Anxiety about SA next summer

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Anonymous User
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Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:05 pm

I woke up in the middle of the night terrified because of a nightmare in which I got no offered. I guess I didn't realize it until finals were over that I have serious anxiety about making a good impression and doing good work next summer. Anyone have any tips or suggestions on what to do, improve on, study, or read between now and then? I'm litigation-focused, if that matters.

thegrayman
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby thegrayman » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:46 pm

http://www.amazon.com/The-Curmudgeons-Guide-Practicing-Law/dp/1590316762/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387564632&sr=8-1&keywords=curmudgeons+guide

The Curmudgeon's Guide is a good read, I recommend it.

Anxiety is normal, I was stressed out pretty much the entire time. Nobody wants to be "that SA."

Always get explicit deadlines, even if you're told "get it to me whenever," in which case you should throw out a deadline and see if it is acceptable. My most stress-inducing moment over summer was having an associate ask me for something that he had given me a vague deadline for, and which I hadn't even started yet. That day royally sucked because I went into a panic-induced research binge for the next 8 hours straight.

Also, honestly you will most likely have at least one person "running interference" in the sense that they do all the things you have heard not to do as an SA. It will blow your mind because you think that they must have read the same TLS stuff and otherwise that you did about behavior, but still, it happens.

If you're anxious about it, as much as anxiety sucks, I would actually say that is a good thing because it shows that you are taking it seriously. If you do the same during your actual SA, just show them that you are honestly trying your hardest, you should be fine.

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20160810
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby 20160810 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:13 pm

Enter your time before you leave each day so it doesn't pile up on you. Use the westlaw research attorneys until you're sure of your answers. Be nice to people and don't get drunk with co workers.

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thesealocust
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby thesealocust » Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:40 pm

SBL wrote:don't get drunk with co workers.


I bet you're fun at parties.

Anonymous User
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:49 pm

I'm worried about this too. When I really want something I have a tendency to try too hard. It worked to my benefit in many things in the process, but can make someone look weird if they apply that work ethic to social situations. Is it fair to say if a firm hires 4/5 or better of the summers that just not being socially inept and doing good work will be enough to get an offer? I doubt 20% of people smart enough to get a big law SA are dumb enough to miss a deadline or puke at a party.

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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm worried about this too. When I really want something I have a tendency to try too hard. It worked to my benefit in many things in the process, but can make someone look weird if they apply that work ethic to social situations. Is it fair to say if a firm hires 4/5 or better of the summers that just not being socially inept and doing good work will be enough to get an offer? I doubt 20% of people smart enough to get a big law SA are dumb enough to miss a deadline or puke at a party.


I was an SA at a v20 firm in their SF/SV office this past summer, and I have to tell you, you'd be surprised re: how people act when drinking (I can't speak to missed deadlines, I never heard of that happening).

As an example, one guy had ~four drinks at an event and then randomly started to tell everyone that he was pretty sure "being gay is a choice."

Another guy had some pretty intense family stuff happen, had maybe three drinks at an event and just started crying openly, in front of everyone (like intense, deep, uncontrolled crying).

Now, the first guy wasn't puking, but still came off very badly. It's hard to fault the second guy (it wasn't his fault w/ respect to his family related bad news), and the second guy didn't even drink that much, but he still came off very awkwardly by crying intensely in front of the partners/associates. Both guys got offers, but this is just to show that smart people, from good schools (both were t14), at highly desired positions (dat SF market), can really embarrass themselves when alcohol is involved.

This was also 2 people out of a class of ~10, so the whole 20% thing holds.

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Icculus
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby Icculus » Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:18 pm

SBL wrote:Enter your time before you leave each day so it doesn't pile up on you.


I so wish I had listened to this advice when I was an SA.

09042014
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby 09042014 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:52 pm

Icculus wrote:
SBL wrote:Enter your time before you leave each day so it doesn't pile up on you.


I so wish I had listened to this advice when I was an SA.


I wish I"d listen to this advice now.

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20160810
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby 20160810 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:42 pm

thesealocust wrote:
SBL wrote:don't get drunk with co workers.


I bet you're fun at parties.

Tampon full of vodka in the b hole or GTFO.

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20160810
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby 20160810 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:44 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Icculus wrote:
SBL wrote:Enter your time before you leave each day so it doesn't pile up on you.


I so wish I had listened to this advice when I was an SA.


I wish I"d listen to this advice now.

It's such a nightmare to go back and do it but only takes moments to do if you just make yourself fill in time before you leave. It's literally the one part of my life where I'm disciplined and organized. Note I also slacked on it as a summer and got no offered (not necessarily due to slacking on time entries but it can't have helped)

09042014
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby 09042014 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:59 pm

I think I'll start doing my time every next morning. CAuse doing it before I leave isn't going to happen.

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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:07 pm

thesealocust wrote:
SBL wrote:don't get drunk with co workers.


I bet you're fun at parties.


Im thinking SBL was the life of the office party, and lived to tell the tale as fair warning :)

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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:27 am

Is the time entry bit a joke about how little the workload is or an actually serious thing?

Drinking and doing dumb stuff won't happen. I always get quiet but more outgoing. I used to makeout with women at bars when I was younger and better looking. Now I normally just still and discuss sports with whose ever around. Depressing but not unprofessional.

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Antrim
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby Antrim » Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is the time entry bit a joke about how little the workload is or an actually serious thing?

Drinking and doing dumb stuff won't happen. I always get quiet but more outgoing. I used to makeout with women at bars when I was younger and better looking. Now I normally just still and discuss sports with whose ever around. Depressing but not unprofessional.


Entering time is tedious and pretty un-important as a summer but you don't want to wildly screw it up. There's a relaxed window of when you "need" to enter it, and if you let it pile up you're going to forget which day you spent 2 hours on x assignment, 3 hours at y training session, 1.5 at z event etc. Basically, just enter what you did at the end of everyday and you avoid this issue.

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5ky
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby 5ky » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:43 am

sealocust, you should do another post similar to your OCI/callback guide, because entering time would definitely be the Worst Part of being an associate

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thesealocust
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby thesealocust » Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:00 am

5ky wrote:sealocust, you should do another post similar to your OCI/callback guide, because entering time would definitely be the Worst Part of being an associate


Oh god it is absolutely the worst part. I am far too green to be able to write a guide to being an associate and far too delinquent on time entry to speak to proper ways to do it, but it seriously sucks.

I think it's because for neurotic people there's ALWAYS a sense of guilt/shame associated with it, especially given our perception of our own worth vs. the rate we're charged to clients, and that just turns into procrastination.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:39 am

I just keep a notebook to write down what time I start and end each task and then enter it weekly - am I the only person who does that? I guess if your practice area demands super detailed descriptions it would be annoying to write all that out and then retype it later.

OP, dealing with your anxiety directly is as important as preparing yourself for the thing you're anxious about. It's a very destructive force. That said, do your best, ask questions when necessary, and don't blow through deadlines. A lot of deadlines are just something someone decided on and an extra day wouldn't matter. But the way to take advantage of that is to tell someone as early as possible if it looks like you really won't be able to make it. As a summer, how you deal with deadlines is what's being observed, among other things. Be pleasant, respectful, and diligent, and things will probably be fine (and it won't be your fault if they're not).

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BullShitWithBravado
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby BullShitWithBravado » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:50 pm

In addition to entering your time every day you should:

1. Have something to write with on you at all times (you never know if you'll run into a partner or associate in the hallway who wants to give you an assignment on the spot);
2. When getting assignments make sure to ask questions if you're unsure of anything and make sure to be clear on when your deadlines are;
3. Meet all deadlines (can't really stress this enough) and, if you need an extension then ask for one in advance (not 15 minutes before a project is due);
4. If you're too busy to take on more work, say so (It's important to be tactful when you say this though, so you may want to talk to recruiting or an associate mentor before doing this.).
5. If you have an associate mentor, try to establish a good rapport (It's always good to bounce ideas off of someone before presenting them to an assigning partner or associate).
6. Always be nice to secretaries and support staff (They can be a great resource and could also have a say in whether or not you get a permanent offer).;
7. Don't forget to go to as many social functions as you can, drink and have fun. If you do it right, this will be one of the best summers of your life!

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thesealocust
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby thesealocust » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:32 pm

To put a finer point on the above:

NEVER leave a meeting where you receive an assignment (or phonecall or w/e) without establishing:

(1) How should the project be billed (i.e. does it have a number, if so what number, etc.)?

(2) In what form should the project be produced (formal memo? email? conversation? power point? blackline? etc.)?

(3) When exactly is it due (press for specifics)?

These are all things you need to know that might not be at the top of the brain of the person giving you the task. They might have to think or look into some thing to get you final answers, but better at the outset than later.

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5ky
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby 5ky » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:37 pm

Carrying a notepad with you wherever you go would be weird as hell

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thesealocust
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby thesealocust » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:52 pm

inb4 summer associate accidentally pees on a notepad they clung to 24/7 and then blames TLS for the no-offer

09042014
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby 09042014 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:56 pm

I really doubt not billing correctly during summer would lead to a no offer.

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BullShitWithBravado
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby BullShitWithBravado » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:00 pm

5ky wrote:Carrying a notepad with you wherever you go would be weird as hell


You don't have to carry a notepad everywhere. Post it notes also work.

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5ky
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby 5ky » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:37 pm

BullShitWithBravado wrote:
5ky wrote:Carrying a notepad with you wherever you go would be weird as hell


You don't have to carry a notepad everywhere. Post it notes also work.


Ok

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20160810
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Re: Anxiety about SA next summer

Postby 20160810 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:55 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I really doubt not billing correctly during summer would lead to a no offer.

Probably not but why chance it?




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