Is it desirable to "stand out" as an SA?

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Anonymous User
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Is it desirable to "stand out" as an SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:04 am

I have some 2L friends at my mvpb who are really aggressive regarding networking with partners, getting partner feedback on their note topic, etc. Is this type of behavior really productive? I was always under the impression that it's best to just get "lost" in these big summer classes with 100 or near 100 offer rates, and then gun like that after 4 or 5 years when it might actually make a difference concerning who's on partner track. Of course these are not mutually exclusive though.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Is it desirable to "stand out" as an SA?

Postby Old Gregg » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:14 am

Just be yourself. No, don't stand out. But I'd also say not to just "get" lost--you don't want people being like, "I don't know that guy."

In a summer program, you should be focusing on completing the work you're given and doing a good job on said work. You should also focus on attending the social events the firm planned. At those social events, don't do anything stupid, and behave normally and sociably.

This is all that's required to get an offer. And believe me, on day 1 when you start as a full time associate, those partners already getting chummy chummy with a summer won't remember their name. You all are literally going to be at the bottom of the totem pole. The only thing differentiating you in the eyes of a partner will be good work and very high talent.

Or a big book of business.

silenttimer
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Re: Is it desirable to "stand out" as an SA?

Postby silenttimer » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:19 am

zweitbester wrote:Just be yourself. No, don't stand out. But I'd also say not to just "get" lost--you don't want people being like, "I don't know that guy."

In a summer program, you should be focusing on completing the work you're given and doing a good job on said work. You should also focus on attending the social events the firm planned. At those social events, don't do anything stupid, and behave normally and sociably.

This is all that's required to get an offer. And believe me, on day 1 when you start as a full time associate, those partners already getting chummy chummy with a summer won't remember their name. You all are literally going to be at the bottom of the totem pole. The only thing differentiating you in the eyes of a partner will be good work and very high talent.

Or a big book of business.


Ditto this advice.

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Re: Is it desirable to "stand out" as an SA?

Postby legends159 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:24 am

Try not to do anything that would alienate you amongst your summer class peers - basically don't strive or gun (or do it secretly if that's your thing). Generally, as a summer, your relationship with the people in your class year is more important than your relationship with senior associates (who will have left by the time you start) or partners (who won't remember you).

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Re: Is it desirable to "stand out" as an SA?

Postby Pokemon » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:22 pm

legends159 wrote:Try not to do anything that would alienate you amongst your summer class peers - basically don't strive or gun (or do it secretly if that's your thing). Generally, as a summer, your relationship with the people in your class year is more important than your relationship with senior associates (who will have left by the time you start) or partners (who won't remember you).



Hmmm? Your summer class peers do not make the decision as to whether you will be hired or no-offered, whereas senior associates do. Having said that, 80% of the time people "stand out" for the wrong reasons... so a blanket standing out is not a good idea. BUT... on the other hand, you should not be completely lost because if they are going to cut part of the summer class, there should be someone out there saying: "you know, I kind of liked that guy, he did a good job and seemed bright."

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Re: Is it desirable to "stand out" as an SA?

Postby legends159 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:56 pm

Pokemon wrote:
legends159 wrote:Try not to do anything that would alienate you amongst your summer class peers - basically don't strive or gun (or do it secretly if that's your thing). Generally, as a summer, your relationship with the people in your class year is more important than your relationship with senior associates (who will have left by the time you start) or partners (who won't remember you).



Hmmm? Your summer class peers do not make the decision as to whether you will be hired or no-offered, whereas senior associates do. Having said that, 80% of the time people "stand out" for the wrong reasons... so a blanket standing out is not a good idea. BUT... on the other hand, you should not be completely lost because if they are going to cut part of the summer class, there should be someone out there saying: "you know, I kind of liked that guy, he did a good job and seemed bright."


Makes sense for smaller summer classes where offer rate is not 90+% I was under impression OP was interested in the large summer classes. Sure if you're at a small firm where they give half the summers offers then screw your compadres and get dat jerb.

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Re: Is it desirable to "stand out" as an SA?

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:45 pm

silenttimer wrote:
zweitbester wrote:Just be yourself. No, don't stand out. But I'd also say not to just "get" lost--you don't want people being like, "I don't know that guy."

In a summer program, you should be focusing on completing the work you're given and doing a good job on said work. You should also focus on attending the social events the firm planned. At those social events, don't do anything stupid, and behave normally and sociably.

This is all that's required to get an offer. And believe me, on day 1 when you start as a full time associate, those partners already getting chummy chummy with a summer won't remember their name. You all are literally going to be at the bottom of the totem pole. The only thing differentiating you in the eyes of a partner will be good work and very high talent.

Or a big book of business.


Ditto this advice.


Thirded. I'll also say this - if you do have an assignment for a junior or mid-level associate, make sure not to blow it off (perfection is not expected but effort is). As opposed to the partners who won't get into that level of detail (and/or won't remember you), if you screw something up for a rising senior associate you may be shut out of a practice area entirely.

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brotherdarkness
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Re: Is it desirable to "stand out" as an SA?

Postby brotherdarkness » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:51 pm

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Last edited by brotherdarkness on Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

de5igual
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Re: Is it desirable to "stand out" as an SA?

Postby de5igual » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:18 pm

brotherdarkness wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:Thirded. I'll also say this - if you do have an assignment for a junior or mid-level associate, make sure not to blow it off (perfection is not expected but effort is). As opposed to the partners who won't get into that level of detail (and/or won't remember you), if you screw something up for a rising senior associate you may be shut out of a practice area entirely.


I frequently see people suggest that, when getting an assignment, you ask about what's expected in your work, what the parameters of the assignment are, when the assignment is due by, examples of the type of work you're going to produce, etc. How do you do all of these things without seeming as though you need your hand held? I imagine there's a fine line to be tread between finding out exactly what the expectations are so that you can meet them and frustrating the associate/parter to the point they'd rather do it themselves...


They expect to hand hold you all the way through, because, frankly, you won't know how to do it, and if you mess up, it will look a lot worse if you didn't ask questions.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Is it desirable to "stand out" as an SA?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:10 pm

I'll second the importance of getting along with your co-SAs. You WILL be judged on how well you fit in, and if somehow you don't get along with your peers - huge red flag.

And I'll also second whats been said about hand-holding and whatnot. Of course be mindful and do good work, but actual attorneys will KNOW you don't know shit. Your memo is not going to win the case. There is some saying about how you can best judge a person's intelligence by the questions they ask. So be inquisitive and curious, and ask good questions.

Here is a secret - any assignment you are getting as an SA is probably bullshit. No one is giving you something critical. We are all just giving you stuff to do so we can see how you handle it. You're a noob, we all know it, and it's ok. It's cute, because we've all been there.

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Re: Is it desirable to "stand out" as an SA?

Postby ph14 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:17 pm

Imo, it is desirable to let your work product stand out for you. That means every piece of work product you produce should be extremely high quality, to the best of your abilities within time and other constraints.

That means (non-exclusive list):
-No typos.
-No grammatical errors, at least obvious ones; a split infinitive isn't going to hurt you. But mixing up "your" and "you're" etc. is bad.
-Properly Bluebooked, again to a reasonable degree. But the main sources you use, cases, should be more or less perfect. It's not that hard. This is especially true for anything above the line, fsuch as, for example in a legal brief.
-Readibility, have lots of white space on the page, lots of paragraph breaks, double-spaced, 12 point font, normal fonts, normal margins, page numbers, etc.
-Signposting/roadmapping, whatever you want to call it, make sure you have it. Same with conclusions. Can be very brief where appropriate.
-Structure, logical organization, transitions.
-Proper memo (or other document) format, according to firm precedents.
-Spell your supervising attorneys' names properly.




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