Associate Advice: Six Tips for Successful Work Lunches

Happy Hump Day, Law Babe!

It’s finally summer (officially not until tomorrow, but whatever).  That means that plenty of summer lunches are on tap, whether you’re a full-on associate or a summer associate.  I’ve had more than my fair share of awkward business lunches, so I thought we’d cover some ground here today and go over five tips for making these necessary (but sometimes evil) lunches at least palatable.

top view photo of dish on white plate

 

1.   Napkin Etiquette.  Your napkin should go into your lap as soon as you’re seated.  If you get up at any point during lunch, your napkin should be placed on your chair, not on the table.  Don’t place your napkin back on the table until you stand to leave the restaurant.

2.   Put your phone away.  Unless you have a really good reason to keep your phone on the table (yes, waiting on a call from a partner probably does count), you’re just not that important that you need to keep your phone(s) on the table.  Don’t be that person.  If you must sneak a peek at your phone during lunch, do so quickly and under the table towards end of the meal (when the bill is being paid, for example).

3.   BMW: Bread, Middle, Water.  Your bread plate is to your left, your water cup is to your right.  That’s easy enough to remember.

4.   On appetizers. If everyone else at the table orders an appetizer, go ahead and order one too.  However, if no one in your party orders an app, you should skip it.  If you end up being the first to order first, feel free to ask around the table to see if everyone is ordering starters.

5.   No alcohol, no exceptions.  It’s a work lunch.  It doesn’t matter if you’re the summer associate and all the associates hosting you order drinks.  No alcohol.  End of story.

6.   This isn’t the time or place to be ask for a doggy bag.  Don’t ask for your leftovers unless you truly haven’t touched your meal for some reason.  Otherwise, you run the risk of coming across as a bit desperate.

There you have it!  Hopefully these tips will pave the way for a summer’s worth of successful (and un-cringeworthy) lunches.

Stay Smart and Sexy, Law Babe! xoxo.

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