SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

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OperaSoprano
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby OperaSoprano » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:30 am

Super glad people are enjoying! I started at my nonprofit (an office of a large organization) last week, and am loving it so far. I am pleasantly surprised they have room to give us offices, though I share one with one other intern. People definitely balance work and life, and to my absolute happiness, many of them were hired right out of LS. I would love to work here post graduation.

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Rotor
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby Rotor » Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:41 am

OperaSoprano wrote:Super glad people are enjoying! I started at my nonprofit (an office of a large organization) last week, and am loving it so far. I am pleasantly surprised they have room to give us offices, though I share one with one other intern. People definitely balance work and life, and to my absolute happiness, many of them were hired right out of LS. I would love to work here post graduation.

If this were Facebook, I'd hit the Like button. :D Happiness is key to success.

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kurla88
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby kurla88 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:So a partner I'm excited to get to know better in the group I'm rotating through offered to take me and another SA to lunch on either Wednesday or Friday of this coming week. The other SA said that Friday worked better for him. I agreed.

Major brain fart: I'm the best man in a wedding on that Friday. The main attorney that I'm working for had even given me the go ahead to take half the day off! The lunch is scheduled to take place right when I need to leave for the wedding.

Any tips on how to extricate myself from this sticky situation? My initial thought is to try to move the lunch to Wednesday somehow ...


Just contact him... it's not a huge deal.

Renzo
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby Renzo » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:39 am

Rotor wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:Super glad people are enjoying! I started at my nonprofit (an office of a large organization) last week, and am loving it so far. I am pleasantly surprised they have room to give us offices, though I share one with one other intern. People definitely balance work and life, and to my absolute happiness, many of them were hired right out of LS. I would love to work here post graduation.

If this were Facebook, I'd hit the Like button. :D Happiness is key to success.


Agreed.

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BunkMoreland
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby BunkMoreland » Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:30 pm

Sup Kid wrote:
Rotor wrote:
BunkMoreland wrote:Does anyone know the reason we are taxed as if we are actually making 160,000K instead of 30-37k? It's really disgusting to see how low my paycheck goes, and I have a LOT less money than I thought I was going to have. Not that I'm complaining about getting paid, but does anyone feel perturbed about giving so much to the government for free for 6-8 months, knowing we will get a huge tax refund in 2012?

+1 to those who said it's because the IRS assumes that check will be coming for the entire year. However, there may be an explicitly permitted way for you to do it (rather than messing with the exemptions). My firm sent us a form to fill out so that we could get withheld at the lower rate as long as we qualified for the "Part Year Employment Method." The form lists IRS Reg. 31.3402(h)(4)-1(c) as the source and can be found here: --LinkRemoved--)(4)-1

Good luck however you try to attack it.

You would need at least 20-25 exemptions claimed on your W4 to bring a $160,000 salary down to the $31,000 you're actually making, which firms normally won't allow because of strict IRS auditing rules. However, you can ask your firm if they will do what Rotor suggested (I believe the term is "annualize your pay") so that you end up paying 5.2x what your weekly tax would be at a regular $31,000/year job. Essentially, they figure out what your total tax liability will be, and withhold the exact amount of the liability. Talk with your payroll department, and see what they say. Note, these figures are all assuming that your summer is 10 weeks, they change slightly if its 8 or 12, and you CAN'T do this if you have other income this year, or you won't be withholding enough.

Addendum: Just checked my payroll stub and federal income taxes for 2 weeks (I'm single and have no other deductions other than the personal exemption and standard deduction) on the annual basis are $550. Compare that with what you have had withheld, and see if its worth it for you to adjust your withholding.



I've already been paid once. Would it be a humongous hassle for HR to have to do this?

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OperaSoprano
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby OperaSoprano » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:09 pm

Renzo wrote:
Rotor wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:Super glad people are enjoying! I started at my nonprofit (an office of a large organization) last week, and am loving it so far. I am pleasantly surprised they have room to give us offices, though I share one with one other intern. People definitely balance work and life, and to my absolute happiness, many of them were hired right out of LS. I would love to work here post graduation.

If this were Facebook, I'd hit the Like button. :D Happiness is key to success.


Agreed.


Thanks, guys! I hope you are having fantastic summers so far, and for my part, I hope the bolded is true.

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swc65
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby swc65 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:13 pm

BunkMoreland wrote:
Sup Kid wrote:
Rotor wrote:
BunkMoreland wrote:Does anyone know the reason we are taxed as if we are actually making 160,000K instead of 30-37k? It's really disgusting to see how low my paycheck goes, and I have a LOT less money than I thought I was going to have. Not that I'm complaining about getting paid, but does anyone feel perturbed about giving so much to the government for free for 6-8 months, knowing we will get a huge tax refund in 2012?

+1 to those who said it's because the IRS assumes that check will be coming for the entire year. However, there may be an explicitly permitted way for you to do it (rather than messing with the exemptions). My firm sent us a form to fill out so that we could get withheld at the lower rate as long as we qualified for the "Part Year Employment Method." The form lists IRS Reg. 31.3402(h)(4)-1(c) as the source and can be found here: --LinkRemoved--)(4)-1

Good luck however you try to attack it.

You would need at least 20-25 exemptions claimed on your W4 to bring a $160,000 salary down to the $31,000 you're actually making, which firms normally won't allow because of strict IRS auditing rules. However, you can ask your firm if they will do what Rotor suggested (I believe the term is "annualize your pay") so that you end up paying 5.2x what your weekly tax would be at a regular $31,000/year job. Essentially, they figure out what your total tax liability will be, and withhold the exact amount of the liability. Talk with your payroll department, and see what they say. Note, these figures are all assuming that your summer is 10 weeks, they change slightly if its 8 or 12, and you CAN'T do this if you have other income this year, or you won't be withholding enough.

Addendum: Just checked my payroll stub and federal income taxes for 2 weeks (I'm single and have no other deductions other than the personal exemption and standard deduction) on the annual basis are $550. Compare that with what you have had withheld, and see if its worth it for you to adjust your withholding.



I've already been paid once. Would it be a humongous hassle for HR to have to do this?


You should have access to peoplesoft which is what most places use to handle this. If you do, you can change it yourself.

Sup Kid
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby Sup Kid » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:42 pm

BunkMoreland wrote:
Sup Kid wrote:
Rotor wrote:
BunkMoreland wrote:Does anyone know the reason we are taxed as if we are actually making 160,000K instead of 30-37k? It's really disgusting to see how low my paycheck goes, and I have a LOT less money than I thought I was going to have. Not that I'm complaining about getting paid, but does anyone feel perturbed about giving so much to the government for free for 6-8 months, knowing we will get a huge tax refund in 2012?

+1 to those who said it's because the IRS assumes that check will be coming for the entire year. However, there may be an explicitly permitted way for you to do it (rather than messing with the exemptions). My firm sent us a form to fill out so that we could get withheld at the lower rate as long as we qualified for the "Part Year Employment Method." The form lists IRS Reg. 31.3402(h)(4)-1(c) as the source and can be found here: --LinkRemoved--)(4)-1

Good luck however you try to attack it.

You would need at least 20-25 exemptions claimed on your W4 to bring a $160,000 salary down to the $31,000 you're actually making, which firms normally won't allow because of strict IRS auditing rules. However, you can ask your firm if they will do what Rotor suggested (I believe the term is "annualize your pay") so that you end up paying 5.2x what your weekly tax would be at a regular $31,000/year job. Essentially, they figure out what your total tax liability will be, and withhold the exact amount of the liability. Talk with your payroll department, and see what they say. Note, these figures are all assuming that your summer is 10 weeks, they change slightly if its 8 or 12, and you CAN'T do this if you have other income this year, or you won't be withholding enough.

Addendum: Just checked my payroll stub and federal income taxes for 2 weeks (I'm single and have no other deductions other than the personal exemption and standard deduction) on the annual basis are $550. Compare that with what you have had withheld, and see if its worth it for you to adjust your withholding.



I've already been paid once. Would it be a humongous hassle for HR to have to do this?

I doubt it'd be a huge hassle, as it shouldn't be HR doing it. I imagine your firm has a "payroll department" or at least a person dedicated to payroll whose entire job is to handle these kind of things. Look that person/department up in your directory, then send them an email.

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Stanford4Me
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby Stanford4Me » Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So a partner I'm excited to get to know better in the group I'm rotating through offered to take me and another SA to lunch on either Wednesday or Friday of this coming week. The other SA said that Friday worked better for him. I agreed.

Major brain fart: I'm the best man in a wedding on that Friday. The main attorney that I'm working for had even given me the go ahead to take half the day off! The lunch is scheduled to take place right when I need to leave for the wedding.

Any tips on how to extricate myself from this sticky situation? My initial thought is to try to move the lunch to Wednesday somehow ...

....Just call and say you forgot about your prior engagement and see if they'd be willing to reschedule on Wednesday. Make sure you emphasize that if they aren't able to reschedule it's not a problem.

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MrKappus
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby MrKappus » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:42 pm

Renzo wrote:
MrKappus wrote:Anyone who actually believes their work's getting billed to clients just doesn't understand the attorney-client dynamic in the current business environment. The majority of clients do not even want to see juniors on their matters. Clients don't care what a non-certified law student's able to accomplish, and they're sure as hell not paying for it. I don't care what your firm tells you. A partner's not going to hand a bill to a client with a law student's hours on it. Maybe your firm doesn't want you to feel like you're spinning your wheels. Maybe they hand it to an associate who goes over it and then bills those hours. I don't know. Enjoy your work and be proud of a job well done, but also know our firms are losing money on us this summer.


Or, maybe you just do shit work that no one wants to bill for.


You're a special snowflake whose work singlehandedly raises your firm's PPP. For the rest of us, what I said stands.

Renzo
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby Renzo » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:50 pm

MrKappus wrote:
Renzo wrote:
MrKappus wrote:Anyone who actually believes their work's getting billed to clients just doesn't understand the attorney-client dynamic in the current business environment. The majority of clients do not even want to see juniors on their matters. Clients don't care what a non-certified law student's able to accomplish, and they're sure as hell not paying for it. I don't care what your firm tells you. A partner's not going to hand a bill to a client with a law student's hours on it. Maybe your firm doesn't want you to feel like you're spinning your wheels. Maybe they hand it to an associate who goes over it and then bills those hours. I don't know. Enjoy your work and be proud of a job well done, but also know our firms are losing money on us this summer.


Or, maybe you just do shit work that no one wants to bill for.


You're a special snowflake whose work singlehandedly raises your firm's PPP. For the rest of us, what I said stands.


Or, maybe, on a half-million dollar litigation with like 40 lawyers billing around the clock, my 8 hours at near-paralegal billing rates was too small for anyone to quibble over.

There's no doubt that summers (myself included) are a huge waste of firm's money in the short run. There's also no doubt that some portion of work done by summers is being billed to clients. Hell, they get billed for copies, and long distance charges, and word processing, and paralegals; why on earth would they not get billed for summer associate work?

seriouslyinformative
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby seriouslyinformative » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:59 pm

1) I don't see why MrKappus keeps insisting that summer associate hours are not billed to the client, despite people telling him explicitly that this is not the case at their firm (so at the very least, MrKappus's opinion isn't universally true). I can tell you that nearly all of my hours were billed to (and paid for) by the clients.

2) For the partner lunch, I don't understand the problem here. If you can't make a lunch appointment, you cancel it. I guess that's hard to understand if you have aspergers. But really, it shouldn't be a problem.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby DoubleChecks » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:23 am

seriouslyinformative wrote:1) I don't see why MrKappus keeps insisting that summer associate hours are not billed to the client, despite people telling him explicitly that this is not the case at their firm (so at the very least, MrKappus's opinion isn't universally true). I can tell you that nearly all of my hours were billed to (and paid for) by the clients.

2) For the partner lunch, I don't understand the problem here. If you can't make a lunch appointment, you cancel it. I guess that's hard to understand if you have aspergers. But really, it shouldn't be a problem.


wow you're seriously mean too :(

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FantasticMrFox
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby FantasticMrFox » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:25 am

DoubleChecks wrote:
seriouslyinformative wrote:1) I don't see why MrKappus keeps insisting that summer associate hours are not billed to the client, despite people telling him explicitly that this is not the case at their firm (so at the very least, MrKappus's opinion isn't universally true). I can tell you that nearly all of my hours were billed to (and paid for) by the clients.

2) For the partner lunch, I don't understand the problem here. If you can't make a lunch appointment, you cancel it. I guess that's hard to understand if you have aspergers. But really, it shouldn't be a problem.


wow you're seriously mean too :(

:lol: got it--please don't accuse me of aspergers :shock:

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MrKappus
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby MrKappus » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:30 am

seriouslyinformative wrote:1) I don't see why MrKappus keeps insisting that summer associate hours are not billed to the client, despite people telling him explicitly that this is not the case at their firm (so at the very least, MrKappus's opinion isn't universally true). I can tell you that nearly all of my hours were billed to (and paid for) by the clients.

2) For the partner lunch, I don't understand the problem here. If you can't make a lunch appointment, you cancel it. I guess that's hard to understand if you have aspergers. But really, it shouldn't be a problem.


Haha ok.

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Stanford4Me
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby Stanford4Me » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:11 am

seriouslyinformative wrote:2) For the partner lunch, I don't understand the problem here. If you can't make a lunch appointment, you cancel it. I guess that's hard to understand if you have aspergers. But really, it shouldn't be a problem.

Haha, I kind of felt the same way but tried to soften it up. I think a lot of people just overthink things because everything is super srs.

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Kohinoor
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby Kohinoor » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:53 pm

MrKappus wrote:
seriouslyinformative wrote:1) I don't see why MrKappus keeps insisting that summer associate hours are not billed to the client, despite people telling him explicitly that this is not the case at their firm (so at the very least, MrKappus's opinion isn't universally true). I can tell you that nearly all of my hours were billed to (and paid for) by the clients.

2) For the partner lunch, I don't understand the problem here. If you can't make a lunch appointment, you cancel it. I guess that's hard to understand if you have aspergers. But really, it shouldn't be a problem.


Haha ok.

SIR, ARE YOU BACKING DOWN FROM AN INTERNET FIGHT?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby DoubleChecks » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:55 pm

Stanford4Me wrote:
seriouslyinformative wrote:2) For the partner lunch, I don't understand the problem here. If you can't make a lunch appointment, you cancel it. I guess that's hard to understand if you have aspergers. But really, it shouldn't be a problem.

Haha, I kind of felt the same way but tried to soften it up. I think a lot of people just overthink things because everything is super srs.


to be fair though, ive heard stories from partners and associates about SAs who were no offered because they treated things too "unseriously"...not so much the reverse (though i guess if you act like an obvious robot it'd be bad, but people are just asking a lot of social faux-pas things on an anonymous message board so that they'd hopefully not seem that way)

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Stanford4Me
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby Stanford4Me » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:22 am

DoubleChecks wrote:
Stanford4Me wrote:
seriouslyinformative wrote:2) For the partner lunch, I don't understand the problem here. If you can't make a lunch appointment, you cancel it. I guess that's hard to understand if you have aspergers. But really, it shouldn't be a problem.

Haha, I kind of felt the same way but tried to soften it up. I think a lot of people just overthink things because everything is super srs.


to be fair though, ive heard stories from partners and associates about SAs who were no offered because they treated things too "unseriously"...not so much the reverse (though i guess if you act like an obvious robot it'd be bad, but people are just asking a lot of social faux-pas things on an anonymous message board so that they'd hopefully not seem that way)


Yeah, I wasn't suggesting you shouldn't take your SA serious, just that people tend to abandon common sense because they overthink things. There's no different set of rules that govern how you should act at a law firm as opposed to any other area of (professional) emplyment or extended interaction.
Last edited by Stanford4Me on Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hoopster
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby Hoopster » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:22 pm

One full week in at NYC biglaw and I'm already exhausted but loving every minute of it! After a two day orientation, I have three major projects on my plate, all transactional stuff. There's even a good chance I'll be going to Paris for one of those projects soon. I need to get myself a passport quick!

I even have my own office and my own secretary, how cool is that? :D

So far, for those curious, most of my hours are billable. Most days I'm working until 7 PM.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:37 pm

Stanford4Me wrote:Yeah, I wasn't suggesting you shouldn't take your SA serious, just that people tend to abandon common sense because they overthink things. There's no different set of rules that govern how you should act at a law firm as opposed to any other area of (professional) emplyment or extended interaction.


while completely true, i think the problem is that there are a number of people who do not have any experience in an area of professional employment. i know i dont (straight through lol)

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby Big Shrimpin » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:11 am

Hoopster wrote:One full week in at NYC biglaw and I'm already exhausted but loving every minute of it! After a two day orientation, I have three major projects on my plate, all transactional stuff. There's even a good chance I'll be going to Paris for one of those projects soon. I need to get myself a passport quick!

I even have my own office and my own secretary, how cool is that? :D

So far, for those curious, most of my hours are billable. Most days I'm working until 7 PM.


:lol:

Having your own office/admin (some people get peeved at "secretary") isn't that uncommon. I like my single-office, but I wish I shared it with one of my fellow-SAs.

Also, if orientation wore you out, GL lasting more than 12-18 months as a 1/2nd-year.

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IzziesGal
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby IzziesGal » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:53 am

About billing....I know some clients don't want to bill for SA time, and others don't care. Partners/Accounting ultimately make the call as to whether you're billable on a certain project, and if you are, at what rate you're billable, at my firm. It seems that some clients don't mind if you help out, but that they get your time at a discounted rate, which seems totally legit. Since this is largely client driven, and it's all about making the client happy, I would imagine this varies greatly from firm to firm. I don't think we can come up with a hard and fast rule about billables on here.

Glad everyone is enjoying it!!!!

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby Big Shrimpin » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:34 am

IzziesGal wrote:About billing....I know some clients don't want to bill for SA time, and others don't care. Partners/Accounting ultimately make the call as to whether you're billable on a certain project, and if you are, at what rate you're billable, at my firm. It seems that some clients don't mind if you help out, but that they get your time at a discounted rate, which seems totally legit. Since this is largely client driven, and it's all about making the client happy, I would imagine this varies greatly from firm to firm. I don't think we can come up with a hard and fast rule about billables on here.

Glad everyone is enjoying it!!!!


They tell us the same thing.

f7 wrote:An older associate was in our office giving an assignment to my officemate, who asked whether he should bill their meeting. And the guy was like, "Bill all you want, bill up a storm, it's all getting written off anyway! /Maniacal laughter."


I've definitely heard versions of this, too.

Hoopster
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Re: SA-ing.....starting tomorrow

Postby Hoopster » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:37 am

Big Shrimpin wrote: :lol:

Having your own office/admin (some people get peeved at "secretary") isn't that uncommon. I like my single-office, but I wish I shared it with one of my fellow-SAs.

Also, if orientation wore you out, GL lasting more than 12-18 months as a 1/2nd-year.


Actually, orientation was very relaxing and informative. Besides, I can't be disappointing my father, who's a senior partner at a V5 in NYC, by wearing out already as a SA! :shock: :lol: In reality, I feel like I can thrive: the more work, the better. I definitely like to multi-task with different projects so it's right up my alley. I think I'm going enjoy a career in biglaw. I'm now seeing why my father so often said that working on 100-million-dollar corporate deals can be so addicting.




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