ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

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

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:20 pm

ruski wrote:yea dude can you read? that's what i told her. they dont really care. at the end of the day shes still getting the assignment from me, not the partner, and some 40 year old grown woman is not gonna like it.

I read what you said, but if you are halfway as charming in real life as you sound on here, then I question whether you really were as "polite" about it as you think.

No doubt there are secretaries out there who act like this but I think in most situations these problems begin with the SAs, not the secretaries. They're the professionals; they've worked there a while and know what their jobs are. Many SAs are 24 year olds who have never worked in an office before and have an inflated sense of their own value. I'm just calling it like I see it.

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

Postby ruski » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:25 pm

they wont make offers until you receive bar results? that doesn't make sense. bar results come out in november after 3L year. they expect all 4 of you to wait around for 6 months after graduation for them to decide who gets the offer? you can't rely on that. if you don't get it, then it just looks like you've been graduated unemployed and have been doing nothing for six months. that will not help in the job hunt. you should start looking for a new firm for post grad employment right when 3L starts (or possibly now even)

and yea, as to the other stuff in your post, none of that is normal. your firm sucks.

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

Postby ruski » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:28 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
ruski wrote:yea dude can you read? that's what i told her. they dont really care. at the end of the day shes still getting the assignment from me, not the partner, and some 40 year old grown woman is not gonna like it.

I read what you said, but if you are halfway as charming in real life as you sound on here, then I question whether you really were as "polite" about it as you think.

No doubt there are secretaries out there who act like this but I think in most situations these problems begin with the SAs, not the secretaries. They're the professionals; they've worked there a while and know what their jobs are. Many SAs are 24 year olds who have never worked in an office before and have an inflated sense of their own value. I'm just calling it like I see it.


calling it like you see it? dude i could care less how charming i am on these boards. i received an offer from the firm so clearly my attitude wasn't a problem. and you also don't see shit - i did banking for two years before law school so im pretty sure i know how to behave in an office.

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

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a clerk at a midlaw firm this summer, and I have a few gripes. Are these legitimate, and are they an issue at biglaw firms too (either as an SA or an associate)?

1. I'm paid hourly (clock-in/clock-out), and we're expected to be billing every minute that we are clocked in--all 8 hours in a day. Aside from the ethical concerns of such a policy, this makes for a very stressful day; I need to be very mindful even about the time I spend just going to the bathroom. I would be happy to bill 8 hours a day if I could do it in 10 hours, but this 1:1 ratio thing is seriously stressful, and forces you to make what I think are dubious billing decisions. What's is the ratio of time-in-office v. billing time for most biglaw SAs on here?

2. We each have a supervising attorney, but both myself and a few of the other clerks aren't getting enough work from our supervising attorneys to keep us busy the whole day. We've been told to branch out to other attorneys to get work when this happens, but none of the other attorneys are really interested in trying to give assignments to us. With this 1:1 billing ratio policy, I find myself literally going around to each attorney's office begging for assignments; it both annoys the attorneys and embarrasses me. We were also told in orientation that being short on assignments is an indication that people don't want you to do work for them, and will thus be viewed negatively in our evaluations, which of course adds significantly to the anxiety of not having an assignment. I know some biglaw firms have a free-market system, but are SAs/associates scrounging/begging for work like this too?

3. We've been told more or less outright that only 1 clerk (out of 4) will be considered for a full time associate position after law school. While I don't think it's wrong for them to want you to prove your worth during the summer before making an offer to you, this is turning this summer into some serious Hunger Games shit. Moreover, offers aren't made until after we find out bar results, so basically 3 of us will have flushed our 2L summer and 3L post-bar-exam/pre-bar-results time down the drain. (It also puts the firm in a far superior bargaining position when it comes to salary because they know that you just have to take what they offer you, as you won't be able to get anything else by then.) While I know the biglaw SA hiring model is different, is there this same type of atmosphere as either an SA or an associate--i.e. where you are competing against each other just to stay alive? This seems very antithetical to team-building.

4. We bill almost exclusively to insurance companies, who I'm told are notoriously stingy when paying for legal work. As a result, I'm given what seems to be some ridiculous time limits on my assignments--1 hour for researching the law, 2 hours to draft a motion from scratch. I'm panicking the whole time because I know there's no way I'm going to produce anything of decent quality in that kind of time limit. This exacerbates problem #1 too, since each assignment I do is like being in a fucking final exam, for the entire day. Are time limits on assignments more generous in biglaw?

Sounds like you work for a larger insurance defense mill. I'd look for another job.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:36 pm

ruski wrote:they wont make offers until you receive bar results? that doesn't make sense. bar results come out in november after 3L year. they expect all 4 of you to wait around for 6 months after graduation for them to decide who gets the offer? you can't rely on that. if you don't get it, then it just looks like you've been graduated unemployed and have been doing nothing for six months. that will not help in the job hunt. you should start looking for a new firm for post grad employment right when 3L starts (or possibly now even)

and yea, as to the other stuff in your post, none of that is normal. your firm sucks.



rad lulz wrote:Sounds like you work for a larger insurance defense mill. I'd look for another job.


So if i'm applying for another job and they ask me why I don't want to work at this firm, is it OK to bring these issues up? They seem legitimate, but I'm not sure if as a rule you shouldn't bad mouth your prior place of employment..

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

Postby Ludo! » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a clerk at a midlaw firm this summer, and I have a few gripes. Are these legitimate, and are they an issue at biglaw firms too (either as an SA or an associate)?

1. I'm paid hourly (clock-in/clock-out), and we're expected to be billing every minute that we are clocked in--all 8 hours in a day. Aside from the ethical concerns of such a policy, this makes for a very stressful day; I need to be very mindful even about the time I spend just going to the bathroom. I would be happy to bill 8 hours a day if I could do it in 10 hours, but this 1:1 ratio thing is seriously stressful, and forces you to make what I think are dubious billing decisions. What's is the ratio of time-in-office v. billing time for most biglaw SAs on here?

2. We each have a supervising attorney, but both myself and a few of the other clerks aren't getting enough work from our supervising attorneys to keep us busy the whole day. We've been told to branch out to other attorneys to get work when this happens, but none of the other attorneys are really interested in trying to give assignments to us. With this 1:1 billing ratio policy, I find myself literally going around to each attorney's office begging for assignments; it both annoys the attorneys and embarrasses me. We were also told in orientation that being short on assignments is an indication that people don't want you to do work for them, and will thus be viewed negatively in our evaluations, which of course adds significantly to the anxiety of not having an assignment. I know some biglaw firms have a free-market system, but are SAs/associates scrounging/begging for work like this too?

3. We've been told more or less outright that only 1 clerk (out of 4) will be considered for a full time associate position after law school. While I don't think it's wrong for them to want you to prove your worth during the summer before making an offer to you, this is turning this summer into some serious Hunger Games shit. Moreover, offers aren't made until after we find out bar results, so basically 3 of us will have flushed our 2L summer and 3L post-bar-exam/pre-bar-results time down the drain. (It also puts the firm in a far superior bargaining position when it comes to salary because they know that you just have to take what they offer you, as you won't be able to get anything else by then.) While I know the biglaw SA hiring model is different, is there this same type of atmosphere as either an SA or an associate--i.e. where you are competing against each other just to stay alive? This seems very antithetical to team-building.

4. We bill almost exclusively to insurance companies, who I'm told are notoriously stingy when paying for legal work. As a result, I'm given what seems to be some ridiculous time limits on my assignments--1 hour for researching the law, 2 hours to draft a motion from scratch. I'm panicking the whole time because I know there's no way I'm going to produce anything of decent quality in that kind of time limit. This exacerbates problem #1 too, since each assignment I do is like being in a fucking final exam, for the entire day. Are time limits on assignments more generous in biglaw?


Holy shit this sounds like a nightmare. I know law students can't really afford to be picky but I would be desperately trying to find somewhere else to work.

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fl0w
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby fl0w » Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a clerk at a midlaw firm this summer, and I have a few gripes. Are these legitimate, and are they an issue at biglaw firms too (either as an SA or an associate)?

1. I'm paid hourly (clock-in/clock-out), and we're expected to be billing every minute that we are clocked in--all 8 hours in a day. Aside from the ethical concerns of such a policy, this makes for a very stressful day; I need to be very mindful even about the time I spend just going to the bathroom. I would be happy to bill 8 hours a day if I could do it in 10 hours, but this 1:1 ratio thing is seriously stressful, and forces you to make what I think are dubious billing decisions. What's is the ratio of time-in-office v. billing time for most biglaw SAs on here?

2. We each have a supervising attorney, but both myself and a few of the other clerks aren't getting enough work from our supervising attorneys to keep us busy the whole day. We've been told to branch out to other attorneys to get work when this happens, but none of the other attorneys are really interested in trying to give assignments to us. With this 1:1 billing ratio policy, I find myself literally going around to each attorney's office begging for assignments; it both annoys the attorneys and embarrasses me. We were also told in orientation that being short on assignments is an indication that people don't want you to do work for them, and will thus be viewed negatively in our evaluations, which of course adds significantly to the anxiety of not having an assignment. I know some biglaw firms have a free-market system, but are SAs/associates scrounging/begging for work like this too?

3. We've been told more or less outright that only 1 clerk (out of 4) will be considered for a full time associate position after law school. While I don't think it's wrong for them to want you to prove your worth during the summer before making an offer to you, this is turning this summer into some serious Hunger Games shit. Moreover, offers aren't made until after we find out bar results, so basically 3 of us will have flushed our 2L summer and 3L post-bar-exam/pre-bar-results time down the drain. (It also puts the firm in a far superior bargaining position when it comes to salary because they know that you just have to take what they offer you, as you won't be able to get anything else by then.) While I know the biglaw SA hiring model is different, is there this same type of atmosphere as either an SA or an associate--i.e. where you are competing against each other just to stay alive? This seems very antithetical to team-building.

4. We bill almost exclusively to insurance companies, who I'm told are notoriously stingy when paying for legal work. As a result, I'm given what seems to be some ridiculous time limits on my assignments--1 hour for researching the law, 2 hours to draft a motion from scratch. I'm panicking the whole time because I know there's no way I'm going to produce anything of decent quality in that kind of time limit. This exacerbates problem #1 too, since each assignment I do is like being in a fucking final exam, for the entire day. Are time limits on assignments more generous in biglaw?


Image

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a clerk at a midlaw firm this summer, and I have a few gripes. Are these legitimate, and are they an issue at biglaw firms too (either as an SA or an associate)?

1. I'm paid hourly (clock-in/clock-out), and we're expected to be billing every minute that we are clocked in--all 8 hours in a day. Aside from the ethical concerns of such a policy, this makes for a very stressful day; I need to be very mindful even about the time I spend just going to the bathroom. I would be happy to bill 8 hours a day if I could do it in 10 hours, but this 1:1 ratio thing is seriously stressful, and forces you to make what I think are dubious billing decisions. What's is the ratio of time-in-office v. billing time for most biglaw SAs on here?

2. We each have a supervising attorney, but both myself and a few of the other clerks aren't getting enough work from our supervising attorneys to keep us busy the whole day. We've been told to branch out to other attorneys to get work when this happens, but none of the other attorneys are really interested in trying to give assignments to us. With this 1:1 billing ratio policy, I find myself literally going around to each attorney's office begging for assignments; it both annoys the attorneys and embarrasses me. We were also told in orientation that being short on assignments is an indication that people don't want you to do work for them, and will thus be viewed negatively in our evaluations, which of course adds significantly to the anxiety of not having an assignment. I know some biglaw firms have a free-market system, but are SAs/associates scrounging/begging for work like this too?

3. We've been told more or less outright that only 1 clerk (out of 4) will be considered for a full time associate position after law school. While I don't think it's wrong for them to want you to prove your worth during the summer before making an offer to you, this is turning this summer into some serious Hunger Games shit. Moreover, offers aren't made until after we find out bar results, so basically 3 of us will have flushed our 2L summer and 3L post-bar-exam/pre-bar-results time down the drain. (It also puts the firm in a far superior bargaining position when it comes to salary because they know that you just have to take what they offer you, as you won't be able to get anything else by then.) While I know the biglaw SA hiring model is different, is there this same type of atmosphere as either an SA or an associate--i.e. where you are competing against each other just to stay alive? This seems very antithetical to team-building.

4. We bill almost exclusively to insurance companies, who I'm told are notoriously stingy when paying for legal work. As a result, I'm given what seems to be some ridiculous time limits on my assignments--1 hour for researching the law, 2 hours to draft a motion from scratch. I'm panicking the whole time because I know there's no way I'm going to produce anything of decent quality in that kind of time limit. This exacerbates problem #1 too, since each assignment I do is like being in a fucking final exam, for the entire day. Are time limits on assignments more generous in biglaw?



I worked for a mid-sized firm for my 1L summer and throughout my 2L year, now I'm with a larger firm. This is way beyond what others are dealing with. This isn't common - even for a mid-sized firm. Even if you're the "lucky" one to get the job, it's going to be terrible. They're breeding a culture that produces the results desired by insurance companies, but would be terrible to work in. Getting your foot in the door in this industry is hard - but try to make this as short term as possible. Good Luck!

Edit - Time limits are more generous in biglaw. They keep telling me to shoot for quality - not quantity. Inefficiency is expected. They are looking for skill sets that will produce good associates - not money making clerks.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:37 pm

damn, you guys are anxious about stuff? this is the best job I've ever had. they told me I have an offer on the first day and just take me out to lunch all the time. fuckin sweet.

LawIdiot86
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:damn, you guys are anxious about stuff? this is the best job I've ever had. they told me I have an offer on the first day and just take me out to lunch all the time. fuckin sweet.


Mine ominously mention at least once a day how much different things are ITE and how even before it people got no offered because of poor work quality. They did say though that inefficiency is acceptable and expected in summers, but not associates.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:49 pm

They told me the offer was mine to lose on the first day, and then piled me up w work. Have discovery to look at, 3 memos of varying lengths, and a motion all due this week.

I'm nervous as fuck and in my office trying to find cases for these issues that our out of left field where there's nothing on point.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:They told me the offer was mine to lose on the first day, and then piled me up w work. Have discovery to look at, 3 memos of varying lengths, and a motion all due this week.

I'm nervous as fuck and in my office trying to find cases for these issues that our out of left field where there's nothing on point.

Nearly the same stuff I have on my plate. 20,000 pages of discovery begins tomorrow.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm nervous as fuck and in my office trying to find cases for these issues that our out of left field where there's nothing on point.


Different poster: and it doesn't help when you are worrying about Lexis/Westlaw search charges!

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

Postby traehekat » Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:They told me the offer was mine to lose on the first day, and then piled me up w work. Have discovery to look at, 3 memos of varying lengths, and a motion all due this week.

I'm nervous as fuck and in my office trying to find cases for these issues that our out of left field where there's nothing on point.


you are in your office at 9pm on a sunday as a SA? i mean, i dont disagree that you have a lot on your plate and if you need the time then you need it, but damn.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:04 pm

traehekat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:They told me the offer was mine to lose on the first day, and then piled me up w work. Have discovery to look at, 3 memos of varying lengths, and a motion all due this week.

I'm nervous as fuck and in my office trying to find cases for these issues that our out of left field where there's nothing on point.


you are in your office at 9pm on a sunday as a SA? i mean, i dont disagree that you have a lot on your plate and if you need the time then you need it, but damn.

It's one of those things where I felt that I didn't have a handle on it because the question was framed weird (like I couldn't understand why we were even having the dispute in question), and I couldn't find anything, so I didn't know how long it would take. With so much other shit and tight deadlines, I figured it would be better to be safe than sorry. I came in Saturday too for a different project with an early in the week (Tuesday) deadline. These projects we're assigned Thursday and Friday at the end of the day, respectively.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:47 am

How important is it to go to ALL the social events? My firm has an overnight camping/hiking trip scheduled, and I was wondering if it would be an automatic no-offer if I miss it (I'm planning to go to every other firm event though).

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

Postby rad lulz » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:How important is it to go to ALL the social events? My firm has an overnight camping/hiking trip scheduled, and I was wondering if it would be an automatic no-offer if I miss it (I'm planning to go to every other firm event though).

What is your reason for missing, because none of is know your firm, but that sounds like a big deal.

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

Postby r6_philly » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:They told me the offer was mine to lose on the first day, and then piled me up w work. Have discovery to look at, 3 memos of varying lengths, and a motion all due this week.

I'm nervous as fuck and in my office trying to find cases for these issues that our out of left field where there's nothing on point.

Nearly the same stuff I have on my plate. 20,000 pages of discovery begins tomorrow.


Damn, they don't give us doc review if we wanted it.

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

Postby shoeshine » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:55 pm

Today the partner who has been assigning me work told me I was one of the best legal writers she has ever had as a summer associate.

I don't know how many people she was comparing me against but that was literally the best compliment I have had all year.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:19 pm

rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How important is it to go to ALL the social events? My firm has an overnight camping/hiking trip scheduled, and I was wondering if it would be an automatic no-offer if I miss it (I'm planning to go to every other firm event though).

What is your reason for missing, because none of is know your firm, but that sounds like a big deal.


I have a medical condition which would make it uncomfortable/unsafe to attend most of the activities. One option would be going and not attending most of the activities. But I'm not looking forward to explaining every time I can't do certain things or help out with setting up, etc (or alternatively, not explaining and just looking like I don't care/am lazy) given that my condition isn't really an easily visible one.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:13 pm

How difficult is it to get no-offered? I am at a top firm that has listed 100% offer rates-- but I am still anxious and extremely neurotic.

I am doing good work and haven't had any substantive issues. I seem to be integrating well with my project teams and keep getting work from them.

I've been attending some social events, but not all. My firm has a huge class size and I am very shy in big groups, so I don't know all of my fellow SAs. I know four or five (out of 100+) the best and we talk when we see each other and sometimes get lunch together. I am friendly with the other summers when there are social events. I have been going on the firm-reimbursed lunches with other associates.

But-- I think that one of the summer associate coordinators doesn't like me (for a specific reason that might out me). So my worry is that I am not completely integrating with my summer class, which combined with one of the coordinators not liking me would result in a no-offer.

I realize that I am being VERY neurotic and that this is probably a dumb question, but please reassure me that I won't get no-offered.

I plan to try to start socializing more with my summer class, but I just get so scared and shy when there is a big group. I am much better in smaller groups. Any tips?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How difficult is it to get no-offered? I am at a top firm that has listed 100% offer rates-- but I am still anxious and extremely neurotic.

I am doing good work and haven't had any substantive issues. I seem to be integrating well with my project teams and keep getting work from them.

I've been attending some social events, but not all. My firm has a huge class size and I am very shy in big groups, so I don't know all of my fellow SAs. I know four or five (out of 100+) the best and we talk when we see each other and sometimes get lunch together. I am friendly with the other summers when there are social events. I have been going on the firm-reimbursed lunches with other associates.

But-- I think that one of the summer associate coordinators doesn't like me (for a specific reason that might out me). So my worry is that I am not completely integrating with my summer class, which combined with one of the coordinators not liking me would result in a no-offer.

I realize that I am being VERY neurotic and that this is probably a dumb question, but please reassure me that I won't get no-offered.

I plan to try to start socializing more with my summer class, but I just get so scared and shy when there is a big group. I am much better in smaller groups. Any tips?


You're probably fine. Based on your info, I could probably narrow the firm down to one of a few, and the offer really is yours to lose. Then again, I'm not really sure why the coordinator doesn't like you. If you were drunkenly hitting on his/her SO, then yeah, that might cause problems. If you were awkwardly and constantly hitting on him/her, then you might have problems. If you were overheard using a racial slur, then you might have problems. But beyond that, I really think you'll be okay. Don't sweat it. Enjoy the summer.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:44 pm

My firm asked for an official transcript today. Anyone else?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My firm asked for an official transcript today. Anyone else?


Yep.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:14 pm

Really confused here, any advice/insight is welcome. So I met with my mentor partner to go over arguments in a case that I'm working on. So far he's only had me make one very minor change to one assignment but other than that has filed everything I've submitted without any changes. After we went through the arguments he said that I shouldn't be trying to do as much work as possible or take on multiple assignments, but enjoy the summer and "just see how things go around here." WTF does that mean? He also gave me a weird look when I asked if I should get experience working with related practice areas this summer (all of my work thus far has been in a very narrow field of practice). Quality isn't an issue because he told me the quality is great. I'm beyond confused at what he was trying to get at.




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