What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

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Lawquacious
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri May 20, 2011 10:49 pm

:lol: at some of the professional advice in this thread... Not buying you must drink or play golf be successful as an SA or biglaw attorney. I'm not saying there aren't firms where the culture is truly this petty, but I'm fairly sure there are plenty that actually have a professional, rather than frat-house, atmosphere. God at least I hope so. :roll:

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KMaine
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby KMaine » Sat May 21, 2011 8:16 am

Thanks for all of the great (non drinking and golf) advice. I'd love to hear more.

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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 21, 2011 1:51 pm

Lawquacious wrote::lol: at some of the professional advice in this thread... Not buying you must drink or play golf be successful as an SA or biglaw attorney. I'm not saying there aren't firms where the culture is truly this petty, but I'm fairly sure there are plenty that actually have a professional, rather than frat-house, atmosphere. God at least I hope so. :roll:


I was the last anony to actually give 5 tips.

This is absolutely true. I have no idea what firm would force you to drink or play golf but thank god it's not mine. I didn't drink at several summer events (in fact, I only went to about 2/3 of them as a 2L because I was either staying late in the office billing or just couldn't make it) nor did I play golf or do any other kind of ridiculous wannabe madmen bullshit - fyi, absolutely nobody cares about that shit if you can't do the work. I still got an offer and got to work on interesting deals with both partner and client exposure. Why? All that matters is whether or not you're going to bill enough to make partners money. You're generally too inexperienced for them to even judge you on ability or potential as a summer. They're not hiring you as a partner, they're hiring you as a junior associate and junior associates are profitable because they are billing machines as opposed to offering high level value-adding advice on deals. You bill a ton as a summer and you'll be golden as long as: 1) you aren't so socially messed up that people just can't stand being around you, and, 2) you're capable of doing boring, menial tasks while paying tons of attention to detail (hence my advice to follow up quickly, do things on time, ask enough questions to understand what your assignment is, keep people informed, and double or triple check everything you send to anybody).

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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 21, 2011 2:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:you aren't so socially messed up that people just can't stand being around you


people always say stuff like this in law firm advice threads but never actually define or give examples of what sort of behavior entails being "socially messed up"

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Kohinoor
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Kohinoor » Sun May 22, 2011 8:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:you aren't so socially messed up that people just can't stand being around you


people always say stuff like this in law firm advice threads but never actually define or give examples of what sort of behavior entails being "socially messed up"

Keep your views on Hitler to yourself. This is true even if you hate him. Constantly offering your views on him is socially messed up. No exceptions.

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Kohinoor
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Kohinoor » Sun May 22, 2011 8:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Lawquacious wrote::lol: at some of the professional advice in this thread... Not buying you must drink or play golf be successful as an SA or biglaw attorney. I'm not saying there aren't firms where the culture is truly this petty, but I'm fairly sure there are plenty that actually have a professional, rather than frat-house, atmosphere. God at least I hope so. :roll:


I was the last anony to actually give 5 tips.

This is absolutely true. I have no idea what firm would force you to drink or play golf but thank god it's not mine. I didn't drink at several summer events (in fact, I only went to about 2/3 of them as a 2L because I was either staying late in the office billing or just couldn't make it) nor did I play golf or do any other kind of ridiculous wannabe madmen bullshit - fyi, absolutely nobody cares about that shit if you can't do the work. I still got an offer and got to work on interesting deals with both partner and client exposure. Why? All that matters is whether or not you're going to bill enough to make partners money. You're generally too inexperienced for them to even judge you on ability or potential as a summer. They're not hiring you as a partner, they're hiring you as a junior associate and junior associates are profitable because they are billing machines as opposed to offering high level value-adding advice on deals. You bill a ton as a summer and you'll be golden as long as: 1) you aren't so socially messed up that people just can't stand being around you, and, 2) you're capable of doing boring, menial tasks while paying tons of attention to detail (hence my advice to follow up quickly, do things on time, ask enough questions to understand what your assignment is, keep people informed, and double or triple check everything you send to anybody).

Your hours will never be billed to a client so it's probably more about work product quality than billables.

Renzo
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Renzo » Sun May 22, 2011 8:17 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Lawquacious wrote::lol: at some of the professional advice in this thread... Not buying you must drink or play golf be successful as an SA or biglaw attorney. I'm not saying there aren't firms where the culture is truly this petty, but I'm fairly sure there are plenty that actually have a professional, rather than frat-house, atmosphere. God at least I hope so. :roll:


I was the last anony to actually give 5 tips.

This is absolutely true. I have no idea what firm would force you to drink or play golf but thank god it's not mine. I didn't drink at several summer events (in fact, I only went to about 2/3 of them as a 2L because I was either staying late in the office billing or just couldn't make it) nor did I play golf or do any other kind of ridiculous wannabe madmen bullshit - fyi, absolutely nobody cares about that shit if you can't do the work. I still got an offer and got to work on interesting deals with both partner and client exposure. Why? All that matters is whether or not you're going to bill enough to make partners money. You're generally too inexperienced for them to even judge you on ability or potential as a summer. They're not hiring you as a partner, they're hiring you as a junior associate and junior associates are profitable because they are billing machines as opposed to offering high level value-adding advice on deals. You bill a ton as a summer and you'll be golden as long as: 1) you aren't so socially messed up that people just can't stand being around you, and, 2) you're capable of doing boring, menial tasks while paying tons of attention to detail (hence my advice to follow up quickly, do things on time, ask enough questions to understand what your assignment is, keep people informed, and double or triple check everything you send to anybody).

Your hours will never be billed to a client so it's probably more about work product quality than billables.


I think he/she meant as in "is this the kind of person who will bill enough hours to make us rich if we hire them full-time."

OldManHunger
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby OldManHunger » Sun May 22, 2011 8:48 pm

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Last edited by OldManHunger on Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Allure
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Allure » Sun May 22, 2011 8:51 pm

Your hours will never be billed to a client so it's probably more about work product quality than billables.


You don't know that. Whether hours are billed to a client is in the partner's discretion (though, of course, whether the client ultimately pays the bill is its discretion). Partners can and do include summer associate hours.

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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Allure » Sun May 22, 2011 8:52 pm

You must prove that you'd be a profitable associate and not so annoying that they'd rather hire someone else to fill those shoes.


I don't think the bar for "proving you're a profitable associate" is as high as you think it is.

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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Allure » Sun May 22, 2011 8:54 pm

Regarding drinking or golfing, do what you want with respect to them. But you will be judged either way. A no offer is by no means a consequence of that (unless you get drunk and do something dumb). And the judgment won't necessarily be negative. But people will notice and they will make their judgments. It's human nature for people to judge others.

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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Renzo » Sun May 22, 2011 8:56 pm

Allure wrote:
You must prove that you'd be a profitable associate and not so annoying that they'd rather hire someone else to fill those shoes.


I don't think the bar for "proving you're a profitable associate" is as high as you think it is.


Unless, of course, the firm has a hiccup in its revenue stream between now and next August when you'd be starting full-time.

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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby PKSebben » Sun May 22, 2011 9:01 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:1. Don't be weird.
2. Drink when lawyers are drinking, but never get belligerent. Don't not drink - see No. 1.
3. Stay late - be seen staying late, even if you don't have to.
4. Communicate project status with the assigning attorney on a regular basis - NEVER be in the situation where someone is asking where an assignment is.
5. Be eager, volunteer for everything, and be pro-active about getting exposure to as much real legal work as you can.


Yup. Except for you can choose not to drink. Nobody gives a fuck if you have a club soda. Stay late when you have to. Don't linger around for no reason though, because then see rule #1. Don't be afraid to meet people. I'm in a good spot at my firm right now because I'm getting hooked up by dudes I chatted up over my summer.

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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby PKSebben » Sun May 22, 2011 9:01 pm

Allure wrote:
Your hours will never be billed to a client so it's probably more about work product quality than billables.


You don't know that. Whether hours are billed to a client is in the partner's discretion (though, of course, whether the client ultimately pays the bill is its discretion). Partners can and do include summer associate hours.


Yup. 85% of my time was billed and collected as a summer.

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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby PKSebben » Sun May 22, 2011 9:02 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Lawquacious wrote::lol: at some of the professional advice in this thread... Not buying you must drink or play golf be successful as an SA or biglaw attorney. I'm not saying there aren't firms where the culture is truly this petty, but I'm fairly sure there are plenty that actually have a professional, rather than frat-house, atmosphere. God at least I hope so. :roll:


I was the last anony to actually give 5 tips.

This is absolutely true. I have no idea what firm would force you to drink or play golf but thank god it's not mine. I didn't drink at several summer events (in fact, I only went to about 2/3 of them as a 2L because I was either staying late in the office billing or just couldn't make it) nor did I play golf or do any other kind of ridiculous wannabe madmen bullshit - fyi, absolutely nobody cares about that shit if you can't do the work. I still got an offer and got to work on interesting deals with both partner and client exposure. Why? All that matters is whether or not you're going to bill enough to make partners money. You're generally too inexperienced for them to even judge you on ability or potential as a summer. They're not hiring you as a partner, they're hiring you as a junior associate and junior associates are profitable because they are billing machines as opposed to offering high level value-adding advice on deals. You bill a ton as a summer and you'll be golden as long as: 1) you aren't so socially messed up that people just can't stand being around you, and, 2) you're capable of doing boring, menial tasks while paying tons of attention to detail (hence my advice to follow up quickly, do things on time, ask enough questions to understand what your assignment is, keep people informed, and double or triple check everything you send to anybody).

Your hours will never be billed to a client so it's probably more about work product quality than billables.


For someone that's been around these boards so long and has presumably worked at a big firm, it's stunning how much bad advice you give.

Allure
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Allure » Sun May 22, 2011 9:59 pm

Renzo wrote:
Allure wrote:
You must prove that you'd be a profitable associate and not so annoying that they'd rather hire someone else to fill those shoes.


I don't think the bar for "proving you're a profitable associate" is as high as you think it is.


Unless, of course, the firm has a hiccup in its revenue stream between now and next August when you'd be starting full-time.


This statement makes me worried. Firms experience a "hiccup in revenue stream" because they don't have any work for associates to bill for. Since associates have no work to bill for, they can't generate revenue and the overhead of keeping them then exceeds the money they bring in for their firm. In that context, whether or not an associate bills a lot or has the physical/mental ability to bill a lot is irrelevant. There is simply no work for that associate to do, so he's going to get laid off anyways.

That's what made the economic crisis so terrifying. Most of those who were laid off weren't laid off because they were slackers. A lot of them were ready and willing to bill 2,400 hours, but simply couldn't find work to bill hours on.

To be sure, though a first year associate billing even 2,000 hours per year is profitable for the firm (assuming that all 2,000 are billable to a client). Again, that bar isn't high.

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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Kohinoor » Sun May 22, 2011 10:12 pm

PKSebben wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:Your hours will never be billed to a client so it's probably more about work product quality than billables.


For someone that's been around these boards so long and has presumably worked at a big firm, it's stunning how much bad advice you give.

tyty. For someone with a dunking Bender profile pic you act completely unlike Bender would while dunking.

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PKSebben
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby PKSebben » Sun May 22, 2011 10:14 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:Your hours will never be billed to a client so it's probably more about work product quality than billables.


For someone that's been around these boards so long and has presumably worked at a big firm, it's stunning how much bad advice you give.

tyty. For someone with a dunking Bender profile pic you act completely unlike Bender would while dunking.


I think talking smack while he posterizes an inferior player is completely in line with Bender's personality and my conduct.

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Kohinoor
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Kohinoor » Sun May 22, 2011 10:20 pm

Allure wrote:
Your hours will never be billed to a client so it's probably more about work product quality than billables.


You don't know that. Whether hours are billed to a client is in the partner's discretion (though, of course, whether the client ultimately pays the bill is its discretion). Partners can and do include summer associate hours.

This is certainly true. However, especially with an economy that has clients shying away from paying for even first-year work, it is increasingly rare for partners to pass on SA work to clients.

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Kohinoor
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Kohinoor » Sun May 22, 2011 10:21 pm

PKSebben wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:Your hours will never be billed to a client so it's probably more about work product quality than billables.


For someone that's been around these boards so long and has presumably worked at a big firm, it's stunning how much bad advice you give.

tyty. For someone with a dunking Bender profile pic you act completely unlike Bender would while dunking.


I think talking smack while he posterizes an inferior player is completely in line with Bender's personality and my conduct.

And with this my internet pwnage is complete sir. I will post on facebook and ONTD until I recover sufficiently to show my face here again.

jhett
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby jhett » Sun May 22, 2011 10:41 pm

Seriously... why was everyone so focused on drinking and golfing? Out of all the possible things you should worry about as a summer associate, those two issues are pretty low on the list. No one will care if you do or do not golf. And the only rule for alcohol is : know your limit and don't be stupid. No one cares if you don't drink (or if they do, write them off as jerks).

Bottom line: Do really good work. So good that the partner is willing to pass your work product on to the client and bill for it. Do this and you make the partner look good, you make the firm look good, and you make yourself look good.

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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 23, 2011 9:53 am

Kohinoor wrote:Your hours will never be billed to a client so it's probably more about work product quality than billables.


Same person you were quoting.

Work product? Child please. Where in my post did I say you should write up a receipt for your work and send it directly to the client? Even assuming clients won't pay for a summer's hours, which is flat out wrong, you've missed the point entirely. As a summer associate you're generally getting fluff assignments so your billables ARE your work product. I'm assuming nobody is going to hand in things with typos or write memos with incorrect case law cited. Those are gimme's and if you mess that up you don't deserve an offer.

Honestly, how could you tell the difference between two associate's doc review abilities? What about their ability to take a form, create a new document in the system and then update dates/names/etc.? The work you get isn't going to be challenging (at least at the beginning, by the end of the summer you should have had at least a few assignments where they let you take a stab at something difficult but nobody expects you to nail it) so how could they judge you on it? It's not as if day 1 they're going to say, "well mr/ms. X, we've got this merger going down and we'd like you to draft the reps and warranties section." It's more like, "hey dipshit, you're not doing anything important, why don't you take a glance at this merger agreement and make sure all the defined terms are capitalized and the section numbers match up." If you get that assignment the worst thing you could do is control F your way through it and finish in an hour. You should read the entire thing through and try to figure out why everything is in there and then ask questions about the document in addition to doing what they told you to do (bill the entire time you are working on the document, even if they write it off you're giving a strong signal). If all goes well nobody will ever mention your hours billed to you during the summer, nor should you discuss it with other summers, it's just accepted that when you do arrive you'll be a billing machine and hence worthy of an offer.

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RVP11
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby RVP11 » Mon May 23, 2011 10:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:(in fact, I only went to about 2/3 of them as a 2L because I was either staying late in the office billing or just couldn't make it)


My bet is this could get you dinged at a more fratty/social firm, or a firm with a small SA class. There are firms where staying until 8pm to do work rather than going to a firm event would look bad. "What a gunner."

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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 23, 2011 10:33 am

Going back on track. OL paralegal here. Just two things off the top of my head:

1) Develop a thick skin quickly. Attorneys are stressed. You will get yelled at, and probably at times for things that aren't even your fault or are being blown out of proportion. Just deal with it. This doesn't mean you're going to get fired, it doesn't mean the partner hates you, it just means that they're stressed out and they need to yell at someone. If you overreact, it's going to look bad. Just apologize for anything you've done, or offer to help with something you haven't, and then get out of their sight. They'll most likely forget they even did it in the first place so the faster you get back to work the better.

2) Avoid involving anyone higher up than you in petty shit. There may be administrative people that bother the hell out of you, or a client you're in contact with is treating you horribly: just deal with it. Senior associates and partners do not want to hear about this kind of stuff. If something goes wrong because someone equal to you or lower than you screwed up, too bad, attorneys don't care. Just suck it up and deal with it yourself. If you'r the guy/girl constantly complaining about how other people are acting/working/treating you, people are going to assume you can't take care of yourself or that you're priorities are in the wrong place.

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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming SA?

Postby rocon7383 » Mon May 23, 2011 10:53 am

The Insider wrote:Actually, it's not my intention to argue, but shed light on this issue. If I came off acrimonious then obviously my apologies but it was just an open dialogue on whether non-drinkers enjoy the same rights as drinkers. I never even once stated "you're wrong, yeah right, says who" so stop assuming because I was attempting to potentially illuminate yet larger questions.


Friends don't let friends continue with this horrible discussion. Let it go.




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