Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weekend Wardrobe Watch: The perfect work heel at $60..... no really.

We all search for it.  The perfect work heel.  Not too pointy, not too round in the toe.  Not too high, but not too low.  Comfortable enough to wear all day.  Comes in multiple colors.  Doesn't break the bank. 

I found it!  The caress heel by Nine West is amazing.  I bought the steel blue color in the store and loved them so much I bought 2 more colors!  And at $60, you can buy several pairs! 

My favorite are still the blue, as shown here.  I really push the envelope in court when it comes to footwear, and I wear the blue ones all the time to court with my navy suit.  Sharp and classy, with a modern twist. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

To iPad, or not to iPad......

As someone who sees the utility of a 4G powered device that is larger than my cell phone for work purposes, I have considered all sorts of tablets (other than my kindle fire.)  I will likely be needing a new laptop/computer/tablet type device by the end of the year, mostly because my tried and true Sony is dying but also a little because I need the tax write off. 

The threshold question for a lot of us in this situation is whether we are going to go for another laptop, or whether we are going to transition to using a tablet as our primary device.  After careful consideration, I have come up with the pros and cons of both.  Note I did NOT say I actually made a decision, hence my call for your assistance, readers!  Let's get started:

The laptop.  Familiar, trustworthy, reliable, and thanks to the popularity of tablets, CHEAP.  For my purposes, I have found that a laptop for around $400 gets me everything I need and more, while the iPad for a similar price doesn't have nearly the same capacity.  I am also a keyboard junkie, which makes me consider the built in keyboard a major plus.  Now I understand that I can attach a keyboard to an iPad, but for the price of the high capacity iPad and the keyboard, I am looking at double the price of a laptop. 

The tablet.  I have shopped around and the iPad has all of the sweet apps I want plus I can read my kindle books on it, the 4G is great, and the technology is unmatched by any other tablet.  I can work form anywhere!  (I haven't actually decided whether this is a pro yet.)  It's like having a phone, iPod, and computer all in one!  My major problems with it are the price point, the auxiliary costs, and the lack of keyboard.  I know myself, and it is likely that I would use the keyboard with it 80% of the time. 

So, here is the question I present to you, readers:  given your professional needs, do you find a high end laptop or a tablet device to be the most universal?  


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Weekend Wardrobe Watch..... The Washable Suit is BACK!

I cannot express to my readers how excited I am about this find!  After seeing a well-warranted rant regarding women's suiting from one of my lawyer friends, I went on a mission this morning to try and help her out.  Wait until you see what I found.......

About 5 years ago, The Limited came out with The Travel Suit.  It was made of good quality tropical washable wool, it was under $500, it was machine washable, and it came out of the dryer looking like it had just come back from the cleaners.  I wore it to every interview I had when I was in law school.  Then they discontinued it.  I was inconsolable. 

Jones New York has brought it BACK!  This seems too good to be true, but it is.  Here are the features:

  • Machine washable
  • Multiple colors, cuts, and available as a skirt or pant suit
  • Under $500
  • Available in petite AND plus sizes
 Here it is, have at it ladies!!!!  Also, if you sign up for emails, JNY will give you an automatic $20 discount. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Ok....... so it's obviously been a while.  That being said, I have a defense, like any good lawyer.  ;)  After an exhausting yet brief relationship that came to an equally exhausting end, AND moving to a new city for a new job where I didn't know anyone, AND starting CrossFit because I am insane, I am finally back on track blog-wise.  You missed me, I can tell.

Now that it has been a few months and I have a whole host of new experiences, both professional and fashion forward, under my belt, I am making my triumphant return to Ms. Esq.  To kick us off, I would like to broach a subject that I have personal experience with.  I am going to use the term "experience" loosely, because this post is call for advice from my readers:  TATTOOS IN THE WORKPLACE; How much, if any, is too much?

As the recipient of two permanent works of body art, one of which is in a visible location, I have struggled with this problem for a while.  One is on my lower back so no problem there, but I also have a small one on my ankle.  Better than the original planned placement, which was supposed to be behind my ear, but I digress.  Now, CLEARLY, I am not about to walk into court anytime soon in a skirt suit and rockin the shamrock tattoo on my ankle in front of a judge.  Que the Kat Von D tattoo make-up.  But what about everyday at the office?

It is also a given that we shouldn't go strutting into the first day on the new job with our tats out.  (You can laugh at the word-play, that's why I wrote it.)   But what about the scenario in which you have settled in at work, your co-workers like and respect you, and you live in a city where the summers are unbearably hot?  My initial attempt at camouflaging my ankle tattoo was to wear panty hose.  I could launch into a host of reasons why this was an extremely ineffective and horrible idea, but you all know exactly what I am going to say;  to summarize, too hot, see-through, girdle.  Then one day, I put on a brave face and wore a skirt with bare legs.  No one seemed to notice my tattoo, which I considered a victory.  But someone with a larger tattoo may not have the same luck.

My initial thought is that once established, and as long as one is not meeting with clients or involved in an important presentation at work, wearing normal work wear that exposes a small tattoo every now and then is ok, as long as one's office culture is cool with it.  If your office culture is cool with your sleeve, even better!  But as a general rule, I feel it is best to keep it conservative until you get comfortable, have a chance to assess the office climate, and even then, always keep it conservative when meeting with new clients or superiors for the first time.

Thoughts and experiences, readers??????

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


When it comes to amazing female attorneys, my dear friend and blog reader Stacy is a prime example of what it means to be exceptional.  Stacy grew up in Sacramento, and has been financially supporting herself since her undergrad days at UC Davis.  Throughout law school while the rest of us attended social events, Stacy locked herself in the law review office to pull all-nighters, trying to secure her place at her dream job.  Stacy achieved her goal, and more.  In addition to being a killer lawyer, she is also a killer athlete.  Stacy coaches gymnastics, does Crossfit 5 days per week, and is a loving mom to her kitty, Fidget.  She even competes against other Crossfit athletes state-wide!  In addition to her many talents, Stacy recently purchased her first home, reaping the rewards of her hard work, dedication, and overall badassery.  I asked Stacy 5 questions, and here are her answers: 

Q:  How do you keep such a good work-life balance?

A:  To attain work-life balance you really have to identify your priorities. I’m a single gal, so I don’t have to balance work with kids or a husband (though my cat Fidget is almost like my child). But I have decided that my fitness is my top priority outside of the workplace. I leave work every day by 5:30 pm to make sure I get into the gym and get a solid workout in. If that means I have to bring work home with me and work while I eat dinner, then so be it. Others at my firm work till 7 or 8 pm in order to stock up on hours so they can take 2 week vacations to exotic locations or spend more time with their families. Luckily for me, my gym isn’t just where I work out, it’s also where I spend time with my friends. Two birds, one stone! So if you want to find that elusive work-life balance, take the time to sit down and decide what is REALLY important to you and forget all that other junk. Work has to get done no matter what, but you have to make the time for the things that matter to you.
Q:  What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career so far, and how did you overcome it?

A:  My biggest challenge has probably been others not taking me seriously. I’m 27 years old, a female, in my second year as an attorney, 5’2’’, and definitely look 16. I’ve been called the secretary , the court reporter, and “too nice to be an attorney.” I never let comments like that change my overall attitude. Many older male attorneys try to say things like that to try to get a rise out of you, to turn you into that quintessential female attorney bitch. Never stoop to that level, brush off stupid comments and have confidence in yourself and your abilities as an attorney.
Q:  Do you have any tips for ladies in the Sacramento area that need to dress professional in summer weather?

A:  I am a firm believer in shells/conservative sleeveless shirts. Nice and summery, but easily dressed up with a jacket. And ALWAYS keep a pair of flip flops at your desk for walks to court or lunch!

Q:  As young professionals, what can we do to contribute to a more collegial atmosphere in the legal profession?

A:  I attended King Hall as a law student, and the absolute greatest part about that school is that we all supported each other. We shared notes, outlines, flash cards, and horror stories. We knew that we were stronger working together as a team than working against each other as enemies. While the real world is less warm and fuzzy, and the interactions we have with each other are inherently adversarial, that doesn’t mean we have to lose that cooperative mentality. Don’t be that jerk that everyone dreads working with. All it’s going to get you is a group of peers unwilling to grant you favors when you really need them. 

Q:  When you are not at work, you are……?

A:  Lifting heavy weights in the gym or lifting a few glasses of wine with my friends. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What To Do When Opposing Counsel Is A Real PITA

Regretfully, I have significant experience with this week's topic. At one point or another, we will all encounter it;  you get roped into a case where opposing counsel is a magnificent jerk.  There are several options at your disposal, and you have to choose one.  Do you fight fire with fire?  Do you call them out on their unsavory demeanor?  Do you go about your business as usual and try not to let them see the vein bulge out at your temple every time they open their mouth?  Oh, options.

Based on my experience, there is no "correct" answer, but there is one absolute rule:  we must always, always, ALWAYS deal with it in a professional manner.  Here are some tips for handling these scenarios, illustrated by my hilariously unfortunate experiences (anonymously, of course).  

SCENARIO ONE:  The Boundary Blaster

This case involved my third trial ever as a new lawyer.  My relationship with opposing counsel (OPC) started off in a less than delightful manner. OPC changed a hearing date the afternoon before the date it was to be scheduled by contacting the judge without my permission.  Shady.

As the case continued along, I found that OPC was not only shady, but also lacked any discernible boundaries.  I received a non-urgent call from OPC on my personal cell phone, on a SUNDAY.  Not to mention the flood of emails in my work in-box all weekend long.  As a hard-working professional specializing in an emotionally charged area of law, boundaries are crucial for me.  Needless to say, this contact pushed me over the edge.  So, here is how I dealt with the Boundary Blaster:  I made OPC conform to MY timeline.

First, I informed reception to always take a message or send the call to voicemail when this OPC called.  That way, I could handle issues as they arose within my work hours only.  OPC called at 7:00 p.m.?  Too bad, straight to voicemail.  Second, I had a frank but respectful discussion with OPC.  I told OPC that I do not, under any circumstances, take work calls on my personal cell phone unless it is an unequivocal emergency.  Second, I informed OPC that I will not negotiate or work on weekends unless I plan to do so in advance.  Clients can't agree on something?  Unless it is a matter of immediate personal safety, it can wait until Monday.  Third, I treated OPC as I would like to be treated.  I did not place calls or send faxes after hours, I did not call OPC's personal phone.  And when OPC referred to my client using nasty language, I simply said, "let's keep it professional, shall we?"  I also extended to OPC every professional courtesy I could, sending OPC the message that I was not willing to be petty over our initial bad encounter. 

None of these techniques changed OPC, but they kept me sane, and that was the important part.

SCENARIO TWO:  The Misogynist

The Misogynist was a real piece of work.  This OPC's offenses included calling me "dear," telling me that I, "was young and pretty and new, and would learn how this works when I got older,"  and informing my male co-worker that the only reason OPC refused to accept a settlement offer from me was because I was new and I needed to "learn that I can't just bat my lashes and get my way."  What a peach.  

On this one, I knew I had to take a stand and fight fire with fire.  Professionally, of course.  I know I would have other cases against this OPC, and I had to stand my ground.  I worked over the weekend, but on Monday at our first day in our trial department, I slammed OPC a 45 page trial brief.  It settled. 

My sincerest hope is that none of my readers have these experiences, but the longer we stay in this business, the more likely we will encounter a bad opposing counsel.  Above all, my advice is to stand your ground, stay polite, and stay professional.  You cannot force people to change, but you CAN keep your boundaries, sanity, and professional reputation.

READERS:  Similar Experience?  Share your story and solutions in the comments! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Weekend Wardrobe Watch

I hope everyone is taking advantage of this gorgeous day!  This weekend's WWW focuses on the massive sale that Bloomingdale's has going on.  Now is a great time to find items that transition well to fall on sale, because most stores are clearing out to make room for the fall fashions that are just around the corner.  (Can you BELIEVE we are already only 3 months away from Vogue September issue?!)

My top choice are these blue cropped Calvin Klein pants.  These are great for summer with some wedges and a white shirt (I LOVE the zipper on the legs!), and will transition right into fall with knee high boots and that lime green sweater that we all thought was such a good idea at the time.  Break it out!  Also be sure to check the sale prices on shoes.  At $55, this deal is unbeatable!