Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

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lawbuddha
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Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby lawbuddha » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:14 pm

All 2Ls and 3Ls who had worked as a law firm SA, please help future SAs (both 1Ls and 2Ls) by sharing your wisdom gained over those summers.

Non-Lawyer Lawyer
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby Non-Lawyer Lawyer » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:21 pm

DO - Take full advantage of and attend every social event offered by the firm over the course of your 12 weeks there. No matter how tired you may be, no matter how boring it may seem, GO. Be sociable and show that you can get along with partners and senior associates, as well as your fellow SAs. Make a good impression, but don't be overeager.

DO NOT - Take full advantage of the open bars and copious amounts of top-shelf liquor offered at these very same social events. While lawyers may be (unfortunately) renown for their substance abuse issues, there is no reason for you to become known as "that guy" among the hiring partners.

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nealric
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby nealric » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:13 pm

Show enthusiasm (I had several people, including the managing partner of my firm tell me this). Make sure people know that you want to work there and are interested in the work you do. You can demonstrate this by asking thoughtful questions, following up with the assigning attorneys about the project even after it is turned in, and by generally sounding enthusiastic when you talk with them. A lot of people who were no-offered were those who didn't really want to work at the firm all that badly- and let it show in subtle ways.

Never assume an assignment is of low importance just because it is mundane or doesn't require much work. The assigning attorney will still probably fill out an evaluation just the same as that summer-long project.

Pay attention and take notes if you are asked to sit in on a meeting. They may want your notes.

Communicate with regard to your status on longer assignments when no due-date is specified. Don't just assume they don't want it until the end of the summer.

Make sure you are 100% sure of what the assigning attorney is asking for before you start working. The last thing you want to do is pour 50 hours into an assignment that is different from what was asked for.

Work hard. I know it sounds stupid, but a lot of people were under the impression at my summer that you could get the offer by chatting the right people up. People (both the other summers and attorneys) knew who the hard workers were. At the end of the summer, none of the slackers had offers (even the lovable ones).

With the above in mind, don't take on more work than you can handle while maintaining quality. A sloppy assignment is just an opportunity to get a bad review. One scathing review could sink you in a summer with a lot of no-offers.

Don't be sloppy. It's tempting to throw the same wrinkled shirt on when you are operating on 5 hours of sleep, but try to stay presentable as possible. If something has a stain, don't wear it.

Don't spend a lot on summer rent. You won't have much free time and you won't be at home often.

Don't turn down an opportunity to network if at all possible. When you go to firm events, talk to the attorneys- not just the other summers.

Avoid bringing up politics unless the attorney brings the topic up (and then tread on eggshells). A conservative friend of mine was no-offered for making a political comment that was was offensive to a liberal associate- even though it was made politely.

Posner
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby Posner » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:49 pm

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Last edited by Posner on Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawbuddha
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby lawbuddha » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:00 pm

Great advice, guys. Appreciated!

bmontminy
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby bmontminy » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:03 pm

great advice guys, thanks!

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TTT-LS
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby TTT-LS » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:46 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posner
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby Posner » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:46 pm

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Last edited by Posner on Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

illegallyblonde
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby illegallyblonde » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:31 am

This is really helpful. Any tips about preparing to work in a transactional/corporate group? I spent last summer at Legal Aid, so this will be really different for me.

Posner
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby Posner » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:49 am

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Last edited by Posner on Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gollymolly
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby gollymolly » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:57 am

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Last edited by gollymolly on Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:06 am

gollymolly wrote:What's the consensus on living in proximity to the firm? My choices are pay $$$ to sublet in a shithole near work or have a 1 hour commute each way but live well and free.


How do you live well and free having to spend 2 hours commuting on top of an already 11-12 hour work day?

Plus, let's say you earn $50/hr. You lose $100 per day -- or $2200 a month -- by commuting.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:
gollymolly wrote:What's the consensus on living in proximity to the firm? My choices are pay $$$ to sublet in a shithole near work or have a 1 hour commute each way but live well and free.


How do you live well and free having to spend 2 hours commuting on top of an already 11-12 hour work day?

Plus, let's say you earn $50/hr. You lose $100 per day -- or $2200 a month -- by commuting.


Except you don't lose that money, because it isn't like you have the choice between "Get paid $50 per hour or commute."

Also, you can always do work on the commute.

I'm certainly not an hour commute kind of guy (though if I'm ever cursed with children I will be, because Chicago public schools = awful, and there's no way in hell I'm paying for private school, so suburbs it is,) but I certainly see the logic behind it.

Posner
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby Posner » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:13 am

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Last edited by Posner on Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TTT-LS
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby TTT-LS » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:54 am

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

andreea7
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby andreea7 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:10 am

It depends where you are located. For example, living on Manhattan in proximity to a big law firm it will likely not be doable in the first few years. Other than that, obviously, better to be close. You wouldn't want to have to show up late for something important because the train broke down or because you are stuck in traffic. I have an hour-long commute and it's been fine because I am not with a law firm now and my office is laid back. But I did miss on some things at the office because of the commute and I ended up being late because of train issues.

rando
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby rando » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:17 am

Forgive my absolute ignorance. But I honestly have no idea what I will be facing this summer. Obviously memos etc. But what about contracts, pleadings, motions etc.?
Working at a court (discretionary apps, memos, opinions) has been relatively straightforward. Similarly, I worked at a DA's office where I just wrote appellate briefs over and over.

I haven't taken contract drafting, never drafted a pleading etc. I would assume the firm will accomodate for such ignorance, but...? What was everyone's experience like when hitting an issue in which you had absolutely zero background.

Posner
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby Posner » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:24 am

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Last edited by Posner on Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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nealric
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby nealric » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:49 am

What was everyone's experience like when hitting an issue in which you had absolutely zero background.


It will happen. You just need to do what you can.

I was asked to write a law review article on an extremely arcane issue in international tax. It required extensive knowledge of about 5-6 LLM level classes to really do well (I just had Tax I under my belt). But I just dragged out the treatises and did the best I could. In retrospect, I'm sure the article was a complete stinker, but their expectations are pretty low when they give an assignment like that. Mostly they are looking to see whether you fail gracefully or epic fail.

Anonymous User
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 17, 2010 2:29 am

Any other tips? Most of the "no-offer" stories from back in the day anyway aren't very helpful. Like I would never tell a partner that he's "stupid" because he doesn't know how to properly rub sticks together to make fire. I don't know enough about liquor to complain that the stuff at a firm event is not high-end enough.

Besides "don't be a huge dick," any other advice? There's been some good advice here for sure. It just sucks when you try to look up some extra help on this subject, and my school's info sheet is mostly about not being a huge dick! Good stories, limited helpfulness.

Anonymous User
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 17, 2010 2:47 am

ask about whether you're going to get offered a job every other day.

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A'nold
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby A'nold » Mon May 17, 2010 2:49 am

What ever happened to the wine and dine/baseball games/easy, non meaningful work as an SA? :wink:

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thesealocust
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Re: Soliciting advice - DOs and DON'Ts for the summer job

Postby thesealocust » Mon May 17, 2010 6:53 am

oops
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