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Hey, you there, with the Prada bag, Rolex watch, and two-ply cashmere socks: Why are you still looking so spiffy and smug? Didn’t you hear that the economy stinks, the nation is at war, and puritans are back in the saddle? So ditch that highbrow, out-of-the-box, nineties stuff. The word on the street is this: Conformity is back, Stepford wives are hot again, and lawyers, if they’re smart, are crawling back into their square shells. Admit it: You’re still suffering withdrawal symptoms from those high-rolling days when company lawyers got fat on options and caviar. You actually believed the press that said you were a player in running the business. You fancied yourself executive management material. You thought you belonged in the pantheon of the top five earners on the company’s SEC’s filings. But that was all so yesterday — so pre — Sarbanes-Oxley. Pull yourself together, and smell the joe (forget that fancy espresso). If you want to survive these bumpy times, aim low, act humble, and wear sensible shoes. Some tips for the new, dull you: 1. Don’t: Worship at the altar of yesterday’s corporate demigods: Jack Welch, Martha Stewart, Madonna. Do: Try to find wisdom and solace in the songs and words of John Ashcroft. 2. Don’t: Storm the CEO’s office with new ideas on structuring off-the-balance-sheet deals. Do: Write lengthy, over-researched, incomprehensible memos that, with any luck, no one will read. 3. Don’t: Encourage creativity — much less dissent — among the troops. Do: Reward those who are unfailingly punctual, follow directions to the letter, and bathe regularly. 4. Don’t: Volunteer for any executive or strategic planning committees. Do: Be tireless in pimping for the United Way, the Girl Scouts, and the boss’s favorite canine charity. 5. Don’t: Sign your Am Ex bill for your fusion cuisine power lunch with your Mont Blanc pen. Do: Treat colleagues to the deluxe burrito platter with your two-for-one coupon. 6. Don’t: Insist on using your maiden name at the office. (Ask yourselves, gals, what would Libby Dole do?) Do: Demand to be addressed as “Mrs.” — even if you aren’t married. (Think derivative empowerment.) 7. Don’t: Stomp around the office in Bruno Maglis (even O.J. ditched them) and Ferragamos. Do: Walk proudly but discreetly in your Florsheims and Naturalizers. 8. Don’t: Flaunt your cooler-than-thou, high-tech style by organizing your work in an itsy-bitsy computer the size of a Chanel compact. Do: Show you’re a back-to-basics, not-afraid-to-sweat working stiff by schlepping redwelds and litigation bags around the office. 9. Don’t: Live in a cavernous loft in a metropolis with credible ethnic eats. Do: Move to a house with an attached garage in a quiet suburb where egg foo young is still on restaurant menus. 10. Don’t: Whine that you never made it to the top of the organizational chart. Do: Be thankful you’re not important enough to be indicted.

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