SA is this normal?

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Anonymous User
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SA is this normal?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 30, 2013 8:23 pm

Working big law SA (but small office of firm). I'm assigned research project by partner on complicated subject involving federal and state law for product launch of major US company. This isn't the topic but imagine let's say it was the legality of interstate transportation of a hazardous material where there is no case law or statute on this material but some statutes that have ambiguous wording and might cover this material. So I search westlaw and there is no case law on this topic. I talk to partner and he says that's what he found but keep looking. I keep looking and there are two types of statutes possibly relevant. It's unclear if they would be enforced but violating one could lead to criminal penalties. So I write the memo. Give it to him. He's now adapting my memo to give to the client and wants me to proof it before it goes out. I'm pretty nervous because the law on this topic is super complicated, I'm a 1L, and while I did the best I could the idea of this company going forward based on this research is pretty terrifying. I definitely know more about this subject then the partner but i wouldnt say either of us fully understands it. I would guess his total research on this issue was less than an hour.The company is doing something in all 50 states. Is this normal/thoughts?

Lateral2013
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Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 10:21 am

Re: SA is this normal?

Postby Lateral2013 » Thu May 30, 2013 8:32 pm

Assuming it's getting filtered through the partner, totally normal. As he indicated, he had already done the research himself, so he knows what the answer is to the extent there is one. The work product he gives to the client will be based on your research and reworked to make it understandable to the client's particular level of sophistication. Good job giving him or her something useful!

Anonymous User
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Re: SA is this normal?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 30, 2013 8:35 pm

Lateral2013 wrote:Assuming it's getting filtered through the partner, totally normal. As he indicated, he had already done the research himself, so he knows what the answer is to the extent there is one. The work product he gives to the client will be based on your research and reworked to make it understandable to the client's particular level of sophistication. Good job giving him or her something useful!


I edited above to clarify. He called me in and I explained the topic to him. So basically he is just relying on what I wrote. But I'm not an attorney and again I was doing this in a couple days where there are probably 100+ relevant statutes a super complicated law review and other secondary sources on this topic.

I'm pretty confident there isn't a clear answer to this issue. On the other hand another partner asked me what I was working on and I told him and he said there has to be a clear answer bc the thing I am researching had happened before btw businesses.

Lateral2013
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Re: SA is this normal?

Postby Lateral2013 » Thu May 30, 2013 9:09 pm

The answer he will convey to the client is "there is no clear answer, there is no statute on point, here's what could, happen but it's not likely". You will see, if not during the summer, then certainly once you start practicing, clients aren't concerned about the intricacies of the law and would probably tune you out. When communicating with the client, if there is no clear answer, you make a judgment call as to what scenarios are more likely to happen and then convey those. Then, depending on the issue and client, you put the detailed analysis in an email that they will never read, just to CYA.

Also, just because something has happened before, doesn't mean that there is an answer to the question. Did it happen before and was litigated? Was the litigation in a relevant jurisdiction? Or did two companies just take X action before and nothing bad happened? I would see no problem in approaching the partner who said there was a clear answer and saying something like "Mr. Partner, I am still researching this issue, I've found X, Y and Z (shows you are actually doing the work and not looking for an easy way out). I know you mentioned it had been done previously, do you recall what companies were involved?" Then use your super summer skills to find the info based upon the companies.

ZyzzBrah
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Re: SA is this normal?

Postby ZyzzBrah » Thu May 30, 2013 9:14 pm

strong humble brag

in any event, gl brah, hope you impress the partners and get an SA again next year (srs)

Anonymous User
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Re: SA is this normal?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 30, 2013 9:16 pm

Lateral2013 wrote:The answer he will convey to the client is "there is no clear answer, there is no statute on point, here's what could, happen but it's not likely". You will see, if not during the summer, then certainly once you start practicing, clients aren't concerned about the intricacies of the law and would probably tune you out. When communicating with the client, if there is no clear answer, you make a judgment call as to what scenarios are more likely to happen and then convey those. Then, depending on the issue and client, you put the detailed analysis in an email that they will never read, just to CYA.

Also, just because something has happened before, doesn't mean that there is an answer to the question. Did it happen before and was litigated? Was the litigation in a relevant jurisdiction? Or did two companies just take X action before and nothing bad happened? I would see no problem in approaching the partner who said there was a clear answer and saying something like "Mr. Partner, I am still researching this issue, I've found X, Y and Z (shows you are actually doing the work and not looking for an easy way out). I know you mentioned it had been done previously, do you recall what companies were involved?" Then use your super summer skills to find the info based upon the companies.


This is super helpful and makes me feel better. Thanks.

Anonymous User
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Re: SA is this normal?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 30, 2013 9:17 pm

ZyzzBrah wrote:strong humble brag

in any event, gl brah, hope you impress the partners and get an SA again next year (srs)


Not my intention at all. Hence anon feature. My concerns are 1. getting no offered 2. partner getting in trouble bc of my shitty advice (we have a good relationship) 3. client getting in serious trouble bc of my half-assed advice.

Lateral2013
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 10:21 am

Re: SA is this normal?

Postby Lateral2013 » Thu May 30, 2013 9:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Lateral2013 wrote:The answer he will convey to the client is "there is no clear answer, there is no statute on point, here's what could, happen but it's not likely". You will see, if not during the summer, then certainly once you start practicing, clients aren't concerned about the intricacies of the law and would probably tune you out. When communicating with the client, if there is no clear answer, you make a judgment call as to what scenarios are more likely to happen and then convey those. Then, depending on the issue and client, you put the detailed analysis in an email that they will never read, just to CYA.

Also, just because something has happened before, doesn't mean that there is an answer to the question. Did it happen before and was litigated? Was the litigation in a relevant jurisdiction? Or did two companies just take X action before and nothing bad happened? I would see no problem in approaching the partner who said there was a clear answer and saying something like "Mr. Partner, I am still researching this issue, I've found X, Y and Z (shows you are actually doing the work and not looking for an easy way out). I know you mentioned it had been done previously, do you recall what companies were involved?" Then use your super summer skills to find the info based upon the companies.


This is super helpful and makes me feel better. Thanks.


Not a problem. Many moons ago I was a summer associate and I was truly awful. So awful I got no-offered. Now, with the benefit of experience, I know why I was so terrible, and I have to agree with the firm, I deserved to get no offered, but I think a lot of the awfulness could have been avoided with some help, so I'm happy to help where I can!

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Icculus
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:02 am

Re: SA is this normal?

Postby Icculus » Thu May 30, 2013 9:32 pm

Lateral2013 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Lateral2013 wrote:The answer he will convey to the client is "there is no clear answer, there is no statute on point, here's what could, happen but it's not likely". You will see, if not during the summer, then certainly once you start practicing, clients aren't concerned about the intricacies of the law and would probably tune you out. When communicating with the client, if there is no clear answer, you make a judgment call as to what scenarios are more likely to happen and then convey those. Then, depending on the issue and client, you put the detailed analysis in an email that they will never read, just to CYA.

Also, just because something has happened before, doesn't mean that there is an answer to the question. Did it happen before and was litigated? Was the litigation in a relevant jurisdiction? Or did two companies just take X action before and nothing bad happened? I would see no problem in approaching the partner who said there was a clear answer and saying something like "Mr. Partner, I am still researching this issue, I've found X, Y and Z (shows you are actually doing the work and not looking for an easy way out). I know you mentioned it had been done previously, do you recall what companies were involved?" Then use your super summer skills to find the info based upon the companies.


This is super helpful and makes me feel better. Thanks.


Not a problem. Many moons ago I was a summer associate and I was truly awful. So awful I got no-offered. Now, with the benefit of experience, I know why I was so terrible, and I have to agree with the firm, I deserved to get no offered, but I think a lot of the awfulness could have been avoided with some help, so I'm happy to help where I can!


Could you maybe enlighten those of us who are current summers. What did you do that we should avoid?

Lateral2013
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 10:21 am

Re: SA is this normal?

Postby Lateral2013 » Thu May 30, 2013 9:43 pm

Could you maybe enlighten those of us who are current summers. What did you do that we should avoid?[/quote]
I'll do a spin off thread.




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