Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

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TooOld4This
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby TooOld4This » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:59 pm

Sheffield wrote:Those two preceding post where great, accurately spelling it out. To me, this has been the most helpful thread ever. I believe you may recall the reasons for SA anxiety is because so much is on the line. If 3L SA wasn’t deemed as such a long shot then 2L would be a lot less melodramatic. Hopefully, all of us here will put this experience in our rear view mirror —in a good way.

As far as the humor. Not quite all the way there with that. Recently I was given passes to a Broadway play and my first inclination was to ask, where are the backstage passes… as I said not there yet.

I looked up who Louis Lit is … funny but for sure not there with that yet. Maybe someday. Thanks.


If this is where your humor instincts lead you, it is best that you didn't say anything and continue to avoid attempts at humor. Suggesting, even in jest, that an employer who is paying you many, many times your value and wining and dining you isn't doing enough is likely to leave a negative impression. One of the easy ways to fail the "fit" test is to come off as self-entitled or lacking judgment. Failed attempts at humor can quickly put you in one of those boxes.

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

Postby Skye » Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:37 pm

Stinson wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:I write this with wine glass in hand. It is interesting reading these posts (keep 'em coming). They remind me of last year. I remember that it was difficult to totally chill during 1L SA.

The second year is very different inasmuch as things are more relaxed and there is more humor. Unfortunately it is not the type of hilarity that is easily described on a message board, but what goes on would make a great “reality” show. The other day one of the attorneys harassed an SA to the point where the SA was stuttering and as he walked out he turned and gave me a wink. Or when they gave me tickets to the Mets game, I looked up, “so it’s true, you really do hate me”… not the kind of thing I would have dared said as a newbie. Or say to one to one of my less favorite attorneys… “so this is what, your impersonation of Louis Lit.”

The other night an SA was totally bummed at a social because he was in mid-sentence when the partner turned and walked over to another SA. The point, if you are anxious because of one of the thousand things that will go wrong, not to worry, it’s expected. Shit happens. Just roll on to tomorrow.


Yes to all of this, just echoing as a former SA. SA's spend a lot of time worrying about what partners think of them, so let me spoil it.

They don't think anything about you.

They don't like you, they don't dislike you. There are like fifty things on their priority list permanently above you, which is good. They will periodically be brusque with people because that is pretty much the personality of people who are very busy and are used to having things their way. The things they do that scare you don't even occur to them as scary. But they really don't think of you, and it's totally fine. All you need is for them not to hate you, and it's hard to get them to hate you.

So chillax.


+180. Great read except for the part where they don’t truly love me. :cry:

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

Postby Peyton » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:56 am

I read somewhere ITT that firms give reviews (I suppose it occurs at the halfway point of your SA). Has anyone had a review? Is it mainly about your work, your “offer” chances or something else?

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

Postby FeelTheHeat » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:40 am

what is your opinion on cold offers

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

Postby rad lulz » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:22 am

FeelTheHeat wrote:what is your opinion on cold offers

Better that than a no offer

Might want to get someone from the firm to speak on your behalf going forward though

run26.2
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby run26.2 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:40 pm

Peyton wrote:I read somewhere ITT that firms give reviews (I suppose it occurs at the halfway point of your SA). Has anyone had a review? Is it mainly about your work, your “offer” chances or something else?

My advice is to listen carefully to what they say was pointed out, and address those issues. The reviews are about providing you feedback so you can build on what you do right and work on what you do wrong. You don't get an offer during your review. Most people will get a mix of good and bad feedback. You will probably come out of the review seeking to compare yourself to other people in your class, so this is yet another opportunity to be neurotic. You'll be further ahead if you don't let it become that way.

When I was an SA, the one negative piece feedback I got was that I didn't get back to an attorney soon enough wrt work product that was due to her. I gave her an update about a day and a half after I got the assignment, even though she told me when she assigned it that she would not look at it for 1 or 2 more days after that. This was a pretty small thing, but I pondered it (needlessly) for a long time.

There are some things that are out of your control. No need to justify. Other things that are within your control. Learn lessons that you can and improve. Some amount of negative feedback is to be expected. Most likely, even if you have done much more good work than bad, you will probably get a disproportionate amount of negative feedback, because if you are doing something right, you will likely continue to do that. Do not get discouraged. Use your review to motivate you to do even better work.

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

Postby Skye » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:58 pm

With our evaluation just around the corner, let me say thanks for relaying your experience. Do you (or anyone) have anything of substance regarding the earlier question about cold offers?

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

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:19 pm

Skye wrote:With our evaluation just around the corner, let me say thanks for relaying your experience. Do you (or anyone) have anything of substance regarding the earlier question about cold offers?


Cold offers are incredibly rare and nothing to worry about. If it happens to you, then it's incrementally better than a no offer, but it's nothing to fret about now. The same things you do to avoid a no-offer will steer you clear of a cold one :lol:

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:00 pm

run26.2 wrote:
Peyton wrote:I read somewhere ITT that firms give reviews (I suppose it occurs at the halfway point of your SA). Has anyone had a review? Is it mainly about your work, your “offer” chances or something else?

My advice is to listen carefully to what they say was pointed out, and address those issues. The reviews are about providing you feedback so you can build on what you do right and work on what you do wrong. You don't get an offer during your review. Most people will get a mix of good and bad feedback. You will probably come out of the review seeking to compare yourself to other people in your class, so this is yet another opportunity to be neurotic. You'll be further ahead if you don't let it become that way.

When I was an SA, the one negative piece feedback I got was that I didn't get back to an attorney soon enough wrt work product that was due to her. I gave her an update about a day and a half after I got the assignment, even though she told me when she assigned it that she would not look at it for 1 or 2 more days after that. This was a pretty small thing, but I pondered it (needlessly) for a long time.

There are some things that are out of your control. No need to justify. Other things that are within your control. Learn lessons that you can and improve. Some amount of negative feedback is to be expected. Most likely, even if you have done much more good work than bad, you will probably get a disproportionate amount of negative feedback, because if you are doing something right, you will likely continue to do that. Do not get discouraged. Use your review to motivate you to do even better work.


This actually varies a lot by firm. At my previous SA firm the review was 99% positive feedback (for everyone) with 1% negative just to show you they were paying attention. I haven't had my review at my current firm yet but they do a mid-way review and also a final review where they tell you if you are getting an offer or not.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:22 am

What sort of work are people generally getting. I primarily have a constant stream of projects usually due in 2-3 days. Is this normal? On one hand I know that these are cases going on right now, and my work is often urgent; on the other hand, I feel as if I do not see the big picture and my memos are usually 2-3 pages, and longest was probably 6.

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

Postby alicrimson » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What sort of work are people generally getting. I primarily have a constant stream of projects usually due in 2-3 days. Is this normal? On one hand I know that these are cases going on right now, and my work is often urgent; on the other hand, I feel as if I do not see the big picture and my memos are usually 2-3 pages, and longest was probably 6.


It depends. I've had some assignments that were like the ones you say you're getting. Some have been emails. A couple of the assignments have been case assessments where I go through and state what claims we can bring in x jurisdictions. Currently, among other things, I'm working on a formal memo that will likely be ~15 pages long. Granted, the assigning attorney wanted it double spaced.

I have found work is picking up quite rapidly. I've always been busy, but now my coordinator is turning away assignments. I was told today by two shareholders that they've called dibs on some of my time next week. It has been nice, but I've been working pretty long days lately (generally 8 morning-7 night with an hour or two at home). Don't get me wrong, I enjoy what I'm doing but it's a lot sometimes.

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

Postby Flips88 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:04 pm

alicrimson wrote:I've been working pretty long days lately (generally 8 morning-7 night with an hour or two at home). Don't get me wrong, I enjoy what I'm doing but it's a lot sometimes.

Gunning at work. For shame.

shock259
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby shock259 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:15 pm

I was really busy like that for about two weeks. But now things are calmer. It's really nice when it slows down.

Anonymous User wrote:What sort of work are people generally getting. I primarily have a constant stream of projects usually due in 2-3 days. Is this normal? On one hand I know that these are cases going on right now, and my work is often urgent; on the other hand, I feel as if I do not see the big picture and my memos are usually 2-3 pages, and longest was probably 6.


It's a mix. Some are quick research assignments in an email. These usually have a turnaround of a day or two. Others are assignments are long memos. These usually have a turnaround of a week or so.

I wouldn't expect to get much big picture stuff at this stage. Ask big picture questions whenever you can, but don't expect to make high-level decisions. We don't know what the hell is going on. I would basically just keep my head down, act interested, and do well on whatever is thrown in front of you.

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

Postby alicrimson » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:36 pm

Flips88 wrote:
alicrimson wrote:I've been working pretty long days lately (generally 8 morning-7 night with an hour or two at home). Don't get me wrong, I enjoy what I'm doing but it's a lot sometimes.

Gunning at work. For shame.


Meh. It isn't a choice. I literally have that much to do.

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

Postby mephistopheles » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:40 pm

I've been given somewhat critical positions on a couple of major matters actually. I've been working similar hours because I need to be there.

shock259
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby shock259 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:43 pm

alicrimson wrote:
Flips88 wrote:
alicrimson wrote:I've been working pretty long days lately (generally 8 morning-7 night with an hour or two at home). Don't get me wrong, I enjoy what I'm doing but it's a lot sometimes.

Gunning at work. For shame.


Meh. It isn't a choice. I literally have that much to do.


Sometimes this is true and there is nothing you can do. Other times, people take on too many assignments and then get flustered and blame it on other people. Know which camp you are in. It's hard to say no to people, but it can be done tactfully/professionally.

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

Postby Renne Walker » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:What sort of work are people generally getting. I primarily have a constant stream of projects usually due in 2-3 days. Is this normal? On one hand I know that these are cases going on right now, and my work is often urgent; on the other hand, I feel as if I do not see the big picture and my memos are usually 2-3 pages, and longest was probably 6.


That sounds 80% normal, the other 20% can run much longer. Tip is to highlight the pertinent parts — caution, once they become accustom to highlighting, they will ask "you will highlight, right?" The other caution is, you will become their go-to person (translation, more assignments). It might mean more work but keep in mind that in the end not all “offers” are equal.

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

Postby Peyton » Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:28 pm

Great tip. This morning I highlighted the pertinent parts of an assignment. I just received a thumbs-up on the highlights.

I just spoke to a BLSA friend who had to work late last night and her firm offered to provide her a driver (and offered her dinner if she wanted it). I once read where this perk was available to associates but I never knew this nicety extended to SAs, especially since I haven’t seen anything posted here about these SA extras. Anyone here getting a free meal and a chauffeur if you work late?

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Mce252
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Mce252 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:47 pm

Peyton wrote:Great tip. This morning I highlighted the pertinent parts of an assignment. I just received a thumbs-up on the highlights.

I just spoke to a BLSA friend who had to work late last night and her firm offered to provide her a driver (and offered her dinner if she wanted it). I once read where this perk was available to associates but I never knew this nicety extended to SAs, especially since I haven’t seen anything posted here about these SA extras. Anyone here getting a free meal and a chauffeur if you work late?


Why would anyone need a driver because they worked late?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:54 pm

Because they took public transport to work and it had stopped running by the time they got done?

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Mce252
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby Mce252 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:55 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Because they took public transport to work and it had stopped running by the time they got done?


Ha...thanks for the clarification. Everyone drives in my market.

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

Postby Bronte » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:58 pm

Mce252 wrote:
Peyton wrote:Great tip. This morning I highlighted the pertinent parts of an assignment. I just received a thumbs-up on the highlights.

I just spoke to a BLSA friend who had to work late last night and her firm offered to provide her a driver (and offered her dinner if she wanted it). I once read where this perk was available to associates but I never knew this nicety extended to SAs, especially since I haven’t seen anything posted here about these SA extras. Anyone here getting a free meal and a chauffeur if you work late?


Why would anyone need a driver because they worked late?


They don't need it. It's a perk. And, yes, many firms offer dinner and car or taxi service if you stay after a certain hour. These benefits are often extended to SAs. I took a cab home from work on the firm's dime quite a few times as an SA when I stayed late.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:44 pm

Peyton wrote:Great tip. This morning I highlighted the pertinent parts of an assignment. I just received a thumbs-up on the highlights.

I just spoke to a BLSA friend who had to work late last night and her firm offered to provide her a driver (and offered her dinner if she wanted it). I once read where this perk was available to associates but I never knew this nicety extended to SAs, especially since I haven’t seen anything posted here about these SA extras. Anyone here getting a free meal and a chauffeur if you work late?


Yea pretty standard. We get free dinner after 7ish (Ive never stayed that late so idk exactly) and cab vouchers for any summer event or work assignment that lasts after like 9 or so.

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

Postby Skye » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:45 pm

I’ve had dinner once but not a car ride (although it is offered).

My day today included lunch to with a couple of BL school cohorts and they all like it — they get to leave at 5P most of the time. The differences is that they tend to be confined to assignments with no one yet having observed a deposition, discovery or going to court to see how a case was unfolding (granted I’ve only been invited to court once). Plus, not much in the way of lunches with partners or meeting with partners in their office (it isn’t that it never happens, just not often). I suppose those are some of the difference between boutique and BL. I mention this because I have wondered if passing up BL was a wise idea (my only BL offers were out of the city, so $ wise I am better off staying put). Just wondering if anyone else made the same decision.

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

Postby AllTheLawz » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:41 pm

Skye wrote:I’ve had dinner once but not a car ride (although it is offered).

My day today included lunch to with a couple of BL school cohorts and they all like it — they get to leave at 5P most of the time. The differences is that they tend to be confined to assignments with no one yet having observed a deposition, discovery or going to court to see how a case was unfolding (granted I’ve only been invited to court once). Plus, not much in the way of lunches with partners or meeting with partners in their office (it isn’t that it never happens, just not often). I suppose those are some of the difference between boutique and BL. I mention this because I have wondered if passing up BL was a wise idea (my only BL offers were out of the city, so $ wise I am better off staying put). Just wondering if anyone else made the same decision.


Hate to break it to you but you can do all that stuff in BigLaw as an SA too. No need to try to rationalize being at a boutique.




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