B for Beauty, Biglaw, Women's Issues

Manicure Meetings? Apparently That’s a Thing Now for Many Professional Women in New York

You’ve heard about lawyers who schedule depositions at Dunkin’ Donuts, but you’ve probably never heard about lawyers who get their nails and their briefs polished at the same time.

It looks like the latest trend for professional women in New York is the “manicure meeting,” a time when participants must sit and listen to each other, instead of sitting and pretending to listen to each other (while at the same time endlessly following the Bill Urquhart directive to CHECK YOU EMAIL).

But how did the manicure meeting come into existence? And more importantly, is this feasible for the women of Biglaw?

According to the Metropolis blog of the Wall Street Journal, manicure meetings have become the alternative to swinging clubs for 18 holes, or nursing a glass of wine at a noisy bar:

To squeeze in that extra billable hour, professional women in New York are increasingly holding work meetings at nail salons rather than the tired standbys of coffee shops or cocktail lounges. It’s a departure from the traditional image of clubby executives back-slapping on the back nine, yet manicure meetings offer the same sort of camaraderie found on manicured greens.

At first when I read this, I felt a slight twinge of despair, because apparently the only place that women are allowed to congregate and bond is in a nail salon. But then when I got to thinking about it, I realized that in theory, manicure meetings are a wonderful idea — after all, they’re a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

But let’s face it, as the Above the Law commenters love to harp on, I’ve never worked a day in Biglaw. Hell, I’m not even a lawyer. But not for nothing, I am a law school graduate, and I have worked at a small law firm. On most days at a small firm, I’d like to think that it would be possible to do something like this. A friend who works at a small firm in Manhattan agreed with me. Why waste an hour of productivity?

As for women in Biglaw, my colleague David Lat thinks that a manicure meeting would be feasible, provided that things are slow — which, believe it or not, can happen from time to time. About a quarter of our survey respondents for the billable hours poll reported slow hours, so it seems like at least some of them would have the time to partake in a pseudo-extracurricular like this (and perhaps boost their billables in the process).

Is your firm experimenting with manicure meetings? If so, let us know, by email or in the comments. One of our Cahill sources tells us that women at the firm have discussed the idea but never followed through on it.

Feeling left out, gentlemen? Fret not. You, too, can put the “man” in manicure — just stay away from the pretty princess pink polish.

Idea to File Away: Manicure Meetings [Metropolis / Wall Street Journal]
Manicure Networking Is Gaining Popularity in New York [ABA Journal]

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