Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or being a long-established business known for reputable service and a wealthy clientele: "took a job at ... [a] pronouncedly white-shoe investment-banking firm” ( Connie Bruck).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A stereotypical Ivy League student.
  • adj. Effeminate or immature.
  • adj. Establishment; pertaining to mainstream US social power-structures.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. denoting a company or law firm owned and run by members of the WASP elite who are generally conservative

Etymologies

From white + shoe; their traditional footwear. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A week or two after Salmi and Kosnoff sent their complaint to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, they headed to a Seattle high-rise to the law offices of Stafford Frey Cooper, a white-shoe firm that defended Fortune 500 clients from civil lawsuits throughout the Pacific Northwest.

    The Sins of Brother Curtis

  • I wonder how the white-shoe firms felt about missing out on this one ...

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Judicial Law Clerk Without a Law Degree

  • Mr. Kanfer avoids naming Bogart's many imitators, but I can recall that even before his death Bogart's spirit glimmered in Edward R. Murrow (the trench coat, the cigarette); in Jack Kennedy (Irish toughness, Harvard wit); in old white-shoe veterans of lonely World War II parachute drops with the OSS; in the writer Lillian Hellman, until she was revealed as a sanctimonious liar not long before her death.

    Cool Is as Cool Was

  • Advokat is an attorney at one of Seattle's white-shoe law firms.

    The Single Speed Cyclocross World Championship Heads to Seattle « PubliCola

  • This latest drama unfolded simultaneously in Dell's headquarters in Round Rock, Tex.; in H-P's Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters; 3PAR's offices in Fremont, Calif.; and in white-shoe investment banking offices in San Francisco and New York.

    H-P Outguns Dell in Takeover Duel

  • Thousands of American inmates must represent themselves in such suits — there is no parade of white-shoe law firms at their beck and call.

    The Case for Full Disclosure

  • It pays off: Forbes reports than an internal probe at the Securities and Exchange Commission found evidence that "a private-equity firm was able to avoid fraud charges only after enlisting the help of William McLucas, a former SEC director who'd joined white-shoe law firm WilmerHale."

    The hard work falls to the regulators

  • So whereas in the old days prestige came to those firms that worked their way up the credit scale to the blue chips, Wall Street's white-shoe firms were motivated to look for less-creditworthy new clients.

    Legislating a Conscience on Wall Street

  • On the Republican side, there's Mr. LaVerghetta, an attorney at white-shoe law firm Debevoise

    Upstarts Aim to Unseat Upper East Side Fixture

  • Jon Corzine never had the stiff reputation of a white-shoe banker.

    Overheard: Penny Pinching

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