ITT: Describe your SA

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:14 pm

Chi big firm. Got to do some real work because a couple of the head lit partners liked me and would invite me to drink with them. Most of the legit work I did was because I bugged the pro bono coordinator for things that actually interested me. I think I stayed after 6:00 maybe once all summer? Every week was some sort of fun outing to try to make us think it was a cool place to work. I enjoyed it and knew it was all complete bs. The few young associates at the firm were always pissed they had to stop billing to do things like go to Cubs games.

It was a lovely summer but lol @ anyone who may have thought it was even remotely close to life after law school.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:21 pm

I summered at a DC firm in 2011 (V50-100). I did mostly research memos and nonbillable work (articles, etc.). Most of the time I didn't feel busy, but I put in a substantial amount of work on two weekends and maybe two or three evenings, though I probably could have avoided it by being more efficient. The firm didn't spend a lot of money on the summer program due to the recession. The firm paid for a few fancy dinners, a Nats game, a play, and a cruise on the Potomac (but it was also an annual event held for clients too, not specifically for summers). There were eight other summers, and one didn't receive an offer, supposedly for work-product reasons, though none of us really know.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:33 pm

chicagoriver wrote:sounds like lots of work, how long is this SA?


It was a nine-week summer program. The only thing that I hated was walking to restaurants at noon: so hot and humid!

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North
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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby North » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:16 am

This is what I'm talking about. Keep them coming.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby jhett » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:52 am

I did a 1L SA in 2007 (V25, SF/SV, 12 weeks), 2L SA in 2008 (another V25, Boston/NY, 12 weeks + 2 at my 1L SA). I'm IP with a tech background, so I was able to do substantive work at least on the corporate/prosecution side as an SA, with my work being sent to the client and me participating in client calls. I also did some IP lit assignments but it was mostly make-work (i.e. research random issues that some partner or associate had a hunch about). At the 2L firm we had a mock Markman hearing which was fun, and we got to meet Judge Chin when he was at SDNY. Also did some pro bono.

Both my SAs were fairly chill, not too much work involved even if you actively tried looking for work, and with plenty of social events. The 2007 SA, the last great one before the economy started showing cracks, was just ridiculous - surfing day, Napa trip, LA trip, spa day at Ritz Carlton, dinners at partners' houses, etc. The 2008 SA was more modest than the year before for that firm, but still pretty awesome. Offers from both firms, took the 2L firm. I think I lucked out on the timing of it all.

As a (now former) associate at my 2L firm, I did not interact with SAs at all. Most patent people came through the tech advisor / tech spec / patent agent program at my firm - I was one of the only ones that came through the regular SA program. I did not encounter any SAs with tech backgrounds that were interested in patent pros.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:02 am

Was a SA at a mid-size regional insurance firm in 2013. Lots of substantive work. Lots of pressure as a SA to bill, which was weird. It seemed like the firm didn't want to take an overhead hit for having a SA. I worked 8:00 to 5:00 everyday. Lunch with associates and/or partners maybe one day a week. Went to one MLB game with the attorneys in my office and the firm's managing partner. I did enjoy the work and the people, but I didn't like the overall culture of the firm so much. I was not in the flagship office. I got an offer, but it was pretty crappy given the size of the firm and the associate billing rate. I turned it down, worked my ass off, and scored a much better job far far away from the trenches of toiling for insurance companies that dispute pretty much every bill.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:12 am

Regional biglaw.

My firm had a rotation, but you would be in 2 or 3 departments at a time. Lots and lots of smallish assignments (researching one or two points, cite-checking briefs, writing articles, etc.). I'd wager I did assignments for at least 30 partners during my summer.

I came in on the weekend two or three times to catch up on work and had a few really late nights, but I think two of them were helping out some associates who had a deadline that night and doing basically paralegal work for them (I was a paralegal before law school).

Highlight was probably when I did a research memo for a partner and the partner and senior associate on the case brought me into a client meeting and let me present my research results to the client and the client asked a bunch of questions. It was a peripheral issue in the case but still extremely fun.

It wasn't a big wine-and-dine firm. They had events and outings and stuff but there weren't a lot of long lunches and the events were every other week. The firm said straight up that their goal was for the summer program to give summer associates a realistic look at what being an associate was like work-wise, and they succeeded at that. It was a lot of the same types of assignments I got once I started as a first year. There was even a securities case that was very active during that summer for which I got to do a bunch of different assignments as the summer progressed (even after I rotated out of the litigation department).

My main advice to anyone going to regional biglaw would be to be court-ready every day. Three or four times during my summer someone asked me in the morning if I wanted to go to court with them later that day, and I was glad I was always dressed appropriately for court. I think this is a lot less common in major markets, but at regional firms it seems to happen a lot.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby moonman157 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:21 am

Tagging. Great thread North, and thanks everyone who has shared so far!

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby IsThisForReal » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:My main advice to anyone going to regional biglaw would be to be court-ready every day. Three or four times during my summer someone asked me in the morning if I wanted to go to court with them later that day, and I was glad I was always dressed appropriately for court. I think this is a lot less common in major markets, but at regional firms it seems to happen a lot.

This is really interesting. Would be interested to know the likelihood of this at other levels.

Thanks for contributing everyone, this is great!

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:04 pm

Summer 2013, NYC Biglaw small <30 person class, Lit department. 'Twas a lot of fun. Lunch twice a week with associates, was fed two additional times most week by firm in lunch events. Normal day began at 845 (summers rolled in till 915, very rarely did one come after 9:30) and left around 6:15, with a 2-3 hour break mid day for a variety of social firm related reasons.

Work ranged from finding the needle in the haystack case to real substantive work (was placed on a non-billable case). I would recommend to the extent possible, work on non-billable cases. You will get much more substantive experiance, and the stakes won't be as high, unless the Partner is a dick. One tip would be, make sure to always email your assigning attorney your notes from the meeting after they assign you the work. Like Hey X, started doing Y just wanted to confirm you want me doing Y,Z by Date. Will get this over to you as soon as possible. They appreciate it,

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby North » Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:57 pm

Okay I'm self-banning for a couple weeks for finals.

Let's have a bunch more of these up when I get back please. This is really good stuff ITT.

I see you 3Ls who did their SA last year and are currently looking for excuses to continue not caring about exams. Burn 15 minutes by typing up your experience ITT.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:51 pm

DPW summer 2013, ~100 person summer class, 12 weeks

Did assignments in most of the corporate groups (M&A, CapM, Financial Institutions, Credit, Derivatives, and Bankruptcy) plus one tax, a couple pro bono, and one lit thing. Most of the assignments involved some combination of discrete research, diligence, small drafting things, and shadowing when deals moved too fast or were above my pay grade. Some of the assignments definitely went to clients after being filtered through at least a junior's eyes but none of it was particularly important. Mostly stuff first years would do. Had complete control over my workload and was able to seek out or turn down assignments as I pleased. Work hours were usually 9:30-5:30. I stayed "late" (i.e. till like 8:30) three times all summer. Usually had like 20 hours a week billed to some sort of client matter and the other 20 to random filler categories. There were a few immersion/mock programs to help give summers an associate type experience in groups that were harder to generate SA assignments for. Those were a ton of fun and they pulled you off all your assignments for the days they happened so you never had to worry about an attorney ruining the experience to make you sit in on a call or something.

Day to day oversight was minimal, I left and had lunch with friends at another firm in FiDi for 2 hours a couple of times, left and returned mid day to go to the gym or deal with a few errands and no one but my office mate ever noticed. My secretary presumably thought I was wandering about or in a call or something. If I ever got antsy about slacking I could always pop in a partner's office and ask to sit in on something and they were more than happy to let me.

Outside of actual work, there were usually 2-3 presentations a week for the whole summer class, things like intro to practice groups, surviving as an attorney, pro bono, etc, and they included pretty good catered food. We were able to do 2 lunches or dinners a week with associates, dinners were more common because of associates' hesitancy to dedicate 2 hours in the middle of the day. There were two sometimes three official summer events a week and spots are seemingly done through a bidding/lottery system but recruiting has full discretion to help you get into things you really care about. Spots regularly opened up the day of when people decided they were busy with work. They included like baseball games, musicals, service days, cooking classes, cocktails, tours, etc. I went to basically everything I could and certainly everything I wanted to. They very much did not feel mandatory and there were many people who went to basically nothing and seemed to suffer no judgment or anything. There would usually be 1-2 informal events on top of these, either planned by other summers or firm planned but not explicitly for the summer program (sports leagues, affinity groups, etc). All involved ample food and libations. There was never (I think?) any formal event on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays as they presumably wanted us to be free to do whatever with our weekends.

Overall a very fun summer, the work was low key/pressure and very much what you made of it. They were relatively up front that it was intended to be fun rather than indicative of associate life.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby El Pollito » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:13 am

bjsesq wrote:I summered at Winston and Strawn in 2012. Winston has a pretty conservative atmosphere, so for knuckle dragging me, I had to watch what I said. Most of the associates we worked with were interchangeable. They each had their own niches, but very few of them stood out as personalities. There was on senior associate who was an absolute bad ass and I loved the guy. He was pretty straight up that the firm sucked ass generally, and that the key to succeeding was finding a partner you liked and working your ass off to make yourself indispensable to them. Throughout the summer, the firm sold itself as a financially conservative and extremely stable firm and touted its high offer rates and low leverage as compared to other firms. Things hit freakout mode in the week or so between the end of the SA program and when the calls went out. Rumors were swirling that the firm was hemmorhaging due to overextending on the recent acquisitions of Dewey and Howry. I blew it off, and thought it was douchey freakout law students being douchey and freaking out.

I received the no offer call around 9 in the morning, and was offered the opportunity to say I withdrew my candidacy instead of getting no offered. I did. Turns out, roughly 1/3 of us got the ding.

lol you're the best

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:16 pm

Former summer at a firm in Chicago with market shattering brownies. Since the summer experience is fun and not really representative of what work is like at the firm, I thought I'd give some information and what you guys probably really want--what you should do to avoid getting no-offered. Some of this is probably generalizable to other firms, but some is firm-specific.

Most importantly, meet your deadlines. Your supervisors expect your work to not be very good and understand it's a learning experience, but they do you to be responsive and have projects done within the time limits you're given. Your job is really just to be incrementally helpful at best, so understand that you're not going to get things perfect. Along with that, the summer is mostly self-guided with an emphasis on networking, so hours are pretty much not a concern at all and don't get yourself tasked onto too many projects. Most associates have no idea how long the projects they put in the system will actually take and just put in arbitrary numbers, so something could last a couple days or all summer. That means if you want to try a bunch of different practice areas (for example something like funds work that probably wasn't on your radar when interviewing last summer), you're going to want to be pretty conscious of how much you're taking on or what you're getting sucked into. Or you might just want to do some shorter shadowing time just to get a feel for different work.

The culture is really laid back and you'll get told all kinds of stories of past summers who pushed the line and still got offers. You have a lot of rope, don't be an idiot, but understand that you don't have to be a robot and one of the goals of the program is to get to know the other summers and associates.

The other possible problems that seems to have led to no offers over the last couple years has been going all-in on really small practice areas without properly hedging. Something like benefits, tax, and IP transactions will only take 1-2 associates from each class, so if your personality doesn't happen to mesh with a partner, it's a bigger deal since work isn't as diversified. You'll know if this is a problem with time to correct things, but if things don't seem to be going well in those groups it's probably a good idea to branch out into general corporate or litigation work to make sure you'd still get an offer.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:38 pm

I was a summer at a small satellite office of a big firm. I disregarded the standard TLS advice and gunned pretty hard at work - I got work done fast, volunteered for additional assignments, and made an effort to build relationships with specific attorneys who I wanted to work with down the road. It worked out really well: I got a reputation for working hard and doing quality work, and it helped a ton with staffing when I returned to the firm (for instance, I got to draft dispositive motions and take multiple depositions within six months of starting at the firm). Another summer who mailed it in and screwed up a few projects got a very poor reputation and got frozen out of a lot of the best work. We both got offers, but doing really good work and standing out as a summer really can pay dividends if you work at a small office. There's some risk involved, but the TLS mantra of not sticking out and being a completely average, nondescript summer is a good way to have a completely average, nondescript career as an associate (ie get staffed on shitty projects and get pushed out after 2-4 years). Just my 2 cents.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Garden District » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:DPW summer 2013, ~100 person summer class, 12 weeks

Did assignments in most of the corporate groups (M&A, CapM, Financial Institutions, Credit, Derivatives, and Bankruptcy) plus one tax, a couple pro bono, and one lit thing. Most of the assignments involved some combination of discrete research, diligence, small drafting things, and shadowing when deals moved too fast or were above my pay grade. Some of the assignments definitely went to clients after being filtered through at least a junior's eyes but none of it was particularly important. Mostly stuff first years would do. Had complete control over my workload and was able to seek out or turn down assignments as I pleased. Work hours were usually 9:30-5:30. I stayed "late" (i.e. till like 8:30) three times all summer. Usually had like 20 hours a week billed to some sort of client matter and the other 20 to random filler categories. There were a few immersion/mock programs to help give summers an associate type experience in groups that were harder to generate SA assignments for. Those were a ton of fun and they pulled you off all your assignments for the days they happened so you never had to worry about an attorney ruining the experience to make you sit in on a call or something.

Day to day oversight was minimal, I left and had lunch with friends at another firm in FiDi for 2 hours a couple of times, left and returned mid day to go to the gym or deal with a few errands and no one but my office mate ever noticed. My secretary presumably thought I was wandering about or in a call or something. If I ever got antsy about slacking I could always pop in a partner's office and ask to sit in on something and they were more than happy to let me.

Outside of actual work, there were usually 2-3 presentations a week for the whole summer class, things like intro to practice groups, surviving as an attorney, pro bono, etc, and they included pretty good catered food. We were able to do 2 lunches or dinners a week with associates, dinners were more common because of associates' hesitancy to dedicate 2 hours in the middle of the day. There were two sometimes three official summer events a week and spots are seemingly done through a bidding/lottery system but recruiting has full discretion to help you get into things you really care about. Spots regularly opened up the day of when people decided they were busy with work. They included like baseball games, musicals, service days, cooking classes, cocktails, tours, etc. I went to basically everything I could and certainly everything I wanted to. They very much did not feel mandatory and there were many people who went to basically nothing and seemed to suffer no judgment or anything. There would usually be 1-2 informal events on top of these, either planned by other summers or firm planned but not explicitly for the summer program (sports leagues, affinity groups, etc). All involved ample food and libations. There was never (I think?) any formal event on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays as they presumably wanted us to be free to do whatever with our weekends.

Overall a very fun summer, the work was low key/pressure and very much what you made of it. They were relatively up front that it was intended to be fun rather than indicative of associate life.

This (and everything else in here) is really helpful, thank you!

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 05, 2015 9:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:DPW summer 2013, ~100 person summer class, 12 weeks

Did assignments in most of the corporate groups (M&A, CapM, Financial Institutions, Credit, Derivatives, and Bankruptcy) plus one tax, a couple pro bono, and one lit thing. Most of the assignments involved some combination of discrete research, diligence, small drafting things, and shadowing when deals moved too fast or were above my pay grade. Some of the assignments definitely went to clients after being filtered through at least a junior's eyes but none of it was particularly important. Mostly stuff first years would do. Had complete control over my workload and was able to seek out or turn down assignments as I pleased. Work hours were usually 9:30-5:30. I stayed "late" (i.e. till like 8:30) three times all summer. Usually had like 20 hours a week billed to some sort of client matter and the other 20 to random filler categories. There were a few immersion/mock programs to help give summers an associate type experience in groups that were harder to generate SA assignments for. Those were a ton of fun and they pulled you off all your assignments for the days they happened so you never had to worry about an attorney ruining the experience to make you sit in on a call or something.

Day to day oversight was minimal, I left and had lunch with friends at another firm in FiDi for 2 hours a couple of times, left and returned mid day to go to the gym or deal with a few errands and no one but my office mate ever noticed. My secretary presumably thought I was wandering about or in a call or something. If I ever got antsy about slacking I could always pop in a partner's office and ask to sit in on something and they were more than happy to let me.

Outside of actual work, there were usually 2-3 presentations a week for the whole summer class, things like intro to practice groups, surviving as an attorney, pro bono, etc, and they included pretty good catered food. We were able to do 2 lunches or dinners a week with associates, dinners were more common because of associates' hesitancy to dedicate 2 hours in the middle of the day. There were two sometimes three official summer events a week and spots are seemingly done through a bidding/lottery system but recruiting has full discretion to help you get into things you really care about. Spots regularly opened up the day of when people decided they were busy with work. They included like baseball games, musicals, service days, cooking classes, cocktails, tours, etc. I went to basically everything I could and certainly everything I wanted to. They very much did not feel mandatory and there were many people who went to basically nothing and seemed to suffer no judgment or anything. There would usually be 1-2 informal events on top of these, either planned by other summers or firm planned but not explicitly for the summer program (sports leagues, affinity groups, etc). All involved ample food and libations. There was never (I think?) any formal event on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays as they presumably wanted us to be free to do whatever with our weekends.

Overall a very fun summer, the work was low key/pressure and very much what you made of it. They were relatively up front that it was intended to be fun rather than indicative of associate life.


I was also a DPW summer. I can confirm that this post is a pretty accurate picture of the summer there. I'd like to emphasize the bolded though—I did it the other way and that was fine too. I went to a few of the social events and didn't go out to lunch/dinner all that often. I worked pretty "hard"/stayed "late" fairly frequently. ("late" as the post above said, meaning 8 or so—the real associates stayed later.) That's not to say I accomplished anything meaningful or did anything that a first year couldn't have done in 1/10th the time. But I think I learned a lot.

For example, one long-term project was drafting a pro bono brief, seeing it marked up with all red by a 2nd year, rewriting it in response to those comments, repeating that process with a 5th year; more red, repeat for a 7th year. I bet they would have spent as much/less time on it without my "help" but I learned a bit about how they like to write/work. Also, all the associates were very responsive to emails (within a few minutes usually). They didn't necessarily expect that of us, but it was the pattern for them. I was kind of a striver about it for personal reasons. As the previous anon said, that wasn't necessary—but it also was accepted/appreciated. I had a really great summer.

The immersion programs were also great. There were three (tax, corporate, and lit) and all three involved several simulated exercises.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 05, 2015 11:23 am

1L SA (Midwestern law firm over 100 attorneys): For my first summer I went to my home market in the Midwest. Firm was full of nice people and was fairly laid back. There were a lot of fun firm events downtown, but nothing to blow your mind. Work was given out under a free market system where you just petitioned partners and senior associates for work. There was also a summer long project that you did with a partner or senior associate.

I can say that I do not like the free market approach for a summer program. Myself and the other SAs struggled to get work as things were not particularly busy at the firm I was with. I had the feeling that none of the associates were making their hours, so why were they going to hand us billable work to do. Most of the work consisted on doing legal research on a topic and writing a memo on the topic. We were graded on our assignments by the person giving the work and then the summer associates receive the review as well as the recruitment committee. This could be nerve wracking, as one 1L SA was no offered on the grounds of a single bad review. All the 2Ls received offers, but half of them (was a small class) ended up deciding to take work elsewhere due to their belief that things were very slow at the firm.

I generally got the feeling that the legal market in the Midwest was particularly hit hard during the recession and has not bounced back the same way as other markets. I do not have an quantifiable data for that, but that was certainly the vibe I got during the summer.

2L SA (Southern big law firm in the V100): Much better experience during my 2L summer. We had a lot of nice events: nothing was extremely fancy, but it was all a good time and gave you an opportunity to meet people at the firm and get to know the other SAs. Both of my summers had small classes (1L was less than 10 and 2L was slightly more than 10), which has probably influenced my views of SA positions in general. You cannot hide when the summer class is that small, so although I don't think it's a good idea to come across as super gunnerish - don't be the guy who comes in at 6:00 a.m. and doesn't leave until 7:00 p.m. everyday even when they had no work - you should put in a real effort to get to know people and do excellent work when you are in a small summer class.

During this SA the firm rotated us through 3 practice groups. This was actually a lot of fun as you really got to know a smaller part of the firm and could make some real connections. Offers at the end of the summer were also made by practice group, so this gave me the opportunity to really figure out what practice group I wanted to be in. Most of the work that I received was actual "real" work for the firm. I would write a memo or do a piece of research, turn it into a partner, and then the partner would talk to the client about what I had done. This was actually pretty cool. I had the chance to draft contracts (obviously simple ones), amendments to contracts, and do all the normal work that a particular practice group did. From talking to other people I know this was not the typical summer experience. I also saw what the actual hours were of the practice groups I was in. People were very candid about how many hours they billed in a year, when a particular practice group was very busy, and what they expected from young associates.

Everyone in my summer class received an offer (1Ls and 2Ls) and they were pretty open during the review process to let people know not to worry. It was pretty clear at the end of the summer that everyone was getting an offer and that it was just a matter of what practice group you would receive an offer from.

What I've taken away from my summer experiences is that your offer is really contingent on what kind of a firm you're working for. If your firm is busy then you probably don't have to worry too much. It takes some pretty idiotic behavior to get a no offer. On the other hand, if it looks like no one at your firm is making their billable hours and that business is slower than usual then maybe you should worry a little bit. But even at the slow firm I was with all the 2Ls received offers.

I would also recommend that people really explore the city they are going to. Your summer is a great way to figure out what the local community is like.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 05, 2015 11:47 am

1L SA in Birmingham at a ~100-150 attorney office.

6 week program with 8 1Ls and 9 2Ls. Socially it was a great experience - I had lunch on my own 1 day the entire time I was at the firm. There were at least 2-3 formal events every week, including a weekend beach trip that basically amounted to a giant frat party with all the booze you could ever drink. We rotated floors after 3 weeks. We were never assigned a formal group, but you mostly got your assignments from attorneys on the floor you were working on. There was also a project system that you could pick things up from if you were slow, but the descriptions of the assignments were ridiculously vague. The assignments from the junior associates were usually pretty straightforward, but god forbid if you picked up one from one of the older partners. That usually ended up being a wild goose chase for some unicorn case with the exact factual scenario presented by the case the partner was working on, which of course never existed, or some bullshit client development stuff that wasn't going to be used anyway.

5/8 1Ls and 6/9 2Ls got offers. 2/3 of the no-offered 2Ls were 1Ls who stayed at the firm for another summer, and 2/6 2Ls who got an offer did not work at the firm 1L summer. So if you think you're guaranteed an offer just because they offered you after 1L, think again. Reasons for no-offers ranged from getting too drunk at social events, not fitting in in any particular group, screwing up an assignment, to too many 2Ls going for litigation. Really I think the firm was just slowing down and had overestimated their hiring needs.

Takeaway for me is to enjoy the social events and don't be weird. And get assignments from more junior associates. The ones I thought went the best and that I got the best feedback from were always 1st-3rd years. The senior associates I worked for were generally the ones to get pissed over stupid shit after not taking an extra five minutes to actually explain what they wanted. And for fuck's sake don't do any work for boomer partners. I got one assignment to 'finish up' some research that a 3rd year had been doing. Really the research was finished, but the 3rd year didn't come up with what the partner was looking for because it didn't fucking exist. So I'm expected to find something that a 3rd year, who is 100x better at research by this point, couldn't find.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 05, 2015 11:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:1L SA in Birmingham at a ~100-150 attorney office.

6 week program with 8 1Ls and 9 2Ls. Socially it was a great experience - I had lunch on my own 1 day the entire time I was at the firm. There were at least 2-3 formal events every week, including a weekend beach trip that basically amounted to a giant frat party with all the booze you could ever drink. We rotated floors after 3 weeks. We were never assigned a formal group, but you mostly got your assignments from attorneys on the floor you were working on. There was also a project system that you could pick things up from if you were slow, but the descriptions of the assignments were ridiculously vague. The assignments from the junior associates were usually pretty straightforward, but god forbid if you picked up one from one of the older partners. That usually ended up being a wild goose chase for some unicorn case with the exact factual scenario presented by the case the partner was working on, which of course never existed, or some bullshit client development stuff that wasn't going to be used anyway.

5/8 1Ls and 6/9 2Ls got offers. 2/3 of the no-offered 2Ls were 1Ls who stayed at the firm for another summer, and 2/6 2Ls who got an offer did not work at the firm 1L summer. So if you think you're guaranteed an offer just because they offered you after 1L, think again. Reasons for no-offers ranged from getting too drunk at social events, not fitting in in any particular group, screwing up an assignment, to too many 2Ls going for litigation. Really I think the firm was just slowing down and had overestimated their hiring needs.

Takeaway for me is to enjoy the social events and don't be weird. And get assignments from more junior associates. The ones I thought went the best and that I got the best feedback from were always 1st-3rd years. The senior associates I worked for were generally the ones to get pissed over stupid shit after not taking an extra five minutes to actually explain what they wanted. And for fuck's sake don't do any work for boomer partners. I got one assignment to 'finish up' some research that a 3rd year had been doing. Really the research was finished, but the 3rd year didn't come up with what the partner was looking for because it didn't fucking exist. So I'm expected to find something that a 3rd year, who is 100x better at research by this point, couldn't find.

I think we were at the same firm. Did the beach trip involve a karaoke in a suite and a junior associate who was very drunk both nights?

Anonymous User
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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 05, 2015 12:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:1L SA in Birmingham at a ~100-150 attorney office.

6 week program with 8 1Ls and 9 2Ls. Socially it was a great experience - I had lunch on my own 1 day the entire time I was at the firm. There were at least 2-3 formal events every week, including a weekend beach trip that basically amounted to a giant frat party with all the booze you could ever drink. We rotated floors after 3 weeks. We were never assigned a formal group, but you mostly got your assignments from attorneys on the floor you were working on. There was also a project system that you could pick things up from if you were slow, but the descriptions of the assignments were ridiculously vague. The assignments from the junior associates were usually pretty straightforward, but god forbid if you picked up one from one of the older partners. That usually ended up being a wild goose chase for some unicorn case with the exact factual scenario presented by the case the partner was working on, which of course never existed, or some bullshit client development stuff that wasn't going to be used anyway.

5/8 1Ls and 6/9 2Ls got offers. 2/3 of the no-offered 2Ls were 1Ls who stayed at the firm for another summer, and 2/6 2Ls who got an offer did not work at the firm 1L summer. So if you think you're guaranteed an offer just because they offered you after 1L, think again. Reasons for no-offers ranged from getting too drunk at social events, not fitting in in any particular group, screwing up an assignment, to too many 2Ls going for litigation. Really I think the firm was just slowing down and had overestimated their hiring needs.

Takeaway for me is to enjoy the social events and don't be weird. And get assignments from more junior associates. The ones I thought went the best and that I got the best feedback from were always 1st-3rd years. The senior associates I worked for were generally the ones to get pissed over stupid shit after not taking an extra five minutes to actually explain what they wanted. And for fuck's sake don't do any work for boomer partners. I got one assignment to 'finish up' some research that a 3rd year had been doing. Really the research was finished, but the 3rd year didn't come up with what the partner was looking for because it didn't fucking exist. So I'm expected to find something that a 3rd year, who is 100x better at research by this point, couldn't find.

I think we were at the same firm. Did the beach trip involve a karaoke in a suite and a junior associate who was very drunk both nights?


It did indeed. Straw in a champagne bottle, classy as fuck. I was at , if that helps clear things up.

eta: were you a 1L or 2L? I've been wondering whether everyone who was no-offered landed on their feet.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue May 05, 2015 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 05, 2015 3:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:eta: were you a 1L or 2L? I've been wondering whether everyone who was no-offered landed on their feet.

I was a 1L. I didn't come back for scheduling reasons, but still might hope to end up back there one day. (Which probably makes it clear who I am, but that's fine.)
Edit: Do you know if people without offers landed on their feet? I'm curious too.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 05, 2015 4:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:eta: were you a 1L or 2L? I've been wondering whether everyone who was no-offered landed on their feet.

I was a 1L. I didn't come back for scheduling reasons, but still might hope to end up back there one day. (Which probably makes it clear who I am, but that's fine.)
Edit: Do you know if people without offers landed on their feet? I'm curious too.


I was one of the no-offered 1Ls, which probably outs me as well but whatever. It didn't affect me at all. Not many firms even asked. I dunno about anyone else. I mostly wondered whether the 2Ls ended up with something, especially the two one that didn't have another job lined up. Shitty thing the firm did.

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BaberhamLincoln
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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby BaberhamLincoln » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:21 pm

Tag and reminder for people to post after this summer too

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North
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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby North » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:04 am

Bump because this thread should be used more




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