Giving gifts on first day

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topsome
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Giving gifts on first day

Postby topsome » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:57 am

Would it be appropriate to give chocolates to your secretary and to the small department you'll be working with during the first day of work as a first year associate? As a nice gesture. Or is that weird? I knew all of them when I was a SA.

LawIdiot86
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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby LawIdiot86 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:20 am

topsome wrote:Would it be appropriate to give chocolates to your secretary and to the small department you'll be working with during the first day of work as a first year associate? As a nice gesture. Or is that weird? I knew all of them when I was a SA.

I would lean towards weird.

Anonymous User
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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:05 am

I think this is a nice but bad idea. Someone I worked with tried something similar, and lots of people talked about it behind his back.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:20 am

Yeah this is weird. Give something to your secretary for the holidays.

Anonymous User
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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:31 am

Are you seriously asking this question?...I wish you luck this summer because it sounds like you'll need it with that type of thought process. Being at a large firm for a number of years, I can tell you, without hesitation, that it would be considered extremely disingenuous.

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TTH
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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby TTH » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:33 am

Weird.

At the end of the summer, write a nice note to your secretary and maybe buy him or her a gift card or something then.

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bns_77
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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby bns_77 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:36 am

It's a nice gesture, but as you can see from the responses, most people don't "do" nice gestures. They'll just think you're a corny kiss-ass.

anon168
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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby anon168 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:50 am

topsome wrote:Would it be appropriate to give chocolates to your secretary and to the small department you'll be working with during the first day of work as a first year associate? As a nice gesture. Or is that weird? I knew all of them when I was a SA.


Nothing wrong with the secretary (call her "legal assistant"). But I wouldn't do it to the "small dept." you are working with, though.

And, you know, if you ever go on recruiting lunches for next year's SA class, wouldn't be a bad idea to bring back her favorite dessert from the restaurant.

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RSterling
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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby RSterling » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:09 am

Super weird. Is this going to be your first real job? If not, have you brought gifts for people on your first day at any other job? Sure, you can bring her back desert if you go on a recruiting lunch or something, but if I was someone in your department I would find it weird and probably laugh at you behind your back.

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thisiswater
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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby thisiswater » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:20 am

Not in a law firm, but I am in an in-house legal dept. I wouldn't bring anything in on your first day, but bringing in some muffins or something for the department on your first friday. Don't make it a personal gift thing, just breakfast

topsome
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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby topsome » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:09 pm

Thanks! Just what I needed to know. Glad I asked.

RPK34
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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby RPK34 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:15 pm

A lot of people didn't read the OP. it's not for a summer gig, but his first day with people he's worked with before. Your head is in the right place OP, being on the good side of your secretary and paralegals (who often feel undervalued by the firm) is the right move. Having support staff who like you makes your jobs a lot easier at law firms. But that said, no need to do it on your first day. Holidays and birthdays are normal and accepted

Anonymous User
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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:42 pm

RPK34 wrote:A lot of people didn't read the OP. it's not for a summer gig, but his first day with people he's worked with before. Your head is in the right place OP, being on the good side of your secretary and paralegals (who often feel undervalued by the firm) is the right move. Having support staff who like you makes your jobs a lot easier at law firms. But that said, no need to do it on your first day. Holidays and birthdays are normal and accepted


I agree you don't have to give a gift on your first day, it would be a little weird. I worked as a paralegal at a large firm in NYC and that worked us like crazy. Our attorneys made it up to us by chipping in and giving us each a gift during the holidays, usually a card with money in it (depending on how large the attorney team was it varied from $100-$500). We didn't expect anything other than a card with money for the holidays, not sure if birthdays are necessary though.

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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:46 pm

.

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Lwoods
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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby Lwoods » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
RPK34 wrote:A lot of people didn't read the OP. it's not for a summer gig, but his first day with people he's worked with before. Your head is in the right place OP, being on the good side of your secretary and paralegals (who often feel undervalued by the firm) is the right move. Having support staff who like you makes your jobs a lot easier at law firms. But that said, no need to do it on your first day. Holidays and birthdays are normal and accepted


I agree you don't have to give a gift on your first day, it would be a little weird. I worked as a paralegal at a large firm in NYC and that worked us like crazy. Our attorneys made it up to us by chipping in and giving us each a gift during the holidays, usually a card with money in it (depending on how large the attorney team was it varied from $100-$500). We didn't expect anything other than a card with money for the holidays, not sure if birthdays are necessary though.


Gifts I received as a legal secretary at a large NY firm (and briefly for one of the big banks):

From SA: Bloomingdales Giftcard at the end of the summer; invitation to final dinner with the SA and 4 or 5 attorneys
From all attorneys/bankers: Gifts, cash, and giftcards (Bloomingdales or Bliss Spa) for Christmas / end of year
From "primary" attorney/banker: in addition to the above, birthday gift and one-on-one lunch, occasional other one-on-one lunches, cupcakes for other area support staffers for birthday and last day


So, I don't think the OP's question is really all that bizarre. But, it would still be out of the ordinary in my experience. Maybe just set up a 5-minute meeting with your assistant to touch base on each other's preferences and get a feel for his/her workload (because as a first year associate, you'll probably be the lowest priority). S/he should actually reach out to you for that type of meeting, but it wouldn't hurt if you're proactive. Getting a feel for how best to work with her/him will be the biggest benefit to you in the long-run. Be sure to ask her what other projects she has before yours and [judicially] indicate when you have something that's a high priority.

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TTH
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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby TTH » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:30 pm

Lwoods wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
RPK34 wrote:A lot of people didn't read the OP. it's not for a summer gig, but his first day with people he's worked with before. Your head is in the right place OP, being on the good side of your secretary and paralegals (who often feel undervalued by the firm) is the right move. Having support staff who like you makes your jobs a lot easier at law firms. But that said, no need to do it on your first day. Holidays and birthdays are normal and accepted


I agree you don't have to give a gift on your first day, it would be a little weird. I worked as a paralegal at a large firm in NYC and that worked us like crazy. Our attorneys made it up to us by chipping in and giving us each a gift during the holidays, usually a card with money in it (depending on how large the attorney team was it varied from $100-$500). We didn't expect anything other than a card with money for the holidays, not sure if birthdays are necessary though.


Gifts I received as a legal secretary at a large NY firm (and briefly for one of the big banks):

From SA: Bloomingdales Giftcard at the end of the summer; invitation to final dinner with the SA and 4 or 5 attorneys


Analysis: SA had a crush.

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Lwoods
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Re: Giving gifts on first day

Postby Lwoods » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:17 pm

TTH wrote:
Lwoods wrote:
Gifts I received as a legal secretary at a large NY firm (and briefly for one of the big banks):

From SA: Bloomingdales Giftcard at the end of the summer; invitation to final dinner with the SA and 4 or 5 attorneys


Analysis: SA had a crush.


Haha, nah. The dinner was out of the ordinary (everything else on my list was consistent with what other biglaw/bigbank secretaries receive), but I think he did it to encourage me to pursue a legal career.




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