How is being the only summer associate different?

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Anonymous User
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How is being the only summer associate different?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 04, 2012 12:09 pm

Anyone whose been in a similar situation care to give me some tips and tell me how the experience might differ from a normal summer?

Morgan12Oak
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Re: How is being the only summer associate different?

Postby Morgan12Oak » Fri May 04, 2012 2:13 pm

I had the option to be the only summer SA at a firm. I had relevant concerns and this is why I ended up going with a different firm despite the fact that I liked them quite a bit.

I'm sure your concerns are the same but here were some of my pro/cons:

Pros: everybody knows you so you get to meet a lot of people, people will probably try to check in on you a lot and take you under their wing, you'll get a lot of attention and probably more feedback and substantive assignments

Cons: you'll get a LOT of attention. Basically, I was just worried that as the only summer associate everyone would be having an eagle eye and watching over every little thing I did so I could never take a day off or take a day easy

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Re: How is being the only summer associate different?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 04, 2012 2:18 pm

I'm going to be the only summer in a moderately sized practice group of a much larger firm. I'm happy that on one hand, I'm not competing against another summer and having my workproduct measured against his. I'm also nervous that they'll just hold me to the standard of a first year and decide that every project they don't want, can go to me. They said it is key I get to know everyone in the group because you have to get a thumbs up from everyone to get an offer and I'm scared of how I will balance small-talking with 10-30 people and doing all my work.

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Re: How is being the only summer associate different?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 04, 2012 2:26 pm

I'm curious about this as well. I'll be 1 of 2 summer associates in the satellite office of a large firm.

Do people really think that the two people will be compared side by side? I mean don't law firms nowadays usually aim for 100% offer and so they only offer summer positions if they think they can make an offer.

azntwice
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Re: How is being the only summer associate different?

Postby azntwice » Fri May 04, 2012 5:11 pm

I was the only summer at a small firm last summer. It was actually a great experience. I don't know if your firm is larger, it might make a difference, but basically I got to know everyone really well, and had a hand in all the interesting and cool projects that were going on at the time. My firm was pretty lax about face time (most of the attorneys left before 7 pm) so I didn't find that to be a huge problem, although of course I did my best to show up by 9:30 every day and left around 6 or so only after I had checked in with the partners for whom I was doing work. Same rules apply as if you were in a big firm re: quality of your work, obviously. You'll make especially good friends with the associates and possibly the secretaries/paralegals b/c you won't have other summers to ask about your work.

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Re: How is being the only summer associate different?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 04, 2012 5:16 pm

I won't be the only SA, but I'm going to be the only SA for my practice group. Definitely a bit nervous.

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Re: How is being the only summer associate different?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 04, 2012 6:14 pm

I was a clerk during the year at a small firm and was the only one, which is probably very analogous to being the only summer associate. It was actually a great experience. They treated me like a first year associate more than an intern. Got a ton of substantive experience and went to client meetings and court. The downside, of course, is that you don't have a measuring stick to compare your performance to.

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Re: How is being the only summer associate different?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 04, 2012 6:17 pm

azntwice wrote:I was the only summer at a small firm last summer. It was actually a great experience. I don't know if your firm is larger, it might make a difference, but basically I got to know everyone really well, and had a hand in all the interesting and cool projects that were going on at the time. My firm was pretty lax about face time (most of the attorneys left before 7 pm) so I didn't find that to be a huge problem, although of course I did my best to show up by 9:30 every day and left around 6 or so only after I had checked in with the partners for whom I was doing work. Same rules apply as if you were in a big firm re: quality of your work, obviously. You'll make especially good friends with the associates and possibly the secretaries/paralegals b/c you won't have other summers to ask about your work.


OP here: midsized firm.

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Re: How is being the only summer associate different?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 04, 2012 9:32 pm

I clerked my last semester as 3L for market paying boutique (30-50 attorneys) and an alternative to the traditional SA since I did not summer with them post 2L. My anecdotal experience, it turned out to be a great choice. Everyone went out of their way to give me varied projects, I was taken out to lunch a lot, I got constant face time with partners and clients. The downside was there was no one available to share my doubts or concerns with about if I was doing a good enough job, or what expectations were etc. In the end of the day it will really come down to the people and firm culture. If you think they are good peeps, take it and do not look back. If not, you will not be able to hide in the herd and could be miserable.

Anonymous User
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Re: How is being the only summer associate different?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 04, 2012 10:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I clerked my last semester as 3L for market paying boutique (30-50 attorneys) and an alternative to the traditional SA since I did not summer with them post 2L. My anecdotal experience, it turned out to be a great choice. Everyone went out of their way to give me varied projects, I was taken out to lunch a lot, I got constant face time with partners and clients. The downside was there was no one available to share my doubts or concerns with about if I was doing a good enough job, or what expectations were etc. In the end of the day it will really come down to the people and firm culture. If you think they are good peeps, take it and do not look back. If not, you will not be able to hide in the herd and could be miserable.


Well yes, I wouldn't have taken the job if I didn't think they were good peeps. But in any event, I'm not asking because I'm thinking of backing out since the firm was one of my top choices. More asking to get the collective wisdom on pitfalls and opportunities unique to this situation.

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Re: How is being the only summer associate different?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 29, 2012 11:10 pm

I will be 1 of 2 SA's a satellite office of a large firm. I start next week and am feeling nervous about being compared to the other SA. How has everyone's experience been so far?

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Re: How is being the only summer associate different?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 29, 2012 11:21 pm

It's a little different than y'all's situations, but I am one of a handful of SAs at a satellite office of a major national firm and really, really like it so far. Chose it over some of the bigger programs and don't regret it for a second. Being the only SA would be a little more difficult perhaps, but I think a small program is better in terms of personalized attention and mentoring, and also getting a better sense of what life at the firm is really like.




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