ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

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rad lulz
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby rad lulz » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:51 pm

r6_philly wrote:
rad lulz wrote:I find that SA projects tend to come in 2 varieties:

1. Atty is pretty sure he knows the correct answer, because it's so obvious, but wants cases and reasoning so he knows he's for sure he's not wrong. Assigns SA to project to find the law that he knows is out there.

2. Atty has no freaking clue and the argument is way out of left field. Assigns SA to dig around to see if there's anything interesting out there.


I have been getting a lot of #2, and they are fun. Some of what I find also find their way to the documents which is cool.

Eh I like #1 because I know the stuff's out there somewhere if I look hard enough. #2? Not so much.

r6_philly
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby r6_philly » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:53 pm

rad lulz wrote:Eh I like #1 because I know the stuff's out there somewhere if I look hard enough. #2? Not so much.


I am better at finding stuff that's not easily found than stuff that's easy to find. Not that I am bad, but I have no advantage lol

It's cool when they come in and say "don't know if it's out there, but if you find find something that supports this impossible stretch . . . " and you give them the one case that is right on point.

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traehekat
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby traehekat » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:56 pm

Definitely have had a couple research projects where I was unable to find very much. Not a fun feeling walking back into assigning attorney's office with basically nothing to show for a couple hours of research.

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Detrox
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby Detrox » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:59 pm

I've definitely gotten a couple of assignments where I came back with next to nothing and the assignor just said "oh yea, I figured nothing would be out there, good to confirm though."

SFConfidential
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby SFConfidential » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:09 pm

Might be a dumb question, but....

What's the general consensus on finding an absolutely money case? Spot on point, great articulation of standard, really recent, controlling court, etc. I don't want to look like I only read one case, but it's just a fantastic case. Should I sprinkle in other cases in addition? Or just rely on that case and if anybody asks, reference how generally bad ass the case is?

Also, what are people's general anxiety levels? I feel comfortable doing work a lot of the day, then randomly think I have learned nothing and am researching/writing incredibly inefficiently. Normal, or seek therapy?

Anonymous User
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:12 pm

Is it a bad sign that the associates/junior partners seem to talk shit about the firm an awful lot? It's hard for me to tell if it's just standard lunch talk or what, but every conversation seems to involve how they're fixing someone else's mess, or someone who got fucked over by the name partners (like bringing in clients and getting them poached by your own firm), or about how this office won't be here in 3 years. It all feels mostly harmless, and the workplace is otherwise great, just wondering if these are signs that I should be wary or what.

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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is it a bad sign that the associates/junior partners seem to talk shit about the firm an awful lot? It's hard for me to tell if it's just standard lunch talk or what, but every conversation seems to involve how they're fixing someone else's mess, or someone who got fucked over by the name partners (like bringing in clients and getting them poached by your own firm), or about how this office won't be here in 3 years. It all feels mostly harmless, and the workplace is otherwise great, just wondering if these are signs that I should be wary or what.


Personally that seems scary to me, but I don't have a broad frame of reference. All the associates at my firm rave about it and I think we have little to no yellers.

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5ky
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby 5ky » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:18 pm

I would be somewhat wary if partners, or to a lesser extent associates, were talking about how the office wouldn't exist in a few years.

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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is it a bad sign that the associates/junior partners seem to talk shit about the firm an awful lot? It's hard for me to tell if it's just standard lunch talk or what, but every conversation seems to involve how they're fixing someone else's mess, or someone who got fucked over by the name partners (like bringing in clients and getting them poached by your own firm), or about how this office won't be here in 3 years. It all feels mostly harmless, and the workplace is otherwise great, just wondering if these are signs that I should be wary or what.


Personally that seems scary to me, but I don't have a broad frame of reference. All the associates at my firm rave about it and I think we have little to no yellers.

Everyone at my office is really cool, and no one talks shit about other people in the office. It's mostly about people at the main office (this is a satellite). Maybe that's normal?

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Detrox
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby Detrox » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:21 pm

SFConfidential wrote:Might be a dumb question, but....

What's the general consensus on finding an absolutely money case? Spot on point, great articulation of standard, really recent, controlling court, etc. I don't want to look like I only read one case, but it's just a fantastic case. Should I sprinkle in other cases in addition? Or just rely on that case and if anybody asks, reference how generally bad ass the case is?

Also, what are people's general anxiety levels? I feel comfortable doing work a lot of the day, then randomly think I have learned nothing and am researching/writing incredibly inefficiently. Normal, or seek therapy?


Depends on the assignment/assignor. When I find a case like that, I generally email it to the assignor asking him/her if that will fully suffice what they are looking for or ask if it's on the right track etc. and continue to look for other relevant stuff while I wait for their response. Also, look at whatever cases cite that magic case.

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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Everyone at my office is really cool, and no one talks shit about other people in the office. It's mostly about people at the main office (this is a satellite). Maybe that's normal?


Maybe. That doesn't sound so bad if they're not talking about people in the office itself, but the "we won't be here in 3 years" sounds offputting depending on how serious they are.

r6_philly
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby r6_philly » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Everyone at my office is really cool, and no one talks shit about other people in the office. It's mostly about people at the main office (this is a satellite). Maybe that's normal?


No one at my firm talks bad about anyone else in the firm (any of the offices). They are nice even about people that recently left.

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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is it a bad sign that the associates/junior partners seem to talk shit about the firm an awful lot? It's hard for me to tell if it's just standard lunch talk or what, but every conversation seems to involve how they're fixing someone else's mess, or someone who got fucked over by the name partners (like bringing in clients and getting them poached by your own firm), or about how this office won't be here in 3 years. It all feels mostly harmless, and the workplace is otherwise great, just wondering if these are signs that I should be wary or what.


Personally that seems scary to me, but I don't have a broad frame of reference. All the associates at my firm rave about it and I think we have little to no yellers.


+1. Talking about how the office won't be there in three years would scare the shit out of me.

We also had a team that was poached recently by a bigger named and no one on either side seems bitter about it at all (and the departure emails from the people who are leaving are basically raves).

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DreamsInDigital
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby DreamsInDigital » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:50 am

I have to say, after an 11 hour second day of work, reading the last page or so made me feel much better.

Late yesterday afternoon I got my first assignment, looking up this kind of obscure thing and reporting back. Spent the end of yesterday and this morning doing it and couldn't find anything really on point, so I had to go to the partner and basically tell her there was nothing. But, that looking at the statutes and the little the cases said, the general feeling she had yesterday about the issue made the most sense. She didn't seem phased by my lack of results, but I just felt like I totally missed something.

Then she gives me another assignment and asks me to write a short memo on it. Said that if it was taking me more than 5 hours I should talk to her. Started working on it and first had to completely familiarize myself with this larger topic I knew nothing about, then start looking for cases that were really on point. Could not find anything really. About 5 hours later I figure I've read every case that could even be close, and I have no definitive response. I try to go check in with her, and she's actually left for a meeting.

To make things worse, I go out of town for a conference first thing tomorrow morning. So I sit my ass down and start writing a memo outlining the basics and sort of extrapolating stuff for the question at hand. Next thing I know, I'm the last person in the office and I have something that might be ok, but might also be the worst thing ever written. Send it over to the partner, and emphasize in the email how willing I would be to redo it when I get back on Monday. Leave the office terrified cause I won't hear anything until I go back into work Monday morning.

Then I see that other people are having slightly similar experiences and it makes me feel better. Still not sure I handled it in the best way, maybe should have talked to the partner earlier, but maybe it won't hurt me too much.

ETA - forgot to mention, I absolutely love this place and the people so far. Know it's a long shot cause I'm just a rising 2L, but I think I could see myself here in the long run.

Anonymous User
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is it a bad sign that the associates/junior partners seem to talk shit about the firm an awful lot? It's hard for me to tell if it's just standard lunch talk or what, but every conversation seems to involve how they're fixing someone else's mess, or someone who got fucked over by the name partners (like bringing in clients and getting them poached by your own firm), or about how this office won't be here in 3 years. It all feels mostly harmless, and the workplace is otherwise great, just wondering if these are signs that I should be wary or what.


Out the firm.

Anonymous User
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is it a bad sign that the associates/junior partners seem to talk shit about the firm an awful lot? It's hard for me to tell if it's just standard lunch talk or what, but every conversation seems to involve how they're fixing someone else's mess, or someone who got fucked over by the name partners (like bringing in clients and getting them poached by your own firm), or about how this office won't be here in 3 years. It all feels mostly harmless, and the workplace is otherwise great, just wondering if these are signs that I should be wary or what.


Out the firm.


I'm aware of a NY firm whose lease expires in 2015, but that doesn't sound like what that poster meant.

I mean, if he did mean that firm - and he somehow cast a usual lease expiration/new building search as a negative - then that would say more about the poster's attitude/understanding than the firm itself.

shoeshine
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby shoeshine » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is it a bad sign that the associates/junior partners seem to talk shit about the firm an awful lot? It's hard for me to tell if it's just standard lunch talk or what, but every conversation seems to involve how they're fixing someone else's mess, or someone who got fucked over by the name partners (like bringing in clients and getting them poached by your own firm), or about how this office won't be here in 3 years. It all feels mostly harmless, and the workplace is otherwise great, just wondering if these are signs that I should be wary or what.

Yeah bro those are bad signs. We don't have anything like that over here.

I would be worried on two fronts. First, the work atmosphere sounds hostile. I would not want to work at a place where people treat each other like that and also talk about their hostilities towards one another openly with summer associates. Second, it does not sound like your office is in the best financial shape. People talking about an office closing are a sign that significant partner or client has left and there may be a serious shortage of work. Even if it is just talk...that is not good.

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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:57 am

PirateCap'n wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is anybody else having trouble with research assignments? I spent hours today searching for a case on a particular issue and came up empty handed. This is the third assignment where this has happened to me. I don't know if I'm just getting weird issues to research or if I'm doing something wrong.

Ask the research librarians, they've been really great so far with helping me find what I need.



Firm librarians are TMFCR. If you develop a good relationship with them, they might go the extra mile for ya.


Like the OP, I've already had 3-4 assignments where there really wasn't a solid answer. None of the firm librarians, Lexis researchers, and Westlaw researchers could find anything that helped. There were iffy answers, but nothing definite (or even close to it). Sometimes, those things just happen, and it's not that unusual.

Based on what a couple of the lawyers at my firm said, a lot of them just save up projects where they don't think there's a solid answer, and they throw it on the SAs since we have plenty of time to look for an answer if there really is one. I don't think that's really a surprise to anyone, but I think that might answer part of OP's question since there's a better chance that SA projects might not have a good answer than the projects you might expect as a new associate in general.


TCR

Same thing with me. I've had several quick research questions where a response was wanted within a day. All of them resulted in not quite on point cases that could be stretched with some good analysis. But in all of them I was told an associate had spent a little time on it and they were hoping maybe something good would turn up with a bunch of hours on it that could be billed to the general research budget for SAs and not to the client. It's been a good way to familiarize myself with the general substance of the practice areas I'm in though.

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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is it a bad sign that the associates/junior partners seem to talk shit about the firm an awful lot? It's hard for me to tell if it's just standard lunch talk or what, but every conversation seems to involve how they're fixing someone else's mess, or someone who got fucked over by the name partners (like bringing in clients and getting them poached by your own firm), or about how this office won't be here in 3 years. It all feels mostly harmless, and the workplace is otherwise great, just wondering if these are signs that I should be wary or what.


Out the firm.


I'm aware of a NY firm whose lease expires in 2015, but that doesn't sound like what that poster meant.

I mean, if he did mean that firm - and he somehow cast a usual lease expiration/new building search as a negative - then that would say more about the poster's attitude/understanding than the firm itself.


My firm is a NY firm definitely moving buildings, but they don't talk about it that way at all like the other poster described. They talk about it in terms of "I wonder which of x and x and x the committee is going to recommend to the partnership." I think the poster who said the above works at a satellite office.

ruski
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby ruski » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is it a bad sign that the associates/junior partners seem to talk shit about the firm an awful lot? It's hard for me to tell if it's just standard lunch talk or what, but every conversation seems to involve how they're fixing someone else's mess, or someone who got fucked over by the name partners (like bringing in clients and getting them poached by your own firm), or about how this office won't be here in 3 years. It all feels mostly harmless, and the workplace is otherwise great, just wondering if these are signs that I should be wary or what.


Personally that seems scary to me, but I don't have a broad frame of reference. All the associates at my firm rave about it and I think we have little to no yellers.


+1. Talking about how the office won't be there in three years would scare the shit out of me.

We also had a team that was poached recently by a bigger named and no one on either side seems bitter about it at all (and the departure emails from the people who are leaving are basically raves).


i would take those departure emails with a grain of salt. during my summer i also came across several departure emails and was surprised how positive they were. everyone was raving about the firm and giving to shoutouts to mentors and such. i happened to mention this observation to a partner in passing during a conversation and he laughed and told me not to take them too seriously. he was about to start explaining something, started with something about how many of the departures were actually forced, and he was going to continue but then he hesitated and then just switched subjects as if catching himself off guard. it was a little unnatural/weird and i definitely picked up on something.i wish he would have finished his thought but the takeaway was that these emails may not be so genuine.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:04 pm

ruski wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is it a bad sign that the associates/junior partners seem to talk shit about the firm an awful lot? It's hard for me to tell if it's just standard lunch talk or what, but every conversation seems to involve how they're fixing someone else's mess, or someone who got fucked over by the name partners (like bringing in clients and getting them poached by your own firm), or about how this office won't be here in 3 years. It all feels mostly harmless, and the workplace is otherwise great, just wondering if these are signs that I should be wary or what.


Personally that seems scary to me, but I don't have a broad frame of reference. All the associates at my firm rave about it and I think we have little to no yellers.


+1. Talking about how the office won't be there in three years would scare the shit out of me.

We also had a team that was poached recently by a bigger named and no one on either side seems bitter about it at all (and the departure emails from the people who are leaving are basically raves).


i would take those departure emails with a grain of salt. during my summer i also came across several departure emails and was surprised how positive they were. everyone was raving about the firm and giving to shoutouts to mentors and such. i happened to mention this observation to a partner in passing during a conversation and he laughed and told me not to take them too seriously. he was about to start explaining something, started with something about how many of the departures were actually forced, and he was going to continue but then he hesitated and then just switched subjects as if catching himself off guard. it was a little unnatural/weird and i definitely picked up on something.i wish he would have finished his thought but the takeaway was that these emails may not be so genuine.

Only the most disgruntled people around would burn their bridges by sending a negative goodbye email. These firms consciously force people out in ways that allow everyone involved to save face. There's nothing to gain by blowing up that happy charade on your way out the door.

r6_philly
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby r6_philly » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:06 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Only the most disgruntled people around would burn their bridges by sending a negative goodbye email. These firms consciously force people out in ways that allow everyone involved to save face. There's nothing to gain by blowing up that happy charade on your way out the door.


But pay attention to how people who are not leaving talk about the person who is.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:08 pm

r6_philly wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Only the most disgruntled people around would burn their bridges by sending a negative goodbye email. These firms consciously force people out in ways that allow everyone involved to save face. There's nothing to gain by blowing up that happy charade on your way out the door.


But pay attention to how people who are not leaving talk about the person who is.

Indeed.

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bceagles182
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby bceagles182 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:13 pm

rad lulz wrote:I find that SA projects tend to come in 2 varieties:

1. Atty is pretty sure he knows the correct answer, because it's so obvious, but wants cases and reasoning so he knows he's for sure he's not wrong. Assigns SA to project to find the law that he knows is out there.

2. Atty has no freaking clue and the argument is way out of left field. Assigns SA to dig around to see if there's anything interesting out there.



This x 10000.

Anonymous User
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:38 pm

How many hours should SA's be billing per day? I've only just finished my second day of actual work at an IP boutique and I'm only at 12. I've been told that most boutiques want associates to have 90-95% of hours worked to be billable, so I'm a bit concerned. Maybe I was naive, but I didn't expect summers to actually be itemized on the customers' bill.




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