ITT: Describe your SA

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:50 pm

lawman84 wrote:
Mr. Blackacre wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
sublime wrote:Sounds like Cravath.

I'm also tagging to anon post later about my SA.


Why do people subject themselves to that? If they do that to you as a summer, I have to imagine things are even worse when you're an associate. :shock:


Cravath is actually much more honest than the rest of the NYC sweatshops. They are known to work you the way they would work an associate during your SA. Honestly, if I were to do NYC corporate, I'd almost rather have the firm show me how it's really going to be, and let me see how I handle it, than giving me 9-6 busy work and feeding me bs about how great and enjoyable firm life is. I can definitely see why some people would pick that kind of attitude over say, STB/DPW/Skadden.


That's the thing. Why willingly choose to work at a sweatshop like that? I just don't understand the mindset.


Well, you're going to be at a sweatshop regardless if you've narrowed your law firm choices to the v5/v10 so I see the merit in wanting to get exposed to what it's actually like especially if you have other options (i.e., non-NYC firm, consulting, etc). To the mindset point . . . imagine a SA class filled to the brim of all the law school gunners across the T14.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:08 pm

Biglaw patent prosecution SA in a secondary market. Work started at 9, and they almost physically shoved us out the door at 5. I got to do some "real" work, though - mostly office action responses, cleaning up documents, and writing a memo about the implications of a recent court decision on a patent we were in the middle of prosecuting.

We had to log our time in the tracking software, but I think it was more just to get practice with the software and to help generate lists of potential conflicts for the summers who might be somewhere else the next summer; no one was ever "talked to" about not having enough hours.

There were 90-120 minute restaurant lunches every day, and 2-3 events per week outside of working hours (golf, movies, ballgames, concerts, etc). The summers almost had "social fatigue" by the end, but it was nice to be able to be able to spend time with everyone, and with that many events, it didn't feel like every single second was a job interview in disguise.

lawman84
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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby lawman84 » Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
Mr. Blackacre wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
sublime wrote:Sounds like Cravath.

I'm also tagging to anon post later about my SA.


Why do people subject themselves to that? If they do that to you as a summer, I have to imagine things are even worse when you're an associate. :shock:


Cravath is actually much more honest than the rest of the NYC sweatshops. They are known to work you the way they would work an associate during your SA. Honestly, if I were to do NYC corporate, I'd almost rather have the firm show me how it's really going to be, and let me see how I handle it, than giving me 9-6 busy work and feeding me bs about how great and enjoyable firm life is. I can definitely see why some people would pick that kind of attitude over say, STB/DPW/Skadden.


That's the thing. Why willingly choose to work at a sweatshop like that? I just don't understand the mindset.


Well, you're going to be at a sweatshop regardless if you've narrowed your law firm choices to the v5/v10 so I see the merit in wanting to get exposed to what it's actually like especially if you have other options (i.e., non-NYC firm, consulting, etc). To the mindset point . . . imagine a SA class filled to the brim of all the law school gunners across the T14.


That's why I have no interest in working at firms like that.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:22 pm

lawman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
Mr. Blackacre wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
sublime wrote:Sounds like Cravath.

I'm also tagging to anon post later about my SA.


Why do people subject themselves to that? If they do that to you as a summer, I have to imagine things are even worse when you're an associate. :shock:


Cravath is actually much more honest than the rest of the NYC sweatshops. They are known to work you the way they would work an associate during your SA. Honestly, if I were to do NYC corporate, I'd almost rather have the firm show me how it's really going to be, and let me see how I handle it, than giving me 9-6 busy work and feeding me bs about how great and enjoyable firm life is. I can definitely see why some people would pick that kind of attitude over say, STB/DPW/Skadden.


That's the thing. Why willingly choose to work at a sweatshop like that? I just don't understand the mindset.


Well, you're going to be at a sweatshop regardless if you've narrowed your law firm choices to the v5/v10 so I see the merit in wanting to get exposed to what it's actually like especially if you have other options (i.e., non-NYC firm, consulting, etc). To the mindset point . . . imagine a SA class filled to the brim of all the law school gunners across the T14.


That's why I have no interest in working at firms like that.


Original anon here.

And that's also why I'm glad I got the realistic summer. Otherwise, I would not have really known what I was in for. (and judging by the recent threads on here where 0L and 1Ls STILL can't believe how bad biglaw is, I'm not the only one.)

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:07 am

SA at an NYC non-vault ranked, Am Law 200 firm. The experience was definitely more in line with working us like actual associates and not pulling the wool over our eyes. We were told at the outset that the "culture" was to not leave until at least 7, and if associates/partners around were working later then we should stay until they leave, even if we had no work to do.

But we had a lot of work. I was swamped with multiple assignments from day 1. There were times when I genuinely considered turning down assignments when new ones would come up. Never did though, and as a result I was often at the office until 11, one night as late as 1AM, and worked about half my weekends. There seemed to be a real lack of mid-levels and genuine under staffing all around, to the point where us summers were legitimately relied on for substantive work. Swamped mid-levels would push work down to juniors, who themselves were swamped and would push it on to us. Multiple summers had partners calling their cell phones after hours with questions about certain intricacies of their work and clarification on some research.

Summer events were infrequent. About 5 major social events planned for the entire summer. Average of about 3 lunches per week, usually at pretty nice places.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:SA at an NYC non-vault ranked, Am Law 200 firm. The experience was definitely more in line with working us like actual associates and not pulling the wool over our eyes. We were told at the outset that the "culture" was to not leave until at least 7, and if associates/partners around were working later then we should stay until they leave, even if we had no work to do.

But we had a lot of work. I was swamped with multiple assignments from day 1. There were times when I genuinely considered turning down assignments when new ones would come up. Never did though, and as a result I was often at the office until 11, one night as late as 1AM, and worked about half my weekends. There seemed to be a real lack of mid-levels and genuine under staffing all around, to the point where us summers were legitimately relied on for substantive work. Swamped mid-levels would push work down to juniors, who themselves were swamped and would push it on to us. Multiple summers had partners calling their cell phones after hours with questions about certain intricacies of their work and clarification on some research.

Summer events were infrequent. About 5 major social events planned for the entire summer. Average of about 3 lunches per week, usually at pretty nice places.


I wonder if this is similar to what I'm in for this summer given the composition of the firm I'm going to. Amlaw100 satellite office in a major, non-nyc market (DC, Chi, LA), and there seems to be a major lack of mid-levels. The SA class is rather small, so I imagine we'll all be getting a ton of work.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:44 am

I summered in Los Angeles last summer (2015) at a roughly 80-100 attorney office (think White & Case, Winston & Strawn, Milbank, Perkins Coie, etc.). My summer was very laid back, fun, yet substantive. Summer associates were given assignments that normal first-years were given and worked directly with partners, senior associates, and midlevel/juniors. The culture was absolutely awesome...way better than I anticipated and the associates were a tight knit group (read: a lot of drinking). We had firm-sponsored events every week, sometimes two in a week, and they were incredible. The firm definitely spared no expense and it was great to see a lot of associates and even partners show up at most of the events. We also went to impromptu happy hours usually a couple times a week, which the firm would pick up the tab.

I rotated through a few different practice groups, and all groups were very busy, which was nice. Since the firm was busy we were thrown onto deal teams and immediately were sitting in on client conference calls, reading over purchase agreements, drafting ancillary documents, etc. I did way more substantive work than anticipated, and partners and associates took the time out of their days to go over the assignments with you to give you feedback, which consisted of both praise and constructive tips.

I think the latest I ever stayed at the office was about 6:30, and most days I was out by 5:30. Depending on which rotation I was in, the days started at different times. For instance, one practice group started right at 9 every morning, whereas another started around 9:45/10am. Coffee runs were plentiful, I didn't pay for a single lunch the entire summer (associates were always willing to go to lunch with summers for free lunch), and the firm often had smoothie bars, gelato bars, and make your own waffle/bonsai bowls over the course of the summer. There's no way leaving at 5:30 everyday was an accurate representation of being an actual associate, as I know associates were often working later than that (I was on a lot of deal emails and getting emails until 8 or 9pm some nights), but associates were forthcoming in letting us know that there was absolutely no facetime requirement and most evening work was done from home.

Turnover at my particular firm is very low by biglaw standards, and the firm doesn't seem to push anyone out, which was nice to know (not that I intend to stay forever). There were a few super-associates (8-10 years) and a few special counsel, but everyone seemed pretty job-secure. Overall it was a great summer and I really love my firm. Happy to answer answer any questions via PM -- if you're interested, let me know and I'll PM you.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby t-14orbust » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:I summered in Los Angeles last summer (2015) at a roughly 80-100 attorney office (think White & Case, Winston & Strawn, Milbank, Perkins Coie, etc.). My summer was very laid back, fun, yet substantive. Summer associates were given assignments that normal first-years were given and worked directly with partners, senior associates, and midlevel/juniors. The culture was absolutely awesome...way better than I anticipated and the associates were a tight knit group (read: a lot of drinking). We had firm-sponsored events every week, sometimes two in a week, and they were incredible. The firm definitely spared no expense and it was great to see a lot of associates and even partners show up at most of the events. We also went to impromptu happy hours usually a couple times a week, which the firm would pick up the tab.

I rotated through a few different practice groups, and all groups were very busy, which was nice. Since the firm was busy we were thrown onto deal teams and immediately were sitting in on client conference calls, reading over purchase agreements, drafting ancillary documents, etc. I did way more substantive work than anticipated, and partners and associates took the time out of their days to go over the assignments with you to give you feedback, which consisted of both praise and constructive tips.

I think the latest I ever stayed at the office was about 6:30, and most days I was out by 5:30. Depending on which rotation I was in, the days started at different times. For instance, one practice group started right at 9 every morning, whereas another started around 9:45/10am. Coffee runs were plentiful, I didn't pay for a single lunch the entire summer (associates were always willing to go to lunch with summers for free lunch), and the firm often had smoothie bars, gelato bars, and make your own waffle/bonsai bowls over the course of the summer. There's no way leaving at 5:30 everyday was an accurate representation of being an actual associate, as I know associates were often working later than that (I was on a lot of deal emails and getting emails until 8 or 9pm some nights), but associates were forthcoming in letting us know that there was absolutely no facetime requirement and most evening work was done from home.

Turnover at my particular firm is very low by biglaw standards, and the firm doesn't seem to push anyone out, which was nice to know (not that I intend to stay forever). There were a few super-associates (8-10 years) and a few special counsel, but everyone seemed pretty job-secure. Overall it was a great summer and I really love my firm. Happy to answer answer any questions via PM -- if you're interested, let me know and I'll PM you.


please pm me

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:05 am

Summered at a V10 in New York last year. Usually had two or three assignments at a time, one of which would recieve priority while the others had no urgent due date. I don't recall ever having to push a deadline back but I am sure if I needed to I could have. I think most Summers came in around 10 and left around 6.


While the work was important, I think the firm did a good job of signaling that the networking/social aspect of the summer was most important, and work secondary. This meant that if you had too much work to make a big event then chances are you (after communicating with the attorneys you worked with) would go to the event. There were fancy lunches probably 3-4 times a week, and official summer associate events at night about twice a week. It was a great summer and pretty stress free. While not a "working summer" Summers were always encouraged to shadow any attorney whose work they were interested in, which I felt allowed us to get a better idea of what associate life was like.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:50 am

I summered at a large firm in DC last year. Hours were generally 8:30 - 6, but the firm had a lot of lunches, informational meetings, and activities which broke up the work day. They really wanted people to get a taste of different practices and working with different people, but were not about driving SA's to work long hours. Aside from the lunch/dinner events, most of the activities and presentations were work-focused - it was good to get overviews of what the different practice areas do and what junior, mid-levels. and senior attorneys are doing in each of those processes.

I had 4-5 assignments at a time but I was a bit of an outlier - I think most people had 2-3. Our class had 20-35 people, so we were generally pretty close and I genuinely liked pretty much everybody I spent any time with. The assignments didn't feel like "made-up" work but I'm not a real associate so who knows. We generally got a lot of feedback on what was needed, but I had at least a couple projects where the associate was massively overworked so I was pretty much pushed in the pool and told to swim. I didn't have any bad experiences with that method but it could have been a problem if deadlines/type of task were such that I couldn't do it on my own. Types of tasks ranged from M&A due diligence, research for motions, contract revision/gathering sig pages, and research/dep prep/document preparation for pro bono cases. I liked that I got to work and meet with first-year attorneys - I think they gave a pretty good impression of what their introduction to the firm has been like and painted a decently realistic picture.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby North » Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:06 am

So in an effort to standardize responses I've put together this set of questions. Does anybody have any suggestions or other information they'd like to see in responses? I think it's super valuable to hear about specific assignments (like, I had no idea what a defined terms check was before I was assigned one), so I concentrated on that a bit. What else should I ask for?


BASIC INFORMATION
    1. What market did you work in (e.g., New York City, Atlanta, Charlotte, the Midwest, etc.)?
    2. What kind of firm was it (e.g., BigLaw, MidLaw, SmallLaw, etc.)?
    3. What year did you do your SA? Was it a 1L SA or a 2L SA?
    4. What was the firm or firm-range (e.g., DLA Piper, V30, V50-60, etc.)?
    5. What sort of work did you do (e.g., all litigation, mostly corporate, securities, etc.)?

CONTENT
    1. What kind of assignments did you get?
    • Specifically, what were the assignments? For example, if you did mostly banking work, did you draft ancillary documents or did you mostly do cross-reference and defined terms checks? If you did mostly litigation, did you take the first swing at motions or just churn out internal memos? Please be detailed—this sort of information is scarce, but quite valuable to incoming SAs who have never worked in a law firm.
    • Do you have any tips for doing well on the assignments you mentioned? For example, if you managed a closing checklist for a deal, what tips did you wish you had before you got the assignment?
    • More generally, did you feel like you were assigned “make-work” or actual substantive work?
    • Did you get feedback on your work? Was it cursory or substantial and constructive?
    2. Was it a “working summer” or a more of a “party summer?”
    • Did social functions seem to be considered more important than the assignments you received?
    • Did it feel like a 12-week-long job interview?
    • Did they tell you at the beginning that everyone would receive offers or that not everyone would? Did they equivocate at all (e.g., “generally, everyone gets an offer”)? Or did they not bring offer prospects up at all?
    • What kind of events did they put on?
    3. What was the outcome of the SA?
    • Did you get an offer?
    • Did anyone in you Summer Class get no-offered?
    • Did you (or do you plan to) return to the firm as an Associate?

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:08 am

Would love to hear someone from one of the larger firms in DE chime in.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:41 pm

BASIC INFORMATION

2L SA, veryBiglaw, DC, V20, did almost entirely litigation work.

CONTENT

1. What kind of assignments did you get?


Generally it was all typical research assignments. I think I turned in a couple formal memos, but more often than not they just wanted a succinct email response. For instance, I got tasked with tying up some loose ends for a pro bono case where the client was a prisoner. Wrote a memo explaining whether the client could succeed on any of a bunch of different claims. Also did a memo on whether our client would be subject to a fee-shifting statute if it lost an upcoming trial. Worst one I got was updating a firm reference on a specific area of the law with every case dealing with that issue from the past year (and this was not an obscure area, so there were hundreds of cases). Worked with a couple other summers to get that done.

Do you have any tips for doing well on the assignments you mentioned?

Mostly just listen to what they say, and don't be afraid to ask a bunch of questions. They don't expect you to know how to do anything, but they do expect you to be able to follow instructions.

More generally, did you feel like you were assigned “make-work” or actual substantive work?

Most of it felt like actual substantive work, but something an associate had pushed off doing for a long time because it wasn't that important. It might have taken the assigning midlevel an hour or two to get it done, but hey let's give it to a summer to keep them busy for 15 hours. Not complaining by any means.

Did you get feedback on your work? Was it cursory or substantial and constructive?

We got formal feedback, but it was very cursory. I didn't have any complaints, so that may be one reason why, but I don't remember any summer saying they got negative feedback. Might not have wanted to admit it, or they just might not give negative feedback unless it's important so as not to scare people into 3L OCI. Who knows.

2. Was it a “working summer” or a more of a “party summer?”

I definitely spent more time doing social things than working. The importance of work product was stressed, though, and there were a lot of presentations geared towards how to turn in good work. Everyone generally left at 6:00 unless there was an event going on after. I stayed late into the night the last couple days to finish up my last project that I had put off doing.

Did social functions seem to be considered more important than the assignments you received?

Very few people missed social events because they had work to turn in. Maybe towards the very end when people were leaving and trying to wrap up assignments

Did it feel like a 12-week-long job interview?

To a certain extent, yes. But interacting with other summers was much more fluid and relaxed, and I always felt at ease.

Did they tell you at the beginning that everyone would receive offers or that not everyone would? Did they equivocate at all (e.g., “generally, everyone gets an offer”)? Or did they not bring offer prospects up at all?

We were told during orientation that there were offers on the table for everyone (as in, don't screw it up and you'll get one).

What kind of events did they put on?

Pretty typical stuff - outings into the city, lunches, happy hours, dinners at partners' houses, etc. A good bit of them were somewhat geared toward getting to know the city, but the majority of them were designed to help you meet attorneys at the firm.

3. What was the outcome of the SA?



Did you get an offer?

Yes

Did anyone in you Summer Class get no-offered?

Two people did. I heard rumors about the reason why as to one, but I'm not sure. I heard it was more social-related, as opposed to work. I have no idea who the other person that didn't get offered is.



Did you (or do you plan to) return to the firm as an Associate?

Yes
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Hopefully2012
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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Hopefully2012 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:I summered in Los Angeles last summer (2015) at a roughly 80-100 attorney office (think White & Case, Winston & Strawn, Milbank, Perkins Coie, etc.). My summer was very laid back, fun, yet substantive. Summer associates were given assignments that normal first-years were given and worked directly with partners, senior associates, and midlevel/juniors. The culture was absolutely awesome...way better than I anticipated and the associates were a tight knit group (read: a lot of drinking). We had firm-sponsored events every week, sometimes two in a week, and they were incredible. The firm definitely spared no expense and it was great to see a lot of associates and even partners show up at most of the events. We also went to impromptu happy hours usually a couple times a week, which the firm would pick up the tab.

I rotated through a few different practice groups, and all groups were very busy, which was nice. Since the firm was busy we were thrown onto deal teams and immediately were sitting in on client conference calls, reading over purchase agreements, drafting ancillary documents, etc. I did way more substantive work than anticipated, and partners and associates took the time out of their days to go over the assignments with you to give you feedback, which consisted of both praise and constructive tips.

I think the latest I ever stayed at the office was about 6:30, and most days I was out by 5:30. Depending on which rotation I was in, the days started at different times. For instance, one practice group started right at 9 every morning, whereas another started around 9:45/10am. Coffee runs were plentiful, I didn't pay for a single lunch the entire summer (associates were always willing to go to lunch with summers for free lunch), and the firm often had smoothie bars, gelato bars, and make your own waffle/bonsai bowls over the course of the summer. There's no way leaving at 5:30 everyday was an accurate representation of being an actual associate, as I know associates were often working later than that (I was on a lot of deal emails and getting emails until 8 or 9pm some nights), but associates were forthcoming in letting us know that there was absolutely no facetime requirement and most evening work was done from home.

Turnover at my particular firm is very low by biglaw standards, and the firm doesn't seem to push anyone out, which was nice to know (not that I intend to stay forever). There were a few super-associates (8-10 years) and a few special counsel, but everyone seemed pretty job-secure. Overall it was a great summer and I really love my firm. Happy to answer answer any questions via PM -- if you're interested, let me know and I'll PM you.

I'd love to hear more about your summer too. Please pm me.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:32 am

If anyone did a summer rotation through a biglaw firm's London office, particularly DPW's, it would be great to hear about it!

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Would love to hear someone from one of the larger firms in DE chime in.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:04 am

Mine is from several years ago, but it was a bit unconventional as biglaw experiences go, so probably worth sharing.

BASIC INFORMATION
    1. What market did you work in (e.g., New York City, Atlanta, Charlotte, the Midwest, etc.)?
    2. What kind of firm was it (e.g., BigLaw, MidLaw, SmallLaw, etc.)?
    3. What year did you do your SA? Was it a 1L SA or a 2L SA?
    4. What was the firm or firm-range (e.g., DLA Piper, V30, V50-60, etc.)?
    5. What sort of work did you do (e.g., all litigation, mostly corporate, securities, etc.)?

1. NYC
2. Biglaw
3. 2L SA, way back when [2009 or 2010, I don't even remember exactly]

CONTENT
    1. What kind of assignments did you get?
    • Specifically, what were the assignments? For example, if you did mostly banking work, did you draft ancillary documents or did you mostly do cross-reference and defined terms checks? If you did mostly litigation, did you take the first swing at motions or just churn out internal memos? Please be detailed—this sort of information is scarce, but quite valuable to incoming SAs who have never worked in a law firm.
    • Do you have any tips for doing well on the assignments you mentioned? For example, if you managed a closing checklist for a deal, what tips did you wish you had before you got the assignment?
    • More generally, did you feel like you were assigned “make-work” or actual substantive work?
    • Did you get feedback on your work? Was it cursory or substantial and constructive?
    2. Was it a “working summer” or a more of a “party summer?”
    • Did social functions seem to be considered more important than the assignments you received?
    • Did it feel like a 12-week-long job interview?
    • Did they tell you at the beginning that everyone would receive offers or that not everyone would? Did they equivocate at all (e.g., “generally, everyone gets an offer”)? Or did they not bring offer prospects up at all?
    • What kind of events did they put on?
    3. What was the outcome of the SA?
    • Did you get an offer?
    • Did anyone in you Summer Class get no-offered?
    • Did you (or do you plan to) return to the firm as an Associate?


1. Lots and lots of 'substantive' stuff. I got assigned a partner (the way my firm did it, each SA was assigned a partner who was supposed to give them ~20% of their work so that at least one senior person could form a reasonable view). That partner, rather intelligently, gave me nothing but legal research to do. Legal research, I know how to do that! So I did it. Well. And then there was more. And more. And more. I don't think I drafted a single transactional document all summer. Lots of feedback, lots of substance. Developed good working relationship with partner quickly.

2. LOL what is party. I think I went to lunch 3 times. Social functions basically irrelevant to me, didn't really know most of my class. I was at an everyone-gets-an-offer-firm. I could not have given less fucks about the social aspect of the summer but I went to all the required and wink-nudge required events and have reasonable social skills. Just wasn't worried about it - if they were going to be no-offering for lack of social skills, that wasn't going to mean me so I mostly blew it off.

3. Got an offer, was told by the partner to call him as soon as I came back next fall. He got me into the practice group I'm still in today, 7 or 8 years later, and he's still probably 25% of my workflow.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Winter is Coming » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:Mine is from several years ago, but it was a bit unconventional as biglaw experiences go, so probably worth sharing.

BASIC INFORMATION
    1. What market did you work in (e.g., New York City, Atlanta, Charlotte, the Midwest, etc.)?
    2. What kind of firm was it (e.g., BigLaw, MidLaw, SmallLaw, etc.)?
    3. What year did you do your SA? Was it a 1L SA or a 2L SA?
    4. What was the firm or firm-range (e.g., DLA Piper, V30, V50-60, etc.)?
    5. What sort of work did you do (e.g., all litigation, mostly corporate, securities, etc.)?

1. NYC
2. Biglaw
3. 2L SA, way back when [2009 or 2010, I don't even remember exactly]

CONTENT
    1. What kind of assignments did you get?
    • Specifically, what were the assignments? For example, if you did mostly banking work, did you draft ancillary documents or did you mostly do cross-reference and defined terms checks? If you did mostly litigation, did you take the first swing at motions or just churn out internal memos? Please be detailed—this sort of information is scarce, but quite valuable to incoming SAs who have never worked in a law firm.
    • Do you have any tips for doing well on the assignments you mentioned? For example, if you managed a closing checklist for a deal, what tips did you wish you had before you got the assignment?
    • More generally, did you feel like you were assigned “make-work” or actual substantive work?
    • Did you get feedback on your work? Was it cursory or substantial and constructive?
    2. Was it a “working summer” or a more of a “party summer?”
    • Did social functions seem to be considered more important than the assignments you received?
    • Did it feel like a 12-week-long job interview?
    • Did they tell you at the beginning that everyone would receive offers or that not everyone would? Did they equivocate at all (e.g., “generally, everyone gets an offer”)? Or did they not bring offer prospects up at all?
    • What kind of events did they put on?
    3. What was the outcome of the SA?
    • Did you get an offer?
    • Did anyone in you Summer Class get no-offered?
    • Did you (or do you plan to) return to the firm as an Associate?


1. Lots and lots of 'substantive' stuff. I got assigned a partner (the way my firm did it, each SA was assigned a partner who was supposed to give them ~20% of their work so that at least one senior person could form a reasonable view). That partner, rather intelligently, gave me nothing but legal research to do. Legal research, I know how to do that! So I did it. Well. And then there was more. And more. And more. I don't think I drafted a single transactional document all summer. Lots of feedback, lots of substance. Developed good working relationship with partner quickly.

2. LOL what is party. I think I went to lunch 3 times. Social functions basically irrelevant to me, didn't really know most of my class. I was at an everyone-gets-an-offer-firm. I could not have given less fucks about the social aspect of the summer but I went to all the required and wink-nudge required events and have reasonable social skills. Just wasn't worried about it - if they were going to be no-offering for lack of social skills, that wasn't going to mean me so I mostly blew it off.

3. Got an offer, was told by the partner to call him as soon as I came back next fall. He got me into the practice group I'm still in today, 7 or 8 years later, and he's still probably 25% of my workflow.


This is really interesting thanks. Speaks about how important it is to find good people to work for.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:Mine is from several years ago, but it was a bit unconventional as biglaw experiences go, so probably worth sharing.

BASIC INFORMATION
    1. What market did you work in (e.g., New York City, Atlanta, Charlotte, the Midwest, etc.)?
    2. What kind of firm was it (e.g., BigLaw, MidLaw, SmallLaw, etc.)?
    3. What year did you do your SA? Was it a 1L SA or a 2L SA?
    4. What was the firm or firm-range (e.g., DLA Piper, V30, V50-60, etc.)?
    5. What sort of work did you do (e.g., all litigation, mostly corporate, securities, etc.)?

1. NYC
2. Biglaw
3. 2L SA, way back when [2009 or 2010, I don't even remember exactly]

CONTENT
    1. What kind of assignments did you get?
    • Specifically, what were the assignments? For example, if you did mostly banking work, did you draft ancillary documents or did you mostly do cross-reference and defined terms checks? If you did mostly litigation, did you take the first swing at motions or just churn out internal memos? Please be detailed—this sort of information is scarce, but quite valuable to incoming SAs who have never worked in a law firm.
    • Do you have any tips for doing well on the assignments you mentioned? For example, if you managed a closing checklist for a deal, what tips did you wish you had before you got the assignment?
    • More generally, did you feel like you were assigned “make-work” or actual substantive work?
    • Did you get feedback on your work? Was it cursory or substantial and constructive?
    2. Was it a “working summer” or a more of a “party summer?”
    • Did social functions seem to be considered more important than the assignments you received?
    • Did it feel like a 12-week-long job interview?
    • Did they tell you at the beginning that everyone would receive offers or that not everyone would? Did they equivocate at all (e.g., “generally, everyone gets an offer”)? Or did they not bring offer prospects up at all?
    • What kind of events did they put on?
    3. What was the outcome of the SA?
    • Did you get an offer?
    • Did anyone in you Summer Class get no-offered?
    • Did you (or do you plan to) return to the firm as an Associate?


1. Lots and lots of 'substantive' stuff. I got assigned a partner (the way my firm did it, each SA was assigned a partner who was supposed to give them ~20% of their work so that at least one senior person could form a reasonable view). That partner, rather intelligently, gave me nothing but legal research to do. Legal research, I know how to do that! So I did it. Well. And then there was more. And more. And more. I don't think I drafted a single transactional document all summer. Lots of feedback, lots of substance. Developed good working relationship with partner quickly.

2. LOL what is party. I think I went to lunch 3 times. Social functions basically irrelevant to me, didn't really know most of my class. I was at an everyone-gets-an-offer-firm. I could not have given less fucks about the social aspect of the summer but I went to all the required and wink-nudge required events and have reasonable social skills. Just wasn't worried about it - if they were going to be no-offering for lack of social skills, that wasn't going to mean me so I mostly blew it off.

3. Got an offer, was told by the partner to call him as soon as I came back next fall. He got me into the practice group I'm still in today, 7 or 8 years later, and he's still probably 25% of my workflow.


this is the old school way it's "supposed" to be. sadly disappearing.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I summered in Los Angeles last summer (2015) at a roughly 80-100 attorney office (think White & Case, Winston & Strawn, Milbank, Perkins Coie, etc.). My summer was very laid back, fun, yet substantive. Summer associates were given assignments that normal first-years were given and worked directly with partners, senior associates, and midlevel/juniors. The culture was absolutely awesome...way better than I anticipated and the associates were a tight knit group (read: a lot of drinking). We had firm-sponsored events every week, sometimes two in a week, and they were incredible. The firm definitely spared no expense and it was great to see a lot of associates and even partners show up at most of the events. We also went to impromptu happy hours usually a couple times a week, which the firm would pick up the tab.

I rotated through a few different practice groups, and all groups were very busy, which was nice. Since the firm was busy we were thrown onto deal teams and immediately were sitting in on client conference calls, reading over purchase agreements, drafting ancillary documents, etc. I did way more substantive work than anticipated, and partners and associates took the time out of their days to go over the assignments with you to give you feedback, which consisted of both praise and constructive tips.

I think the latest I ever stayed at the office was about 6:30, and most days I was out by 5:30. Depending on which rotation I was in, the days started at different times. For instance, one practice group started right at 9 every morning, whereas another started around 9:45/10am. Coffee runs were plentiful, I didn't pay for a single lunch the entire summer (associates were always willing to go to lunch with summers for free lunch), and the firm often had smoothie bars, gelato bars, and make your own waffle/bonsai bowls over the course of the summer. There's no way leaving at 5:30 everyday was an accurate representation of being an actual associate, as I know associates were often working later than that (I was on a lot of deal emails and getting emails until 8 or 9pm some nights), but associates were forthcoming in letting us know that there was absolutely no facetime requirement and most evening work was done from home.

Turnover at my particular firm is very low by biglaw standards, and the firm doesn't seem to push anyone out, which was nice to know (not that I intend to stay forever). There were a few super-associates (8-10 years) and a few special counsel, but everyone seemed pretty job-secure. Overall it was a great summer and I really love my firm. Happy to answer answer any questions via PM -- if you're interested, let me know and I'll PM you.



Summered at a similar firm in LA. Basically can mirror this. Except I'd say I didn't really do that much substantive work, IMO. And I actually always left at 5 :lol:

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby North » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:48 am

Bump for this summer's folks

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:21 pm

BASIC INFORMATION
    1. What market did you work in (e.g., New York City, Atlanta, Charlotte, the Midwest, etc.)? Non-New York $180K market
    2. What kind of firm was it (e.g., BigLaw, MidLaw, SmallLaw, etc.)? BigLaw, but the office is not the firm's headquarter/biggest office
    3. What year did you do your SA? Was it a 1L SA or a 2L SA? 2L SA
    4. What was the firm or firm-range (e.g., DLA Piper, V30, V50-60, etc.)? V50
    5. What sort of work did you do (e.g., all litigation, mostly corporate, securities, etc.)? Corporate with some Bankruptcy

CONTENT
1. What kind of assignments did you get? Lots of Due Diligence Assignments, created a closing checklist, drafted some closing deliverable ancillaries, prepared disclosure schedules, drafted some general corporate documents for portfolio companies. A little bit of legal research for Bankruptcy cases. Prepared signature pages for a closing. Work was substantive. For random particular reasons, there were was a shortage of first-year associates so I think the mid-level associates enjoyed having us there to delegate Junior Associate work to that they would normally be doing themselves. I was often working on the exact same things as the first years (for instance, myself and a first year would both be brought into a deal and the mid-level would divide up the diligence between him and myself). Not a lot of substantive feedback, just a lot of "great job, keep it up"

2. Was it a “working summer” or a more of a “party summer?”: Working summer. I definitely worked harder than the majority of my peers at different firms. We were told to expect to leave by 6 each day at the beginning but as it played out we were all given enough work that this rarely happened. My entire class spent some fairly late nights at the office, at least for a summer (latest I stayed was 10 but staying past 8 was not unusual). I rarely went out to lunch (once a week on average if I had to guess). The social events did not seem very important and many were lightly attended by the attorneys. There was about one a week. It felt like a 10 week job interview as we were consistently told we were being evaluated in order to make final offer decisions but I'm not sure in hindsight that we were being evaluated closely, particularly based on how little feedback we received during mid-summer and end of summer evaluations. We were not told that everyone would receive an offer, rather we were told it would depend on our performance during the summer. They equivocated by saying there were spots for everyone assuming we all did a good job.

3. What was the outcome of the SA?: I received an offer, as did everyone else in my class. I believe that was true for the entire firm across all offices but am not 100 % sure. I accepted my offer to return

Overall my experience was positive and I am happy that I chose the firm I did. I do not believe I worked like a real associate in terms of hours but I think it was fairly realistic in terms of understanding some of the expectations of associates and getting an idea of the type of work that I will be doing as a first year associate. Not as much wining and dining but that's not what I was hoping for going in.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:46 pm

BASIC INFORMATION
1. Delaware
2. Biglaw
3. 2L SA
4. One of the "Big 4"
5. All corporate/transactional
6. Between 10 and 15 SAs

CONTENT
1. I worked exclusively in transactional practice groups. I did a number of research projects ranging from "find how the courts defined a word" to "prepare an comprehensive memo of X issue." All in all, I think I wrote about 5 memos, all between 5 and 10 pages. I reviewed a lot of agreements and certificates of formation for corporations and LLP/LLC/LP type companies. I ran blacklines for agreements, both against standard forms and against previous agreements. I tracked bills that were on their way to becoming laws. I drafted several Delaware opinions for new and existing companies who were doing deals.

Some of the work was definitely stuff that only a summer associate would get. Specifically the research projects that I ended up writing memos for, but it was pretty clear that the partner or associate was just curious about an issue. It was never hidden whether or not I was doing billable work (usually it was non billable). There was no attempt to make me feel important when I was doing busy work, which I appreciated. There was other work, though less of it, that was definitely used for clients. Obviously it ran through an associate and then a partner, but I saw finished memos or documents that I had a hand in creating.

All summers had formal reviews midway through the summer and at the conclusion of the program. Each assignment you did had feedback through an internal system, though you didn't get to see that feedback (it was summarized in reviews). Everyone I worked for gave me the impression that asking for feedback or tips for the future would be fine to do, though I rarely did this.

2. It was neither a "working summer" or a "party summer," but I would categorize it closer to a party summer just because there were often loose deadlines and not a lot of stress to get assignments done quickly. There were times when work product needed to be turned around quickly, but there was a very obvious difference between summers and first year associates.

There were roughly 2 events weekly, and we were expected to attend, though it was never an issue when someone missed an event. Being social and meeting new people was encouraged but never forced on any of the summers. We could hang around the other summers at events and it was pretty expected, and no one ever got told to be more social.

The events varied a lot, and listing them would out the firm that I was at (if I haven't already done that). Typically the "Big 4" firms all do weekly softball games, they go to a concert and/or a Phillies (or Blue Rocks) game, and other events around Wilmington or Philly that were fun but not too crazy (or crazy expensive).

We were all told at the beginning of the summer that there was room for everyone to get an offer, and that it wasn't a competition. That being said, we weren't promised offers or explicitly told to expect to get an offer.

3. I received an offer, and I accepted it. I believe that almost everyone who received an offer will be returning.

4. If I were to go back and give myself advice before I started my SA it would probably just be to relax. You won't be asked to do incredibly hard projects. You are more than capable to do all of the work that you will be asked to do. The social aspect is very laid-back and easygoing, and being yourself is easier than you would expect at a biglaw firm. It's the best job you'll ever have, so don't stress about anything and enjoy the ride.

I believe that I'm the first to post about being a summer associate in Delaware, so if anyone has any questions I would be more than happy to answer them (to the extent that I don't out myself or firm, etc.). I had a good amount of interaction with summers from almost all the Delaware firms, and I don't think there's a huge difference between the firms in terms of summer programs.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:06 pm

BASIC INFORMATION
    1. What market did you work in (e.g., New York City, Atlanta, Charlotte, the Midwest, etc.)? Tampa, FL
    2. What kind of firm was it (e.g., BigLaw, MidLaw, SmallLaw, etc.)? BigLaw
    3. What year did you do your SA? Was it a 1L SA or a 2L SA? 2L SA
    4. What was the firm or firm-range (e.g., DLA Piper, V30, V50-60, etc.)? No comment (avoid outing)
    5. What sort of work did you do (e.g., all litigation, mostly corporate, securities, etc.)? Pretty much all litigation (by choice)
    6. Around how many people were in your Summer Class (e.g., 100+, <10, 30-40ish, etc.; but consider not answering if you were in a market small enough for this to potentially be outing)? <10

CONTENT
    1. What kind of assignments did you get?
    There was a mix of substantive and make-work assignments. I did a lot of research of legal questions and memo writing. It was general litigation work. I did receive legitimate feedback.
    2. Was it a “working summer” or a more of a “party summer?”
    It was definitely a working summer. The firm valued both the events and the work. There were not a ton of summer events, so it was highly encouraged that you show up to every event. Missing one or two events wouldn't cost a person an offer, but missing more than that would make the firm ask questions about how serious that person was. Likewise, the work mattered a lot to the firm. The firm wouldn't hesitate to no-offer a person if they half-assed the work. Both were considered important. It did feel like a 10-week-long job interview. However, there was never pressure placed on us by the firm. They were always very nice and accommodating. The pressure and feeling of a job interview was self-inflicted. The firm made clear that offers were earned. They planned to offer everyone if people met expectations. It wasn't the sort of firm where you could just exist for the summer and get an offer. You had to make an effort. At the same time, the expectations weren't at all unreasonable.
    3. What was the outcome of the SA?
    I received an offer. From what I know, everyone in my class received an offer. However, the people in my class all worked hard to earn an offer. As of now, I do plan to return to the firm as an associate. There's a possibility that changes if I pursue a clerkship or DOJ Honors.
    4. Is there any other information you think those looking to learn what to expect during an SA might find helpful?
    The firm is one of the rare biglaw firms that I'd consider working for because they are very serious about maintaining their collegial culture, offer associates a realistic chance at partnership, and offer a semblance of work-life balance. It's still biglaw, so long hours are necessary. But the firm values its associates' time more than it seems other biglaw firms do. Just my opinion on that. However, the firm doesn't pay market. So the trade-off of a better culture, realistic partnership prospects, great people, and a better work-life balance is less money.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:30 pm

BASIC INFORMATION
1. What market did you work in (e.g., New York City, Atlanta, Charlotte, the Midwest, etc.)? NY
2. What kind of firm was it (e.g., BigLaw, MidLaw, SmallLaw, etc.)? Biglaw
3. What year did you do your SA? Was it a 1L SA or a 2L SA? 2L SA
4. What was the firm or firm-range (e.g., DLA Piper, V30, V50-60, etc.)? V10
5. What sort of work did you do (e.g., all litigation, mostly corporate, securities, etc.)? Corporate and Tax

CONTENT
1. What kind of assignments did you get? Due diligence, legal research, drafting ancillary documents, shadowing in on meetings. Feedback was generally positive feedback or no feedback. Really depends on the person you're working with.
2. Was it a “working summer” or a more of a “party summer?” Party summer
Did social functions seem to be considered more important than the assignments you received? Yes, it was basically known that social functions came before work. You couldn't skip out on them because of work.
Did it feel like a 12-week-long job interview? Yes. Even though it was a "party summer," you're expected to network and build relationships. So you are basically always interviewing, all the time.
Did they tell you at the beginning that everyone would receive offers or that not everyone would? Did they equivocate at all (e.g., “generally, everyone gets an offer”)? Or did they not bring offer prospects up at all? 100% offer firm. You had to do something really horrendous for them to even consider no offer.
What kind of events did they put on? We had at least one event every week, some weeks had practice area related events. Events ranged from short retreats, shows, SA only events. And of course there were always lunches and dinners.
3. What was the outcome of the SA? As much as a party summer might seem great and amazing, it can be exhausting. There's always alcohol but you're still expected to not screw up. You don't get as much access to the work because it is hard to delegate work to you when there's so many social events in place and they take priority. This can be a problem since you still need to have some idea of what practice areas you might be interested in joining when you start.
Did you get an offer? Yes
Did anyone in you Summer Class get no-offered? No
Did you (or do you plan to) return to the firm as an Associate? Yes. Overall, I was very happy at the firm. Everyone knew very well that as an SA you should enjoy all the time you're not working because all you will be doing when you come back is work.




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