How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

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HETPE3B
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How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby HETPE3B » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:24 pm

While tls has plenty of knowledge on how to kick ass in law school, I was unable to find any threads or articles offering advice on how to succeed as a biglaw summer associate.

If resources on this subject already exist, please point me to them. If not, however, I would like to call on all former summer associates to contribute to this thread.

Advice on any of the aspects of SA's life (managing expectations, creating impressions, building relationships, finding the practice area that suits you best, etc.) would be much appreciated. What do you think you did right? What would you have done differently? Is there anything you wish you knew before starting your summer?

071816
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby 071816 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:26 pm

Be likable and do your assignments efficiently and well? Just throwing that out there.


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Old Gregg
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:38 pm

1) Don't be the drunkest person at the party.

2) Don't be the drunkest summer associate at the party.

3) Complete your work by the deadlines you are given. If you can't make a deadline, inform the assigning attorney well in advance.

4) Don't be afraid to ask questions.


It's really that simple.

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romothesavior
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby romothesavior » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:39 pm

I'm just a 2L, so I'm not qualified to dispense my own advice. But a former summer (current associate) gave me these three pieces of advice:

1) Go to the social events. Do not underestimate the importance of these events, and be fun and friendly when you go. People will notice if you're absent or if you're a funsucker, especially at a firm with a small summer class (which mine is). Meet as many people as you can and be able to loosen up without losing your sense of judgment.

2) Communicate well with the partners and associates, and don't be afraid to ask for help. Be eager to learn and know who to go to with questions when you don't know the answer. Deadlines and good writing are important, but being the "whiz kid legal mind" is not. He told me that people don't expect you to know shit about practicing law or about the technical aspects of law, so you're being assessed more on your ability to figure stuff out and your eagerness to learn than you are on your actual lawyering skills.

3) Meet as many people as possible, but make sure you establish a good relationship with at least a few attorneys (partners in particular). He said that sometimes summers will try so hard to take work from everybody that they aren't that memorable to anybody. Then when it comes time to think about offers, all the partners assume that the person didn't do that much work, when in reality they did a lot and it was just spread out. Then nobody is really willing to go to bat for that person. The guy who told me this works at a firm that is a little more no-offer happy than mine, but it still seems like good insight.

Again, this is from a third-party, so take it FWIW. Seems like good advice to me though.

lobolawyer
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby lobolawyer » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:44 pm

Work with as many different people on the recruiting/hiring committee as possible. Complete as many assignments as you can with the utmost quality. Don't get wasted and say/do anything stupid. Don't come off as being overly competitive with the other SAs. Pretty much just don't leave your common sense at the door.


edit: both of the posters above also offered solid advice

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thesealocust
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:49 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:1) Don't be the drunkest person at the party.

2) Don't be the drunkest summer associate at the party.

3) Complete your work by the deadlines you are given. If you can't make a deadline, inform the assigning attorney well in advance.

4) Don't be afraid to ask questions.


It's really that simple.


This is a perfect and all-inclusive list.

You can't "win" your summer, you can only lose it. Gun things like hygiene and being a socialized human being.

MrAnon
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby MrAnon » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:52 pm

romothesavior wrote:I'm just a 2L, so I'm not qualified to dispense my own advice. But a former summer (current associate) gave me these three pieces of advice:

1) Go to the social events. Do not underestimate the importance of these events, and be fun and friendly when you go. People will notice if you're absent or if you're a funsucker, especially at a firm with a small summer class (which mine is). Meet as many people as you can and be able to loosen up without losing your sense of judgment.

2) Communicate well with the partners and associates, and don't be afraid to ask for help. Be eager to learn and know who to go to with questions when you don't know the answer. Deadlines and good writing are important, but being the "whiz kid legal mind" is not. He told me that people don't expect you to know shit about practicing law or about the technical aspects of law, so you're being assessed more on your ability to figure stuff out and your eagerness to learn than you are on your actual lawyering skills.

3) Meet as many people as possible, but make sure you establish a good relationship with at least a few attorneys (partners in particular). He said that sometimes summers will try so hard to take work from everybody that they aren't that memorable to anybody. Then when it comes time to think about offers, all the partners assume that the person didn't do that much work, when in reality they did a lot and it was just spread out. Then nobody is really willing to go to bat for that person. The guy who told me this works at a firm that is a little more no-offer happy than mine, but it still seems like good insight.

Again, this is from a third-party, so take it FWIW. Seems like good advice to me though.


Let me guess. This advise was handed down from someone at WUSTL?

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Old Gregg
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:54 pm

This thread should be retitled, "How to fail as a summer associate," because it really is that easy to get an offer.

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romothesavior
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby romothesavior » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:57 pm

No. The hell does that have to do with anything? You're an awful troll. At least be funny.

sophie316
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby sophie316 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:59 pm

Do your work. Be nice. Be social. Don't get too wasted. Don't stay super late for no reason just to look like you're working super hard(associates/partners won't notice(depending on office size), other summers do).

MrAnon
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby MrAnon » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:00 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:This thread should be retitled, "How to fail as a summer associate," because it really is that easy to get an offer.

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neimanmarxist
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby neimanmarxist » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:11 pm

I have found these two articles to be helpful:

edit: sorry, the small URL i tried to make didn't work.

http://www.constitutionaldaily.com/inde ... &Itemid=65

and the pdf available at : http://www.law.northwestern.edu/career/ ... uccess.pdf

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dood
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby dood » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:45 pm

since people have covered "donts" here are some "dos" from most important to least:

1. DO have a positive attitude towards and show real interest in the firm/projects/people
2. DO communicate well and always err on side of asking too many Qs (this also supports #1)
3. DO go to all SA events
4. DO constant improvement - always get feedback and show u r a quick learner by not making the same mistake 2x (b/c every beginner makes mistakes, the winners are those stops making them first)

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Old Gregg
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:49 pm

3. DO go to all SA events


What? Not necessary.

Anonymous User
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:59 pm

Here are a few tips:

1. Keep a bottle of scotch within eyesight at all times in your office.
2. Chase as much tail as possible at office events, preferably the wives or daughters of partners.
3. If you go to the men's room and notice that someone else is in there, enter a stall and proceed to make loud grunting noises until they leave.

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lisjjen
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby lisjjen » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:03 pm

So yes or no on the working conspicuously hard?

sophie316
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby sophie316 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:35 pm

lisjjen wrote:So yes or no on the working conspicuously hard?


Yes if you actually have work to do. Just don't be 'that guy' that stays at the office til 1am with nothing to do just to look super dedicated. At least in my experience, there are always one of two of these and it does not go over well with the other summers(and probably goes unnoticed by partners/associates if you're not actually billing any time while sitting there)

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Old Gregg
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:36 pm

Don't take on too much work. The summer who does 13 projects well, but 1 really shittily, looks worse than the summer who did 9-10 projects well.

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dood
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby dood » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:40 pm

...
Last edited by dood on Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dougroberts
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby dougroberts » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:07 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:This thread should be retitled, "How to fail as a summer associate," because it really is that easy to get an offer.


Not really; not all firms are 100% offer-rates, especially in this economy.

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HETPE3B
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby HETPE3B » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:08 pm

dougroberts wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:This thread should be retitled, "How to fail as a summer associate," because it really is that easy to get an offer.


Not really; not all firms are 100% offer-rates, especially in this economy.

And the rest cold-offer.

dougroberts
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby dougroberts » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:11 pm

romothesavior wrote:3) Meet as many people as possible, but make sure you establish a good relationship with at least a few attorneys (partners in particular). He said that sometimes summers will try so hard to take work from everybody that they aren't that memorable to anybody. Then when it comes time to think about offers, all the partners assume that the person didn't do that much work, when in reality they did a lot and it was just spread out. Then nobody is really willing to go to bat for that person. The guy who told me this works at a firm that is a little more no-offer happy than mine, but it still seems like good insight.


This was huge for me. My firm had a very small class size, and typically only has a 50% offer rate (yikes, I know!). I locked down an offer because (A) Did work for many people, but more importantly (B) Worked with 2-4 attorneys in particular who I know for a fact were big advocates for me when I was extended an offer.

Also, consider who you are doing work for: hiring committee members, high-grossing partners, practice area leads, etc.

This should not mean that you should pass off others - you have to show that you do quality work for other associates and the most influential partner, and everyone in between.

And finally, absolutely do not have typos/grammar mistakes in your work - this might be enough to set you apart from other SA's who are poor writers.

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Old Gregg
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:14 pm

This was huge for me. My firm had a very small class size, and typically only has a 50% offer rate (yikes, I know!). I locked down an offer because (A) Did work for many people, but more importantly (B) Worked with 2-4 attorneys in particular who I know for a fact were big advocates for me when I was extended an offer.


Wow, congrats on pulling that off. I couldn't even imagine the pressure of working during a summer at a firm where the offer rate is that low.

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Old Gregg
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Re: How to Succeed as a Summer Associate

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:15 pm

HETPE3B wrote:
dougroberts wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:This thread should be retitled, "How to fail as a summer associate," because it really is that easy to get an offer.


Not really; not all firms are 100% offer-rates, especially in this economy.

And the rest cold-offer.


...so every firm that has a 100% offer rate cold offers at least one person?


No.




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