How to not screw up a SA summer?

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Anonymous User
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How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:32 pm

I realize there have been similar topics to this in the past, but I'd like to hear from some fresh people. I was curious if people had general advice on the SA experience. Specifically, I was curious if people had tips of things to/not to do to convert the summer into a full time offer.

Any input anyone has is great, but if a specific set of questions would help:
1. What sort of preparation, if any, do you believe helps for the summer? (e.g., if you're thinking litigation should you be brushing up on the FRCP and mastering the firm's preferred research medium? Should you be investing good amounts of time into refining your legal writing?)
2. What are some common mistakes that people make that hurt their chances of getting a full time offer?
3. How difficult did you find your summer experience?

Thanks, everyone.

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ph14
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby ph14 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I realize there have been similar topics to this in the past, but I'd like to hear from some fresh people. I was curious if people had general advice on the SA experience. Specifically, I was curious if people had tips of things to/not to do to convert the summer into a full time offer.

Any input anyone has is great, but if a specific set of questions would help:
1. What sort of preparation, if any, do you believe helps for the summer? (e.g., if you're thinking litigation should you be brushing up on the FRCP and mastering the firm's preferred research medium? Should you be investing good amounts of time into refining your legal writing?)
2. What are some common mistakes that people make that hurt their chances of getting a full time offer?
3. How difficult did you find your summer experience?

Thanks, everyone.


Use common sense.

1. It's not really worth it to do much. If you're really worried, read something like the Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law.
2. Not using common sense.
3. Not difficult. For most firms, they understand that you are a summer associate/law student and the bar is very low.
4. Why are you worrying about this now? You have 6 more months to worry about it.

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IAFG
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby IAFG » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:38 pm

Tragically, the most important thing is to not do stuff that, if you are the sort of person who is going to end up doing that stuff, you probably cannot stop yourself from doing.

rad lulz
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby rad lulz » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote: Should you be investing good amounts of time into refining your legal writing?)
2. What are some common mistakes that people make that hurt their chances of getting a full time offer?

Being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Getting the wrong assignment from the wrong person. Picking a firm they didn't know (or couldn't know when they picked) that the firm couldn't take all its summers. Plain bad luck.

HTH

Anonymous User
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:50 pm

rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Should you be investing good amounts of time into refining your legal writing?)
2. What are some common mistakes that people make that hurt their chances of getting a full time offer?

Being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Getting the wrong assignment from the wrong person. Picking a firm they didn't know (or couldn't know when they picked) that the firm couldn't take all its summers. Plain bad luck.

HTH


Not OP, but was wondering about this. Are there really substantive things you can do to assure an offer, or should you just not sweat it because it's really just a question of their budgeting? For instance, I always read on TLS that you should make sure to attend every firm event and be personable. But when I talked to some junior associates, a lot of them said they didn't even bother to do this, and they seemed to be doing well enough. Kind of wondering the same thing re: 2L grades. I'm trying not to slack off entirely, but at the same time, won't they just find another reason to no offer me (e.g., bad work on one assignment during the summer) if they need to?

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nygrrrl
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby nygrrrl » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:54 pm

rad lulz wrote:Being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Getting the wrong assignment from the wrong person. Picking a firm they didn't know (or couldn't know when they picked) that the firm couldn't take all its summers. Plain bad luck.

HTH

:|

CanadianWolf
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:55 pm

A junior associate is already well known to many firm members whereas summer associates are not. So yes it's wise to attend as many firm social events as you can as an SA.

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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:01 pm

I should clarify -- I meant, that they had not done so as an SA. I'm not saying this is the path I would take. I'm just saying it makes me wonder whether what you do really matters relative to firm budgeting issues (assuming you don't do anything outlandish or consistently produce poor work product).

-7:50.

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IAFG
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby IAFG » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Should you be investing good amounts of time into refining your legal writing?)
2. What are some common mistakes that people make that hurt their chances of getting a full time offer?

Being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Getting the wrong assignment from the wrong person. Picking a firm they didn't know (or couldn't know when they picked) that the firm couldn't take all its summers. Plain bad luck.

HTH


Not OP, but was wondering about this. Are there really substantive things you can do to assure an offer, or should you just not sweat it because it's really just a question of their budgeting? For instance, I always read on TLS that you should make sure to attend every firm event and be personable. But when I talked to some junior associates, a lot of them said they didn't even bother to do this, and they seemed to be doing well enough. Kind of wondering the same thing re: 2L grades. I'm trying not to slack off entirely, but at the same time, won't they just find another reason to no offer me (e.g., bad work on one assignment during the summer) if they need to?

This is incredibly firm-specific. My firm would have really questioned not attending every social event; a friend of mine was at a firm that emphasized that summers should not feel pressured to attend anything, so she skipped a lot of things and still got an offer.

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ph14
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby ph14 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:02 pm

IAFG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Should you be investing good amounts of time into refining your legal writing?)
2. What are some common mistakes that people make that hurt their chances of getting a full time offer?

Being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Getting the wrong assignment from the wrong person. Picking a firm they didn't know (or couldn't know when they picked) that the firm couldn't take all its summers. Plain bad luck.

HTH


Not OP, but was wondering about this. Are there really substantive things you can do to assure an offer, or should you just not sweat it because it's really just a question of their budgeting? For instance, I always read on TLS that you should make sure to attend every firm event and be personable. But when I talked to some junior associates, a lot of them said they didn't even bother to do this, and they seemed to be doing well enough. Kind of wondering the same thing re: 2L grades. I'm trying not to slack off entirely, but at the same time, won't they just find another reason to no offer me (e.g., bad work on one assignment during the summer) if they need to?

This is incredibly firm-specific. My firm would have really questioned not attending every social event; a friend of mine was at a firm that emphasized that summers should not feel pressured to attend anything, so she skipped a lot of things and still got an offer.


Yeah, at my firm social events didn't matter.

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thesealocust
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:29 pm

IAFG wrote:Tragically, the most important thing is to not do stuff that, if you are the sort of person who is going to end up doing that stuff, you probably cannot stop yourself from doing.


IAFG for el presidente for life of the employment forum.

On topic: If you're a person who occasionally lets things slip through the cracks, you should focus on correcting that before this summer. Respond to emails and calls promptly, show up to and turn in things on time, communicate early if a deadline is becoming an issue. Doing these won't leave a positive impression, but failing to do them - especially systematically - can be a HUGE red flag in an employment context. Being punctual and reliable is the most you can offer, since you're a shit-for-brains law student like the rest of us are (or were at the time).

Anonymous User
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:56 pm

In both firms I worked for, there were people that loved to talk about how SAs fucked up in the past. Pay attention to those stories.....

Anonymous User
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:59 am

Any benefits to being at a firm with a smaller class size (but still BigLaw) when it comes to getting an offer?

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IAFG
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby IAFG » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Any benefits to being at a firm with a smaller class size (but still BigLaw) when it comes to getting an offer?

It depends entirely on the firm.

keg411
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby keg411 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:22 pm

IAFG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Any benefits to being at a firm with a smaller class size (but still BigLaw) when it comes to getting an offer?

It depends entirely on the firm.


Pretty much everything related to offers/no-offers depends on the firm, and I think also varies from summer-to-summer.

Also, I don't understand why most people wouldn't want to go to the social events. The social events are fun!

BeenDidThat
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby BeenDidThat » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:47 pm

keg411 wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Any benefits to being at a firm with a smaller class size (but still BigLaw) when it comes to getting an offer?

It depends entirely on the firm.


Pretty much everything related to offers/no-offers depends on the firm, and I think also varies from summer-to-summer.

Also, I don't understand why most people wouldn't want to go to the social events. The social events are fun!


Not everybody likes to be surrounded by people not of their choosing all day.

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romothesavior
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:58 pm

rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Should you be investing good amounts of time into refining your legal writing?)
2. What are some common mistakes that people make that hurt their chances of getting a full time offer?

Being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Getting the wrong assignment from the wrong person. Picking a firm they didn't know (or couldn't know when they picked) that the firm couldn't take all its summers. Plain bad luck.

HTH

This stuff can definitely happen. Unfortunately, you have little control over it.

The stuff you DO have control over is very simple stuff that everyone should be able to handle:

1. TURN STUFF IN ON TIME, and communicate effectively if there are deadline issues
2. Don't make dumb mistakes (spelling, overlook stuff, etc.)
3. Don't have a shitty personality (arrogant/lame/boring/annoying/etc.)
4. Don't dress provocatively or sloppily

Other than that, try to make some friends and get along with important people, kiss ass in the right way, go to lunch and meet people, etc. That's about it really.

CanadianWolf
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:01 pm

Be brilliant & polite. Turn in all of your work on time. Don't spit in front of a partner.

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monkey85
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby monkey85 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:10 pm

Don't Shit Where You Eat.

Translation: don't say nasty things or make fun of other SAs, attorneys, partners, or legal staff.

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doinmybest
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby doinmybest » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:25 pm

rad lulz wrote:Being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Getting the wrong assignment from the wrong person. Picking a firm they didn't know (or couldn't know when they picked) that the firm couldn't take all its summers. Plain bad luck.

HTH


The above is very credited. You can review the materials your legal professor gave you with regard to writing memos and motions. However, the biggest issues are probably out of your control.

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bk1
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby bk1 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:28 pm

thesealocust wrote:
IAFG wrote:Tragically, the most important thing is to not do stuff that, if you are the sort of person who is going to end up doing that stuff, you probably cannot stop yourself from doing.


IAFG for el presidente for life of the employment forum.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:09 pm

If anyone hasn't said this yet - don't be a weird douche. Seriously, a lot might just come down to whether people like you as a person.

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Renne Walker
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby Renne Walker » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:45 pm

Smart, charming, dependable can be instantly erased if you smell like smoke. If there was one negative comment I heard repeatedly was that “he/she smells like smoke.”

Anonymous User
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:04 pm

Kind of related question:

If a firm's laterallink profile says that a firm "reduced its summer class size," they're talking about relative to previous years, right? i.e., they're not saying that they rescinded summer offers for that year, before people got there. (I realize an easy way to check would be to get the size for the prior year, but I'm having difficulty finding these figures.)

desertlaw
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Re: How to not screw up a SA summer?

Postby desertlaw » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:14 pm

Why wouldn't you want to go to the social events? Here are the benefits...

1 - Meet new people that are cool. You'll know who at the firm you'll want to hang out with in the future or the rest of the summer.

2 - Meet new people that aren't cool. You'll know who to avoid.

3 - Free stuff. Free booze. Free food. Free lessons/tickets/show. You're being wined and dined. Why would you not want this?

4 - Improve social skills. You'll need this to be a good attorney or just a solid professional.

5 - Impress people. Meet an awesome partner that you've never met before; impress them; work for them and make good impression over the summer.

6 - Learn new drink selections. Attorneys drink heavily and it's fun to expand your knowledge of the liquor cabinet.

7 - After parties. The fun younger associates/SA's go out for drinks later in the night, where it's even more fun and usually still free for the SAs. Don't be an idiot, but it's more relaxing than when the partners are around.




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