Getting chewed out as a summer associate

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smokyroom26
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby smokyroom26 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:55 pm

On a project I was working on a couple of weeks ago, I brought my prelim research to a partner. I was terribly off-track, getting lost in the trees in a bad way. Partner said, "You're doing it wrong. Just keep it simple."

I was :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: but that is probably the most helpful advice I have ever received concerning legal research.

P.S. - I finished that project and he has given me three more since.

Anonymous User
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:18 pm

OP here.

Just a couple responses to questions raised: (sorry if any of this is incoherent but I'm exhausted and need to get to bed)

Firm/market: DC biglaw

Working at 9pm? Of my SA class, there are at least a handful at the office until 10-11pm (or later) every night. Yesterday I didn't get out until 12:30am because this guy I'm referring to gave me a insane project with an even more insane timeframe. It blows, but the firm is super busy and our mentors tell us that something to the effect of "if you're getting lots of work, you're doing something right."

I wouldn't say I'm "fucking up" projects with this particular associate, but that seems like the only logical answer. I have no experience in this particular field of law (and this midlevel associate is considerably versed in this area), so when he gives me these crazy, cutting edge issues for assignments and my finished project is rudimentary, he gets on my ass about it. Oh, and the turnaround time: always "as soon as possible."

I asked my mentor about this and one of the above posters hit the nail on the head. The people taking the time to critique tend to be those who really want to see you reach your potential and actually give a shit about you (other than the dicks). If he didn't give a damn he would just let me fuck up, document the fuck ups, spread the work to others, and essentially build a case for the hiring committee why I should be no-offered. So, I guess it's not as bad as I made it seem.

Thanks for reading my mini-rant, it makes me feel better writing it down.

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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:48 pm

OP last time I promise

We have our biggest SA event of the summer this weekend and I just know that after two Amstels I am going to apologetically broach the mistake to this associate and it's going to be so so awkward.

seatown12
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby seatown12 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:We have our biggest SA event of the summer this weekend and I just know that after two Amstels I am going to apologetically broach the mistake to this associate and it's going to be so so awkward.

LOL better lay off the Amstels then chief

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BunkMoreland
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby BunkMoreland » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:44 am

I never understand summer associate gunners who stay there till 9 pm every night.....enjoy the easy schedule while you can

chipchip
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby chipchip » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:13 am

N/M

Eco
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby Eco » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:43 am

Just keep asking him how you can improve your work, people appreciate that. And don't call people at 9pm, wtf was up with that?

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romothesavior
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:17 am

seatown12 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:We have our biggest SA event of the summer this weekend and I just know that after two Amstels I am going to apologetically broach the mistake to this associate and it's going to be so so awkward.

LOL better lay off the Amstels then chief

Haha... sounds like your shouldn't do that OP.

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Stanford4Me
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby Stanford4Me » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:31 am

I'll be damned if I stay in the office until midnight. I'll also be damned if I enjoy working for a firm that expects its summers to do so.

/pseudoentitlement

OP, stop over-thinking things. You should be able to discern whether the associate is being critical because he is a douche, or if he's being critical to help you. If the former, don't worry. If the latter, try to get directed criticism that you can use to improve your next project(s) for him. There's one good sign: he hasn't completely stopped giving you assignments. If he hated your work enough, he wouldn't give you more assignments.

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Other25BeforeYou
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby Other25BeforeYou » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:54 am

BunkMoreland wrote:I never understand summer associate gunners who stay there till 9 pm every night.....enjoy the easy schedule while you can

Maybe they actually have that much work to do? At lots of firms SAs get whatever assignments they get, and no one is keeping track, so if you have three partners who come to you one afternoon and each has a four-hour project they want in the morning, you stay at the office as late as you need to.

If you're turning down work so you can be out the door at 6, I think that'll come off worse than staying at the office til 9.

What the f.supp?
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby What the f.supp? » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:22 am

Other25BeforeYou wrote:
BunkMoreland wrote:I never understand summer associate gunners who stay there till 9 pm every night.....enjoy the easy schedule while you can

Maybe they actually have that much work to do? At lots of firms SAs get whatever assignments they get, and no one is keeping track, so if you have three partners who come to you one afternoon and each has a four-hour project they want in the morning, you stay at the office as late as you need to.

If you're turning down work so you can be out the door at 6, I think that'll come off worse than staying at the office til 9.



This is exactly what happens. And it happens all the time. Getting out of the office at 6pm would be awesome, but you'd piss off the others who are relying on you for timely work product.

Anonymous User
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:37 am

Other25BeforeYou wrote:
BunkMoreland wrote:I never understand summer associate gunners who stay there till 9 pm every night.....enjoy the easy schedule while you can

Maybe they actually have that much work to do? At lots of firms SAs get whatever assignments they get, and no one is keeping track, so if you have three partners who come to you one afternoon and each has a four-hour project they want in the morning, you stay at the office as late as you need to.

If you're turning down work so you can be out the door at 6, I think that'll come off worse than staying at the office til 9.

It's true that you stay as late as you need to. However, at my firm they tried not to give the SAs critical time-sensitive work like that. That makes sense, since honestly nobody knows what they're doing yet as an SA. SAs work a lot more slowly compared to experienced associates. If a partner actually needed something done soon, they'd ask first if we were already busy. If we were, they'd just give the work to an associate who could get it done.

I only left the office after 6PM maybe four or five times this summer. I definitely turned down things. I just got a glowing review and an offer.

Anonymous User
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:59 am

lucky you. at my vault 15 ive worked a couple weekends already and stayed past midnight probably once or twice a week on average.

and its not that im a gunner - far from it. i've never even gone out and seeked out work. its just that you get work from multiple people and deadlines are always next day/2 days at the latest. maybe its diffierent since im in corproate and deal lifetime is pretty short and if there is a closing things need to be turned around immediately. but yea i would say only for about half the summer days did i actually leave normal time at 6.

of course you could be "that guy" who tells people no, but i just feel awkward turning down work and then leaving at 6, whilst the associate stays there all night. esepcially since often times i get a call around 6pm asking if i'm available to help that night. what am i gonna say "no im not avialable i was gonna catch up on enterouge tonight"

CanadianWolf
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:11 am

He may be the only attorney in the office who is being straight with you regarding your work & judgment.

viking138
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby viking138 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:lucky you. at my vault 15 ive worked a couple weekends already and stayed past midnight probably once or twice a week on average.

and its not that im a gunner - far from it. i've never even gone out and seeked out work. its just that you get work from multiple people and deadlines are always next day/2 days at the latest. maybe its diffierent since im in corproate and deal lifetime is pretty short and if there is a closing things need to be turned around immediately. but yea i would say only for about half the summer days did i actually leave normal time at 6.

of course you could be "that guy" who tells people no, but i just feel awkward turning down work and then leaving at 6, whilst the associate stays there all night. esepcially since often times i get a call around 6pm asking if i'm available to help that night. what am i gonna say "no im not avialable i was gonna catch up on enterouge tonight"


I mean, it's the last season of Entourage...

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Stanford4Me
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby Stanford4Me » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:57 am

I'd hate to work for a firm that expects me to stay past midnight multiple times a week as a summer.

Latest I've ever stayed was 10:30 (which happened last night), and that's only because I wanted to finish a project last night so I wouldn't have to worry about it today, my last day.

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BunkMoreland
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby BunkMoreland » Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:05 am

What the f.supp? wrote:
Other25BeforeYou wrote:
BunkMoreland wrote:I never understand summer associate gunners who stay there till 9 pm every night.....enjoy the easy schedule while you can

Maybe they actually have that much work to do? At lots of firms SAs get whatever assignments they get, and no one is keeping track, so if you have three partners who come to you one afternoon and each has a four-hour project they want in the morning, you stay at the office as late as you need to.

If you're turning down work so you can be out the door at 6, I think that'll come off worse than staying at the office til 9.



This is exactly what happens. And it happens all the time. Getting out of the office at 6pm would be awesome, but you'd piss off the others who are relying on you for timely work product.


I have stayed till 4:30 am before, worked until 10-11 multiple times. I just think that something is seriously wrong OR you are a huge gunner if you're working that late everynight as a summer associate.

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rayiner
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby rayiner » Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: On a sidenote, this same person has been lukewarm at best to me all summer and critiquing the heck out of my projects. The work I do for everyone else gets great reviews but this person never seems pleased and I'm always seeming to come up short. They say you have to have a thick skin in biglaw and I'm wondering whether this is just an example of a time when that is necessary (ie man up) or if I need to think about this affecting my potential for a permanent offer. Thoughts and anecdotes appreciated.


Trust me; your work, as a summer associate, does not deserve rave reviews. The only person doing anything to help you get better is the critical associate. You should be taking every little criticism to heart. In all likelihood, the attorneys that are picky about your work are the only ones who give two shits about advancing your skills. It takes time and effort to really look at something and say how it could be better. It takes no effort to say something is really good and leave it at that.

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20160810
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Re: Getting chewed out as a summer associate

Postby 20160810 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP last time I promise

We have our biggest SA event of the summer this weekend and I just know that after two Amstels I am going to apologetically broach the mistake to this associate and it's going to be so so awkward.


You lose your shit after two of the worlds worst beers and call associates at home after 9 pm to ask about summer associate make-work? Dude, forget the assignments, you need to work on your social skills immediately.




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