Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

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

Postby mr.hands » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone else feel like there is a culture of awkwardness at their firm? I normally don't feel like I'm a very awkward person, but when everyone else is super awkward it's hard not to feel like every interaction is weird. The sad thing is I think everyone at the firm has gotten to the point where it's normal for them.

Sorry, stopping the anon rant now.


Yeah i think this is understandable.

Also, does anyone feel like they're really slow/inefficient? I spent an entire day today researching and writing an office memo for my boss. one project. ugh

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:16 pm

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.

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

Postby Peyton » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:40 pm

I am a quasi-SA, meaning that I am the first ever SA for the family firm and we are winging it (to say the least). I spoke with a SA friend today who works at a V-250 and she was busy cutting down her assignment to 30 pages. Down to 30 pages? Granted she had been working on it for at least a week. The longest I have turned in was six pages. Is +30 pages unusually long or just SOP?

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5ky
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Re: Summer Associate: Thoughts, Anxieties, Experiences, etc.

Postby 5ky » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:47 pm

Peyton wrote:I am a quasi-SA, meaning that I am the first ever SA for the family firm and we are winging it (to say the least). I spoke with a SA friend today who works at a V-250 and she was busy cutting down her assignment to 30 pages. Down to 30 pages? Granted she had been working on it for at least a week. The longest I have turned in was six pages. Is +30 pages unusually long or just SOP?


30 pages is long, but yes, I knew people in Biglaw who had assignments over thirty pages. You can get some real shitty assignments as a summer, tedious things nobody actually wants to do.

Also, V-250 isn't a thing

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:21 am

I spent ~20 hours on a 6 page memo. Gave it to senior associate to review. He told me I had to cut it down to 4 for the partner. I'm pretty sure 30 pages of anything from a summer associate would get tossed into a file somewhere and never read.

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

Postby Peyton » Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:I spent ~20 hours on a 6 page memo. Gave it to senior associate to review. He told me I had to cut it down to 4 for the partner. I'm pretty sure 30 pages of anything from a summer associate would get tossed into a file somewhere and never read.

What kind of feedback do you normally receive from partners/associates after you turn in your work? Is it a 10 minute sit down review or..? What if they (traditional law firm) are not pleased with what you handed in—then what happens?

In my case (when they get around to opening what I sent) they offer a few tips on this-or-that and basically say “it’s a learning experience.” Not exactly a real hardball critique…

(Sky: Thanks for the V-250 tip…. NLJ 250…got it).

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:50 am

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.


This was me during the first two weeks of the SA. Now in the third week I'm swamped, even working late into nights and weekends. Enjoy it while you can! :-)

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

Postby BigLawer » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:30 pm

Skye wrote:
tree123 wrote:Sounds like you are having a great time. May I ask, are you at a large firm or mid-size? It seems unusual that a large firm, which typically has this process pretty streamlined would extend the SA? How typical is that? Also, how are you liking the people you are working with? Catty, snotty, awkward, etc.?

It’s all good. A partner invited us to lunch today at an uptown restaurant and everyone had a great time (heard a lot of humorous stories). I could have had a mixed drink but didn’t (knowing a pile of projects awaited me).

The firm, isn’t a V250 (around 50 attorneys) but they are prestigious inasmuch as they have an impressive fortune-whatever client list. As far as their policy versus other firms, no idea. I did hear that every now and then we can expect comp tickets to certain events, definitely cool. So far the experience is much better than advertised.


This isn't in Austin is it?

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

Postby alicrimson » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:23 pm

Well, I received my first "hard" assignments today. The assigning attorney told me that this is the sort of thing I'll be doing when I come back so I might as well get my feet wet now. I don't know if I like wet feet. Oh well, I have a week to do it. I'm still moving like molasses and am never really sure if I'm pulling the right cases/missing anything, but I'm doing my best and am trying to be as thorough as possible. I guess I can't do anymore than that. This is my fourth assignment from this attorney. Hopefully, this assignment will go well and I'll make it to assignment five. :) I can't believe we're almost to midsummer reviews. Crazy!

I hope you're all enjoying your positions. I keep trying to remember that when something seems tough or slow, it's because of the learning curve. Apparently everyone (or most folks) feels this way. Anywho, happy friday, folks!

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

Postby Sheffield » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:47 am

This week was a little different since I went to a couple after work socials. Ours were in the late afternoon and they lasted for ninety-minutes (I left after several partners split, so maybe it went longer). I actually split because by 8PM I am dog-tired...what about you?

Oh yeah, one thing I forgot to bitch about from last week… the @#$# taxes! After it’s all said and done, anyone here bringing home better than 65% net?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:45 am

NYC here. Had a super long week (3rd week). Did 7am-10pm last night. I had a few assignments that I thought were done come back around ("can you just look at this one other related issue real quick?"). I also had a longer memo that the attorney gave me really short notice on. ~20 hour assignment in 2 days? Grrr. So, yeah. Couple all that work with some social events and long training sessions and it is a recipe for disaster. But I think I handled it well. Made all my deadlines and I just finished everything on my plate. I'm just going to be a bit more cautious about volunteering for work.

On the plus side, I got positive feedback on my big scary memo for big scary partner. I want to frame that email.

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

Postby mr.hands » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:NYC here. Had a super long week (3rd week). Did 7am-10pm last night. I had a few assignments that I thought were done come back around ("can you just look at this one other related issue real quick?"). I also had a longer memo that the attorney gave me really short notice on. ~20 hour assignment in 2 days? Grrr. So, yeah. Couple all that work with some social events and long training sessions and it is a recipe for disaster. But I think I handled it well. Made all my deadlines and I just finished everything on my plate. I'm just going to be a bit more cautious about volunteering for work.

On the plus side, I got positive feedback on my big scary memo for big scary partner. I want to frame that email.


Damn. Congrats. I'm shocked to hear that they're working their summer associates that hard. What vault-range do you work in? Is your firm known for this?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:07 am

mr.hands wrote:
Damn. Congrats. I'm shocked to hear that they're working their summer associates that hard. What vault-range do you work in? Is your firm known for this?


Firm is definitely not known for this. It's a v50ish. I'm sure they'd be horrified if I told them. I was actually really scared someone was going to come by and yell at me for staying late (but no one was around thankfully). But it was basically my fault for taking on too much. The tight deadline on the memo was not preferred, but I think that's kinda how a lot of biglaw works.

Lesson learned: just because an ongoing assignment doesn't have anything moving at that very moment doesn't mean you should take on new assignments. Better to be slow for a few hours than to take on something new and have it all come back at once. I'm going to be a bit more cautious in the future.

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

Postby Stinson » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:23 am

Sheffield wrote:This week was a little different since I went to a couple after work socials. Ours were in the late afternoon and they lasted for ninety-minutes (I left after several partners split, so maybe it went longer). I actually split because by 8PM I am dog-tired...what about you?

Oh yeah, one thing I forgot to bitch about from last week… the @#$# taxes! After it’s all said and done, anyone here bringing home better than 65% net?


Bringing home is one thing, but depending on the state in which you work you will get most of it back next year. I made the normal $30k in MA (so certainly not a low tax state, though not NY) and I think I wound up getting to keep like 26k or 27k after refunds. You can't get out of FICA and such but the income tax rates tend to wind up being modest.

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

Postby Stinson » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:26 am

alicrimson wrote:Well, I received my first "hard" assignments today. The assigning attorney told me that this is the sort of thing I'll be doing when I come back so I might as well get my feet wet now. I don't know if I like wet feet. Oh well, I have a week to do it. I'm still moving like molasses and am never really sure if I'm pulling the right cases/missing anything, but I'm doing my best and am trying to be as thorough as possible. I guess I can't do anymore than that. This is my fourth assignment from this attorney. Hopefully, this assignment will go well and I'll make it to assignment five. :) I can't believe we're almost to midsummer reviews. Crazy!

I hope you're all enjoying your positions. I keep trying to remember that when something seems tough or slow, it's because of the learning curve. Apparently everyone (or most folks) feels this way. Anywho, happy friday, folks!


Yeah, don't worry about the molasses thing. Everyone expects summers to be slow. And if your time is charged at all the partner will cut it down to whatever number she things reasonable. It's much better to be careful and conscientious and slow, because no one will remember "Wow that summer was fast!" but they will remember "That moron made a bunch of obvious mistakes!"

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:04 pm

I'm definitely in the slow boat too: it takes me hours to get through cases on Westlaw and to pull out what I think is relevant. Maybe this is litigation-specific but I feel like I've been given issues where I can search forever and still won't find an on-point precedent. I'm not sure if it means I'm not framing my searches correctly or just missing something entirely, but it's a little frustrating to keep going back to my assigning associate and go, "There's no direct authority but this is kind of sort of related."

Anyone else worried that they're perceived as both inefficient and antisocial? I couldn't go to two major summer associate events this week because I wanted to do a good job with the research, and I'm at a firm that definitely emphasizes going out and integrating yourself into the social life.

Sorry, /anon whine.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm definitely in the slow boat too: it takes me hours to get through cases on Westlaw and to pull out what I think is relevant. Maybe this is litigation-specific but I feel like I've been given issues where I can search forever and still won't find an on-point precedent. I'm not sure if it means I'm not framing my searches correctly or just missing something entirely, but it's a little frustrating to keep going back to my assigning associate and go, "There's no direct authority but this is kind of sort of related."

Anyone else worried that they're perceived as both inefficient and antisocial? I couldn't go to two major summer associate events this week because I wanted to do a good job with the research, and I'm at a firm that definitely emphasizes going out and integrating yourself into the social life.

Sorry, /anon whine.


I'm definitely on the slow boat. I think we all are.

Also, try not to get discouraged if you don't find things directly on point. Usually, if it was that easy, the firm wouldn't be handling the case or you wouldn't be asked to write something about it. Read closely and try to draw reasonable conclusions.

But you really should go to the events. Unless it is absolutely impossible. If you think you need to skip because of a deadline, tell the person that you are working with. Just say: "I wanted to let them know there is a summer associate event soon. I know work comes first and I'd be happy to stay and work on it, but I just wanted to keep you in the loop." They'll usually tell you to go to the event. And you get bonus points for communicating with them.

If you skip the event and don't tell them, that's the worst of both worlds. No socializing and it reflects poorly on your communication. Don't do it.

If you don't have something due immediately after/during a social event, just come in early or stay late to get caught up. A few summers have gone back to the office after a social event. It's not ideal, but again, it is better than missing it.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm definitely in the slow boat too: it takes me hours to get through cases on Westlaw and to pull out what I think is relevant. Maybe this is litigation-specific but I feel like I've been given issues where I can search forever and still won't find an on-point precedent. I'm not sure if it means I'm not framing my searches correctly or just missing something entirely, but it's a little frustrating to keep going back to my assigning associate and go, "There's no direct authority but this is kind of sort of related."

Anyone else worried that they're perceived as both inefficient and antisocial? I couldn't go to two major summer associate events this week because I wanted to do a good job with the research, and I'm at a firm that definitely emphasizes going out and integrating yourself into the social life.

Sorry, /anon whine.


I'm definitely on the slow boat. I think we all are.

Also, try not to get discouraged if you don't find things directly on point. Usually, if it was that easy, the firm wouldn't be handling the case or you wouldn't be asked to write something about it. Read closely and try to draw reasonable conclusions.

But you really should go to the events. Unless it is absolutely impossible. If you think you need to skip because of a deadline, tell the person that you are working with. Just say: "I wanted to let them know there is a summer associate event soon. I know work comes first and I'd be happy to stay and work on it, but I just wanted to keep you in the loop." They'll usually tell you to go to the event. And you get bonus points for communicating with them.

If you skip the event and don't tell them, that's the worst of both worlds. No socializing and it reflects poorly on your communication. Don't do it.

If you don't have something due immediately after/during a social event, just come in early or stay late to get caught up. A few summers have gone back to the office after a social event. It's not ideal, but again, it is better than missing it.

All good points, thanks. Don't want to be the one person that gets no-offered for not trying to fit in.

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

Postby Skye » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:41 pm

On social events, we’ve only been given one rule, try not to set the client on fire.

I’ve only been to one, it was a nice enjoyable diversion, mingling with the various partners, associates, staffers, etc. What I’ve noticed is that they go out of their way to make all the summers feel at home. They usually wind up approaching me before I have a chance to acknowledge them. If I couldn’t have made it, there is no one special person I could have reported to, we are just not set up with an overseer in that manner. Best advice, just go.

As far as assignments, by dealing with a number of partners/associates sometimes there is good feedback, welcomed praise and other times the results are evasive. Only once did a partner pick apart nearly everything on an assignment I turned in (needed way more of this, less of that, etc. etc.). Even with that one catastrophic setback, I continue to say, “Better than advertised.”

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

Postby Flips88 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:51 pm

2 weeks down. Really enjoying it so far. All the people I've met are great. Finished my first assignment and got great feedback.

Anyone else have associates that make it a point to stop by and tell you to not work hard?

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

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:52 pm

Flips88 wrote:2 weeks down. Really enjoying it so far. All the people I've met are great. Finished my first assignment and got great feedback.

Anyone else have associates that make it a point to stop by and tell you to not work hard?


I probably do this more than I should. I once drunkenly declared that all of the assignments I gave to a summer should be considered optional :lol:

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

Postby Flips88 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:57 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Flips88 wrote:2 weeks down. Really enjoying it so far. All the people I've met are great. Finished my first assignment and got great feedback.

Anyone else have associates that make it a point to stop by and tell you to not work hard?


I probably do this more than I should. I once drunkenly declared that all of the assignments I gave to a summer should be considered optional :lol:

Are they trolling me? lol. I feel like everyone has set the bar super low.

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

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:05 pm

It's a bait and switch. We're nice to you now, because you're cute and innocent and are utterly unprepared for the shitstorm you may be in for.

It helps assuage the guilt for what we know lies in store.

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

Postby Renne Walker » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:16 am

thesealocust wrote:.... utterly unprepared for the shitstorm you may be in for. It helps assuage the guilt for what we know lies in store.

This week we got a hefty dose of "what lies in store"... never ending assignments, there was barely time to have a sandwich in the park (forget about making lunch reservations). This was topped with a couple socials. One lucky thing, I passed up on Mets tickets for today, the game went 20 innings and the Mets lost. Going to that game would have been the perfect ending to this long week (but glad I missed it)!

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

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:28 am

Renne Walker wrote:
thesealocust wrote:.... utterly unprepared for the shitstorm you may be in for. It helps assuage the guilt for what we know lies in store.

This week we got a hefty dose of "what lies in store"... never ending assignments, there was barely time to have a sandwich in the park (forget about making lunch reservations). This was topped with a couple socials. One lucky thing, I passed up on Mets tickets for today, the game went 20 innings and the Mets lost. Going to that game would have been the perfect ending to this long week (but glad I missed it)!


That... is light years away from "a hefty dose of what lies in store."




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