Does your summer performance follow you once you start?

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Does your summer performance follow you once you start?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:10 am

T14 3L here. Spent last summer working at the Texas office of a NYC-based biglaw firm and it was....rough. I had never worked in a professional environment before, and I pretty much made every mistake in the book (workload balance, extending deadlines, screwing up assignments, etc.) as a SA.

While I received an offer, I am concerned about the impression I left with the firm and want to know if they've already written me off. Talking to several of my classmates, it seems I am not alone in my concerns. Is there anyone who has been in a similar situation, or knows of someone in such a situation? I'd like to know if the firm will give me a fresh start, or if I need to start looking for job #2 right from graduation.


Also, to be clear my SA issues were all work-related. I genuinely liked most of the people and I think I hit it off with the associates/partners, so while they might think I'm an idiot, at least they don't think I'm an asshole. :D

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Re: Does your summer performance follow you once you start?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:T14 3L here. Spent last summer working at the Texas office of a NYC-based biglaw firm and it was....rough. I had never worked in a professional environment before, and I pretty much made every mistake in the book (workload balance, extending deadlines, screwing up assignments, etc.) as a SA.

While I received an offer, I am concerned about the impression I left with the firm and want to know if they've already written me off. Talking to several of my classmates, it seems I am not alone in my concerns. Is there anyone who has been in a similar situation, or knows of someone in such a situation? I'd like to know if the firm will give me a fresh start, or if I need to start looking for job #2 right from graduation.


Also, to be clear my SA issues were all work-related. I genuinely liked most of the people and I think I hit it off with the associates/partners, so while they might think I'm an idiot, at least they don't think I'm an asshole. :D


SA don't do real substantive work with a few exceptions. I am surprised to see you even have workload balance issues. Maybe you are one of those few exceptions.

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Re: Does your summer performance follow you once you start?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:T14 3L here. Spent last summer working at the Texas office of a NYC-based biglaw firm and it was....rough. I had never worked in a professional environment before, and I pretty much made every mistake in the book (workload balance, extending deadlines, screwing up assignments, etc.) as a SA.

While I received an offer, I am concerned about the impression I left with the firm and want to know if they've already written me off. Talking to several of my classmates, it seems I am not alone in my concerns. Is there anyone who has been in a similar situation, or knows of someone in such a situation? I'd like to know if the firm will give me a fresh start, or if I need to start looking for job #2 right from graduation.


Also, to be clear my SA issues were all work-related. I genuinely liked most of the people and I think I hit it off with the associates/partners, so while they might think I'm an idiot, at least they don't think I'm an asshole. :D

My understanding is that the only people who read your reviews are (1) the committee and (2) the people who wrote them.

Reputation is important. If they think you're less competent, you won't get work that requires high competency. Odds are if you screwed up multiple assignments and didn't get trashed in the reviews, they don't think you're uncoachable so you're probably fine. I am also pretty sure you're being judged in the reviews mostly based on writing skill, and whether the people want to work with you.

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Re: Does your summer performance follow you once you start?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T14 3L here. Spent last summer working at the Texas office of a NYC-based biglaw firm and it was....rough. I had never worked in a professional environment before, and I pretty much made every mistake in the book (workload balance, extending deadlines, screwing up assignments, etc.) as a SA.

While I received an offer, I am concerned about the impression I left with the firm and want to know if they've already written me off. Talking to several of my classmates, it seems I am not alone in my concerns. Is there anyone who has been in a similar situation, or knows of someone in such a situation? I'd like to know if the firm will give me a fresh start, or if I need to start looking for job #2 right from graduation.


Also, to be clear my SA issues were all work-related. I genuinely liked most of the people and I think I hit it off with the associates/partners, so while they might think I'm an idiot, at least they don't think I'm an asshole. :D


SA don't do real substantive work with a few exceptions. I am surprised to see you even have workload balance issues. Maybe you are one of those few exceptions.


OP here. I would say I got a little too ambitious and it backfired. I definitely shot myself in the foot by agreeing to assignments I shouldn't have, and being too proactive about seeking work.

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Re: Does your summer performance follow you once you start?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 14, 2015 3:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T14 3L here. Spent last summer working at the Texas office of a NYC-based biglaw firm and it was....rough. I had never worked in a professional environment before, and I pretty much made every mistake in the book (workload balance, extending deadlines, screwing up assignments, etc.) as a SA.

While I received an offer, I am concerned about the impression I left with the firm and want to know if they've already written me off. Talking to several of my classmates, it seems I am not alone in my concerns. Is there anyone who has been in a similar situation, or knows of someone in such a situation? I'd like to know if the firm will give me a fresh start, or if I need to start looking for job #2 right from graduation.


Also, to be clear my SA issues were all work-related. I genuinely liked most of the people and I think I hit it off with the associates/partners, so while they might think I'm an idiot, at least they don't think I'm an asshole. :D


SA don't do real substantive work with a few exceptions. I am surprised to see you even have workload balance issues. Maybe you are one of those few exceptions.


OP here. I would say I got a little too ambitious and it backfired. I definitely shot myself in the foot by agreeing to assignments I shouldn't have, and being too proactive about seeking work.


Well they already gave you the offer, so that means either it was not that bad in their eyes or they were willing to give you a second chance. Either way, it is a new start, just do your job to change their impression about you. You will be fine.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Does your summer performance follow you once you start?

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:58 am

ur reputation follows you for sure. people talk. unsure how far the word spreads (or whether it goes across offices).

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Re: Does your summer performance follow you once you start?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:T14 3L here. Spent last summer working at the Texas office of a NYC-based biglaw firm and it was....rough. I had never worked in a professional environment before, and I pretty much made every mistake in the book (workload balance, extending deadlines, screwing up assignments, etc.) as a SA.

While I received an offer, I am concerned about the impression I left with the firm and want to know if they've already written me off. Talking to several of my classmates, it seems I am not alone in my concerns. Is there anyone who has been in a similar situation, or knows of someone in such a situation? I'd like to know if the firm will give me a fresh start, or if I need to start looking for job #2 right from graduation.


Also, to be clear my SA issues were all work-related. I genuinely liked most of the people and I think I hit it off with the associates/partners, so while they might think I'm an idiot, at least they don't think I'm an asshole. :D


When I was a summer, I screwed up a small assignment, then screwed it up again when it was made a little bigger, and then screwed it up a third time. I was pretty sure I was going to get no offered, but I ended up saving myself with some crazy last minute work (I was in the office until midnight the last night of my SA). I also had a couple of luke-warm reviews, and I spent the second half of my summer terrified. It was rough, and I was pretty sure I was getting no-offered, but apparently I had turned it around enough at the end that people on the committee were impressed and were happy to give me an offer. When I was giving input on the practice group I wanted, I basically chose practice groups that weren't either of the ones I had struggled in, that way I wouldn't have to work with any of the folks who didn't like me. But I don't think that that it is necessary to find a new practice group - I didn't really care which group I ended up in, so "people not liking me" ended up being a major factor in my decision :)

Anyway, I ended up getting into a fantastic group that couldn't care less about what had happened in the summer, and SA stuff has NEVER come up in my performance reviews. I think if you just get in there and do a good job, they're going to be more than forgiving. Obviously if you show the same tendencies, they're going to remember that you haven't learned anything since you were a SA, but I think they'll give you the benefit of the doubt. And honestly, they might not really even remember - we always joke about how we can't remember the stuff we worked on the day before, and I think it's entirely possible that it's all just water under the bridge, and that the never-ending stream of summer associates kind of makes them all blend together.

Hope that helps - good luck!

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Re: Does your summer performance follow you once you start?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:40 am

At my firm certain associates will write you off immediately when you screw something up, and others understand and give a little leeway.

Remember that most of your assignments when you start will be coming from those that were first years during your summer.

If you were working for midlevels as a summer (based on my experience this is usually the case), then they may (continue to) be too senior to care about you.

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Re: Does your summer performance follow you once you start?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:45 am

I think the above is highly firm-dependent (as well as dependent on other factors). I am a second-year at a big firm. I have some matters where I work directly with people a year or two above me, but I also have some matters where I work directly with senior associates and partners. It just depends on how the case is staffed and the work styles of the people who are giving you assignments.

I will confirm that your summer performance can follow you around, especially in a smaller office. There are folks here who screwed up once or twice as a summer. Those mistakes weren't egregious enough to merit a no-offer, but they affected the quantity and quality of the work they received when they ultimately joined the firm.




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