ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote: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.


They are going to write it off, but that doesn't mean they don't want you to make an attempt to try and bill normally.

That being said, you're knew. They know that. They're not gonna expect a high level of efficiency from you. I don't think you have reason to be concerned.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:27 pm

was told late this afternoon when i went in to ask questions that the reason i was given the assignment was to learn how to research using books, to see how i responded when i was at a total loss and to learn the ropes of the firm.... then was told that im supposed to be at a total loss and confused, and that was the point ( and it was a made up assignment).....

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

Postby IAFG » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:was told late this afternoon when i went in to ask questions that the reason i was given the assignment was to learn how to research using books, to see how i responded when i was at a total loss and to learn the ropes of the firm.... then was told that im supposed to be at a total loss and confused, and that was the point ( and it was a made up assignment).....

out the firm

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:14 am

So, my secretary hates me. I was assigned to a partner secretary who clearly resents being asked to stoop to assisting a lowly summer associate. She's been at the firm a long time and goes out of her was to impress upon me how busy and important she is, how silly I am to ask her a quick question (am I really supposed to walk in knowing every facet of office procedure and protocol on day one?), and to pointedly say 'no' if I ask her for help with something that would take less than 5 min (I try to only ask when people I'm working with specifically tell me to have my secretary do something, but even then she acts appalled that I would dare to disturb her).

It's a small office and there are spillover effects: I'm perpetually feeling defensive, concerned about imposing on other people to avoid dealing with her (especially the ones whose job really isn't to assist stupid summer associates) and having to ask dumb questions to people whose opinion of me matters even more, and i'm really paranoid about being grossly inefficient because it's so hard to ask for practical support that would keep me from wasting hours just figuring how things work so i can get started or spendng the bulk of my time doing secretarial rather than substantive work (I was a personal assistant before law school so I actually do have a very good sense of where that line is drawn; they emphasized in training that we should delegate as much as possible, so I know people will assume I'm either lazy or retarded when things take me so much longer).

The hostility is palpable enough (or I'm sensitive enough) that, despite everyone else at the firm being incredibly nice, I'm starting to look like the bad apple because I end up being tense, demoralized and antisocial all the time. Fighting back or asking to switch secretaries will likely only fan the flames, and she already seems to have influenced others with her attitude towards me - none of the support staff who sit nearby smile or say hello to me anymore. Same for the partners in our area (including the one who is my "mentor" but has literally spoken to me once for 30 seconds in 3 weeks so far). I'm starting to feel like this whole situation will ultimately prevent me from getting an offer. So, how can I salvage the rest of my summer from her attempt to sabotage it?

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

Postby Guchster » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:25 am

Breh, relax, it's a fucking secretary.

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

Postby r6_philly » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:27 am

IAFG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:was told late this afternoon when i went in to ask questions that the reason i was given the assignment was to learn how to research using books, to see how i responded when i was at a total loss and to learn the ropes of the firm.... then was told that im supposed to be at a total loss and confused, and that was the point ( and it was a made up assignment).....

out the firm


I would have totally found something :lol:

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

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:51 am

Guchster wrote:Breh, relax, it's a fucking secretary.

+1

Also I can't imagine what you could possibly need from your secretary on such a regular basis as a summer. What are you asking her to do, take dictation?

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

Postby wiseowl » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:So, my secretary hates me. I was assigned to a partner secretary who clearly resents being asked to stoop to assisting a lowly summer associate. She's been at the firm a long time and goes out of her was to impress upon me how busy and important she is, how silly I am to ask her a quick question (am I really supposed to walk in knowing every facet of office procedure and protocol on day one?), and to pointedly say 'no' if I ask her for help with something that would take less than 5 min (I try to only ask when people I'm working with specifically tell me to have my secretary do something, but even then she acts appalled that I would dare to disturb her).

It's a small office and there are spillover effects: I'm perpetually feeling defensive, concerned about imposing on other people to avoid dealing with her (especially the ones whose job really isn't to assist stupid summer associates) and having to ask dumb questions to people whose opinion of me matters even more, and i'm really paranoid about being grossly inefficient because it's so hard to ask for practical support that would keep me from wasting hours just figuring how things work so i can get started or spendng the bulk of my time doing secretarial rather than substantive work (I was a personal assistant before law school so I actually do have a very good sense of where that line is drawn; they emphasized in training that we should delegate as much as possible, so I know people will assume I'm either lazy or retarded when things take me so much longer).

The hostility is palpable enough (or I'm sensitive enough) that, despite everyone else at the firm being incredibly nice, I'm starting to look like the bad apple because I end up being tense, demoralized and antisocial all the time. Fighting back or asking to switch secretaries will likely only fan the flames, and she already seems to have influenced others with her attitude towards me - none of the support staff who sit nearby smile or say hello to me anymore. Same for the partners in our area (including the one who is my "mentor" but has literally spoken to me once for 30 seconds in 3 weeks so far). I'm starting to feel like this whole situation will ultimately prevent me from getting an offer. So, how can I salvage the rest of my summer from her attempt to sabotage it?


The answers you got on your XO thread were more than sufficient.

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

Postby Stanford4Me » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:41 am

wiseowl wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So, my secretary hates me. I was assigned to a partner secretary who clearly resents being asked to stoop to assisting a lowly summer associate. She's been at the firm a long time and goes out of her was to impress upon me how busy and important she is, how silly I am to ask her a quick question (am I really supposed to walk in knowing every facet of office procedure and protocol on day one?), and to pointedly say 'no' if I ask her for help with something that would take less than 5 min (I try to only ask when people I'm working with specifically tell me to have my secretary do something, but even then she acts appalled that I would dare to disturb her).

It's a small office and there are spillover effects: I'm perpetually feeling defensive, concerned about imposing on other people to avoid dealing with her (especially the ones whose job really isn't to assist stupid summer associates) and having to ask dumb questions to people whose opinion of me matters even more, and i'm really paranoid about being grossly inefficient because it's so hard to ask for practical support that would keep me from wasting hours just figuring how things work so i can get started or spendng the bulk of my time doing secretarial rather than substantive work (I was a personal assistant before law school so I actually do have a very good sense of where that line is drawn; they emphasized in training that we should delegate as much as possible, so I know people will assume I'm either lazy or retarded when things take me so much longer).

The hostility is palpable enough (or I'm sensitive enough) that, despite everyone else at the firm being incredibly nice, I'm starting to look like the bad apple because I end up being tense, demoralized and antisocial all the time. Fighting back or asking to switch secretaries will likely only fan the flames, and she already seems to have influenced others with her attitude towards me - none of the support staff who sit nearby smile or say hello to me anymore. Same for the partners in our area (including the one who is my "mentor" but has literally spoken to me once for 30 seconds in 3 weeks so far). I'm starting to feel like this whole situation will ultimately prevent me from getting an offer. So, how can I salvage the rest of my summer from her attempt to sabotage it?


The answers you got on your XO thread were more than sufficient.

LINK!

Also, I'm having a hard time thinking of what you could have your secretary do that would prevent things from taking "so much longer" if she weren't doing those things.


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Stanford4Me
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby Stanford4Me » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:46 am

SchopenhauerFTW wrote:
Stanford4Me wrote:LINK!

http://autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_ ... forum_id=2

I stopped reading when I saw OP use the word "ascertain."

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

Postby Ludo! » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:18 pm

Guy complaining about his secretary - you sound like an entitled douche. Thats probably why your secretary and everybody else in the office hates you. Enjoy dat no offer

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

Postby rad lulz » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:52 pm

I don't have a secretary and I don't need one.

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

Postby Machine Spirit » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:02 pm

I don't even remember asking my "secretary" a single thing during the course of my summer associateship. I think once I asked about setting a printer up, but she directed me to the tech department.

My only interaction was one lunch, giving her a card, and her requiring me to email her each morning that I was in the office.

She seemed nice though, to be fair. Regardless, for some reason didn't like the idea of having a secretary...especially one over twice my age...seemed wrong to potentially order around a kindly old woman.

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

Postby bjsesq » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:03 pm

Panicking about not finding enough on point case law. I could look out of state within the circuit, but they apply different standards. On the bright side, at least it isn't as stuffy as I thought it would be.

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

Postby bjsesq » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:05 pm

Machine Spirit wrote:I don't even remember asking my "secretary" a single thing during the course of my summer associateship. I think once I asked about setting a printer up, but she directed me to the tech department.

My only interaction was one lunch, giving her a card, and her requiring me to email her each morning that I was in the office.

She seemed nice though, to be fair. Regardless, for some reason didn't like the idea of having a secretary...especially one over twice my age...seemed wrong to potentially order around a kindly old woman.


The secretaries at my place are awesome. They are funny, outgoing, and chomping at the bit to help with whatever you need. It isn't insulting to get their help, dude. That's what they are there for.

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

Postby rad lulz » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:07 pm

rad lulz wrote:I don't have a secretary and I don't need one.

Also if she is a rainmaker's long tine secretary, then yes, she is more important than some know-nothing, overcompensated 2L who reappears occasionally to get free lunches and vomit out shit pure shit memoranda.

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

Postby ruski » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:48 pm

rad lulz wrote:
rad lulz wrote:I don't have a secretary and I don't need one.

Also if she is a rainmaker's long tine secretary, then yes, she is more important than some know-nothing, overcompensated 2L who reappears occasionally to get free lunches and vomit out shit pure shit memoranda.


OP mentioned this, but several times assigning associates and partners will TELL you to give this to your secretary. i was in a very similar situation to OP. I was given a secretary that was also working for a top partner. i didn't expect to give her any work, but parts of my assignments were really low level stuff (like making labels for a deal closing) and an assigning attorney explicitly said to give it to my secretary b/c he wanted me to do more pressing things on the matter (deal was closing next day). you don't really have a choice here. i gave her the work, and she gave me attitude. this happened once or twice more during the summer. sometimes the partner would only 'recommend' i give it to my secretary. i still gave it to her. what would i tell my partner if it somehow came up i actually did it instead - 'oh my bad, i decided to do it myself in the end even though we both knew i was swamped b/c i was too much of a pussy to give it to my secretary, even though this is what shes hired to do.' i tried to be polite as possible and told her this was for another partner but she didn't really care. oh well

i still got an offer. OP just be as cordial and nice as possible. keep your cool. people know there are some weird social dynamics w/ secretaries and summer associates, but they assign them to you for a reason so you get used to working with them. not a big deal if this is your only issue during the summer

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

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:48 pm

ruski wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
rad lulz wrote:I don't have a secretary and I don't need one.

Also if she is a rainmaker's long tine secretary, then yes, she is more important than some know-nothing, overcompensated 2L who reappears occasionally to get free lunches and vomit out shit pure shit memoranda.


OP mentioned this, but several times assigning associates and partners will TELL you to give this to your secretary. i was in a very similar situation to OP. I was given a secretary that was also working for a top partner. i didn't expect to give her any work, but parts of my assignments were really low level stuff (like making labels for a deal closing) and an assigning attorney explicitly said to give it to my secretary b/c he wanted me to do more pressing things on the matter (deal was closing next day). you don't really have a choice here. i gave her the work, and she gave me attitude. this happened once or twice more during the summer. sometimes the partner would only 'recommend' i give it to my secretary. i still gave it to her. what would i tell my partner if it somehow came up i actually did it instead - 'oh my bad, i decided to do it myself in the end even though we both knew i was swamped b/c i was too much of a pussy to give it to my secretary, even though this is what shes hired to do.' i tried to be polite as possible and told her this was for another partner but she didn't really care. oh well

i still got an offer. OP just be as cordial and nice as possible. keep your cool. people know there are some weird social dynamics w/ secretaries and summer associates, but they assign them to you for a reason so you get used to working with them. not a big deal if this is your only issue during the summer

These are the situations where you say, "Hey, Partner X asked me to have you do this for me, do you have time?" I suspect much of the pushback people are getting from secretaries is because of how these requests are being phrased.

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

Postby forza » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:57 pm

bjsesq wrote:The secretaries at my place are awesome. They are funny, outgoing, and chomping at the bit to help with whatever you need. It isn't insulting to get their help, dude. That's what they are there for.


This. My secretary kicks so much ass.

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

Postby nygrrrl » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:11 pm

forza wrote:
bjsesq wrote:The secretaries at my place are awesome. They are funny, outgoing, and chomping at the bit to help with whatever you need. It isn't insulting to get their help, dude. That's what they are there for.


This. My secretary kicks so much ass.

In PI, we don't have "secretaries." We have freaking LIFE SAVERS. I love our staff. I think I'm going to buy them breakfast, next week.

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

Postby fundamentallybroken » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:22 pm

rad lulz wrote:I don't have a secretary and I don't need one.


Have one, but don't really need one.

On the other hand, she happily enters all my billables into the accounting system for me, which really just saves from having to learn the system yet. Love her.

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

Postby LawIdiot86 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:26 pm

fundamentallybroken wrote:
rad lulz wrote:I don't have a secretary and I don't need one.


Have one, but don't really need one.

On the other hand, she happily enters all my billables into the accounting system for me, which really just saves from having to learn the system yet. Love her.


Mine checks my calendar and lets me know when I screw up entries, even though I told her I intended to keep track of my own schedule.

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

Postby blurbz » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:59 pm

forza wrote:
bjsesq wrote:The secretaries at my place are awesome. They are funny, outgoing, and chomping at the bit to help with whatever you need. It isn't insulting to get their help, dude. That's what they are there for.


This. My secretary kicks so much ass.



Yeah, my secretary is awesome. So helpful.

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

Postby r6_philly » Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:01 am

rad lulz wrote:I don't have a secretary and I don't need one.


Same here. At this point I wouldn't want to push my work onto someone else anyway, everything I do is a learning experience.

However, when my billable actually counts, I will have to depend heavily on the support staff.




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