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It’s that time again: it’s getting hot in herre [sic], and people at your firm have decided to take Nelly’s advice. While everyone’s gearing up for the big summer bash, you’ve got to deal with your next fashion headache. You’ve already been told that you should be wearing skirt suits and showing some leg on a day-to-day basis. And now that the weather is nice, lawyerly ladies want to know: can you, or rather, should you wear a bikini to your firm’s pool party?

We covered this issue last summer, where the be-all and end-all question was to boob or not to boob. At that point in time, I adopted an “if you’ve got it, why not flaunt it” stance. But now that I’m a year older, and (arguably) a year wiser, I’m here to offer our female readers some more mature advice to be used in this “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation with assistance from Kat Griffin of Corporette.

Keep reading for some Biglaw bathing suit etiquette that you shouldn’t have too much trouble following….

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As a new summer associate, you must have heard many a horror story about your predecessors, including tales of fashion disasters. For example, do you remember the boozy Milbank SA who supposedly showed up to events wearing an Olympic jumpsuit? How about the girl who wanted to march around her firm with a $9,000 Birkin bag? As this year’s summers descend upon Biglaw firms across the country, we thought that we might be able to offer you some assistance to prevent you from committing comparable crimes of fashion.

To accomplish this feat, we’ve teamed up with none other than Anna Akbari, the “thinking person’s stylist,” to help you make it through the summer. You don’t want to wind up as a bullet point on Weil Gotshal’s “unacceptable” list….

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Not frilly and girly enough!

It’s not often that one associates high fashion with female lawyers. And if such an association is to be made, it usually comes in the form of an Elle Woods / Legally Blonde joke. Instead, one is quick to conjure visions of boxy ’80s power suits with shoulder pads thick enough to warrant a cringe.

You’d think that with the sheer number of fashion sense for the workplace seminars, women would have stopped making the faux pas of dressing like they were anywhere but at a David E. Kelley-created law firm — but apparently, you’d be wrong.

So let us spell it out for all of our lovely lady lawyers, as the Wall Street Journal so eloquently did last night: “The power suit is over.” These days, power looks for women contain frills, ruffles, and even hints of (gasp!) pink.

While the power suit may be a fashion no-no, is it acceptable to wear these emerging trends to work?

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It’s fitting that we recently devoted space in these pages to a paralegal’s lament. This week, the last week in April, is Administrative Professionals Week. It’s a secular holiday devoted to recognizing the work of secretaries, legal assistants, receptionists, paralegals, and other administrative support personnel.

And today is the culmination of the week: Administrative Professionals’ Day. As Elie wrote a few years ago, today is “the official day on which you need to make a financial display of appreciation… but people are supposed to be nice to their secretaries for the entire year week.”

Lawyers, it’s not too late to get your assistant a card or a gift. If you’re on the West Coast, stop at a gift shop on your way into the office. If you’re on the East Coast, step out during your lunch break.

Let’s take this opportunity to reflect on the contributions of administrative professionals….

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Maybe it is because I have been reading the comments or my reviews, but lately, I have reevaluated my work history. Five years after graduating from law school, I could be “associate general counsel” at some company, or maybe even “income partner” or “junior partner” at a small law firm. Or, if I worked hard enough and dreamed big enough, I could be a Public Information Director. I, however, am none of those things.

Why not? I have followed most of the generic tips out there. I “do good work.” After a few missteps, I now “dress for the job I want, not the job I have.” I got “five passports, I’m never going to jail.” Oops, maybe that last one was not a career tip. Moving on…

So why am I in career purgatory and my colleague from law school, Jimmy NoBalls, is a partner? (Note: his name has been changed for my amusement). I found the answer in a very well-crafted article on Corporette, Battling Burnout. Tip No. 6 reads as follows:

Whatever you do, at least the very least, fake interest in your current job (as the Men’s Health article also advised). Arrive on time. Be sociable. Look as professional as possible. Smile.

This tip explained everything. The difference between Jimmy and me is not talent, skill, experience, or anything else substantive. No, Jimmy was faking it. I, on the other hand, wear my disdain like a t-shirt (which coincidentally reads, “I work at your cr**py small firm, and all I got was this crummy t-shirt”).

If you want to do well at your job, fake it….

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Deborah Rhode

I don’t wear makeup, nor do I wish to spend 20 minutes applying it.

Deborah Rhode, professor at Stanford Law School and author of The Beauty Bias: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law (affiliate link), commenting on the results of a recent study funded by Procter & Gamble, which concluded that women who wore makeup were considered more competent.

Most of our readers know this about me already, but in case you didn’t, I was a sorority girl in college (hardy har har, but I wasn’t an Omega Mu). I joined Kappa Alpha Theta during my freshman year at Lehigh, and I had some of the best times of my life as a result. And no, when I was pledging, the sisters didn’t circle my fat with a marker (there weren’t enough markers).

Anyway, being a member of a Greek life organization brought me a lot of fun times and awesome opportunities when I was in college. I learned how to funnel, and I turned into one of the best flip cup players around. I got to be my sorority’s pledgemaster one year, and I was in charge of recruitment the next. I accomplished a lot of great things in my sorority leadership positions, and you better believe I listed them on my résumé.

The reason I bring this up today is because a future law student is wondering whether she should list her Greek affiliation and leadership roles on her résumé when applying to law school….

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* It’s really hot outside. It’s so hot that the Amistad has started offering free boat rides back to Africa. I don’t know what you are supposed to wear to your office on days like this. Just be smart and don’t wear white. [Corporette]

* Leave it to the New York Post to make Sonia Sotomayor’s court performance a sidebar to a story about her theories for cooking chicken. [New York Post]

* I’m so done with the NFL lockout. Either they get it together, or I have more time to figure out if Brady Hoke is the savior. I care not. [Blackbook Legal]

* Lawyerly Lairs: 19th Century Edition. [UrbanTurf]

* Another Galleon Group member has been sentenced. And this one used to be attractive. [Dealbreaker]

* Look, I like porn as much as the next guy, but this guy was a sick f***. I’m not sure he deserved to be in jail, but I’m not thrilled that he’s out. [Pink Slipped/Forbes]

* “I doubt this is constitutional, but let’s just do it.” Sounds like business as usual down in the Senate as to plans to extend the FBI Director’s term. [Blog of Legal Times]

* Are we really still talking about desegregating schools in Arkansas? I can’t even believe that this is a serious proposition. [WSJ Law Blog]

* This is what happens when lawyers from Yale stop being polite, and start getting real. What good can come from Kentucky or North Dakota? [PrawfsBlog]

* Ladies, should you take a new job while pregnant? To me, that’s kind of like asking, “Should I go bungee jumping while pregnant?” Not a good idea. [Corporette]

* Apparently, there’s some debate as to which city will be the next world capital of law. And no, it probably isn’t going to be one of these outsourcing cities. [Law21]

* Kash, of course it’s bad for America that Weiner is resigning. We don’t get to see any more big, kosher pickles. [The Not-So Private Parts / Forbes]

* Summer associates, please take note. Do not send emails to colleagues about wild, underage ragers like this JP Morgan intern did. You will look like a complete tool. [Dealbreaker]

* Leave it to Paul Clement to get this lady off with a 9-0 decision. It turns out she wasn’t a terrorist, just a little kooky. [CNN Justice]

* Bob Tennant of Recommind tells patent critics (and competitors) a thing or two about prior art and automated discovery. [Recommind]

Ladies: if you're in NYC, it's okay to go around like this.

* An update to an item from yesterday’s Non-Sequiturs — or, “a domestic dispute version of Spy vs. Spy.” [Not-So Private Parts / Forbes]

* And a response to yesterday’s controversial post about paralegals (and the educational credentials required for the position). [A Paralegal's Life]

* Are you a rising 3L looking for post-graduate employment at a law firm? Check out Waller Lansden’s innovative Schola2Juris program. [Schola2Juris via Am Law Daily]

* Here’s a subject that never gets old (we’ve discussed it before, and we’ll discuss it again): what not to wear as a summer associate. [Corporette]

* Ah, screw it — if you’re here in New York, ladies, just go topless. It’s legal! [Runnin' Scared / Village Voice]

45 Star Island Drive

* Billable Hours: The Movie. “This comedy follows one young lawyer as she is slowly driven crazy by monotonous work, obnoxious colleagues, and the constant buzzing of her BlackBerry.” [Billable Hours]

* Lawyerly Lairs: Roy Black, the high-profile Miami criminal defense attorney, buys a $7.1 million mansion. How many square feet does $7.1 million buy on Star Island? [Todd M. Glaser]

* Advice for PR folks: put some thought into addressing your bulk emails. Also, if you’re pitching us, read this tweet. [Constitutional Daily]

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