Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

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Skye
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Skye » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:28 am

Going into week #4, it's all starting to feel very predictable — we receive daily assignments with deadlines that run anywhere from two weeks to two days. Seems to be the same for cohorts working at other firms — we meet a couple times a week for drinks around 6P and I have yet to hear anyone say their work is overbearing or that they are displeased — actually, the opposite is true.

BigLawer wrote:This isn't in Austin is it?

Wet. rainy. Northeast.

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Summerz
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Summerz » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:26 pm

For those responding on this topic, how many assignments are dispensed to you [SA] over the course of a week (or two weeks if that makes it easier). Not looking for some "it depends on the firm" answer, but for you personally.

Myself, like a few others cohorts are sole SAs for their family firm. Firms with no familiarity on what is expected from an SA in terms of a work load. They don't know what is overkill, or too lite. As a backdrop I should add, there is no shortage of work these days. As a bonus question (me being cute here), do you have the chance to choose what assignments you prefer to work on? I suspect ITRW projects are dumped on your desk, and it is pretty much deal-with-it.

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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
teabreeze wrote:Third day in the office and work is slow. I've already talked to a bunch of associates and partners to let them know im free but no one has anything. My assignment coordinator is busy... Anyone else with lots of downtime?


I'm the same way, but on week three. Finished off my first wave of assignments, have talked to the assignment coordinators but they don't have anything coming down the pipe yet. Spent today sitting at my desk twiddling my thumbs. I think it just happens and there's no reason to be overly stressed out about it when it happens.


week 4 and this has been me for the last two days (but I know there's a wave of work for the next 3) -- just the nature of the beast I guess (even though I got really stressed out at one point today about not having work)

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Sheffield
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Sheffield » Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:16 pm

Has anybody here yet shown up on a weekend yet? In the last two days it has been one assignment piled on the other. Feel frustrated that I am not still at my desk instead of being here with a takeout dinner, ready for a power nap (sad you have to do those at home) and awaiting the Heat game.

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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:37 pm

Today, was not a good SA day. I think I might be getting no-offered. I turned in a memo that I could not find much support for. I thought everything was fine, worked really hard on it, mentor reviewed it and gave it the okay, and then turned it in. Well, the associate who asked for it asked me to come see him. He then basically told me that he did not like the way I wrote the memo and wants me to lay things out. I also botched a citation or two. He asked me to revise the memo.

Is this a definite no-offer move? I've done work for him before without issue, but this just feels so awful.

Edit: it wasn't the research or reasoning. He just disliked the way I formatted and wants me to give more details to flesh out my analysis. He keeps saying this is something he'd like to copy/paste into briefs, answers, whatever. There was no yelling, but still...

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Flips88
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Flips88 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Today, was not a good SA day. I think I might be getting no-offered. I turned in a memo that I could not find much support for. I thought everything was fine, worked really hard on it, mentor reviewed it and gave it the okay, and then turned it in. Well, the associate who asked for it asked me to come see him. He then basically told me that he did not like the way I wrote the memo and wants me to lay things out. I also botched a citation or two. He asked me to revise the memo.

Is this a definite no-offer move? I've done work for him before without issue, but this just feels so awful.

Edit: it wasn't the research or reasoning. He just disliked the way I formatted and wants me to give more details to flesh out my analysis. He keeps saying this is something he'd like to copy/paste into briefs, answers, whatever. There was no yelling, but still...

What was the offer rate at your firm last year? I don't think it's that much of an issue. Did he specify how he wanted it formatted?

mr.hands
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby mr.hands » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:48 pm

Flips88 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Today, was not a good SA day. I think I might be getting no-offered. I turned in a memo that I could not find much support for. I thought everything was fine, worked really hard on it, mentor reviewed it and gave it the okay, and then turned it in. Well, the associate who asked for it asked me to come see him. He then basically told me that he did not like the way I wrote the memo and wants me to lay things out. I also botched a citation or two. He asked me to revise the memo.

Is this a definite no-offer move? I've done work for him before without issue, but this just feels so awful.

Edit: it wasn't the research or reasoning. He just disliked the way I formatted and wants me to give more details to flesh out my analysis. He keeps saying this is something he'd like to copy/paste into briefs, answers, whatever. There was no yelling, but still...



No i don't think this is a no-offer deal. The partner just wants it done a certain way. You now know that and have an opportunity to fix it. Take it as advice and use it to show him that you can do a job once you know what they want.

Don't worry just yet. Just get it right now. If you don't know what that means, ask him for clarification

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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:50 pm

Flips88 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Today, was not a good SA day. I think I might be getting no-offered. I turned in a memo that I could not find much support for. I thought everything was fine, worked really hard on it, mentor reviewed it and gave it the okay, and then turned it in. Well, the associate who asked for it asked me to come see him. He then basically told me that he did not like the way I wrote the memo and wants me to lay things out. I also botched a citation or two. He asked me to revise the memo.

Is this a definite no-offer move? I've done work for him before without issue, but this just feels so awful.

Edit: it wasn't the research or reasoning. He just disliked the way I formatted and wants me to give more details to flesh out my analysis. He keeps saying this is something he'd like to copy/paste into briefs, answers, whatever. There was no yelling, but still...

What was the offer rate at your firm last year? I don't think it's that much of an issue. Did he specify how he wanted it formatted?


Not at the time. This time, he did. He sent me one that he did as an example.

This office did not have a summer last year, but firm wide was at 92%. All of the other attorneys I've done work for have loved my assignments, including this associate. Well, I guess not this time. He wants me to lay out my memo the way we did in LRW. A lot of block quotes, re-writing things that we both know/are obvious, and "the court did x." All things I thought I wasn't supposed to do, but definitely can do. And will this time.

Also, I'm the only summer at my office location.

bdubs
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby bdubs » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Today, was not a good SA day. I think I might be getting no-offered. I turned in a memo that I could not find much support for. I thought everything was fine, worked really hard on it, mentor reviewed it and gave it the okay, and then turned it in. Well, the associate who asked for it asked me to come see him. He then basically told me that he did not like the way I wrote the memo and wants me to lay things out. I also botched a citation or two. He asked me to revise the memo.

Is this a definite no-offer move? I've done work for him before without issue, but this just feels so awful.

Edit: it wasn't the research or reasoning. He just disliked the way I formatted and wants me to give more details to flesh out my analysis. He keeps saying this is something he'd like to copy/paste into briefs, answers, whatever. There was no yelling, but still...


This is why I think a lot of associates are hesitant to give honest feedback to SAs; you all are a bit too neurotic and over analyze everything. Just because you don't do everything perfectly doesn't mean that you won't get an offer. I can almost guarantee that no one who got an offer did everything that was asked of them perfectly.

Even if it is a sign that you *might* be no-offered, the only thing you can do is improve your work during the next ~5 weeks. I can bet that overreacting and going over the top to correct will not be the thing that gets you back on track for an offer, so don't bother trying to steer the ship too hard.

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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:12 pm

bdubs wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Today, was not a good SA day. I think I might be getting no-offered. I turned in a memo that I could not find much support for. I thought everything was fine, worked really hard on it, mentor reviewed it and gave it the okay, and then turned it in. Well, the associate who asked for it asked me to come see him. He then basically told me that he did not like the way I wrote the memo and wants me to lay things out. I also botched a citation or two. He asked me to revise the memo.

Is this a definite no-offer move? I've done work for him before without issue, but this just feels so awful.

Edit: it wasn't the research or reasoning. He just disliked the way I formatted and wants me to give more details to flesh out my analysis. He keeps saying this is something he'd like to copy/paste into briefs, answers, whatever. There was no yelling, but still...


This is why I think a lot of associates are hesitant to give honest feedback to SAs; you all are a bit too neurotic and over analyze everything. Just because you don't do everything perfectly doesn't mean that you won't get an offer. I can almost guarantee that no one who got an offer did everything that was asked of them perfectly.

Even if it is a sign that you *might* be no-offered, the only thing you can do is improve your work during the next ~5 weeks. I can bet that overreacting and going over the top to correct will not be the thing that gets you back on track for an offer, so don't bother trying to steer the ship too hard.


Anon, here. Thank you. Upon further thinking about it, you're right. This is a learning experience. He gave me a lot of feedback. He always does. Plus, I have a chance to show him I can do what he wants me to do. If it was utterly hopeless, he probably wouldn't even give me a chance to correct it.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Scotusnerd » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anon, here. Thank you. Upon further thinking about it, you're right. This is a learning experience. He gave me a lot of feedback. He always does. Plus, I have a chance to show him I can do what he wants me to do. If it was utterly hopeless, he probably wouldn't even give me a chance to correct it.


You are incredibly lucky to have an associate that takes the time to give you feedback and tells you what he wants. Use it to the fullest to make yourself better. Most won't waste the time it takes to train up someone. He obviously thinks you can do better, and he wants to show you how to do so. Don't let your ego get in the way of improving. We all fuck up. :D Most of us just don't get told that we are doing so and get blindsided later on.

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Skye
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Skye » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:07 am

I don’t know if this is unusual, but it is new for me. I had an associate (who works directly with a partner) pull all my assignments and said that I was to only work on this one major case. Has this happened to anyone else?

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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:
bdubs wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Today, was not a good SA day. I think I might be getting no-offered. I turned in a memo that I could not find much support for. I thought everything was fine, worked really hard on it, mentor reviewed it and gave it the okay, and then turned it in. Well, the associate who asked for it asked me to come see him. He then basically told me that he did not like the way I wrote the memo and wants me to lay things out. I also botched a citation or two. He asked me to revise the memo.

Is this a definite no-offer move? I've done work for him before without issue, but this just feels so awful.

Edit: it wasn't the research or reasoning. He just disliked the way I formatted and wants me to give more details to flesh out my analysis. He keeps saying this is something he'd like to copy/paste into briefs, answers, whatever. There was no yelling, but still...


This is why I think a lot of associates are hesitant to give honest feedback to SAs; you all are a bit too neurotic and over analyze everything. Just because you don't do everything perfectly doesn't mean that you won't get an offer. I can almost guarantee that no one who got an offer did everything that was asked of them perfectly.

Even if it is a sign that you *might* be no-offered, the only thing you can do is improve your work during the next ~5 weeks. I can bet that overreacting and going over the top to correct will not be the thing that gets you back on track for an offer, so don't bother trying to steer the ship too hard.


Anon, here. Thank you. Upon further thinking about it, you're right. This is a learning experience. He gave me a lot of feedback. He always does. Plus, I have a chance to show him I can do what he wants me to do. If it was utterly hopeless, he probably wouldn't even give me a chance to correct it.

Nothing about what you have written on here suggests you have anything to worry about. He clarified the format he wants, and you're going to revise the memo - just try to do a good job of meeting the new expectations he laid out and make sure the memo is polished when you hand it back in.

Take a deep breath and step back for a moment - do you really think you're the first summer associate to turn something in that wasn't formatted exactly how somebody was expecting? Or perhaps a better question: do you think there has ever been a summer who hasn't, at one point or another, done that?

You're fine.

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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby swc65 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:
bdubs wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Today, was not a good SA day. I think I might be getting no-offered. I turned in a memo that I could not find much support for. I thought everything was fine, worked really hard on it, mentor reviewed it and gave it the okay, and then turned it in. Well, the associate who asked for it asked me to come see him. He then basically told me that he did not like the way I wrote the memo and wants me to lay things out. I also botched a citation or two. He asked me to revise the memo.

Is this a definite no-offer move? I've done work for him before without issue, but this just feels so awful.

Edit: it wasn't the research or reasoning. He just disliked the way I formatted and wants me to give more details to flesh out my analysis. He keeps saying this is something he'd like to copy/paste into briefs, answers, whatever. There was no yelling, but still...


This is why I think a lot of associates are hesitant to give honest feedback to SAs; you all are a bit too neurotic and over analyze everything. Just because you don't do everything perfectly doesn't mean that you won't get an offer. I can almost guarantee that no one who got an offer did everything that was asked of them perfectly.

Even if it is a sign that you *might* be no-offered, the only thing you can do is improve your work during the next ~5 weeks. I can bet that overreacting and going over the top to correct will not be the thing that gets you back on track for an offer, so don't bother trying to steer the ship too hard.


Anon, here. Thank you. Upon further thinking about it, you're right. This is a learning experience. He gave me a lot of feedback. He always does. Plus, I have a chance to show him I can do what he wants me to do. If it was utterly hopeless, he probably wouldn't even give me a chance to correct it.


Yeah that's a great way to look at it. Honestly, direct/honest feedback is a million times more valuable than a fake pat on the back. I suggest thanking him for being direct with you because that's the best way to learn. If it were utterly hopeless they'd stop paying you and escort you out (see Cleary circa three weeks ago). Showing that you can receive constructive criticism, handle it well, and apply it is all you can do and probably exactly what they want from you. He's not "giving you chance to correct it." He's taking time out of his day to review your work, give you directions on how to fix it, and review it again. This is why you should thank him and not fret. It shouldn't "feel awful" either. 99.9% of us didnt learn shit about being a lawyer in law school. Little things, like asking for a previous memo so that you can work from that and not have to recreate the formatting, we not part of the discussions about the meaning of the first amendment in post-cold war world in the face of organized, global terrorism lol. Your mentor, on the other hand, may have pulled the old "summers are useless, no one's going to pay attention to this memo, the associate won't care, so I am not spending much time on it" (maybe not is such a crass manner, but similar mentality, I'm guessing). In any event, if it really were that badly drafted, the first person to review it should be on the hook, not you, imho.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Scotusnerd » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:27 am

Skye wrote:I don’t know if this is unusual, but it is new for me. I had an associate (who works directly with a partner) pull all my assignments and said that I was to only work on this one major case. Has this happened to anyone else?


This happened to me. It means that (a) they need help on something big; and (b) you're competent enough to do it; and (c) they have a deadline coming up.

Don't let them down. It's a chance to show that you're awesome and do good work.

drive4showLSAT4dough
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby drive4showLSAT4dough » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:46 am

So many positive vibes right now, you guys.

Edit: tag

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swc65
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby swc65 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:14 pm

drive4showLSAT4dough wrote:So many positive vibes right now, you guys.

Edit: tag



TLS=Therapy for law students :)

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Summerz
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Summerz » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:52 pm

Asking for a little SA feedback. Does your firm pay for holidays? If garage parking is all that is available, does the firm pay? 10 weeks is the norm, right? During 3L the firm pays for bar prep and what else?

A few cohorts share the same situation (first ever SA for the family firm) and we are making suggestions based on what is SOP. Thanks.

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traehekat
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby traehekat » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Today, was not a good SA day. I think I might be getting no-offered. I turned in a memo that I could not find much support for. I thought everything was fine, worked really hard on it, mentor reviewed it and gave it the okay, and then turned it in. Well, the associate who asked for it asked me to come see him. He then basically told me that he did not like the way I wrote the memo and wants me to lay things out. I also botched a citation or two. He asked me to revise the memo.

Is this a definite no-offer move? I've done work for him before without issue, but this just feels so awful.

Edit: it wasn't the research or reasoning. He just disliked the way I formatted and wants me to give more details to flesh out my analysis. He keeps saying this is something he'd like to copy/paste into briefs, answers, whatever. There was no yelling, but still...


lol you're fine.

Anonymous User
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:52 pm

guys I am exhausted. I have dinner scheduled almost every Mo-Thur of the next two months.
Also, I am currently trying to summarize a deposition and hit a few pages I just do not understand. They are literally talking in chinese.
SIGH.
Just venting.

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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:53 pm

traehekat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Today, was not a good SA day. I think I might be getting no-offered. I turned in a memo that I could not find much support for. I thought everything was fine, worked really hard on it, mentor reviewed it and gave it the okay, and then turned it in. Well, the associate who asked for it asked me to come see him. He then basically told me that he did not like the way I wrote the memo and wants me to lay things out. I also botched a citation or two. He asked me to revise the memo.

Is this a definite no-offer move? I've done work for him before without issue, but this just feels so awful.

Edit: it wasn't the research or reasoning. He just disliked the way I formatted and wants me to give more details to flesh out my analysis. He keeps saying this is something he'd like to copy/paste into briefs, answers, whatever. There was no yelling, but still...


lol you're fine.

Agreed. I messed up big on an assignment at my SA, and still got offered. This was ITE.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby holdencaulfield » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is it the consensus that it's better to say no to work, focus on 2 assignments instead of 3, and make sure the 2 are truly polished instead of just alright? The summer coordinator offered me a third assignment today and I felt bad saying no. He sounded disappointed.

In other words, quality over quantity?


2nd year associate here.

I would advise against saying "no" to any assignments. If you have other projects/assignments, tell the coordinator you are currently working on x, y, and z, and let the coordinator determine whether he/she still wants to give a new assignment to you, and if so, what priority it takes.

This will hold true as an associate also. Until you're higher up the food chain, it's not your job to determine the priority of cases. If you try to do so, you may look lazy for turning away work or inefficient when you miss a deadline because you thought another matter was more important.

Anonymous User
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:43 pm

holdencaulfield wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is it the consensus that it's better to say no to work, focus on 2 assignments instead of 3, and make sure the 2 are truly polished instead of just alright? The summer coordinator offered me a third assignment today and I felt bad saying no. He sounded disappointed.

In other words, quality over quantity?


2nd year associate here.

I would advise against saying "no" to any assignments. If you have other projects/assignments, tell the coordinator you are currently working on x, y, and z, and let the coordinator determine whether he/she still wants to give a new assignment to you, and if so, what priority it takes.

This will hold true as an associate also. Until you're higher up the food chain, it's not your job to determine the priority of cases. If you try to do so, you may look lazy for turning away work or inefficient when you miss a deadline because you thought another matter was more important.

Original anon, thanks for the response. Do you think sending an email after the fact would do more harm than good? I could let him know that I'll be done with the rest of my stuff at the end of next week.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby holdencaulfield » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:
holdencaulfield wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is it the consensus that it's better to say no to work, focus on 2 assignments instead of 3, and make sure the 2 are truly polished instead of just alright? The summer coordinator offered me a third assignment today and I felt bad saying no. He sounded disappointed.

In other words, quality over quantity?


2nd year associate here.

I would advise against saying "no" to any assignments. If you have other projects/assignments, tell the coordinator you are currently working on x, y, and z, and let the coordinator determine whether he/she still wants to give a new assignment to you, and if so, what priority it takes.

This will hold true as an associate also. Until you're higher up the food chain, it's not your job to determine the priority of cases. If you try to do so, you may look lazy for turning away work or inefficient when you miss a deadline because you thought another matter was more important.

Original anon, thanks for the response. Do you think sending an email after the fact would do more harm than good? I could let him know that I'll be done with the rest of my stuff at the end of next week.



I think sending an email is a good idea; or just level with her next time you talk to her, but keep it casual. I'd approach it by casually asking "hey, how should I handle new projects if I already have several? Should I ask you which is a priority or should I ask Partner x."

I wouldn't worry though. Your one instance is not a big deal at all.

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Bronte
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Bronte » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:08 am

Summerz wrote:Asking for a little SA feedback. Does your firm pay for holidays? If garage parking is all that is available, does the firm pay? 10 weeks is the norm, right? During 3L the firm pays for bar prep and what else?

A few cohorts share the same situation (first ever SA for the family firm) and we are making suggestions based on what is SOP. Thanks.


Not sure what you mean by pay for holidays. Most big firms pay a Cravath scale salary. Vacation is irrelevant, and highly revocable. At least at the big city firm where I'll be working, parking is not a concept. Some partners park in the office lot, but most people take public transit in the morning and sometimes a firm car home.

And, yes, 10 weeks is a standard SA length, although some firms do more. The firm pays for whatever bar prep course plus moving expenses. In New York firms usually also do a $10,000 salary advance. At some Chicago firms, it's a stipend that does not come out of salary.




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