Drinking and SA job

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Anonymous User
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Drinking and SA job

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:44 pm

So, kind of a weird question.

I don't drink. No past problems, no moral objections. I just don't like the taste. Is this going to be an issue for me this summer?

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Kohinoor
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby Kohinoor » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So, kind of a weird question.

I don't drink. No past problems, no moral objections. I just don't like the taste. Is this going to be an issue for me this summer?

Can you be not weird about it?

HBK
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby HBK » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:So, kind of a weird question.

I don't drink. No past problems, no moral objections. I just don't like the taste. Is this going to be an issue for me this summer?


You will.

/jk

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MrKappus
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby MrKappus » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:05 am

Since you already have made this part of who you are, and presumably you still socialize and interact with people, why are you asking this? The people you know right now and hang out with are people. The people at law firms are people. They are going to respond the same way. People that get to know you, know you're allergic to fun, and like you anyway won't care. People you just met, especially if you're going around a dinner table and everyone's ordering drinks, will think you're uptight and/or a born-again Christian/Morman and/or a recovering alcoholic. People's opinions of teetotalers won't change just b/c you're suddenly working for a law firm. This could be good or bad news, depending on how this has worked out for you in the past.

That said, if you don't have a moral objection, order something and hold onto it. It's called fitting in, and it's an important part of business (and life).

HTH.

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quakeroats
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby quakeroats » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:So, kind of a weird question.

I don't drink. No past problems, no moral objections. I just don't like the taste. Is this going to be an issue for me this summer?


What exactly don't you like the taste of? There's a wide world of alcoholic beverages; don't stop at Coors Light.

Anonymous User
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:18 am

MrKappus wrote:Since you already have made this part of who you are, and presumably you still socialize and interact with people, why are you asking this? The people you know right now and hang out with are people. The people at law firms are people. They are going to respond the same way. People that get to know you, know you're allergic to fun, and like you anyway won't care. People you just met, especially if you're going around a dinner table and everyone's ordering drinks, will think you're uptight and/or a born-again Christian/Morman and/or a recovering alcoholic. People's opinions of teetotalers won't change just b/c you're suddenly working for a law firm. This could be good or bad news, depending on how this has worked out for you in the past.

That said, if you don't have a moral objection, order something and hold onto it. It's called fitting in, and it's an important part of business (and life).

HTH.


Yeah, I guess I didn't really ask the question I meant to ask. I've got no problem getting a beer with dinner or something. I'm not a total teetotaler. I just never have more than one and it never occurs to me to get one on my own. Much rather have water.

I guess what I meant to ask was, is not wanting to out drinking after work going to be a problem? I can do it. I'm not a social retard. But I won't enjoy it and I'd rather not have to fake it.

As for the taste, I hate wine and liquor. Beer I don't mind, but I wouldn't say I like it.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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MrKappus
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby MrKappus » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
MrKappus wrote:Since you already have made this part of who you are, and presumably you still socialize and interact with people, why are you asking this? The people you know right now and hang out with are people. The people at law firms are people. They are going to respond the same way. People that get to know you, know you're allergic to fun, and like you anyway won't care. People you just met, especially if you're going around a dinner table and everyone's ordering drinks, will think you're uptight and/or a born-again Christian/Morman and/or a recovering alcoholic. People's opinions of teetotalers won't change just b/c you're suddenly working for a law firm. This could be good or bad news, depending on how this has worked out for you in the past.

That said, if you don't have a moral objection, order something and hold onto it. It's called fitting in, and it's an important part of business (and life).

HTH.


Yeah, I guess I didn't really ask the question I meant to ask. I've got no problem getting a beer with dinner or something. I'm not a total teetotaler. I just never have more than one and it never occurs to me to get one on my own. Much rather have water.

I guess what I meant to ask was, is not wanting to out drinking after work going to be a problem? I can do it. I'm not a social retard. But I won't enjoy it and I'd rather not have to fake it.

As for the taste, I hate wine and liquor. Beer I don't mind, but I wouldn't say I like it.


Ah. Sorry. My first response is useless to you. Full disclosure: I'm a 2L headed towards an SA this summer, so I can't speak specifically to the SA experience. I do have WE though, and I've always found that the after-work hangin' out's pretty important to developing ties and building your "brand" in a new place. It's a huge pain in the ass, but any time anyone's going out at your office after work and it looks like non-SA's will be there, it's probably in your best interest to go. I love drinking and even I'm going to find this to be a pain in the ass, but that's the cost of doin' biz, I guess.

Edit: haha I don't mean go out and get hammered all the time. I just mean show your face and meet people.
Last edited by MrKappus on Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby Lawl Shcool » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:29 am

You can still go out with people after work. Nobody will think less of you for not drinking if you don't act weird about it. Just order a water/soda/whatever and socialize, no need to draw attention to the non-alcoholic nature of it. If your caught in a bind just say you're training for a triathlon and have to work out later that night.

Anonymous User
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:31 am

Alright, that's much more manageable. I don't hate fun, I just have a different drug of choice :)

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quakeroats
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby quakeroats » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:
As for the taste, I hate wine and liquor. Beer I don't mind, but I wouldn't say I like it.


What you probably mean is that you hate (with good reason) White Zin and can tolerate American pale lager (the water-like substance the big three put out). Spend some time on it. A Cabernet is difficult the first time you try it, but once you're past the initial awkwardness you'll probably find there's a lot there to come back for. Not everyone has the palate for serious food, but most never spend the time necessary to find out. Pick up a Wine Spectator or head over to Beeradvocate.com and experiment. Or, whine about how poorly you tolerate what a fair percentage of the population fines enjoyable. I'm going to get back to my Rochefort 10...

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omninode
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby omninode » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:42 am

I too dread social gatherings, especially when they are just to "hang out" without a specific purpose. But I almost always experience at least one hilarious moment, or make a new friend, or something cool happens to make it worthwhile. I guess my advice is, try to make the best of it.

And if you ever have difficulty mustering the energy to go to another boring-ass social event, just remember this: You are extremely fortunate to have a job and there are thousands of people who want to take it from you. I will someday be one of them. So buck up.

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omninode
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby omninode » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:46 am

quakeroats wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
As for the taste, I hate wine and liquor. Beer I don't mind, but I wouldn't say I like it.


What you probably mean is that you hate (with good reason) White Zin and can tolerate American pale lager (the water-like substance the big three put out). Spend some time on it. A Cabernet is difficult the first time you try it, but once you're past the initial awkwardness you'll probably find there's a lot there to come back for. Not everyone has the palate for serious food, but most never spend the time necessary to find out. Pick up a Wine Spectator or head over to Beeradvocate.com and experiment. Or, whine about how poorly you tolerate what a fair percentage of the population fines enjoyable. I'm going to get back to my Rochefort 10...

Yes. Drinking is much more fun if you make it an intellectual experience. When you have knowledge about what you're drinking and what makes it special, it suddenly becomes more than an alcohol delivery system. You begin to look forward to going out and trying new things. That has been my experience, anyway.

Anonymous User
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:48 am

quakeroats wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
As for the taste, I hate wine and liquor. Beer I don't mind, but I wouldn't say I like it.


What you probably mean is that you hate (with good reason) White Zin and can tolerate American pale lager (the water-like substance the big three put out). Spend some time on it. A Cabernet is difficult the first time you try it, but once you're past the initial awkwardness you'll probably find there's a lot there to come back for. Not everyone has the palate for serious food, but most never spend the time necessary to find out. Pick up a Wine Spectator or head over to Beeradvocate.com and experiment. Or, whine about how poorly you tolerate what a fair percentage of the population fines enjoyable. I'm going to get back to my Rochefort 10...


I'll admit that I never developed a taste for it. I wasn't whining, merely mentioning that I don't care for it. There's no need to be a dick about it.

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jdstl
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby jdstl » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:50 am

Everyone needs to experience getting completely wasted at least once. This is my only advice.

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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:05 am

jdstl wrote:Everyone needs to experience getting completely wasted at least once. This is my only advice.


I'm a non-trad. Been there, done that. Just cause I don't like the taste doesn't mean I never drank.

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quakeroats
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby quakeroats » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:
quakeroats wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
As for the taste, I hate wine and liquor. Beer I don't mind, but I wouldn't say I like it.


What you probably mean is that you hate (with good reason) White Zin and can tolerate American pale lager (the water-like substance the big three put out). Spend some time on it. A Cabernet is difficult the first time you try it, but once you're past the initial awkwardness you'll probably find there's a lot there to come back for. Not everyone has the palate for serious food, but most never spend the time necessary to find out. Pick up a Wine Spectator or head over to Beeradvocate.com and experiment. Or, whine about how poorly you tolerate what a fair percentage of the population fines enjoyable. I'm going to get back to my Rochefort 10...


I'll admit that I never developed a taste for it. I wasn't whining, merely mentioning that I don't care for it. There's no need to be a dick about it.


You're in your twenties not your seventies. You've got plenty of time to develop whatever tastes you want. You're missing something with alcohol. Just like you'll miss something if you don't play golf or tennis. You can easily survive it, but why would you? Life's more fun with Syrah.

Anonymous User
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:15 am

quakeroats wrote:
You're in your twenties.


No, I'm not. Life's also more fun when you realize that other people have different tastes and pleasures than you, and there's nothing wrong with that.

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Drummingreg
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby Drummingreg » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:22 am

I don't understand. You just don't enjoy the taste? You might as well say, "I don't enjoy drinking beverages". There are so many alcoholic drinks where you can't even taste the alcohol. (vodka Arnold Palmer comes to mind) And there are also a million different flavors and types of alcohol. I find it hard to believe that you have experimented with enough alcohol to be able to say definitively that you don't like the taste of it.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:26 am

Why are people so freaked out by the thought of someone not liking alcohol?

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:35 am

There are a million non alcoholic cocktails you can order and enjoy (Arnold Palmer, virgin Mary, club soda lime Rickey). You can say you have a low tolerance, are driving, never developed a taste for liquor, etc. If you prefer to avoid questions, go to the bar to get your drink and carry it to the table. Yes, there is a culture of drinking, but as long as you don't make a big deal of abstaining (and can handle some good-natured ribbing) this will quickly become a non-issue.

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Lwoods
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby Lwoods » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:42 am

Drummingreg wrote:I don't understand. You just don't enjoy the taste? You might as well say, "I don't enjoy drinking beverages". There are so many alcoholic drinks where you can't even taste the alcohol. (vodka Arnold Palmer comes to mind) And there are also a million different flavors and types of alcohol. I find it hard to believe that you have experimented with enough alcohol to be able to say definitively that you don't like the taste of it.


I'm a picky drinker and don't don't beer because I personally prefer tart "girly" drinks (amaretto sours and bellinis are my favorites). I didn't drink before I was 21, so I'm sympathetic to those who are given a hard time for not drinking.
Your post, though, Drummingreg, reminds me of what one of my classmates told me shortly after my 21st birthday. He was a wine major, and I told him that I tried wine and wasn't a fan. He responded with, "saying you don't like wine is like saying you don't like music. You may not have liked the wine you tried, but there are wines out there you will like." He was right, and I've since discovered that I like Moscato, many Rieslings and sweet sparkling white wines. I also like a well-paired red, but I'm not sophisticated enough to know how to pair on my own!


Anyway, I'm a law school applicant, so I haven't been through an SA program yet. However, I did work for the NY office of a V50 firm for a couple years, and my first summer attended a farewell dinner for the SA I assisted. I have a couple different thoughts that might answer a few of your different concerns...

*Despite the drinking culture associated with BigLaw, there were many at my old office who didn't drink. The ones I know are all Mormon, but it is an acceptable choice, or at least it is at my old firm.

*Many events are open bar. Order a coke; most will assume it's a cocktail. Just sip it slowly. ;) (and remember to hold it in your left hand to keep your shaking hand dry!)

*When you're out to dinner with attorneys, what and if you drink will likely come up. You have a couple ways to approach this depending on what you want. You can be completely honest and say that you don't like the taste, but that might come across as a challenge to the host[ess] attorney who will want to find something for you that you like. This could turn out well as you might find something you like. But, if you don't want to get into it, just say you want to keep a clear head for whatever project you're working on. There's a good chance this will be the case anyway.

*Law is a service industry, so they will probably want to see that you're sociable and able to conduct yourself well in social situations. However, at most (if not all) firms, I'm sure they prefer you err on the side of drinking too little (or abstaining) rather than drinking too much.

I'm only one data point, of course, and my experience was only as an observer. But I can't imagine it's that different wherever you're headed. Congrats on landing an SA spot. :D

And I have to leave you with this Jim Gaffigan bit:
When you don't drink, people always need to know why. They are like, "You don't drink? Why?"
It never happens with anything else. "You don't use mayonnaise? Why? Are you addicted to mayonnaise? Is it okay if I use mayonnaise? I could go outside..."

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reasonable_man
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:58 am

Kohinoor wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So, kind of a weird question.

I don't drink. No past problems, no moral objections. I just don't like the taste. Is this going to be an issue for me this summer?

Can you be not weird about it?


This. Drinking, from experience, is part of any law firm culture, especially mid to large sized firms. However, its not a big deal as long as you're quiet about the fact that you don't like to booze it up.

Anonymous User
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:11 am

I don't drink either, but I've been a summer associate, so maybe I can offer advice.

My strategy was to take one beer and nurse it for the whole night. There's nothing more awkward than being at a social event with both of your hands empty. If you're really that averse to having a few sips of booze every 30 minutes, get a drink that looks like alcohol. I hear sprite and a lime can act as G&T, so you might try that. Others may have better suggestions here.

Regarding "building your brand": You build your brand at the firm by doing good work. That's it. Though I think socializing is necessary in the form of networking events and formal events officially done by the firm, drinks after work definitely isn't.

That said, being able to build rapport with coworkers may make the workplace feel more comfortable for you, as you get the impression that you know them outside of their professional capacities. At the end of the day, though, what'll determine whether you can stay at the firm is your work product and that you don't make any huge social gaffes at the social events you do attend.

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quakeroats
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby quakeroats » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:58 am

Lwoods wrote:
Drummingreg wrote:I don't understand. You just don't enjoy the taste? You might as well say, "I don't enjoy drinking beverages". There are so many alcoholic drinks where you can't even taste the alcohol. (vodka Arnold Palmer comes to mind) And there are also a million different flavors and types of alcohol. I find it hard to believe that you have experimented with enough alcohol to be able to say definitively that you don't like the taste of it.


I'm a picky drinker and don't don't beer because I personally prefer tart "girly" drinks (amaretto sours and bellinis are my favorites). I didn't drink before I was 21, so I'm sympathetic to those who are given a hard time for not drinking.
Your post, though, Drummingreg, reminds me of what one of my classmates told me shortly after my 21st birthday. He was a wine major, and I told him that I tried wine and wasn't a fan. He responded with, "saying you don't like wine is like saying you don't like music. You may not have liked the wine you tried, but there are wines out there you will like." He was right, and I've since discovered that I like Moscato, many Rieslings and sweet sparkling white wines. I also like a well-paired red, but I'm not sophisticated enough to know how to pair on my own!


Anyway, I'm a law school applicant, so I haven't been through an SA program yet. However, I did work for the NY office of a V50 firm for a couple years, and my first summer attended a farewell dinner for the SA I assisted. I have a couple different thoughts that might answer a few of your different concerns...

*Despite the drinking culture associated with BigLaw, there were many at my old office who didn't drink. The ones I know are all Mormon, but it is an acceptable choice, or at least it is at my old firm.

*Many events are open bar. Order a coke; most will assume it's a cocktail. Just sip it slowly. ;) (and remember to hold it in your left hand to keep your shaking hand dry!)

*When you're out to dinner with attorneys, what and if you drink will likely come up. You have a couple ways to approach this depending on what you want. You can be completely honest and say that you don't like the taste, but that might come across as a challenge to the host[ess] attorney who will want to find something for you that you like. This could turn out well as you might find something you like. But, if you don't want to get into it, just say you want to keep a clear head for whatever project you're working on. There's a good chance this will be the case anyway.

*Law is a service industry, so they will probably want to see that you're sociable and able to conduct yourself well in social situations. However, at most (if not all) firms, I'm sure they prefer you err on the side of drinking too little (or abstaining) rather than drinking too much.

I'm only one data point, of course, and my experience was only as an observer. But I can't imagine it's that different wherever you're headed. Congrats on landing an SA spot. :D

And I have to leave you with this Jim Gaffigan bit:
When you don't drink, people always need to know why. They are like, "You don't drink? Why?"
It never happens with anything else. "You don't use mayonnaise? Why? Are you addicted to mayonnaise? Is it okay if I use mayonnaise? I could go outside..."


+1

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Blindmelon
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Re: Drinking and SA job

Postby Blindmelon » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:10 am

You'll be in a much, much better position than people who will go get hammered after work with partners (not a good move).

I don't drink much (1 here or there) and I've developed some tricks for these types of situations where people don't really know you.

1). Order your own drinks. Tonic with a twist of lime is the best way to go and bartenders always know what you're trying to do.
2). If someone orders you a drink, just sip on it the whole night, just carrying it around is enough to look like you've been drinking like crazy.
3). Shots are tricky (I've had a senior manager buy a round of shots - I'm not against it, just didn't want to be hammered in front of the boss, I have no tolerance). So I just pretended to take it, and dumped it out when no one looked.

Most of all, just be honest about it. When everyone is ordering drinks just say you're not into it and move on. No long explanation necessary - that'll make things weird. Generally, no one cares.




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