Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

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keg411
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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby keg411 » Sat May 25, 2013 8:24 pm

anon2014 wrote:
TTRansfer wrote: Never, ever, ever try and figure something out on your own. That is rules #1-5 on the "don't do this" list, hah.


Can you elaborate? If I'm getting work from a partner and she told me not to talk to anyone about it, what am I supposed to do? Partner doesn't have time for explaining things to me, understandably. But I don't really see an option other than figure it out on my own.


What do you need explained? If it's research or law-related stuff, ask the Law Library or Lexis/WL people because they can help you formulate searches, get treatises, etc (and you can do that by just generally asking about the area of law or a question and without giving away anything confidential). Or do a google search.

Otherwise, do what you can do, and then make a list of questions and send an e-mail to the partner either asking if he/she has time to either meet with you or talk to you briefly about some questions you had regarding the assignment. You don't want to be constantly bothering him/her, but you also shouldn't turn something if you're not sure it's what you're being asked to do.

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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 25, 2013 8:48 pm

Sheffield wrote:I do not know of a single SA not giving it their all — skipping lunch, staying late, doing whatever it takes. Sorry, not buying into a lot of the opinions noted in this thread.


Is this serious? Always hard to tell on the Internet, but my entire SA class was pretty much told we could go home at like 3 PM twice this past week (and that is with one and a half to two hour lunches). What range of firm are you at?

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TTRansfer
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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby TTRansfer » Sat May 25, 2013 9:01 pm

keg411 wrote:
anon2014 wrote:
TTRansfer wrote: Never, ever, ever try and figure something out on your own. That is rules #1-5 on the "don't do this" list, hah.


Can you elaborate? If I'm getting work from a partner and she told me not to talk to anyone about it, what am I supposed to do? Partner doesn't have time for explaining things to me, understandably. But I don't really see an option other than figure it out on my own.


What do you need explained? If it's research or law-related stuff, ask the Law Library or Lexis/WL people because they can help you formulate searches, get treatises, etc (and you can do that by just generally asking about the area of law or a question and without giving away anything confidential). Or do a google search.

Otherwise, do what you can do, and then make a list of questions and send an e-mail to the partner either asking if he/she has time to either meet with you or talk to you briefly about some questions you had regarding the assignment. You don't want to be constantly bothering him/her, but you also shouldn't turn something if you're not sure it's what you're being asked to do.


Exactly. And I have heard of summer associates doing just that and then seriously regretting it. That's a surefire way of pissing off the person who assigned the work.

I heard a story of someone from two or so years ago at the firm I am at turning in a 24+ hour (all billable) assignment and having to completely re-do it (all while having all of the hours scrubbed since they aren't going to bill the client for his fuck-up).

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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby anon2014 » Sat May 25, 2013 9:25 pm

TTRansfer wrote:I heard a story of someone from two or so years ago at the firm I am at turning in a 24+ hour (all billable) assignment and having to completely re-do it (all while having all of the hours scrubbed since they aren't going to bill the client for his fuck-up).


Maybe I'm just fucked, but I don't understand why something like that is a story that's being told two years later. Yes, it really sucks and 24+ hours is a lot, but at the same time, why is a summer associate getting the kind of work that they can spend that much time on and be totally wrong? And doesn't the firm pretty much expect to scrub most of our billed hours anyway?

Is it really so uncommon for summer associates to misunderstand assignments? I guess maybe it depends on the assignment system and whether you're getting projects from people who specifically have the task of coordinating assignments (as opposed to getting assignments from partners/associates who are just giving you a part of what they're actually doing without as much attention to our total lack of experience/knowledge).

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TTRansfer
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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby TTRansfer » Sat May 25, 2013 9:33 pm

anon2014 wrote:
TTRansfer wrote:I heard a story of someone from two or so years ago at the firm I am at turning in a 24+ hour (all billable) assignment and having to completely re-do it (all while having all of the hours scrubbed since they aren't going to bill the client for his fuck-up).


Maybe I'm just fucked, but I don't understand why something like that is a story that's being told two years later. Yes, it really sucks and 24+ hours is a lot, but at the same time, why is a summer associate getting the kind of work that they can spend that much time on and be totally wrong? And doesn't the firm pretty much expect to scrub most of our billed hours anyway?

Is it really so uncommon for summer associates to misunderstand assignments? I guess maybe it depends on the assignment system and whether you're getting projects from people who specifically have the task of coordinating assignments (as opposed to getting assignments from partners/associates who are just giving you a part of what they're actually doing without as much attention to our total lack of experience/knowledge).


It was a big assignment and apparently he said he could handle it. I have had big boy assignments at times as well. The issue is I went back and asked for help while the dude I heard about at this firm did not.

I think it's uncommon for SAs that do not ask questions to misunderstand assignments. So I think my rule list is probably a bit off. #1 is ask questions before you walk out the door. #2-5 is ask questions after you walk out the door if you have to so you don't just do shit on your own.

I don't know how this firm I am at now does hour scrubbing, but I do know first hand that the firm I was at last summer did not scrub many hours of their SAs. All the projects would be reduced a bit to fit in with the amount of time the partner thought it should take, but my time was certainly being billed to the clients.

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Georgia Avenue
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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby Georgia Avenue » Sat May 25, 2013 9:51 pm

Sometimes working on a "big boy" assignment and billing it to the client are not mutually exclusive. Some clients have it written in their contracts that they will not pay for summer associate work.

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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby TTRansfer » Sat May 25, 2013 9:59 pm

Georgia Avenue wrote:Sometimes working on a "big boy" assignment and billing it to the client are not mutually exclusive. Some clients have it written in their contracts that they will not pay for summer associate work.


Of course some do. I never said otherwise. I would never go into a project assuming that the work is not going to be paid for. That is unless you want to do shit work and be no-offered. Just assume that everything you do is going to be charged to someone else.

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Lincoln
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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby Lincoln » Sat May 25, 2013 10:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sheffield wrote:I do not know of a single SA not giving it their all — skipping lunch, staying late, doing whatever it takes. Sorry, not buying into a lot of the opinions noted in this thread.


Is this serious? Always hard to tell on the Internet, but my entire SA class was pretty much told we could go home at like 3 PM twice this past week (and that is with one and a half to two hour lunches). What range of firm are you at?


This stuff varies a lot depending on firm, and it's not necessarily correlated with preftige or PPP or whatever. Just different approaches to the summer program.

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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby TTRansfer » Sat May 25, 2013 10:18 pm

The firm I am at begs people to go home. They want to sell you on the firm as much as they want you to sell them on you. They have a very high offer rate (over 90%) and are selective enough with who they bring in in the first place. But other firms that have worse rates I imagine would want to see you work your ass off for the position. I really don't know. I'm glad I am at a firm that has historically been kind to its summers in terms of offer rates. Certainly not taking that for granted, but still.

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Lincoln
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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby Lincoln » Sat May 25, 2013 10:38 pm

TTRansfer wrote:The firm I am at begs people to go home. They want to sell you on the firm as much as they want you to sell them on you. They have a very high offer rate (over 90%) and are selective enough with who they bring in in the first place. But other firms that have worse rates I imagine would want to see you work your ass off for the position. I really don't know. I'm glad I am at a firm that has historically been kind to its summers in terms of offer rates. Certainly not taking that for granted, but still.


To reiterate, the amount of work summers get doesn't necessarily correlate with offer rates, vault ranking, practice group, or anything else. I worked many nights and weekends as a summer (as did many of my friends at the firm), and my firm hasn't no-offered anyone in years. Discussions about the fact that other firms send summers home at 5 is largely uninformative and distracts from the purpose of this thread.

OP: If you have worked with summers in this capacity before, do you see any correlation—positive or negative—between summer enthusiasm/ability and ultimate quality as an associate?

keg411
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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby keg411 » Sat May 25, 2013 10:44 pm

Agree with what Lincoln said. The people I knew who worked the longest hours as a SA were not at low-offer-rate firms.

OP: at your firm, did you evaluate the work and decide whether it could be passed onto SA's or did the partner/senior associate ask you to work with SA's?

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Skye
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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby Skye » Sat May 25, 2013 11:36 pm

Lincoln wrote:This stuff varies a lot depending on firm, and it's not necessarily correlated with preftige or PPP or whatever. Just different approaches to the summer program.

In skimming a few of the above threads, I am in agreement with your assessment about policy differences per firm. We’re not told to leave at or after five. No one has ever mentioned weekends, one way or the other. As far as I can see, all of us SAs are working diligently.

The two things we have noticed is that since the beginning some SAs receive short projects others long term assignments. Hard to believe that any determination on quality of work can be assessed in just a couple days. The only frustration I’ve heard about regarded receiving clarity from the assigning partners who are often inaccessible. The assignments come directly from a partner (sometimes an associate), there is no middle person in the loop to advise if you are supposed to zig or zag.

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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby TTRansfer » Sat May 25, 2013 11:38 pm

Lincoln wrote:
TTRansfer wrote:The firm I am at begs people to go home. They want to sell you on the firm as much as they want you to sell them on you. They have a very high offer rate (over 90%) and are selective enough with who they bring in in the first place. But other firms that have worse rates I imagine would want to see you work your ass off for the position. I really don't know. I'm glad I am at a firm that has historically been kind to its summers in terms of offer rates. Certainly not taking that for granted, but still.


To reiterate, the amount of work summers get doesn't necessarily correlate with offer rates, vault ranking, practice group, or anything else. I worked many nights and weekends as a summer (as did many of my friends at the firm), and my firm hasn't no-offered anyone in years. Discussions about the fact that other firms send summers home at 5 is largely uninformative and distracts from the purpose of this thread.

OP: If you have worked with summers in this capacity before, do you see any correlation—positive or negative—between summer enthusiasm/ability and ultimate quality as an associate?


I am not necessarily talking about the amount of work one gets.

I am talking about people working late. I have had a crap ton in the past (at the last firm I was at) and was still told to go home early.

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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 25, 2013 11:48 pm

OP here -

A lot probably depends on the firm. They're obviously trying to recruit you and to give you SOME sense of what life as an attorney is like, without crushing you and while understanding that they can't pull the same trick on you that they can with first years (crush you over and over again until you either break or adapt...) because you're only there for a few weeks : ]

At our firm, associates can definitely hand out work but probably not without partner approval on some level. Again, lots of practice area and personal differences.

If it's a big enough firm to have coordinators, they'll probably try to get summers relatively even / logical work flows, but this should be a good introduction to one of the most frustrating / challenging aspects of law: clients have amorphous needs and desires, not discrete projects. An attorney may have a legal question that can be resolved in 20 minutes of googling or prove intractable after 20 hours in a law library - and might have any idea which it is when they hand out the assignment. A client may need financing on an insanely tight time table, and if they offer to pay your law firm to do it pride and dollar signs will motivate the partners to get it done no matter how busy people already are when the deal walks in the door.

So sometimes work won't be able to move to summers in bleeding chunks, and other times it might look that way but prove wrong. Just roll with it, and don't read too much into it. You're obsessing over your summer WAY more than the firm is.

When I was a summer, I found out a deal I wrote my first memo for had died as I was printing the memo and it never got read. So it goes.

One random pro tip for summers: try to pick up a pro bono project that you can pick away at when you otherwise have down time, and consider billing time to training sessions your firm might have when you're slow. It will make you look less lazy while also making down time less stressful.

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Lincoln
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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby Lincoln » Sat May 25, 2013 11:50 pm

TTRansfer wrote:
Lincoln wrote:
TTRansfer wrote:The firm I am at begs people to go home. They want to sell you on the firm as much as they want you to sell them on you. They have a very high offer rate (over 90%) and are selective enough with who they bring in in the first place. But other firms that have worse rates I imagine would want to see you work your ass off for the position. I really don't know. I'm glad I am at a firm that has historically been kind to its summers in terms of offer rates. Certainly not taking that for granted, but still.


To reiterate, the amount of work summers get doesn't necessarily correlate with offer rates, vault ranking, practice group, or anything else. I worked many nights and weekends as a summer (as did many of my friends at the firm), and my firm hasn't no-offered anyone in years. Discussions about the fact that other firms send summers home at 5 is largely uninformative and distracts from the purpose of this thread.

OP: If you have worked with summers in this capacity before, do you see any correlation—positive or negative—between summer enthusiasm/ability and ultimate quality as an associate?


I am not necessarily talking about the amount of work one gets.

I am talking about people working late. I have had a crap ton in the past (at the last firm I was at) and was still told to go home early.


I summered at top firm where everyone gets offers, and everyone I know worked after 10 p.m. at least once and did some work on the weekends. It was expected. I got assignments on Friday afternoon that were due Sunday morning. That's just the way things are at some firms. At your firm you leave at 5 every day. We get it. Do you actually have a question for OP, or are you, a 2L, just going to keep sharing your expertise?

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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 26, 2013 11:32 am

ajax adonis wrote:OP, what are some things you wish people told sll SAs before the summer?

Is there any correlation between an SAs work and their work as an associate?


OP here --

I wish people would tell SAs to not over-think every damn thing. Some are just so wound up and neurotic, but they never look at it from our point of view - we're just not paying that much attention to the summers, we generally trust our hiring process and aren't looking to carefully examine people. A summer who is a bad match is obvious and can be seen a mile away, and it's not realistic to be a "super star summer" - you aren't tossed enough responsibility, and you don't know enough, for that to be something you can do even if you'll go on to be a super star associate.

Maybe it will happen, but the odds are it won't be a possibility.

No further comment on the latter question. The environment I'm in and the time I've been here don't give me enough insight. Remember that the turnover, time gap, and usually staffing practices mean that the lawyers summers work worth aren't likely to be the lawyers they work with once they're first years at large firms.

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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby TTRansfer » Sun May 26, 2013 12:13 pm

Lincoln wrote:
TTRansfer wrote:
Lincoln wrote:
TTRansfer wrote:The firm I am at begs people to go home. They want to sell you on the firm as much as they want you to sell them on you. They have a very high offer rate (over 90%) and are selective enough with who they bring in in the first place. But other firms that have worse rates I imagine would want to see you work your ass off for the position. I really don't know. I'm glad I am at a firm that has historically been kind to its summers in terms of offer rates. Certainly not taking that for granted, but still.


To reiterate, the amount of work summers get doesn't necessarily correlate with offer rates, vault ranking, practice group, or anything else. I worked many nights and weekends as a summer (as did many of my friends at the firm), and my firm hasn't no-offered anyone in years. Discussions about the fact that other firms send summers home at 5 is largely uninformative and distracts from the purpose of this thread.

OP: If you have worked with summers in this capacity before, do you see any correlation—positive or negative—between summer enthusiasm/ability and ultimate quality as an associate?


I am not necessarily talking about the amount of work one gets.

I am talking about people working late. I have had a crap ton in the past (at the last firm I was at) and was still told to go home early.


I summered at top firm where everyone gets offers, and everyone I know worked after 10 p.m. at least once and did some work on the weekends. It was expected. I got assignments on Friday afternoon that were due Sunday morning. That's just the way things are at some firms. At your firm you leave at 5 every day. We get it. Do you actually have a question for OP, or are you, a 2L, just going to keep sharing your expertise?


First off, why don't you tone the "asshole" vibe down a bit. I was merely stating what I thought was commonplace. I had no idea some firms actually expected summers to be in the office late every day when there wasn't direct competition for only a few spots n

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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby Renne Walker » Sun May 26, 2013 12:40 pm

As a returning SA, the workload certainly hasn’t decreased at all. It is fun to watch the new wide-eyed SAs. Even with a 100% offer rate, some are apprehensive, staying late, missing lunch, etc. The biggest difference from last year to this, the firm is handing out Mets tickets like candy, are the Mets not having a stellar season ….

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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby Danger Zone » Sun May 26, 2013 12:44 pm

Renne Walker wrote:As a returning SA

Be honest: you're just doing this on purpose now, right?

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Lincoln
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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby Lincoln » Sun May 26, 2013 2:02 pm

TTRansfer wrote:
First off, why don't you tone the "asshole" vibe down a bit. I was merely stating what I thought was commonplace. I had no idea some firms actually expected summers to be in the office late every day when there wasn't direct competition for only a few spots n


Exactly, so why are you posting about it? You have posted nine times in this thread without asking a question. I'm just not that interested in all the knowledge you have gained in your 21 months as a law student.

OP: If you mentioned this previously, my apologies, but I didn't see it. What city do you work in, and are you in your firm's main office? Have you gleaned any differences in how summers are managed between main and satellite offices?

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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 26, 2013 2:14 pm

Lincoln wrote:OP: If you mentioned this previously, my apologies, but I didn't see it. What city do you work in, and are you in your firm's main office? Have you gleaned any differences in how summers are managed between main and satellite offices?


I'm at the east coast HQ of a large and "prestigious" firm. Saying more about satellites would narrow things uncomfortably; one fairly obvious distinction amongst the biggest and best firms is where and to what extent they have "outposts."

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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby TTRansfer » Sun May 26, 2013 2:23 pm

Lincoln wrote:
TTRansfer wrote:
First off, why don't you tone the "asshole" vibe down a bit. I was merely stating what I thought was commonplace. I had no idea some firms actually expected summers to be in the office late every day when there wasn't direct competition for only a few spots n


Exactly, so why are you posting about it? You have posted nine times in this thread without asking a question. I'm just not that interested in all the knowledge you have gained in your 21 months as a law student.


Cool story, bro. Instead of acting like a pompous ass, perhaps you could realize that some people may want to know about this stuff from someone who went through it once and is going through it again. If you don't want to read what I wrote, ignore it. Easy solution. I'll give you the last word if you want it.

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Re: Big firm associate working with a team of summers; AMA.

Postby Lincoln » Sun May 26, 2013 2:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Lincoln wrote:OP: If you mentioned this previously, my apologies, but I didn't see it. What city do you work in, and are you in your firm's main office? Have you gleaned any differences in how summers are managed between main and satellite offices?


I'm at the east coast HQ of a large and "prestigious" firm. Saying more about satellites would narrow things uncomfortably; one fairly obvious distinction amongst the biggest and best firms is where and to what extent they have "outposts."


Understandable. Thanks.




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