Thursday’s TPS Report: Ponte Snap-Front Jacket

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

Tahari Ponte Snap-Front Jacket Last Call by Neiman Marcus has a number of ponte blazers on sale right now (see also). I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again — I love this kind of shrunken, knit blazer, particularly for the summer, because they’re almost as comfy as a cardigan but with a lot more authority. This Tahari snap-front jacket (with nice ruching details at the back and on the shoulders) looks great for wearing with navy, black, gray, and more. Was $188, now marked to $115, but with the current sale it comes down to $80.50. Tahari Ponte Snap-Front Jacket

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


  1. Whew, the jeans on that model! The rise is a shade on the high side.

    • Mannequin, not model. I’m sure that’s the entire difference!

      • I’m a little slow on the uptake, but I think I just got it–the cami looks like an extension of the jeans!

    • I agree! It is Lucky it is a manequuin b/c the tuchus is to perfect to be real! Otherwise my dad would NEVER stop bothereing me about mine.

      My dad attended the ABA Ethic’s Webinar for me and he NOW tell’s me that I should NOT be a partner, even if there is NO capital contribution! OMG! Now I am literally screwed if I agree. He says that the partnership is under insured, under CAPITALIZED, and is doieng alot of things that are NOT to ethical, so I should NOT be a partner to this MESS (his word’s!).

      I was counteing on being a Partner, b/c Myrna said my marketeability will increase exponeentieally if I was a Partner, but Now I have my dad saying FOOEY to the whole enchelada! I do NOT want to put good money after bad, he says, and it was lucky he sat in on the CLE, he told me, b/c that sealed the deal for him.

      I am NOT sure what I am goieng to do now, mabye just be a judge or a law professeaor, but he does NOT want for me to be a partner. He said I could stay, but NOT in an EQUITEY capacity (whatever that mean’s).

      I am goieing to get more detail from Dad when Myrna and I go there this weekend to discuss b/c Myrna has alot of financial expereience that I do NOT so she can advice me also. DOUBEL FOOEY, b/c I want men to see what a sucess I am and if I am NOT a judge or a partner, I am NOT sure I can.

  2. Good morning ladies, follow up question from yesterday’s post on saving money/budgeting. Do you ladies have different budgets for Restaurants/Eating Out, and then Entertainment? For example if you go out to dinner with a friend, does that count as restaurant, or does that count under an entertainment budget?

    • seriously? i think we need some new food for though…

    • I separate them out b/c I tend to eat out way more than I go to the movies, theater etc. and I try to keep track of just how much I’m spending on restaurants. Not sure anon’s problem b/c this is definitely something I considered while figuring out how to set up my budget.

    • I have separate budgets for the two. In fact, I even separate lunch and dinners out with my hubs because I generally try to bring my lunch to work.

      • Diana Barry :

        We have separate for “eating out” and “entertainment” but the “eating out” budget is much larger, since that’s mostly what we do when we go out.

    • I would count that as restaurant – but I go out to eat a lot for fun, and don’t really go to movies/concerts/plays. So, I don’t have an “entertainment” budget at all, and my restaurant budget is pretty large. You should do whichever works best for your income and expenses.

    • I count all eating out as Entertainment. It helps prevent me from going out to eat when I am too lazy too cook, because it cuts into my doing-something-fun budget. And that’s why I eat a can of tuna for dinner at least once a week.

      • Can of tuna, apples and peanut butter, bowl of cereal, all perfectly viable dinner choices.

    • I don’t track expenses at this level, but I just want to say that it doesn’t really matter what other people do. What matters is the level at which YOU need or want to track your expenses. If you eat out a lot and want to track dining separately from other entertainment because you want to look at it separately, then do. Categorizing expenses, like many other things in life, depends entirely on your patterns and your concerns, unless you’re tracking for other purposes, such as taxes.

      • Yes yes I realize that but hearing others’ opinions and habits is helpful if I’m just getting started on really organizing my Mint account.

        • On a related note, know yourself and what works for you. If you prefer a simpler system, then you may not want to create a bunch of categories. I don’t keep super-detailed budgets because it drives me crazy and I don’t keep up with it. If you’d really like a detailed breakdown of your finances and you have reason to believe you’d actually keep up with that kind of a system, then yes, it may be better to separate eating out and entertainment.

    • I tend to track it as restaurant, BUT knowing my husband and I spend a large portion of our “fun” money on eating out/meeting up with friends for meals/drinks, our residual “entertainment” budget is super small. I think just pick one, and be consistent for the purposes of budgeting, and as long as you’re OK with the total outflow in the more “fun” categories, you’re good.

      • This makes sense, my husband and I are the same. Thanks everyone!

      • Olivia Pope :

        Same for me. Eating is what I do for fun. The only items in my entertainment budget are Netflix and Hulu Plus. I go to the movies about twice a year now!

    • restaurants/eating out goes into my food budget. I plan to eat out for lunch ($9-$10) once during the work week (breaks up the week). Then on the weekends we probably eat out one dinner and one lunch but my SO mostly pays. Entertainment is a separate budget and includes movies, bowling, bars, etc…

    • I think it depends what you would consider substituting for the dinner. Eg, if you’re equally happy to go mini-golfing with your friend as to have dinner with her, then the dinner is entertainment.

    • I break down my food into:

      Groceries/Lunch out / Restaurants/ Coffeeshop

      I really should start tracking snacks–those cookies/icecreams add up!

    • When we do things together, my husband and I count it against our entertainment budget or eating out budget, depending on the activity. There are a few places I love that he doesn’t and those are the places I get lunch with friends/colleagues and it doesn’t seem fair for me to count that against our communal budget since we aren’t both eating out.

    • Mr. East and I eat out for free.


  3. I love ponte knit blazers so very much.

    • Can you suggest any inexpensive cotton ones to go with the top I posted below?

  4. What blogs do y’all follow? I have been a dedicated reader of this site and Cap Hill Style for years but I’m trying to expand my selection. (If we’ve already had this discussion, feel free to disregard.) I’m not very crafty, but I love cooking and fashion and news, so anything in that vein would be great.

    Thanks in advance!

    • The obvious first answer is TCFKAG’s blog . . .

    • Try Style Me Pretty’s lifestyle site Also the Kitchn.

      • SMP has a lifestyle blog? Hooray! I loved the wedding blog when I was engaged. (Not that my wedding was anywhere near as complicated as a lot of the weddings on that site, but still lots of fun ideas.)

      • Though I got a lot of great ideas from Style Me Pretty for my wedding, I had to stop reading once I had colors/designs/etc all picked out. It drove me crazy comparing my own plans to the intricate, DIY, cutesy, original, weddings on there (none of which my wedding will be, which is totally OK, but I don’t want to make myself feel unnecessarily bad about it!).

        • anonypotamus :

          this. so much this.

          I love Style Me Pretty and got some fun ideas, but whenver I’d go on there, I’d have to remind myself that most of these weddings probably cost 2-5 times as much as we are spending on ours, despite it looking like a backyard fete that someone just threw together with the help of a few girlfriends. I know our wedding is going to be fun, awesome and beautiful – but I had to turn off the wedding p*rn!

    • Here’s what’s on my google reader (gotta find a new reader soon, sigh, why are you leaving me greader??)

      – A Tender Crumb (cooking)
      – Budget Bytes (cooking)
      – The Vegan Stoner (not actually anything to do with stoners – just simple vegan recipes!)
      – Feminist Current (news/current events)
      – Sociological Images (news/current events)
      – Ask a Manager (work)
      – Fit For a Femme (fashion)
      – Hey Dollface (fashion)

    • Diana Barry :

      Smitten kitchen and pioneer woman for cooking. (I rarely make anything from pioneer woman, though, because it’s all fat! sugar! beef! all the time)

      • Smitten kitchen for me, too. Also Susedna’s tumblrs (Tesserae and Sunako’s shopping list) and another friend’s blog, although he rarely posts anymore. I also have feeds from MLB, NFL, and Epicurious.

      • I’m the same way with Pioneer Woman. I rarely make anything, but I like reading it and pretending that I live on a nice ranch and cook all day instead of going to work and slogging through documents.

      • Pioneer Woman’s fajita recipe is fantastic, though.

      • I’ve made a couple of her recipes and they are all good. Her baked ziti is amazing. I made a quick pasta and chicken recipe that was good too. OK, so it had cream or half and half, but we don’t eat like that every night, so I figured, why worry? I like the detail on her blog and it’s so hard to find recipes online that you know will work and taste great.

      • Thanks for the smitten kitchen recommendation. I love all of her summer recipes and they don’t look too complicated/time consuming. Can’t wait to go to the farmers market on sunday and cook up something fresh!

    • I recently fell in love with the Dinner: A Love Story blog and just bought Jenny’s cookbook as well. Highly recommend. It’s a mix of food, lifestyle and family life.

    • Olivia Pope :

      Checking my Feedly:

      Ask a Manager, Blue Paper Lanterns (budget oriented casual style blog), Lawyerist, Careerist, several gossip blogs embarrassingly enough, The Black Snob (pop culture), The Millions (literary blog), Of Dust and Kings (Christian theology), Rachel Held Evans (liberal theology, to keep my mind open).

      And even more. I am dealing with the bar exam by following millions of blogs. Feedly has been great for my inner thought life and bad for my productivity!

    • Quite a few of my regulars have been listed already, but I LOVE How Sweet Eats.

    • For cooking I really like 101 Cookbooks, and Big Girls Small Kitchen.

    • Smitten Kitchen is spectacular.

    • I read all ya’ll’s tumblrs.

    • big dipper :

      Late in the game, but I love Frannish’s style blog. Her body type (not a size 0, but not plus sized) and life style (young professional, preparing for grad school) are similar to mine. She also interviews bloggers weekly so you can find new bloggers.

  5. Sunless Tanner follow up :

    Thank you to the reader who suggested the Jergens firming lotion. You’re right– it doesn’t smell like the other Jergens products I’ve tried! I really appreciate the recommendation!

    • You’re welcome! Happy to hear it wasn’t just a fluke that my bottle smelled good.

  6. Bag Search :

    I’m looking for a black bag that has a laptop sleeve and room for a pair of shoes, travel coffee mug, lunch, and standard purse items (wallet, phone, keys). I’m drawn the to the OMG bag from lo and sons–but I think it might be a bit overwhelming on my barely over 5 foot frame. I like that it’s nylon (to keep it light), and am looking for a smiliar but smaller option- I don’t need the shoe compartment, but I’d really like the laptop sleeve.

    Any ideas??

    • Blair Waldorf :

      I just got the OMG bag. I’m short as well – a little over 5 feet, and I love it! I have gotten tons of compliments on it and it is very well made and suits my needs perfectly. The shoe compartment is just a pocket on the side, so if you don’t use it, it doesn’t really take up space. I don’t feel like it is too big at all.

      I had been looking for a lap top bag for awhile just like you, and that is what I ended up choosing.

      ebags dot com also has a good selection, and you can pick your computer make and model to ensure the bag fits.

      • That’s good to hear – I’m 5’3″ and wondered if it was too “big” for my frame too.

  7. After many years of TTC, we’re looking at adoption. Any experience with adoption from the state? Or adopting a child of a different race? Considering that most children in foster care are not white, I’m guessing that our chances at adoption will increase if we are open.

    • I was adopted from Korea and my parents are white. I’d be happy to answer any questions from an adoptee’s perspective! :)

    • Diana Barry :

      I have friends (gay couple, white) who adopted through an agency. They did an open adoption of a newborn (also white) and have met the mom a few times, etc. It was very expensive (30-40K?) but they were able to go through the process relatively quickly. They looked into adopting out of foster care, but really wanted a baby and not an older child, which would make that much more difficult.

    • I’m actually interested in hearing from anyone who might have experience with fostering to adopt. Husband and I have two bio kids but are interested in becoming foster parents and are open to adopting out of that process.

      • I have no children, and have never been a foster parent. However, I used to work for a social service agency that dealt with many children who were in foster care. The majority of foster parents remained just foster parents, but I saw a few of them go on to adopt a child/children they fostered.

        It seemed like a really good option to me, because the parents and the children were able to sort of test the situation before committing to adoption. All of the children I knew in foster care had been abused or neglected somehow, and many had lasting effects from that mistreatment, like behavioral issues, learning disabilities or delays, etc. (obviously, non-neglected children can have these issues as well). Foster care allowed the parents to decide whether they could handle these issues. I almost can’t think of anything worse than adopting a child and then changing your mind and giving the child back to the state because you decide you can’t handle the behavioral problems (I have heard of this actually happening).

        It seems kind of odd or callous to take things like this into consideration, because of course if you gave birth to a child you would accept the child as s/he is, behavioral issues, disabilities, and all. One could argue it should be the same with adopted children. However, I recognize many or most people would like to understand what they’re getting into, especially with older children, and I think fostering is good for that. Even if you wind up deciding you don’t want to adopt, I have seen loving foster homes provide great love and stability for children who may not have experience that before.

      • I didn’t do it, but my cousins recently fostered to adopt their son, who is six. I really think its easier if it is not your first child. My new cousin (once removed or whatever) is awesome – but he was also severely neglected as a small child. He was severely underweight when he was placed in their care and will probably always be slightly developmentally delayed. But he’s also funny and adorable and sharp as a tack and the whole family loves him. And my cousins just, no joke, bought a farm. So his life has been wildly and wonderfully changed – but it has not always been a smooth path to ho (or whatever that phrase is.)

        One of the things you do on your way to becoming a foster parent in most state is take a class where frankly they try to scare the bejesus out of you. Because they don’t want “maybe” foster parents. They want people who are committed. Nothing is worse for a kid who has been taken from undependable parents to then be kicked around a lot of foster homes because parents change their mind.

        • Row to Hoe :

          Easy row to hoe. Hoe as in farming implement, not ho as in wh*re. An apt expression, considering your cousins’ recent purchase of a farm.

          • Well…I *knew* that the farm implement was being referenced and not the world’s oldest profession (or second oldest depending on who you ask.) That was a spelling error (one of many I make on a daily basis around these here parts.)

            But yes, I hadn’t thought of that part, but the metaphor is quite accurate.

    • After years of TTC and miscarriages, my friends now have three children adopted from China. The two oldest children are girls. Their youngest child, a boy, had a cleft palate and required extensive surgery, which is the main reason why they were able to adopt him. From what I have gathered from them, there is a great support community for people in the U.S. adopting from China.

      • I know someone who adopted from China and is active in the network you mention.

        Also have an old college friend who’s white and adopted a hispanic girl whose skin is a couple shades darker than hers and her husband’s. They tried to stay in touch with the birth mother, but she never replied. They are not doing any of the cultural activities that my friend with the kid from China does.

        • Not sure I understand… are they not doing cultural activities because the birth mother didn’t stay in touch or because their daughter doesn’t look like she’s from a different race (because of her skin color)?

          • Not sure exactly what saacnmama means, but I’m guessing it’s that the support community for parents with adopted children from China makes it so much easier for the parents to be active with cultural activities in a culture with which they are unfamiliar. In the other case, they would have to seek it out on their own.

  8. PSA: tons of ponte on Target’s Daily Deal page today. Obviously quality can be negligible, but the price is right!

  9. Would a jacket like that look good with this shirt (link to follow)?

    I posted towards the end of the day yesterday without a link. I’m doing an informational interview smack in the middle of vacation. I don’t want to look like I’m so stuck in vacay that I’m disrespecting the person and the time they’re taking for me, but I also don’t want to look like a sycophant for running back to the hotel and donning full battle gear just to have a cup of coffee.

    I’m wearing black JNY pants and sandals with a 1″ heel (hope the shoes are OK!)

    They seem to be a biz casual kind of place. None of the women’s headshots look like they’re wearing suits (but the men are)


      I think there were ponte jackets at Old Navy a while back. Does anyone remember them, and would they work (& cost less than this one)?

      • Forgot to mention I won’t be wearing those colors. Mine has a green background with other greens, black, purple, & a little yellow. It is colorful, but not a wild as the one in the link.

      • What do you guys think? Would it work with this?

        • Does the interviewer know you are on vacation? I am not sure that I would wear a ponte knit blazer to an interview, even if he/she did. Also, if you’re thinking of wearing black pants, the jacket is unlikely to match. Are the pants part of a suit? If so, I would just wear the suit, or another one you have in your closet. I’m kind of a better safe than sorry type of person when it comes to interview wear.

          • And where is the interview/your vacation? That may make a difference.

          • But an informational interview is a whole different ball game from a job interview. It would actually look weird to show up in a suit (like you really are asking the person for a job instead of just for information). I think what you’re suggesting sounds fine. It’s pulled together and professional but also shows that you understand and can adjust to nuances (i.e., that you can dress down when appropriate).

          • It’s an informational interview, not for a job, and yes, they are very clear that I’m on vacay.
            It’s an international non-profit’s HQ in NYC.

          • Aaaahhh, I revise my answers to agree completely with TBK! Sorry about that. I would still suggest that you not wear a black blazer, though, because it’ll look like you’re trying but failing to put together a suit. Maybe green?

          • Ohh, I *wish* I could show you guys the colors of the actual shirt, because I’m having such a hard time figuring out what would work with it.

          • What about a cotton sateen jacket in white or khaki?

            I’m thinking something like this:,default,pd.html?dwvar_2545976_colorCode=336&start=18&ppid=c18&cgid=jacket-blazer

          • There’s an extra 30% off jackets at The Limited today, too.

          • That does look nice! Just wish I had the $$ to spend.

          • But it is very versatile

          • Diana Barry :


          • Sydney Bristow :

            I bought and returned that Limited jacket because it was really boxy on me.

        • How about highlighting one of the colors in the shirt, rather than the black. This blazer from JC Penney comes in both yellow and purple and would, I think, say “I want to look nice for this info interview” but “I’m on vacation gosh darn it.”

        • Preg Anon, your Work that Bump blog is cute and such a great name!

  10. Fish Oil Pills and TTC :

    I take a fish oil pill every day as an omega 3 supplement along with my multivitamin. We’re thinking about starting TTC in about a month or so. Should I stop taking this and switch to flaxseed or a non-fish based supplement? Also, would you recommend a preconception appointment with my PCP or ob gyn?


    • Interestingly, many prenatal vitamins now come packaged with a dha fish oil pill. I’d schedule an appt with your OB and raise the fish oil question to him/her. I’m also not sure whether there are differences between prenatal and multivitamins, so they maywant you to switch to prenatals; my doc had me switch a few months before TTC.

      • I agree with all of this. My prenatals come with a fish oil pill, but I don’t know if that’s different than what you’re taking. I would definitely schedule an appointment with your doctor to go over all of this stuff. I did that right when we were starting to try, and it was really helpful.

    • You probably want to switch to prenatal vitamins now, and most of them have (I think) an omega 3 component. But I think that’s still from fish. I never heard you shouldn’t take fish oil supplements during pregnancy — are you concerned about mercury? Because the supplements don’t have mercury in them.

      I did a preconception visit with my PCP and then with an OB. I had one or two very minor health issues that I wanted to get sorted out (the kind that aren’t even worth worrying about if it’s just you, but when you consider the stress you’re about to put on your body, maybe could use some help). Also, it was helpful to have the OB once it became clear we were going to need some help conceiving. Not that I’m saying you’ll have that problem, but if there was a problem, it was nice to have someone who could give us an REI referral right away.

    • switch to prenatals. Get the gummies. You’re welcome :)

      • You may just have solved all my problems with my current prenatal. Off to find gummies *today*.

      • The only prenatals I can take are the gummies. The others taste awful. Definitely agree about switching to prenatals – they have all the essential ingredients for TTC.

      • Totally agree, gummies are awesome…but watch out for iron content. You need iron for blood volume increase and I think some of the gummies do not add iron because of danger of iron poisoning in kids who might eat said gummies thinking they are candy.

    • Also in Academia :

      I didn’t take fish oil with the first. After he was born, I resumed taking it. After realizing I was pregnant, I read the package and realized that it did not contain mercury, so I continued to take it and mentioned it to my doctor. With the first, my doctor was not particularly interested or invested in me taking anything other than a prenatal vitamin; with the second, they just heard what I was taking and said, “OK, fine.” Two healthy kids, fish oil does not appear to have made any marked difference in their lives so far.

    • Agree with everyone who said switch to prenatals, but watch the labels because some contain a laxative which was not pleasant for me until I figured out the problem! As for omega-3, my obgyn packet of info that’s sent out after a positive pregnancy test recommends starting a fish oil that contains DHA, so you’re safe there. I take Nordic Naturals and love it – a little pricier but the ingredient list is very small compared to some store brands with extra chemicals or preservatives and I have very little burping issues.

    • My RE told me that there was no reason to switch to a prenatal and that a regular multivitamin is sufficient so long as it contains folic acid. In fact, he said that prenatals are tougher to digest. He also recommended taking fish oil as there is some evidence that it helps the fetus’ nervous system? Just make sure that your fish oil does not contain mercury.

    • Definitely get an appointment with your OB now. They like to have a baseline on you before you show up pregnant. And when you do get pregnant, you won’t have your first appointment until 7-8 weeks, so it’s nice to go ahead and ask questions now about what you can eat (doctors vary a lot on this), caffeine, alcohol, exercise, etc. And if you do have problems TTC, again it’s helpful for them to have a baseline.

  11. Hi ladies, I am starting a new job on Monday (woo) – I am lateraling to another law firm. I plan to take about a 10 day vacay with my hubby in September. Should I tell people at the new job now that I already have this vacation planned? TIA!

    • yes – bringing it up later will seem like you planned it after you started, not before, and 3 months is pretty short in terms of taking a first vacation after starting a new job.

      • Yes, tell them now. You may need to take part of that vacation unpaid, or they may front you the vacation time, or they may give you all your vacation time upfront–but in any case, let the know ASAP.

      • Just wondering for the people who have commented on my vacation situation, are you in big law?

    • I’d definitely say it was already planned. But is this true? Are you sure that taking a 10 day vacation just after starting a new job is a good idea? Is there a reason you have to take this vacation right now (e.g., it’s to attend a wedding)? Will you even have that much leave accrued? Unless it was pre-planned (and therefore partially paid for), I’d think it was weird for a new hire to take such a long vacation so soon. In general I think these things are typically negotiated as part of the offer process.

      • Oh, yes. I assumed this trip was paid for already. If it isn’t…you should definitely clear it first. Is it 10 biz days? or 10 days, 5 or 6 of which are business days (and thus, a week of vacation time)?

        I started a new job right after I got married, so I let them know I’d be out for 6 biz days in October because of my honeymoon. I started, worked 2-3 weeks, then went on my trip. It was so close to my start date that it wasn’t an issue.

      • TBK, my recruiter actually told me it wasn’t something I had to mention….crap, maybe I should have! I will let them know now…..

      • And to answer your questions, once September hits it will be almost a year since I’ve taken a vacation so that’s why my husband and I plan to go on one at that time. We want to go to Greece and September is an ideal time (it’ll be colder than we want in October and later). So technically it’s not pre paid since we haven’t bought tickets yet…..

        • I say this with much kindness, but your reasons (a year since vacation, sept ideal time for Greece) are good personal reasons, but most firms don’t give a hoot about your personal reasons for wanting to take vacation time at a certain time (with one exception – your own wedding/honeymoon). So it may not go over as well as you’re hoping. Just temper your expectations.

          • I agree, I realize these reasons are entirely personal and selfish!

            Honestly though, so when people lateral to other firms, do you typically time things out so that you take a vacation right before you leave your old firm??

          • +10

          • Agree. This would not go over well at all at most places I have worked.

          • Diana Barry :

            Yes, when I lateraled I took about 3 weeks off in between firms – accrued vacation. It was GREAT. They wanted me to start right away at the new place but I pushed them off 2 weeks so I could have my dam* vacation. :)

          • I did the same as Diana Barry. I have never taken a vacation (other than, say, a long weekend) within about 6 months of starting at a new job. I just figure it’s too important to build up firm credit first. Perhaps you could delay to March or April, when the weather might be comparable to September?

          • Diana Barry, I wish I had your foresight, ugh. I wish the timing would have worked out better so that my husband and I would have had time to plan a vacation for in between my jobs. Sigh. Nonny…..I actually really really like that idea and feel like an idiot for not thinking about it first.

        • When people are looking for icons of the entitlement generation, they’ll think of you.

          • Maybe you could say that–you are so glad to be joining them, you jumped at the chance and didn’t schedule any time off between positions, even though you have this travel on the calendar.

          • Since we’re apparently being childish today, you are in time out. Please go sit in the corner. Thanks.

          • Wow indeed. When people are looking for icons on the death of civility and community, they will think of you. What’s the point of coming on here to be a jerk with an anonymous handle?

          • Anon from Chicago :

            I dont know, I actually agree with “wow.” The OP is the one one who posted on here and although not said in the most tactful way, “wow’s” sentimate is what OP will be faced with when she takes a 10 day vaction that is not her honeymoon three months after starting a new BIGLAW job. I dont think its childish to point that out, but rather giving OP an idea of what the repercusions of her choice might bring. That is, while techinically she probably wont get in trouble, many will probably not want to work with her much. And its hard enough as a lateral to fit in

    • I am hoping that this is already planned and overlaps a lot with Labor Day (nothing ever ever seems to happen — everyone is gone or enough people are so that those who are left can’t really move fwd on anything).

      If already planned and paid for, I’d start by telling HR and any boss-types (they are the ones who will know if this is a problem or likely to be) asap.

      We have juniors who’ve been “hai, I’ve got a vacay next week” like they’ve never heard of the recession or layoffs. You don’t want to be that associate.

      • Oh absolutely I would let them know well more than a week in advance! I think under a normal circumstance I would start to let people know a month or so out, but since I’m starting a new job now just didn’t know if I should bring that up to them now, or wait until maybe late July to mention it.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I don’t think a month out is nearly enough notice, even if you’ve been there a while. Definitely let them know ASAP.

          • Really?! I’m really glad I posted on here to get others’ opinions because I definitely would think ~ a month is enough notice.

            I just asked a few of my colleagues, and one of them thinks I shouldn’t mention it until I’ve established a working relationship with some of the partners…..any thoughts on that?

          • I disagree with your colleague. It will become harder and harder to ask for the time off the further you get into the summer — the first month you’ll each be figuring each other out, starting to get staffed on things, and whether it’s deals or trials it seems like roughly 2-3 months out is when busy periods start to get predictable. And then when Partner X says “oh I’d like you to handle this one with me” how will it feel to say “that sounds great except I have this trip I was planning….”

            Assuming you still want to go in September (which you may or may not want to do for the career reasons others have mentioned), I think it would go over much better to tell now and to act as if it’s totally booked. At least at my firm, I scope out vacation windows 4-5 months ahead, so the idea you’d have fixed plans already would sound totally normal.

          • I also disagree with your colleague — just for reference, I have also lateraled firms and took over a month off in between to go on an extended vacation.

            While I do not think that it is a problem to go on your vacation in September, I would absolutely 100% tell your boss (the head of your department, depending on size of firm/department), HR and the firm recruiter that you have a pre-planned vacation from September X through September Y as soon as you start. If not before. Do not wait until July or August. The more notice the better. Then send a reminder email a month or so before to the same people (forward the first email you sent to them, so that they remember that you already told them).

        • FWIW, I agree with V & TBK–should’ve been negotiated during the hiring process. Most places I’ve worked have required 6 mos before vacay is permitted; do you know what the policy is for your new employer?

          • saacnmama, my old firm had unlimited vacation policies for attorneys (of course it’s not like people took unlimited vacay but as long as it worked with your schedule you could go whenever) and the new firm also has unlimited vacation although there wasn’t anything I read that talked about having to be there for a certain period of time before leaving for vacation. Now I am a little peeved at my recruiter for telling me that it wasn’t necessary for me to disclose my vacation plans. She told me it was totally normal and expected for people to take time off so I didn’t have to mention it.

          • Admittedly my old boss was a huge jerk, but when he extended an offer and a start date, I immediately told him that the start date was fine, but that I had already booked a weeklong vacation about a month after the start date. He said that was fine and that I’d have to take it unpaid. I said fine. Then he constantly complained about how I took vacation so soon after starting.

        • Honestly, this was something you should have negotiated in your offer. You can ask if it would be a problem, but asking with 3 months notice in a new job is pretty frowned upon. At that point you’re usually “up to speed” so you being out actually becomes an issue.

    • Thanks to everyone for all of your opinions. I am torn because all of you ladies seem to be on the same page – that this is really too early for me to be taking a vacation, and that I need to tell the new firm now. On the other hand, all of my friends and colleagues “in real life” that I’ve posed this question to (and all of them are also lawyers) seem to think it’s not a huge deal…..that I should mention it to whomever I’m working with in a few weeks, and that if you lateral you shouldn’t have to wait at least 6 months to take a vacation since chances are your timeline didn’t line up with taking a vacation right before you started. I am really torn. It’s not like the vacation is going to make or break my life, but I do feel that I should be able to take a vacation once a year without feeling like I’m doing something wrong. Will have to think more about this…..still welcome to hear your thoughts and opinions even if they have already been stated by someone else.

      • Maybe this is a geographic thing. Since I graduated from law school in 2005, I’ve had a total of two one-week vacations. Neither coincided with my wedding (I only took a long weekend for that although that’s far from normal, even for DC). Going away for a whole week is done annually *at most* and for many people doing a ten-day vacation is a really, really big deal and more like a once-every-five-years thing. I wouldn’t be impressed by a new hire who wanted a vacation so soon. As I said, if it was part of the offer negotiation, totally different situation. But if all your IRL friends think it’s okay, maybe it’s just different in different cities.

        • Oh my gosh, really?! That is really surprising. I am in Chicago BTW.

          • Anon from Chicago :

            I’m in chicago too and I agree with just baout everything that has been posted here. and I suspect that your “real life” friends are either as jr as you or are talking about when you have actually been working somewhere for a while.

        • One week is the norm in my field for my position. I’m not sure as a manager I’d Ok a 2 week vacation, and I doubt my manager would OK a 2 week vacation for me. But I’m in finance in a public corporation, and there are only 2 weeks each month I could even CONSIDER taking time off (darn month end). I did hire someone (a younger guy) in the fall of last year who let me know at the time I extended the offer he was scheduled to go on a cruise at Christmas with his parents for about 2 weeks, giving me the option to rescind my offer. I didn’t but I really appreciated him letting me know, and I think he might have had to take some of the days as unpaid, but I’m not sure as I left that up to HR to figure out.

          That being said, I always take all 3 weeks (15 days) of my vacation time – just spread out during the year. I guard those days pretty closely let me tell you!

        • I apologize if this comes off as snarky, but I’ve noticed that TBK is very, very intense about work/biglaw. On the work-life balance scale, her comments tend to lean heavily toward the *work* side. I don’t mean this to be a criticism, just an observation. Everyone’s different, just because you’re not as intense as TBK is about work doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong.

          • And likewise, it also doesn’t mean TBK is wrong. This is probably a know your firm/practice group/partner thing. When I worked in midlaw, our billable hour requirements were less severe than in biglaw in the same city, but it was really frowned upon for newer associates to take a week off even if you were killing it hours-wise. Most associates took a Wednesday-Sunday twice a year. My roommate at the time worked in big law and was able to take 2 weeks at Christmas and one week for vacation without anyone batting an eye and she’d been at her firm less time than I had been at mine.

          • I’m sure it’s totally a know your firm thing. Also, I think it’s fine to say “hey, maybe I’ll get dinged for this but it’s worth it to me to take the risk.” I have definitely done that. I think that’s different from going in blind without realizing that you’re doing something that may raise eyebrows.

          • This is very late in the day, but TBK is in DC and in our humid city, we tend to work for really uptight people and have very intense schedules. I’m not in law and have never taken a week off, except when violently ill (and even then worked from home). FWIW

      • FWIW, I don’t have the same reaction as others. I don’t work in litigation, but in my (Biglaw) transactional practice, I wouldn’t see it as a big deal if a lateral associate took a 10-day vacation within three months after starting, provided that she handled it professionally.

      • This advice all errs on the side of conservatism the way we give advice to wear a suit to an interview — you want to convey seriousness and put your best foot forward. In a new job, you want to do that. We don’t know your firm (and you may be teasing it out still) and you won’t go wrong by *not* going in September or revising your plans somehow. You might be OK going, but we just don’t want you to assume that that’s the case.

        FWIW, I am in a transactional practice and it’s all hands on deck some days. Being gone during those days means you can’t be staffed on a deal. No big deal for one transaction, but people start having habits: I like associate X. I don’t know associate Y. My work goes to X again and again.

        I lateraled one summer when I had a ton of out of town weddings. I make sure that that working a lot of 4-day weeks was cleared by HR and the partner I’d be working for going in and it was still weird — some people thought I was PT.

        ALSO — in my BIGLAW experience, it is different if you are on vacation but reachable (so maybe doing some work in a pinch or can at least respond to e-mails) and you’ve gone completely dark for 10 days (very rare, less so for 1 week). I get the work/life balance, but a lot of your being able to do this is to know your firm / assignment partner / work rhythm.

    • I took a pre-planned vacation less than 3 months after starting at Biglaw. It was a trip with my parents (and SO) so I framed it as more of a family commitment and something that would really disappoint my family if I couldn’t go. It was over a holiday, so I think I only had to use 3 days vacation but I was out of the office for a whole week. It was fine, and not a big deal at all. I didn’t tell people ASAP but I definitely gave at least a month’s notice or so. I think people here are over-reacting. If your job tells you explicitly that you shouldn’t go or several people at your new job indicate its inappropriate than I would reconsider. Otherwise, go. I’ve said this before and I’ve said it again – you only get as much work-life balance as you take and if you set a precedent of cancelling planned, paid for vacations you will be expected to do so in the future. Your recruiter should also have a pulse on the firm and if she tells you its fine, it may be a firm or a group that’s more relaxed about vacation or she may know the people are understanding about your situation. Go, enjoy Greece, its a beautiful place and September will be a wonderful time to visit. :)

      • LH, ok, I am glad to hear your opinion because I was truly starting to freak the F*&^ out and think that I have just been a terrible employee for the past 3 years now! When I first started big law, I took a week vacation after 5 months, and so did one of my peers. Our other peer (in our year in our group) took a week vacation after only a month of starting. My husband is now in big law as well, and they all started last October and several of his friends at our firm (well, my old firm) took over a week vacation for Christmas and New Year’s. I’m sure it just all depends on your firm. At my old firm, there was definitely not any micro managing with respect to taking vacations.

        • I wouldn’t consider the week between Christmas and New Year’s to be the same as any other time of the year.

          • TBK, I actually think it’s almost worse because December is an insane month for transactional practices.

        • New Job, I’m not in law so this quesiton may be unhelpfully naive, but what’s the downside for letting them know early? I see only advantages to that (it shows that you’re wanting to err on the side of collegiality and respect, preparation). Even in the worst case (they say no, or some of it has to be unpaid), knowing that now is only useful (because either it gives you more time to plan and prepare b/c not as much paid vacation, or because they’re jerky about it and it gives you an early head’s-up that there will be some pitfalls at the new workplace). I just don’t see a reason not to tell them.

        • Anon from Chicago :

          I think the bottom line is do what you want, but be prepared if it doesnt go over well. and there are a lot of places this wont go over well. and you will not know immediately that it didnt go over well. and, having been a lateral at one point in my life, you are already at a disadvantage.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I took a week 2 months after starting biglaw as a first year associate. Take the vacation.

    • In my experience, this would have been brought up during the offer/negotiation phase of the process if already planned. If you are still planning to go, I’d definitely tell them about it sooner rather than later.

  12. (re-posted from yesterday)
    Changing job question.
    I’m a 3rd year lawyer working at a small-mid size firm in NY. I just got an offer at a large (but not one of the ones that do lock step) firm that is based in NY/London. I’ll be working in Singapore & HK.
    They want me to start as a 1st year– is this normal? (when I start at this job, I would be a 4th year at my current firm). And it is the same area of law.
    What should I be asking for as compensation? Salary & Extras?
    Any advise would be super helpful.

    • In my experience it is not normal at all and you shouldn’t accept it

    • I’ve heard of slight haircuts (say 4th to 2nd) for things like not counting non-prestige clerkships / LLMs, etc., but that’s for firms that have severe up and out cultures (so if you are a 4th year, you might be sacked in a year or two, but if you go in as a 2nd, you could probably have 4 years there). Now that we live in a world of 12th year associates, who knows? But to be busted back to a first year in the same field (with no non-practicing years, I assume) seems to be a bit harsh.

      Are they saying 1st year salary? Or 4th year salary but first year for partnership track? For that matter, is there tight compression b/w years (so maybe not much difference in salary)? Have they said why?

      In the long run, I’d want to be going to a place that valued me. Some haircuts make sense in terms of gaining experience and longevity, but I can’t see clearly what is going on here.

      • 1st year salary, didn’t ask about partnership. Which is higher than my current salary, but would be about the same or less considering how much more expensive it is to live in that part of Asia.

        • Others here are more expert than I, but I’d use one of those calculators to figure out what your current salary and 4th year salary are equivalent to in the new region and use those numbers in discussions.

        • Do you know who is driving this? Boss-type person worried that you can’t do the work or just HR-type enforcing the party line (like getting people on the cheap)? I’d try to dig down to identify the concern.

          My big concerns are that you’d resent how they are treating you and chafe every moment you are there (and maybe you’d really like it if the treated you better), dooming your chances of having this series of big changes work out for you. And that leads to another: if it doesn’t work out (say you hate them or there isn’t enough work to sustain you) and you are looking again, you’d be a 5th or 6th year treated as much less than you are (perhaps signalling to the next employer that you’re not very good or that they shouldn’t pay you very much) and as a 5th or 6th year, without something concrete and positive to bring with you to a new firm, you’re definitely looking at a haircut or at least doing extra laps before being up for partner. Good luck!

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      That sounds cray-cray and not at all normal. The only situations where I could see this maybe happen is if you were (i) completely changing practice areas or (ii) going to practise law in a jurisdiction that you are not experienced in (eg fourth-year in NY going to practice English law). If these aren’t the case, I really don’t understand why you would have to start as a first year. Even if they are concerned about your experience, then it might be something like you have a year knocked off, but to totally discount all your experience seems completely crazy to me.

    • Cornellian :

      I think two years is standard from smaller to Big Law, but three seems a bit extreme. Maybe push to be a second year? If you’ve been billing 2200 hour years in small law anyway, maybe point that out?

      • I agree that a two year cut seems reasonable, but three is too much. You should ask to be a second year.

    • I had to take a haircut of a couple of years moving to a US firm in the US from a UK firm, but after a year I negotiated to be moved up (once I had proven that I was doing more than a first year would be expected to do).

    • I haven’t heard of that big a haircut, but it could end up being useful as you’ll probablynhave more time before the firm thinks of pushing you out if you take it. Not the worst thing to be considered junior at a law firm.

  13. Does anyone on here have a good credit card to recommend? I’m looking for something that is no or low annual fee, and has a rewards program of some sort (do all nowadays?). Plane tix would be awesome.

    The card would be shared with my SO, and would be mostly used for dining and entertaining purposes. Perhaps also travel and petcare? Expenses we split down the middle, basically. We wouldn’t carry a balance on the card.

    My personal card is Chase Freedom, and I’m very happy with it, but wondering if anyone has something else to recommend.


    • Anonymous :

      If you have student loans, the Citi Forward card is awesome. 5% back on restaurants, movies, and bookstores (meaning all purchases on if you redeem your points for student loan rebate checks. YMMV for other point redemptions.

    • I have a Chase Amazon. I’ve recommended it on here before. You get 3% back on Amazon, 2% back on all dining and gas purchases and 1% back on everything else. No annual fee. You can get all sorts of rewards (statement credit, amazon gift cards, gift cards for lots of companies including rental cars, hotels and cruise lines). I think there may also be a way to apply your points to flights.

    • My husband and I have the Capital One Venture card. $59 annual fee and you get 2 cents per dollar spent in reward “points.” So far we’ve used it to book 6 “free” flights for 3 different trips and done some “purchase erasing” of baggage fees, metro fares, etc. 2 of the flights were a holiday weekend and 3 of them were over spring break. We didn’t have any problems using it to book them.

    • If you’re in a city with Southwest Airlines, I’d recommend their Visa. It ties into their Rapid Rewards program. My husband and I are both on the same account so all of our points accrue together. It is a Chase card, if you like dealing with them.

    • CapitalOne– you can use it abroad without a foreign exchange fee. I don’t pay an annual fee for mine.

    • We like our Amex (I forget what it’s called, its the clear one – maybe the Blue Card or the Cash Card or something.) Its got no annual fee and all the great Amex customer service (like when my cappuccino machine broke just under two years they refunded us the money because they automatically extended the one year warranty to two.) We get cash rewards because DH thinks that’s the best deal, but I believe you can choose other options. Overall, big thumbs up.

      • We have the Costco Amex and it’s awesome for the same reasons. Our annual fee is in the form of the Costco membership. We also like cash rewards over points/miles.

  14. TJ re: dressing for grad school.

    So I’ve been accepted into grad school. Yay! Except I have no idea what to wear to any of my classes. My school is a small, prestigious graduate school on the West Coast, and I’ll be doing a professional degree (but not finance/law) in a field where dress codes generally skew a little on the formal side. My previous experience with grad school dressing is that the only requirement is that you come dressed, so I’m kind of lost. Plus I live halfway around the world, so I’m basically limited to the contents of one large suitcase + backpack due to space and budgetary reasons.

    Additional questions:

    – How acceptable is non-Western formal wear? Not for interviews, but I’d like the option of going to events and such in something that isn’t a c-tail dress or a suit.

    – How cold does northern CA get? I have a lovely (but incredibly heavy) pair of boots that I’m not keen to schlep around the world unless I really need them.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Orangerie :

      Congratulations! Will you have the opportunity to visit campus before actually starting classes? You should be able to get a general sense of what is appropriate from walking around and observing other students. If not, I’d wear business casual separates… perhaps a ponte knit blazer, casual blouse underneath, and a pencil skirt or nice pair of trousers.

      Northern CA is often on the colder side, plus foggy and windy. Bring your boots! :)

    • In law school, I wore button-front shirts, cardigans or pullover sweaters, and dark jeans or casual skirts (like an A-line wool skirt) with boots. I think non-western formal wear for things like c-tail parties would be totally appropriate, although if it was work-related (like a reception during a summer internship) you might want to consider wearing something that blends in more. But I know a number of Indian-American women who wear saris/salwar kameez for formal evening events.

      • By the way, I don’t mean at all that non-western wear would be NOT appropriate for work-related events. I think it would still be totally acceptable. I just think it’s a personal preference since if everyone else is wearing c-tail dresses you will be more memorable and attract more attention if you are wearing something else. It’s a question of your comfort since I think either is equally appropriate from an etiquette standpoint.

    • Northern California gets very cold at night and the temperature drops very quickly after the sun sets, which is early (before 5 pm) in winter. Even in the summer, highs overnight will be in the 40s or low 50s (Fahrenheit). In the winter, it regularly gets into the 30s at night but rarely below freezing. Its a very sharp, biting kind of cold and I find 50 degrees in California much colder and less comfortable than 50 degrees in other parts of the country. Defintiely bring your boots.

      • Anon from Chicago :

        I have to respectfully disagree. Dont bring your boots; you wont wear them. I grew up in Northern Cal and have sinced lived places where it actually gets cold (i.e., Chicago). LH’s description of the temps in places like SF is generally correct, but that is just not very cold. Also, outside of SF, it’s not that cold at all. For example, futher inland, like Sacramento or something, its not cold at all. 50 degrees is about as cold as it gets. ever.

        I do remember thinking that was cold when i lived in Cal; but I also recall my first winter out of california when I showed up in a parka and was freezing in 30 degree weather. Now, many years later, and many degrees colder, 30 seems downright balmy.

        • I agree. Boots are a style choice in N Cal (bay area not mountains) not a necessity at all. You might want rain boots but you cam pick them up cheap when you get here.

    • hellskitchen :

      This might also depend on whether you’ll be one of the few international students in that program? I went to a grad program that attracted a very diverse, international student body so social events always looked a bit like a mini United Nations gathering and I didn’t feel out of place wearing my non-Western clothing. But I also made sure I didn’t wear non-Western clothes for *all* social events but mixed it up a fair bit. For interviews or anything career related (conferences, external speaker events etc) I stuck to Western clothing

  15. I wanted to recommend this boucle jacket:
    I was pleasantly surprised by the quality considering it’s from Old Navy. I think it runs TTS and it’s a great deal for a lined jacket, with great details for $24.

  16. hellskitchen :

    Related to the thread above about switching jobs and taking vacations – many of you commented that you took a vacation in between switching jobs. Does this mean you used up all your vacation time at the end of your first job or that you left one job, took a vacation and then started the new job? If so, how did you handle insurance and stuff? I have never taken any time off between jobs because I don’t want to be uninsured for even a day and I am the primary insurance holder in my family so it’s doubly important.

    • I just did Cobra for the month that I took off. I have no kids or spouse though, so I may be in a different situation than you.

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