Advice on being a good summer associate?

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RaceJudicata

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Re: Advice on being a good summer associate?

Postby RaceJudicata » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
umichman wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:Spend a few nights late at the office (10 pm) to really bring the message home.


Everyone in my summer class talked shit about the person who did this, YMMV.

Edit: with the exception of a handful of firms, there is literally nothing you will do as a summer at most firms that will require you to stay until 10PM in the office. You will stand out if you do this on "few nights" and not necessarily in a good way like this dude is suggesting.


We had a couple people who did this. The head of the group actually yelled at the associates who assigned the SA work because the associates are supposed to tell the SA to leave at 5:30 or whatever. Then a couple of the partners and associates I went to lunches with talked shit about these 2 or 3 SAs (they should have asked) and the associates that forgot to tell them to leave the rest of the summer.

Also recruitment gets really pissed at the assignor if you miss and event to do work, so always ask whether you should stay and finish the project or go to the event and finish tmrw.

Remember the associates for the most part were summer associates very recently. They know what is going through your head and for the most part will do what they can to help you out if you just ask.


I remember when I was a SA, I had a good number of projects and events. I got annoyed a bit (but of course never showed it) at the associate that would always come by and say around 5 or so, "what are you doing here still? Go home man." And I got annoyed at all the events because as soon as I'd get in the groove of doing work I'd have to get up and do crackers and cheese or some networking event. And I got annoyed at things like this for two reasons. First, I'm a workaholic by nature so when I have work, my initial instinct is to work work work and get it done, and then do other stuff. So I naturally get annoyed when I have to stop work to do some event that small and inconsequential. Second, when I tried doing what other people here said (follow the associates' advice, go to events and not stay late, etc), during my mid summer review I was told my work product was really good but I have trouble prioritizing work over non-work stuff. It wasn't said outright but i took this to mean I should learn to work more on my assignments and maybe not go to some events. So I understand the general atmosphere of the SA program, but staying a couple nights to finish your work or get a lot of it out the way early isn't a bad idea. Actually, I sometimes get tired of people so opposed to that cause of my natural workaholic perspective.


You seem like a chill guy or gal to hang out with.

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elendinel

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Re: Advice on being a good summer associate?

Postby elendinel » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:21 pm

LurkerTurnedMember wrote:Spend a few nights late at the office (10 pm) to really bring the message home.



Anonymous User wrote:I remember when I was a SA, I had a good number of projects and events. I got annoyed a bit (but of course never showed it) at the associate that would always come by and say around 5 or so, "what are you doing here still? Go home man." And I got annoyed at all the events because as soon as I'd get in the groove of doing work I'd have to get up and do crackers and cheese or some networking event. And I got annoyed at things like this for two reasons. First, I'm a workaholic by nature so when I have work, my initial instinct is to work work work and get it done, and then do other stuff. So I naturally get annoyed when I have to stop work to do some event that small and inconsequential. Second, when I tried doing what other people here said (follow the associates' advice, go to events and not stay late, etc), during my mid summer review I was told my work product was really good but I have trouble prioritizing work over non-work stuff. It wasn't said outright but i took this to mean I should learn to work more on my assignments and maybe not go to some events. So I understand the general atmosphere of the SA program, but staying a couple nights to finish your work or get a lot of it out the way early isn't a bad idea. Actually, I sometimes get tired of people so opposed to that cause of my natural workaholic perspective.


Lol.

OP: You don't have to be a workaholic to be a good SA. If you are that's fine, but do understand that it's wholly unnecessary and is unlikely to help you one iota if your work product is otherwise on time and of good quality. Do your work well, do it on time, and act sociable, and you should be fine.

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Re: Advice on being a good summer associate?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:02 pm

The social aspects can be draining. You want to focus on your work product, which at least where i was at, was definitely the bulk of the summer. We weren't getting fake memos that nobody would read, i did a ton of due diligence projects (that I knew the Associate assigning it would be checking over but had to be done nonetheless) but then it seems like every other day there's some panel being held on communication styles in law or something like that or some practice group is giving a presentation on whatever it is they do in the firm, that we Summers were expected to go to. And then an Associate wants to go to lunch (hint: it's not cuz they like you, they get a free lunch out of it), and you got a happy hour at 6 to go to. There were definitely times where I would have preferred to just do my work in peace without the other hoopla going on. As you could probably guess, I'm definitely an introvert so having to be a more outgoing version of myself all summer was a challenge.

But on the other hand, I know it will be way more stressful when people aren't caring about what else you have on your plate in terms of work and the expectations are something more than just de minimis.

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stannis

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Re: Advice on being a good summer associate?

Postby stannis » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:51 am

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:We have a couple associates who are notorious assholes and dump last minute work on summers when there is supposed to be a cool event that night. They do it so they can attend, which is super fucked up. Keep in mind, the summer is for *you* and the firm is putting all these events on for you. If you're unsure whether you can attend an event because you have an assignment, it's okay to ask whether you can go. If you suspsect you're working with a dickface associate as in the above scenario, don't be afraid to ask the work/assignment coordinator whether you can attend the event. 99% of work you'll be given isn't vital anyway.


Idk about this. The kind of associate who will purposefully give you work that conflicts with an event may also be the kind of associate who will hold a grudge against you for going over his head to avoid his assignment. Personally, I'd let the appropriate person know that I will be unable to attend Event X because I am working on an assignment from Associate Y.

Caveat: I work at a firm with 30-50 attorneys so pissing off one associate is probably worse at my firm than at the average biglaw firm.

christianllang

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Re: Advice on being a good summer associate?

Postby christianllang » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:07 am

I was actually planning to make a separate post this weekend to give the community a heads-up, but I run a blog on a law firm associate success and development (read: how to be a good baby lawyer at a big firm) called Blacklines & Billables (https://blacklinesandbillables.com/), and we just launched a "Tips for Summer Associates" series, plus a thread in our forum on the same, so others can chip in their two cents. Hopefully some of that will be helpful to you. Also check out the "Biglaw Basics" series. It's written as a crash course on how to be a good first-year associate, but a huge percentage of that content is directly translatable into how to be a good summer. Best of luck with it!

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Re: Advice on being a good summer associate?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:46 pm

christianllang wrote:I was actually planning to make a separate post this weekend to give the community a heads-up, but I run a blog on a law firm associate success and development (read: how to be a good baby lawyer at a big firm) called Blacklines & Billables (https://blacklinesandbillables.com/), and we just launched a "Tips for Summer Associates" series, plus a thread in our forum on the same, so others can chip in their two cents. Hopefully some of that will be helpful to you. Also check out the "Biglaw Basics" series. It's written as a crash course on how to be a good first-year associate, but a huge percentage of that content is directly translatable into how to be a good summer. Best of luck with it!


OP here. Thank you so much!!

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TLSModBot

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Re: Advice on being a good summer associate?

Postby TLSModBot » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:49 pm

stannis wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:We have a couple associates who are notorious assholes and dump last minute work on summers when there is supposed to be a cool event that night. They do it so they can attend, which is super fucked up. Keep in mind, the summer is for *you* and the firm is putting all these events on for you. If you're unsure whether you can attend an event because you have an assignment, it's okay to ask whether you can go. If you suspsect you're working with a dickface associate as in the above scenario, don't be afraid to ask the work/assignment coordinator whether you can attend the event. 99% of work you'll be given isn't vital anyway.


Idk about this. The kind of associate who will purposefully give you work that conflicts with an event may also be the kind of associate who will hold a grudge against you for going over his head to avoid his assignment. Personally, I'd let the appropriate person know that I will be unable to attend Event X because I am working on an assignment from Associate Y.

Caveat: I work at a firm with 30-50 attorneys so pissing off one associate is probably worse at my firm than at the average biglaw firm.

Stannis's approach is probably the right/safe way to go in general, I think



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