1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

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Anonymous User
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1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 08, 2013 7:12 pm

1L SA starts in 6 days. I am terrified that I will have to tell attorneys "I don't know what that is/what is that?" on a daily basis.

Sure I got good grades this year, but I didn't learn shit.

Am I over thinking the difficulty level of what I will be doing? Any 1L SA Success advice is greatly appreciated.

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 08, 2013 7:25 pm

+1. I don't think my firm has had 1Ls before…

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mephistopheles
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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby mephistopheles » Wed May 08, 2013 7:28 pm

interested

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studebaker07
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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby studebaker07 » Wed May 08, 2013 8:29 pm

Welcome to the practice of law. As you will find out over the course of the summer, most of the law is learned while your on the job. That's how I learned and that's pretty much how everybody else I know who are practicing law have learned. Just act intelligent and look things up when you are not sure. Nobody expects you to be a walking treatise anyways...

Imagine trying to both learn the substantive law AND how to actually practice law (what I'm doing). Consider yourself lucky to even have a SA opportunity.
Last edited by studebaker07 on Wed May 08, 2013 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 08, 2013 8:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1L SA starts in 6 days. I am terrified that I will have to tell attorneys "I don't know what that is/what is that?" on a daily basis.

Sure I got good grades this year, but I didn't learn shit.

Am I over thinking the difficulty level of what I will be doing? Any 1L SA Success advice is greatly appreciated.


I'm a 2L and basically feel the same way. Don't sweat it.

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby 005618502 » Thu May 09, 2013 12:37 am

Also start my 1L SA monday. Pretty nervous. No idea what the heck I am doing. Oh and our LRW was pass/fail, no I never bothered putting any effort into that

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby DoubleChecks » Thu May 09, 2013 12:41 am

100% fine. I was a 1L SA. Heck, even 2Ls don't know anything. Outside of LRW, almost anything you learn in law school does not help in the practice of law at all...nor is it necessary. I'm still unsure why we had to go, short of learning how to "think like a lawyer." The practice of law just requires you to be detail oriented, a hard worker and smart. I don't think law school instills those values in you...though they might improve them.

Again, you will be fine. No one expects you to know crap. There's nothing you need to know. They'll ask you to research x topic that THEY don't know the answer to, provide some guidance, and have you write a memo. If you've taken LRW, you know what to do lol.

I'd focus more on appearing professional, being a hard worker and knowing how to socialize. Those aspects matter more. Be diligent in your work, but 1L SA or 2L SA or first year associate...knowledge-wise, there is no difference.

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 09, 2013 12:44 am

DoubleChecks wrote:100% fine. I was a 1L SA. Heck, even 2Ls don't know anything. Outside of LRW, almost anything you learn in law school does not help in the practice of law at all...nor is it necessary. I'm still unsure why we had to go, short of learning how to "think like a lawyer." The practice of law just requires you to be detail oriented, a hard worker and smart. I don't think law school instills those values in you...though they might improve them.

Again, you will be fine. No one expects you to know crap. There's nothing you need to know. They'll ask you to research x topic that THEY don't know the answer to, provide some guidance, and have you write a memo. If you've taken LRW, you know what to do lol.

I'd focus more on appearing professional, being a hard worker and knowing how to socialize. Those aspects matter more. Be diligent in your work, but 1L SA or 2L SA or first year associate...knowledge-wise, there is no difference.


Thank you for this. Even writing a memo at this point wont be easy. Only did it first semester and only put like 2 days into it. I guess all you really need to know is IRAC though lol.

Do most firms have a database you can use for examples to format/go by?

I am doing my first half at my first firm in corporate... what do they do since its probably less memo writing?

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby DoubleChecks » Thu May 09, 2013 2:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:100% fine. I was a 1L SA. Heck, even 2Ls don't know anything. Outside of LRW, almost anything you learn in law school does not help in the practice of law at all...nor is it necessary. I'm still unsure why we had to go, short of learning how to "think like a lawyer." The practice of law just requires you to be detail oriented, a hard worker and smart. I don't think law school instills those values in you...though they might improve them.

Again, you will be fine. No one expects you to know crap. There's nothing you need to know. They'll ask you to research x topic that THEY don't know the answer to, provide some guidance, and have you write a memo. If you've taken LRW, you know what to do lol.

I'd focus more on appearing professional, being a hard worker and knowing how to socialize. Those aspects matter more. Be diligent in your work, but 1L SA or 2L SA or first year associate...knowledge-wise, there is no difference.


Thank you for this. Even writing a memo at this point wont be easy. Only did it first semester and only put like 2 days into it. I guess all you really need to know is IRAC though lol.

Do most firms have a database you can use for examples to format/go by?

I am doing my first half at my first firm in corporate... what do they do since its probably less memo writing?


Still some memo writing, just less formal (sometimes in email form). Will do a lot of securities work I bet as well, and due diligence. It's all stuff you learn on the job...no law school class teaches it (nor do they need to). As far as go-bys, most firms have a database in place where you could find these, but some are more navigable than others. Usually I ask the assigning attorney if there is a go-by that she could send me. They almost always do unless it is a standard research memo, in which case, you would have received an example of the basic format during SA orientation.

Your LRW only required ONE memo/paper the WHOLE year? And it could be done in 2 days? lol jeez I hope that is enough...I felt prepared LRW-wise for 1L SA, but I had to write two research memos the first semester, and prepare an appellate brief with a partner second semester. Lucked out as one of my major assignments ended up being drafting a 50+ pg. document very similar to an appellate brief haha.

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby TTRansfer » Thu May 09, 2013 10:29 am

DoubleChecks wrote:100% fine. I was a 1L SA. Heck, even 2Ls don't know anything. Outside of LRW, almost anything you learn in law school does not help in the practice of law at all...nor is it necessary. I'm still unsure why we had to go, short of learning how to "think like a lawyer." The practice of law just requires you to be detail oriented, a hard worker and smart. I don't think law school instills those values in you...though they might improve them.

Again, you will be fine. No one expects you to know crap. There's nothing you need to know. They'll ask you to research x topic that THEY don't know the answer to, provide some guidance, and have you write a memo. If you've taken LRW, you know what to do lol.

I'd focus more on appearing professional, being a hard worker and knowing how to socialize. Those aspects matter more. Be diligent in your work, but 1L SA or 2L SA or first year associate...knowledge-wise, there is no difference.


Agreed.

As a former 1L SA, the most important thing the OP can do is ask for help. Ask what the partner/associate wants done. If you go in there and don't ask, prepare to fuck things up and piss people off. They would rather deal with question after question than reading a pile of crap and then yelling at you for not asking for help.

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 09, 2013 10:42 am

DoubleChecks wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:100% fine. I was a 1L SA. Heck, even 2Ls don't know anything. Outside of LRW, almost anything you learn in law school does not help in the practice of law at all...nor is it necessary. I'm still unsure why we had to go, short of learning how to "think like a lawyer." The practice of law just requires you to be detail oriented, a hard worker and smart. I don't think law school instills those values in you...though they might improve them.

Again, you will be fine. No one expects you to know crap. There's nothing you need to know. They'll ask you to research x topic that THEY don't know the answer to, provide some guidance, and have you write a memo. If you've taken LRW, you know what to do lol.

I'd focus more on appearing professional, being a hard worker and knowing how to socialize. Those aspects matter more. Be diligent in your work, but 1L SA or 2L SA or first year associate...knowledge-wise, there is no difference.


Thank you for this. Even writing a memo at this point wont be easy. Only did it first semester and only put like 2 days into it. I guess all you really need to know is IRAC though lol.

Do most firms have a database you can use for examples to format/go by?

I am doing my first half at my first firm in corporate... what do they do since its probably less memo writing?


Still some memo writing, just less formal (sometimes in email form). Will do a lot of securities work I bet as well, and due diligence. It's all stuff you learn on the job...no law school class teaches it (nor do they need to). As far as go-bys, most firms have a database in place where you could find these, but some are more navigable than others. Usually I ask the assigning attorney if there is a go-by that she could send me. They almost always do unless it is a standard research memo, in which case, you would have received an example of the basic format during SA orientation.

Your LRW only required ONE memo/paper the WHOLE year? And it could be done in 2 days? lol jeez I hope that is enough...I felt prepared LRW-wise for 1L SA, but I had to write two research memos the first semester, and prepare an appellate brief with a partner second semester. Lucked out as one of my major assignments ended up being drafting a 50+ pg. document very similar to an appellate brief haha.


Haha yeah well I guess it was 2 memos. But i treated LRW like the class it was...the one that didnt matter because all I get is a P no matter what. So we did one really short memo, then a 20 pg one. Then 2nd semester it was just a brief

So I guess I should be more ready than I am lol

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby TTRansfer » Thu May 09, 2013 11:08 am

http://www.amazon.com/The-Curmudgeons-G ... ticing+law

Just buy that and read it before your SA starts. It's basically a book of common sense shit, but it's a solid (and very quick) read.

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby BeenDidThat » Thu May 09, 2013 12:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1L SA starts in 6 days. I am terrified that I will have to tell attorneys "I don't know what that is/what is that?" on a daily basis.

Sure I got good grades this year, but I didn't learn shit.

Am I over thinking the difficulty level of what I will be doing? Any 1L SA Success advice is greatly appreciated.


You hopefully learned some research skills. The reason attorneys ask you to do research assignments is because they may have a general idea of the law on an issue, but they want recent cases and for someone else to take awhile to find everything they can on a point of law.

If they tell you, "hey, we might file a declaratory action based on [insert fact pattern] for trademark infringement. I want you to look up the law in [insert jurisdiction] to see how the courts treat trademark infringement. If there's anything on declaratory actions in that realm, that'd be icing on the cake..." you don't want to be like, "I don't know what that is." No shit you don't know what that is. That's what research is for.

Call the Westlaw people (your firm will likely have an orientation on using the search services), try to structure a good search, and start reading cases. If you can find things on point, awesome. You probably won't. Then you cobble together your next best answer, e.g., here's declaratory action law (and recent cases), and here is trademark infringement law (and recent cases). Here's my preliminary analysis based on the facts I was given. The court's ruling will likely turn on a, b, and c. And keep the assigning attorney in the loop. It may be that you spend 20 hours looking (ask how long they think it should take when you get the assignment), don't find a whole lot, and want to do the cobble-together-an-answer thing I described above. Just step over to the assigning atty's office after your 20 hours of looking, let them know what you have found, and ask if that's what they want. Maybe they'll want you to spend another 10 hours looking before writing the cobbled-together-answer memo. Maybe they'll just tell you to write the memo.

The big things are: ask questions when you get the assignment, and make their life easier. They know you don't know much. But they expect you to: (1) work hard to learn; (2) keep them updated; and (3) make their life easier by doing grunt research work they don't want to spend time doing. Don't get too worked up that maybe you're not adding as much value as you should be. You really won't add a ton of value during your summers. But you should add some. And you should learn. You're an investment. Work your ass off, and show you're willing to be a good investment.

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby TTRansfer » Thu May 09, 2013 12:35 pm

Sometimes they will even tell you to fuck the memo and just give them a short email with attached cases and a couple of sentence overview since they don't want to read a 15 page memo in the first place (I like it when they do that).

Although I did not enjoy the hiring partner bringing me into his office and grilling me on case law that I only had 2 hours to research for a motion hearing later that afternoon (we won, but that was seriously uncomfortable).

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby 005618502 » Thu May 09, 2013 12:37 pm

TTRansfer wrote:Sometimes they will even tell you to fuck the memo and just give them a short email with attached cases and a couple of sentence overview since they don't want to read a 15 page memo in the first place (I like it when they do that).

Although I did not enjoy the hiring partner bringing me into his office and grilling me on case law that I only had 2 hours to research for a motion hearing later that afternoon (we won, but that was seriously uncomfortable).


I am hoping for a lot of this in my corporate split portion lol

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby TTRansfer » Thu May 09, 2013 12:38 pm

AssumptionRequired wrote:
TTRansfer wrote:Sometimes they will even tell you to fuck the memo and just give them a short email with attached cases and a couple of sentence overview since they don't want to read a 15 page memo in the first place (I like it when they do that).

Although I did not enjoy the hiring partner bringing me into his office and grilling me on case law that I only had 2 hours to research for a motion hearing later that afternoon (we won, but that was seriously uncomfortable).


I am hoping for a lot of this in my corporate split portion lol


Shit, man, I worked in a lit office and they didn't even want the memo. One partner liked reading memos. Everyone else was too busy to bother.

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 09, 2013 12:40 pm

TTRansfer wrote:http://www.amazon.com/The-Curmudgeons-Guide-Practicing-Law/dp/1590316762/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368112080&sr=8-1&keywords=curmudgeon%27s+guide+to+practicing+law

Just buy that and read it before your SA starts. It's basically a book of common sense shit, but it's a solid (and very quick) read.


Any other books you'd recommend that incoming SAs read prior to the start of the summer?

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby BeenDidThat » Thu May 09, 2013 12:44 pm

TTRansfer wrote:Sometimes they will even tell you to fuck the memo and just give them a short email with attached cases and a couple of sentence overview since they don't want to read a 15 page memo in the first place (I like it when they do that).

Although I did not enjoy the hiring partner bringing me into his office and grilling me on case law that I only had 2 hours to research for a motion hearing later that afternoon (we won, but that was seriously uncomfortable).


This is also very true, and reflective of some of the work I did as a summer.

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby TTRansfer » Thu May 09, 2013 1:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
TTRansfer wrote:http://www.amazon.com/The-Curmudgeons-Guide-Practicing-Law/dp/1590316762/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368112080&sr=8-1&keywords=curmudgeon%27s+guide+to+practicing+law

Just buy that and read it before your SA starts. It's basically a book of common sense shit, but it's a solid (and very quick) read.


Any other books you'd recommend that incoming SAs read prior to the start of the summer?


Nope. Just that one. That one made my SA all the more better, it made the people I work with like me more, and it made my work product better. It's a short and easy read (you can read it in a couple of hours) and sums up what will be required of you and what the partners will want. Read it and profit.

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 09, 2013 10:34 pm

Don't sweat it. When I did 1L summer they had never had an SA before and it worked to my advantage. Nobody had any idea what was appropriate for me to do and it was a wild ride. For one, they sent me to a foreign country with 6 hours notice to deal with a holdup on a work-visa . . . so that was pretty sweet. Second, I was told to answer a call from a client and "make the call" on any small issues. One of the "small issues" ended up being an I-NEED-A-FUCKING-ANSWER-NOW-I-DON'T-GIVE-A-SHIT-IF-YOU'RE-AN-INTERN-WHAT-THE-HELL-DO-I-DO-I-NEED-A-DECISION-IN-5-MINUTES type of call. Thankfully, I gave the right call and prevented an innocent mistake from spiraling into a 10M+ bribery suit . . . again, sweet. But the apex of the ridiculousness was when I was asked to run a 40 person conference call concerning a highly technical area of the law that included high-level representatives from the executive and branch of he military (I literally had to read the relevant Nutshell the night before).

Also, I was eating ice cream and it fell off my cone and down the blouse of my bosses secretary . . . she accused me of doing it on purpose.

So don't sweat it. I'm pretty sure I had the most intense, ridiculous 1L SA of all time, an it still wasn't that bad. You'll do fine.

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby Scotusnerd » Thu May 09, 2013 10:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Don't sweat it. When I did 1L summer they had never had an SA before and it worked to my advantage. Nobody had any idea what was appropriate for me to do and it was a wild ride. For one, they sent me to a foreign country with 6 hours notice to deal with a holdup on a work-visa . . . so that was pretty sweet. Second, I was told to answer a call from a client and "make the call" on any small issues. One of the "small issues" ended up being an I-NEED-A-FUCKING-ANSWER-NOW-I-DON'T-GIVE-A-SHIT-IF-YOU'RE-AN-INTERN-WHAT-THE-HELL-DO-I-DO-I-NEED-A-DECISION-IN-5-MINUTES type of call. Thankfully, I gave the right call and prevented an innocent mistake from spiraling into a 10M+ bribery suit . . . again, sweet. But the apex of the ridiculousness was when I was asked to run a 40 person conference call concerning a highly technical area of the law that included high-level representatives from the executive and branch of he military (I literally had to read the relevant Nutshell the night before).

Also, I was eating ice cream and it fell off my cone and down the blouse of my bosses secretary . . . she accused me of doing it on purpose.

So don't sweat it. I'm pretty sure I had the most intense, ridiculous 1L SA of all time, an it still wasn't that bad. You'll do fine.



Image


(seriously that sounds like it was an epic summer.)

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby northwood » Thu May 09, 2013 10:48 pm

don't sweat it. Congrats on the job! I felt this way for the first 2 weeks as a SA last year. Just take a small notebook and a pen when you go ask a question, if you are totally confused and then re write what you learned when you get back to your desk. They all know that you don't know, and some attorneys give you tasks just to see if you will ask for help.

Keep your mouth shut, your ears open, and your ego at the door, and you should be okay.

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby northwood » Thu May 09, 2013 10:48 pm

when you cannot properly quote, you should just delete the post...so deleted my quoting fail did I
Last edited by northwood on Thu May 09, 2013 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby thelawyler » Thu May 09, 2013 10:51 pm

relevant.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: 1L SA "What Am I Doing Here"

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri May 10, 2013 1:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:Haha yeah well I guess it was 2 memos. But i treated LRW like the class it was...the one that didnt matter because all I get is a P no matter what. So we did one really short memo, then a 20 pg one. Then 2nd semester it was just a brief

So I guess I should be more ready than I am lol


lol I would say that out of every class in law school, LRW is probably the one that matters/helps the most. Not the most enjoyable, mind you, but probably the most (practically) useful, even if you're doing corp. You'll be doing plenty of LRW-type work as a SA haha...I have yet to have that same experience for any other class, where I go, "Whew, good thing I took x class so now I know how to do this assignment!"




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