Big Law Drinking and Suits

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Mce252
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Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby Mce252 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:27 pm

Two questions about Big Law:

1.) For Big Law summers: Will it be a big deal that I don't drink? I don't enjoy it and it has never treated me well. I'm very social and enjoy cocktail settings, but I'm curious if it would be something that would negatively stand out.

2.) About how many suits does one need to be able to wear one five or six times a week and not be seen as the guy who is wearing the same thing every day? This applies more to a judicial gig where I know I'll have to wear a suit every day.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby imchuckbass58 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:32 pm

Mce252 wrote:Two questions about Big Law:

1.) For Big Law summers: Will it be a big deal that I don't drink? I don't enjoy it and it has never treated me well. I'm very social and enjoy cocktail settings, but I'm curious if it would be something that would negatively stand out.

2.) About how many suits does one need to be able to wear one five or six times a week and not be seen as the guy who is wearing the same thing every day? This applies more to a judicial gig where I know I'll have to wear a suit every day.


(1) Depends on the firm. I (temporarily) couldn't drink over my SA summer for medical reasons, and it was not uncomfortable at all. Most people didn't even notice (a sprite looks a lot like a G&T). It was easy to politely decline when someone offered a drink, and nobody seemed to think twice about it. I'd add though that my firm tends to portray itself as a family-friendly place and wasn't known for being particularly "fratty," so your mileage may vary depending on your firm's culture. But you'll probably be alright as long as you are comfortable hanging around and enjoying yourself with people who are drinking, even if you are not.

(2) I would say 3-4 is ideal. You might be able to get away with two if it's just a summer. The trick is to mix up shirts and ties so it looks like you're wearing something different even if you have the same suit on.

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JoeMo
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby JoeMo » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:35 pm

The only thing I think could be of potential harm is that usually when someone says to me "oh, I don't drink" I automatically think they used to drink and either got a DUI or were raging alcoholics and had to quit. So it might set a negative tone. You also shouldn't try to act like you're preaching from a pedestal about your non-drinking ways.

I would probably think of something you could potentially say every time it comes up such as "I have a very weak stomach for alcohol and get very sick when I do drink thus I don't like to drink".

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thesealocust
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby thesealocust » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:42 pm

Re: 1 - plenty of people don't drink. It WILL isolate you somewhat, the drinking culture does exist in big law, but it will not be fatal. Plenty of partners even at hard-partying firms abstain.

Re: 2 - it's probably safe to say 2 or 3 suits is a bare minimum, and there's really no reason to have more for a summer gig.

viking138
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby viking138 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:45 pm

JoeMo wrote:The only thing I think could be of potential harm is that usually when someone says to me "oh, I don't drink" I automatically think they used to drink and either got a DUI or were raging alcoholics and had to quit. So it might set a negative tone. You also shouldn't try to act like you're preaching from a pedestal about your non-drinking ways.

I would probably think of something you could potentially say every time it comes up such as "I have a very weak stomach for alcohol and get very sick when I do drink thus I don't like to drink".



I personally would steer clear of discussing anything like that. Anything along the lines of "weak stomach" or getting sick just seems like TMI in a law firm cocktail context. Just decline alcohol but have a beverage in hand, and if anyone ever presses you, just say something about an early morning.

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ben4847
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby ben4847 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:49 pm

When someone says they don't drink, I think they either used to be an alcoholic, or that they are a sanctimonious douche

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Mce252
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby Mce252 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:51 pm

ben4847 wrote:When someone says they don't drink, I think they either used to be an alcoholic, or that they are a sanctimonious douche


Well, that's cause you're probably right. I did have a drinking problem and have been sober for 6 or so years now. There isn't much I can do about it now!

STLMizzou
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby STLMizzou » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:52 pm

ben4847 wrote:When someone says they don't drink, I think they either used to be an alcoholic, or that they are a sanctimonious douche


Used to be an alcoholic= quitter

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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:59 pm

ben4847 wrote:When someone says they don't drink, I think they either used to be an alcoholic, or that they are a sanctimonious douche


What an idiotic assumption. I barely drink because I do get sick after 1 drink, and I hate people questioning it, demanding that I drink to prove it, or acting like I'm trying to be holier-than-thou. It really makes you the douche.

Peace out!

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ben4847
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby ben4847 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:01 pm

Mce252 wrote:
ben4847 wrote:When someone says they don't drink, I think they either used to be an alcoholic, or that they are a sanctimonious douche


Well, that's cause you're probably right. I did have a drinking problem and have been sober for 6 or so years now. There isn't much I can do about it now!


Well, that's cool that you got over it.
I always used to say I would never become an alcoholic because then I'd have to quit and give up drinking, and I could never give up drinking.

STLMizzou
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby STLMizzou » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
ben4847 wrote:When someone says they don't drink, I think they either used to be an alcoholic, or that they are a sanctimonious douche


What an idiotic assumption. I barely drink because I do get sick after 1 drink, and I hate people questioning it, demanding that I drink to prove it, or acting like I'm trying to be holier-than-thou. It really makes you the douche.

Peace out!


Easy fix, just do shit loads of cocaine. It will prove you are not a sanctimonious ass-clown, and just were born with a bitch stomach.

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JoeMo
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby JoeMo » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:12 pm

viking138 wrote:
JoeMo wrote:The only thing I think could be of potential harm is that usually when someone says to me "oh, I don't drink" I automatically think they used to drink and either got a DUI or were raging alcoholics and had to quit. So it might set a negative tone. You also shouldn't try to act like you're preaching from a pedestal about your non-drinking ways.

I would probably think of something you could potentially say every time it comes up such as "I have a very weak stomach for alcohol and get very sick when I do drink thus I don't like to drink".



I personally would steer clear of discussing anything like that. Anything along the lines of "weak stomach" or getting sick just seems like TMI in a law firm cocktail context. Just decline alcohol but have a beverage in hand, and if anyone ever presses you, just say something about an early morning.


This is true. I was just suggesting OP come up with some sort of reason they don't drink so as to not sound like a recovered alcoholic.

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kalvano
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby kalvano » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:20 pm

Why would you even bother to say you don't drink? Just say "no thanks" or "not right now, but thanks" and be done with it.

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steve_nash
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby steve_nash » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:42 pm

Mce252 wrote:Two questions about Big Law:

1.) For Big Law summers: Will it be a big deal that I don't drink? I don't enjoy it and it has never treated me well. I'm very social and enjoy cocktail settings, but I'm curious if it would be something that would negatively stand out.

2.) About how many suits does one need to be able to wear one five or six times a week and not be seen as the guy who is wearing the same thing every day? This applies more to a judicial gig where I know I'll have to wear a suit every day.


1) No. I am a huge lightweight, so I really can't drink that much (max a glass of wine) in business social settings. I didn't find it to be a big deal over my summer, even when I declined a drink. I'd simply say "no thanks" or "I'll just have a Coke." However, you should be aware that it will get commented on -- and you'll get some pressure to drink -- but I don't think it's a negative as long as you aren't sanctimonious about it. (Not implying you would be.) Just be prepared to deal with the comments in good humor.

2) You could probably get away with two or three. Honestly, I barely pay attention to what my co-workers are wearing, so I doubt your co-workers will be like, "Oh, that schmuck is wearing THAT again."

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:44 pm

I can't drink either, so the replies in this thread are helpful.

I have a somewhat related question. I have some medical issues so there are a bunch of foods that I can't eat either. I know luncheons and catering are a big part of my summer firm. Is telling recruiting (or whomever coordinates that shit) that I have a bunch of dietary restrictions kosher? Or how do I approach this? I don't want to come off as weak or picky. Ordinarily, I would suck it up; but if I eat something I'm not supposed to, I'll have problems for 2-3 days.

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ben4847
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby ben4847 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I can't drink either, so the replies in this thread are helpful.

Is telling recruiting that I have a bunch of dietary restrictions kosher?


I plan on telling them I have a bunch of dietary restrictions--kosher.

Eliyahu7
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby Eliyahu7 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:48 pm

The better question is how you expect to survive biglaw hell without some type of intoxicant.

On the upshot, you will have numerous opportunities to make friends as the resident Designated Driver.

Transferthrowaway
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby Transferthrowaway » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:50 pm

Just get a coke with a slice of lime. Problem solved.

truevines
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby truevines » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:57 pm

Mce252 wrote:Two questions about Big Law:

1.) For Big Law summers: Will it be a big deal that I don't drink? I don't enjoy it and it has never treated me well. I'm very social and enjoy cocktail settings, but I'm curious if it would be something that would negatively stand out.



I never drink. I always ordered diet coke, even during the formal dinner with the hiring partner the night before my mid-summer review, or at the baseball game with the group chair.

No one asked why I did not drink. Still got an offer. This is one of the last problems you should worry about.

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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:13 am

wait you have to wear suit everyday to work as an SA? i thought it was casual in the summer

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ben4847
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby ben4847 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:20 am

Transferthrowaway wrote:Just get a coke with vodka and a slice of lime. Problem solved.


ftfy

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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:21 am

OP here: thanks for the helpful responses. No, I probably won't have to wear a suit everyday as a SA, but as I mentioned in the post, the suits question applies more to the judicial internship, where I know I will have to wear a suit every day.

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Lwoods
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby Lwoods » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:23 pm

To your first point, I agree with the poster who said that a sprite looks like a gin & tonic. As long as you always have something in your hand (remember to hold your beverages in your left hand so that your right is free and dry for handshakes), most probably won't notice or care or ask.
You may get "what are you drinking?" as an offer to buy your next drink. Depending on how much you have left, you could just say "I'm good for now" or admit it's sprite and just shrug it off that you're "taking it easy tonight."
I doubt you'll encounter anyone rude enough to press any further at recruiting events (at least from the attorneys...your fellow SAs will be less predictable), but if they're not satisfied with your initial responses, be honest and say that alcohol doesn't agree with you (maybe with a hand over your abdomen so they assume it's a stomach issue and not a crazy ranging drunk issue), and that should be the end of it. I wouldn't bring that up otherwise, but if pressed, honesty (without TMI) is the best.
If you're at a bigger firm, you might also find there are a number of attorneys who are Mormon and don't drink at all for that reason. They might be good people to network with because they won't pressure you or question you on abstaining from drinking. I realize this may sound silly, but I used to work at a V10 and met a number of Mormon attorneys there.

As for suits, you'll probably be fine with 2 or 3 if you're a guy. There are only so many acceptable variations, so no one will judge if you're wearing a grey suit 3 days a week in a business formal environment. Just have a number of ties to add some variety. :) (I'm not sure what a normal/reasonable amount would be...my ex has over a dozen, I think...and he wears scrubs most days)

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KMaine
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Re: Big Law Drinking and Suits

Postby KMaine » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:08 pm

I don't drink. Did fine over the summer and had fun at social events. Just don't make a big deal out of it; it is not a big deal to most people.

For a guy, 2 suits should be fine. It may be that you only wear shirt and tie most of the time anyway.




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