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Welcome to "First Week at the Firm," a FindLaw feature for beginning associates, focused on helping you navigate the transition into firm life. We hope you'll enjoy this new series and come back regularly for more insider tips.

Hello, new associate! There's a lot of unique, variable, and engaging work ahead of you -- some day. In the mean time, you'll be getting used to life as a new associate. Here are three things you'll soon be hearing over and over as you start your career as a lawyer.

There's nothing skilled professional women like more than being judged for their appearance. Indeed, most lady lawyers invite the chance to have their hair, dress size, and outfits overshadow their legal prowess.

Luckily for female lawyers in the San Francisco area, two Marin County styling consultants stalked the halls of a county court house to do just that. The pair spent a day critiquing female lawyers' outfits -- and had their judgments published by the Marin County Bar Association. Was the fashion advice sexist, as many claim? You be the judge, here are the facts:

Last year, Airbnb, the tech company that allows users to rent out their spare rooms or empty apartments to travelers, launched its first business travel venture. The tech company claims that using Airbnb instead of a traditional hotel will help business travelers feel more at home when they're abroad, while simultaneously allowing them to be inspired by their unique surroundings.

As lawyers, we're skeptical. While Airbnb can give you a native's perspective of a city, it also lacks many of the amenities of a hotel service, the kinds that you most desperately need when you're traveling for business. You be the judge, though. Here are some of the pros and cons of using Airbnb for business travel:

Welcome to First Week at the Firm, a FindLaw feature for beginning associates, focused on helping you navigate the transition into firm life. We hope you'll enjoy this new series and come back regularly for more insider tips.

Sure, in law school you studied the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, probably criminal procedure, too. You might have even seen some state rules on ethics or jurisdiction. But nothing beats local rules.

Local rules are the court-specific rules governing your practice in a particular jurisdiction and you likely never really learned about them until you started practicing. These rules matter, though -- controlling everything from where to file your suit to how to move for summary judgment. Here's how to handle them:

Welcome to "First Week at the Firm," a FindLaw feature for beginning associates, focused on helping you navigate the transition into firm life. We hope you'll enjoy this new series and come back regularly for more insider tips.

Your first week at the firm will probably find you worrying about your work load and stressed about performance as you start getting this whole lawyering thing down. But don't forget to make sure you have everything settled down HR-wise as well.

If your firm is large enough to have an HR department, swing by. HR can help set you up with direct deposit, employer contributions to your retirement plan, free gym memberships, and more. You've just got to know what to ask them. Here are five questions every new associate should ask their HR department:

Early in Tony Kushner's "Angels in America," the lawyer and arch-villain Roy Cohn, multitasking between phone calls, sandwiches, and an interview, declares "I wish I was an octopus, a f---ing octopus. Eight loving arms and all those suckers." That sentiment would be shared with more than a few other lawyers. Imagine, three arms for billing clients, two to check your stocks, another for booking theater ticket and one for patting yourself on the back. Sounds great, right?

Not for some lawyers. Many lawyers and law firms are moving away from frantically paced legal work and adopting a philosophy of "mindfulness," according to The Wall Street Journal. For lawyers practicing mindfulness, two arms are plenty -- and they are almost as likely to be occupied by meditation as memo-writing.

It's no big news that many associates are overworked, staying in the office too long and too late in an effort to plow through their high workload and make their billable hour quotas. Most associates are familiar with working on a brief or filing until the very last minute before a deadline, which, now that documents can be filed online, is often the last second before midnight.

Generally, associates grin and bear it while the rest of the legal world looks away. That's not the case in one Ohio federal courtroom. When two associates in an antitrust case asked for a midnight extension, a federal judge decided this was a good chance to turn the request into a "teachable moment." The lesson? Man, your lives really suck.

Welcome to "First Week at the Firm," a FindLaw feature for beginning associates, focused on helping you navigate the transition into firm life. We hope you'll enjoy this new series and come back regularly for more insider tips.

Welcome to the firm! Mind doing my laundry, grabbing my kids from school, and bringing me a coffee? Yes, it is pretty unlikely you'll be greeted with these questions (if you are, congratulations on being one of the world's highest paid gophers). But sooner or later, you will probably get an inappropriate work request, something that just doesn't sit right.

An inappropriate work request might come your first week at the firm, or your second year, but odds are it will come, sooner or later. How should you respond?

June 10th is National Ballpoint Pen Day, the 72nd anniversary of the ballpoint pen's invention. Dozens of people every year take the day to remember the contributions ballpoint pens have made to our lives. Sounds silly? Yes.

But also, no. The ballpoint pen was popularized by the British Royal Air Force, who used it to take in flight notes during Nazi-fighting missions in WWII, when a fountain pen just wouldn't do. If it wasn't for the ballpoint pen, we all might be speaking German right now.

The ballpoint remains the most common writing instrument in the world, even as paper notes become less and less ubiquitous. Which raises the question: for lawyers, is physical writing, as one does with a ballpoint, still relevant?

Over the past few decades, women began entering the legal field in much higher numbers than ever before. More recently, the number of women becoming lawyers has begun to level off. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but hopefully it's not an indication that progress in general is leveling off for women in the law. A glance at the male to female salary gap for lawyers will show that there is still a long way to go.

Women lawyers still remain absent from most positions of power and they aren't gaining ground in big law firms. What's worse, even the top female lawyers feel that they are undervalued and are often given relatively menial assignments compared to their male coworkers.