ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

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

Postby fl0w » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is anyone using Westlaw live help to find cases? What do you guys think about doing that opposed to your own searches. Seems like they can do a better search in a lot less time.


before westlaw i tend to try...
Google Scholar
Wikipedia
Oyez.org
LouisLaw
....
if statutes or legislative history
Thomas
if statutes or rules (like civpro)
Cornell LII
..
then westlaw
then lexis

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:01 am

We're supposed to be getting reviews starting at the end of this week too. Everything's been fine socially for the most part, but I'm worried because I've been getting a lot of criticism (albeit constructive criticism... i.e. "you need to do x, x, and x better") on my work. I've definitely been taking it to heart, but I feel like I'm not doing too well on the "do good work product" end of it so I'm pretty damn nervous.

I also have some natural tendencies (I tend to get defensive) that I really need to figure out how not to do in terms of my communication skills when I'm presenting my work to associates (haven't really worked much with partners, but the same would apply to them if I had). I think the damn Socratic Method in law school made this tendency worse :(.

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swc65
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby swc65 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:We're supposed to be getting reviews starting at the end of this week too. Everything's been fine socially for the most part, but I'm worried because I've been getting a lot of criticism (albeit constructive criticism... i.e. "you need to do x, x, and x better") on my work. I've definitely been taking it to heart, but I feel like I'm not doing too well on the "do good work product" end of it so I'm pretty damn nervous.

I also have some natural tendencies (I tend to get defensive) that I really need to figure out how not to do in terms of my communication skills when I'm presenting my work to associates (haven't really worked much with partners, but the same would apply to them if I had). I think the damn Socratic Method in law school made this tendency worse :(.



You could try praising all of the feedback you have gotten. During your review, you could say how appreciative you are of the comments and how you think the feedback is really helping you improve.

Doing this acknowledges your mistakes, makes you seem able/willing to learn to do better, and is not at all defensive.

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

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:07 am

romothesavior wrote:My review is coming up too. Feel like I've been fitting in well and doing good work, and the attorneys have received me well and have given positive feedback. Still can't help but feel a bit nervous though.

Only 2 reviews so far, one glowing and one more tepid. Second one said substance was fine but style was off. Partner memo said reviews were "not bad." Still stressing hard, probably unnecessarily.

Also had my first nightmare last night about work.

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

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is anyone using Westlaw live help to find cases? What do you guys think about doing that opposed to your own searches. Seems like they can do a better search in a lot less time.

Yep. I use it mainly to 1) confirm that NO case is out there, or 2) find one VERY specific case. Anything else I do my own research, even though it may take longer, because I like to read the results myself.

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swc65
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby swc65 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:18 am

rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is anyone using Westlaw live help to find cases? What do you guys think about doing that opposed to your own searches. Seems like they can do a better search in a lot less time.

Yep. I use it mainly to 1) confirm that NO case is out there, or 2) find one VERY specific case. Anything else I do my own research, even though it may take longer, because I like to read the results myself.



Aren't the westlaw/lexis reps free? I used them all the time last summer. They were usually helpful at making sure I didn't spend a ton of money on useless searches.

Or is westlive a new/different product?

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

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:29 am

swc65 wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is anyone using Westlaw live help to find cases? What do you guys think about doing that opposed to your own searches. Seems like they can do a better search in a lot less time.

Yep. I use it mainly to 1) confirm that NO case is out there, or 2) find one VERY specific case. Anything else I do my own research, even though it may take longer, because I like to read the results myself.



Aren't the westlaw/lexis reps free? I used them all the time last summer. They were usually helpful at making sure I didn't spend a ton of money on useless searches.

Or is westlive a new/different product?

Probably free as part of your firm's plan.

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

Postby IAFG » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:34 am

Writer's block. Blah.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:42 am

fl0w wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is anyone using Westlaw live help to find cases? What do you guys think about doing that opposed to your own searches. Seems like they can do a better search in a lot less time.


before westlaw i tend to try...
Google Scholar
Wikipedia
Oyez.org
LouisLaw
....
if statutes or legislative history
Thomas
if statutes or rules (like civpro)
Cornell LII
..
then westlaw
then lexis

People at my firm have repeatedly told me not to worry about research costs. But I can't help it. So ...

Unless I've totally missed something, LexisAdvance does not (yet) charge for searches. I abuse this fact to the fullest. Likewise, Lexis has a standalone site offering free searching/retrieval of California cases; when I'm on a state-court project I use that quite a bit -- though they remove page numbers from the cases, which is maddening.

After running the relevant search/find, on WL or Lexis, I copy/paste the relevant cases and Google Scholar those babies.

Google Scholar, by the way, is pretty amazing and almost always leads me to the same cases as the high-cost WL/Lexis searches.

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bk1
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby bk1 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:Unless I've totally missed something, LexisAdvance does not (yet) charge for searches. I abuse this fact to the fullest. Likewise, Lexis has a standalone site offering free searching/retrieval of California cases; when I'm on a state-court project I use that quite a bit -- though they remove page numbers from the cases, which is maddening.


That's how LexisAdvance is supposed to work, iirc.

LexisAdvance - Free Search, Charge for Clickthrough
LexisNexis - Charge for Search, Free to Clickthrough
Westlaw - Charge for Search, Charge for Clickthrough
WestlawNext - Charge for Search, Charge for Clickthrough

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

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:Google Scholar, by the way, is pretty amazing and almost always leads me to the same cases as the high-cost WL/Lexis searches.
Credited. I find cases on Google Scholar and then fly through WL at breakneck speed to print them out.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:13 pm

I just found some literature that I thought was right on point with what my managing partner would need, and his feedback was "thanks, although this is not exactly what I wanted."

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

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I just found some literature that I thought was right on point with what my managing partner would need, and his feedback was "thanks, although this is not exactly what I wanted."

Did you then get him exactly what he wanted?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:26 pm

rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I just found some literature that I thought was right on point with what my managing partner would need, and his feedback was "thanks, although this is not exactly what I wanted."

Did you then get him exactly what he wanted?


I am fairly confident that what he wants does not exist in the prior art.

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

Postby fatduck » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:29 pm

partner asked me to write a motion. this gon' be good.

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

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:33 pm

fatduck wrote:partner asked me to write a motion. this gon' be good.

I wrote one of those. I don't think it was SPS. That's all I can say.

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

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I just found some literature that I thought was right on point with what my managing partner would need, and his feedback was "thanks, although this is not exactly what I wanted."

Did you then get him exactly what he wanted?


I am fairly confident that what he wants does not exist in the prior art.

How confident? You can tell him that (I have told people that), but if someone later finds something, especially after a fairly easy search, you're gonna look like a fool.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:45 pm

rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I just found some literature that I thought was right on point with what my managing partner would need, and his feedback was "thanks, although this is not exactly what I wanted."

Did you then get him exactly what he wanted?


I am fairly confident that what he wants does not exist in the prior art.

How confident? You can tell him that (I have told people that), but if someone later finds something, especially after a fairly easy search, you're gonna look like a fool.


Pretty confident, as the engineers he asked before he gave it to me were not aware of any publications or any studies on point with his needs, and my results were actually slightly more on point than the engineers had anticipated, but didn't get all the way to what he wanted to see. I think it may have been more of an issue that he was hoping something would exist that solved the problem he had without further analysis.

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

Postby Omerta » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:10 pm

Being a SA owns, it's the best job ever. I think I've paid for lunch twice since the beginning of May. Crazy to think I'm halfway done already.

Just out of curiosity, what are the hours y'all are working? I'm usually in the office for 9.5-10.5 hours a day (not billables).

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:21 pm

Omerta wrote:Being a SA owns, it's the best job ever. I think I've paid for lunch twice since the beginning of May. Crazy to think I'm halfway done already.

Just out of curiosity, what are the hours y'all are working? I'm usually in the office for 9.5-10.5 hours a day (not billables).


I'm usually there 9-9.5 hrs/day with 7.5-8.5 billable. At a boutique though, so YMMV

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Omerta wrote:Being a SA owns, it's the best job ever. I think I've paid for lunch twice since the beginning of May. Crazy to think I'm halfway done already.

Just out of curiosity, what are the hours y'all are working? I'm usually in the office for 9.5-10.5 hours a day (not billables).


I'm usually there 9-9.5 hrs/day with 7.5-8.5 billable. At a boutique though, so YMMV


I'm usually 10 hrs/day with 8 "billable" - until the partners write off all my hours, ha ha.

Classic BigLawl firm. Most of my peers are straight 8 hrs/day with very little billable. 2 events per week on Tue and Thur. 3 paid lunches per week. Unlimited outside coffee/snack breaks with the associates. Wrt actual work/billables, at my firm you can make this SA program a vacation and do very little if you so desire.

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

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:25 pm

My breakdown is usually:

6 billables
1-1.5 at lunch
1 of ATL/CNN/emails
.5-1 socializing

Usually work like 8:30-6ish.

Had a few nights where I stayed til 7-8, one where I stayed til 10. Pretty laid back firm. Working hard but not overwhelming. As long as you turn stuff in on time and do good work, no one is gonna raise an eyebrow about summer hours.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:37 pm

Summer has been great. Usually out by 6, billing about 6-7 hours a day. Was specifically told that the number of hours we bill isn't really important since its about learning, rather than efficiency (especially since they are writing off pretty much all billable summer associate work).

I love that my firm doesn't do a rotation, but really is all about you finding your niche in an open-ended way. We can go to any group/attorney at any time to find work, and I'm making contacts and doing work in my top 3 areas of interest without a need to spend time with things I know I would dislike. So pretty much everything I've done so far has been right in my wheelhouse, and the attorneys I"m working with seem to really appreciate my enthusiasm.

Everyone at the firm has been great, never hesitant to give me whatever responsibility I think I'm ready for, and always willing to sit and chat about my assignments without getting impatient. So many of fears coming into this summer were obviously unfounded.

keg411
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Re: ITT: Summer Associates Post About Their Anxiety (2012)

Postby keg411 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:16 pm

My billables have been pretty standard (usually around 7, though a lot of it has been on technically non-billable assignments which is fine by me since my actual billables would've been written off anyway :)). Tonight was the latest I stayed and I came in last weekend, but I have a major deadline tomorrow on one of my assignments and I want things to be super perfect.

Also, I think I figured out that the trick for cheapest possible research is Lexis Advance search/LA Shepherd's and then read/print the cases on Google Scholar :). Now if I can just find an alternative for LR Articles, and I'll be set.

But my summer is mostly going great. I think the only thing I'm doing wrong that could hurt is that when something even minorly stresses me out, I let it show too much. It's kind of a personality flaw that I've always had (I'm generally an anxious person), but I think if I work on it enough, I can fix it by the end of the summer. Just need to save my OTT venting for my family/friends outside of work :lol:.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:38 am

Is anyone else a SA doing patent work? From day 1 I have gotten assignments where I am supposed to formulate an entire response to an office action (whether an amendment or argument). I feel odd because there haven't been any changes to my work or client advice letters. I know that there are people double and triple-checking my work, but it still seems odd to give legal advice without passing the state or patent bar. /paranoid




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