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JUNE 5: What to wear? I spent an unusually long part of the morning contemplating that question. Now that we have a “casual summer” policy, I can, theoretically, wear anything I like. Well, not quite anything. This is a law firm and there are rules about things like casual dress. To be fair, our casual summer policy is pretty simple: there is an easy-to-follow memo explaining the distinctions between business casual (weekday version) and business casual (late night version) and business casual (weekend version). Shirts must have collars. It would be nice if trousers were pressed. “Sports-related attire” is not acceptable. Got it? But — I said to myself this morning — as a senior associate, could I really afford to go casual at all? Should I not set a more serious tone and show the partners that I can wear a tie even when I don’t have to? I put on a suit. Arriving at the office, I ran into a senior partner, dressed in a green polo shirt (memo to administration: does a polo shirt count as “sports-related attire?”). “What are you dressed up for?” asked the partner. “Going to court?” “No — I just prefer to wear a suit.” “I always knew there was something strange about you.” JUNE 6: The mission for the day was filing a motion for an expedited appeal. We want the appellate court to hear and decide the appeal within the next couple of months, which counts as fast in this business. Filing the motion involved one of those pre-printed court forms that must be fed into a typewriter. So, first thing this morning I asked my secretary: “Paula, do we have a typewriter?” “What’s with the suit two days in a row? Don’t you believe in casual clothes?” “I just prefer wearing a suit,” I said, and tried to ignore Paula’s smirk. In the end, I had to go to a different floor to find a working typewriter. As I was trying to figure out how to use the thing, I ran into a group of summer associates going through orientation. I fear that I am now fixed in their minds as some kind of pre-historic creature: The Guy Who Wears a Suit in the Summer and Still Uses a Typewriter. After the motion was filed came the hard part: getting the thing granted, and right away. A motion for an expedited appeal is no good if the court sits on it for two months. A big part of senior associate life is taking responsibility for things like motions and following them through. Gone are the days when I could just finish one task and await further instructions. Now the idea is to make things happen without the partner having to spell everything out for me. I began with a call to the court clerk. It’s hard to kick the recurring fantasy that the clerk’s office is populated with bored functionaries just waiting for something they can really sink their teeth into — like my motion. “I filed a motion for an expedited appeal this morning,” I announced. “I wanted to know the status.” “It’s pending.” “Any chance of getting it decided today?” “It’s PEN DING. Which of those words didn’t you understand?” “The thing is, it’s really urgent.” The clerk pretended not to be impressed, but even over the phone I think he could tell I was wearing a suit JUNE 7: Today it was my turn to jump on board the summer associate gravy train. The summer associate program — with its mixers and lunches — is a boon to the firm, both from a personnel and gastronomic point of view. There are some who find the emphasis on food during the summer frivolous, but I disagree. A few good meals with the permanent associates can be a valuable source of information. It’s just ironic that the best way for summer associates to learn what law firm life is really like is to do something that we almost never do: take a leisurely lunch. This evening’s event was cocktails and dinner at a fancy midtown restaurant. As the waiters delivered heaping plates of antipasto, I sat down next to a summer associate and introduced myself. “Oh yeah,” he said. “You’re the guy who always wears a suit.” JUNE 12: The motion for expedited appeal was granted today. There were congratulations all around and a victory lunch was scheduled at a fancy restaurant. Even the restaurant, by the way, allows “business casual” dress. I may just loosen my tie. Adam Freedman is an eighth-year associate with Schulte Roth & Zabel

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