Anonymous User 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.
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).
i'm not a sa or an associate, but my g/f is one and i've been to several of these events with her and she usually says the above. it just seems that you need to do great work and have a collegial personality. at her vault firm, she has yet to go golfing or witness anyone ridiculed for not drinking. she isn't a huge drinker herself, if she's in the mood and there's alcohol present at an event, she'll drink - but it's no huge deal. she's noticed other summers or associates who don't drink and no one gives a shit about it. this could possibly be an extension of firm culture and i'm sure that the "pressure" to drink varies by firm. people don't drink for a variety of reasons: religion, health (one summer was training for a marathon, another had diabetes), don't like the taste of alcohol, etc...
when we've de-briefed about some of these summer events, one of the things that she has mentioned is that a lot of the summers are cliquish at the events. they only talk or hang around each other, which defeats the purpose of these outside-of-work gatherings. so have your drink, club soda, or whatever and talk to the associates that are there. it's a great way to build relationships. oh and the topics don't always have to be legal.