Dark blue suit, crisp white shirt and shiny black lace-up shoes: Christopher Jaquez was ready for his first day as a full-time lawyer in the business and international section at Vinson & Elkins. A 2007 graduate of Columbia Law School, he had been a 2006 summer associate with the firm’s Dallas office and was returning as an associate.

Jaquez says he was nervous and excited the morning of Monday, Oct. 1 — too nervous and excited to eat breakfast. His shoes were gleaming from the extra shine he’d given them the night before. His suit was newly cleaned. And, of course, he wore a long-sleeved white cotton shirt that, he says, “took me about one-and-a-half hours to iron.” After a few tries he was able to get his favorite tie, the one he wore for law school graduation, knotted just right.

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