :

      The “wearing” part of golf is easy, shorts, a collared shirt and definitely a hat with a brim or a visor. Probably your first purchase should be soft spike golf shoes, sneakers are okay but golf shoes will really help. You can get a good pair of waterproof golf shoes for around $100. Also get a golf glove for your non-dominant hand. Good luck. Have a fun. Hit them long and straight.

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