Biglaw Summer Experience

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Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:43 pm

Hey everyone! As summer approaches, I was kind of curious as to what the typical biglaw summer experience is like - most are virtual, but I was wondering what logistics/culture was standard in a biglaw summer experience? For eg: are meals/lunches compensated, do SA's get work phones typically, other perks/experience highlights/drawbacks? Honestly just have 0 clue on what to expect and was just curious to hear others' experiences/advice :) Thanks!

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:33 am

I'm just hoping there aren't going to be a million icebreaker/get to know you events. However, I'm 100% positive the entire first week is going to be just that...

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:13 pm

Also wondering this?

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:33 am
I'm just hoping there aren't going to be a million icebreaker/get to know you events. However, I'm 100% positive the entire first week is going to be just that...
my whole first week last summer was different types of trainings and breakout rooms (first 2 weeks, to be more exact)

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:53 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:33 am
I'm just hoping there aren't going to be a million icebreaker/get to know you events. However, I'm 100% positive the entire first week is going to be just that...
my whole first week last summer was different types of trainings and breakout rooms (first 2 weeks, to be more exact)
I'm trying to keep a positive and upbeat attitude going into this summer, but that sounds horrific

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Prudent_Jurist

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Prudent_Jurist » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:14 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:53 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:33 am
I'm just hoping there aren't going to be a million icebreaker/get to know you events. However, I'm 100% positive the entire first week is going to be just that...
my whole first week last summer was different types of trainings and breakout rooms (first 2 weeks, to be more exact)
I'm trying to keep a positive and upbeat attitude going into this summer, but that sounds horrific
I'm thinking that whole first week thing was probably firms trying to fill time that they weren't sure what to do with given the novelty of the pandemic at the time and all. I hope they've got things figured out better this summer.

jotarokujo

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by jotarokujo » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:45 pm

lunches are generally compensated yes. you have a budget for your lunch (50-70) and are encouraged to go with an associate. not sure how covid changes things though as associates werent really getting lunch with summers at the same rate.

otisreadingcomp

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by otisreadingcomp » Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:22 pm

jotarokujo wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:45 pm
lunches are generally compensated yes. you have a budget for your lunch (50-70) and are encouraged to go with an associate. not sure how covid changes things though as associates werent really getting lunch with summers at the same rate.
I'd imagine associates can go out this summer though given that most will be vaccinated and you can eat outside, but I have no clue whether that's correct.

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:34 pm

From two summers ago (the last time it was in-person):

Market pay is $3,535/week. Any lunch or dinner with an associate/partner is free, and you will have the opportunity to do lunch basically every day and dinner like 2-3/week. There are also recruiting events that come with a free lunch/dinner/breakfast and/or an open bar. Usually but not always, drinks with a partner/associate would also be free even if it's not an official event. My particular firm also had free light breakfast available in the morning, and most meetings were catered. The office had liquor, beer, coffee, espresso, and cold brew available at all times.

The first week was literally 100% training and social events. There was a fun social event every single night of the week, and it was super expensive shit like on-field suite for an MLB game. Lots of bonding. These big fun social events continued throughout the summer up until a big party on the very last day, but after the first week it was more like 2-3/week rather than 6-7.

In week two we started to get assignments and would work maybe like 4-8 hours a day, MAX. A huge chunk of your time is eaten up by getting lunch with attorneys and going to additional recruiting/training/social events, and they know that so the work level is adjusted accordingly. Apparently with the remote summer this year everyone worked more because there were less distractions. The goal of your work was basically to just not completely fuck it up, build a good relationship with the attorney(s) assigning it, and learn about practice areas. You get feedback on your assignments.

Halfway through we all got evaluations on how we were doing. At the end we got a final evaluation and a return offer. We also got a bunch of swag.

If I could just repeat the summer experience over and over for my whole career, while collecting $190k, I would do it lol. Pretty damn chill.

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:07 pm

I mean, that’s great and all, but frankly your in-person summer experience doesn’t shed a ton of light on what to expect from a virtual summer.

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Prudent_Jurist

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Prudent_Jurist » Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:34 pm
From two summers ago (the last time it was in-person):

Market pay is $3,535/week. Any lunch or dinner with an associate/partner is free, and you will have the opportunity to do lunch basically every day and dinner like 2-3/week. There are also recruiting events that come with a free lunch/dinner/breakfast and/or an open bar. Usually but not always, drinks with a partner/associate would also be free even if it's not an official event. My particular firm also had free light breakfast available in the morning, and most meetings were catered. The office had liquor, beer, coffee, espresso, and cold brew available at all times.

The first week was literally 100% training and social events. There was a fun social event every single night of the week, and it was super expensive shit like on-field suite for an MLB game. Lots of bonding. These big fun social events continued throughout the summer up until a big party on the very last day, but after the first week it was more like 2-3/week rather than 6-7.

In week two we started to get assignments and would work maybe like 4-8 hours a day, MAX. A huge chunk of your time is eaten up by getting lunch with attorneys and going to additional recruiting/training/social events, and they know that so the work level is adjusted accordingly. Apparently with the remote summer this year everyone worked more because there were less distractions. The goal of your work was basically to just not completely fuck it up, build a good relationship with the attorney(s) assigning it, and learn about practice areas. You get feedback on your assignments.

Halfway through we all got evaluations on how we were doing. At the end we got a final evaluation and a return offer. We also got a bunch of swag.

If I could just repeat the summer experience over and over for my whole career, while collecting $190k, I would do it lol. Pretty damn chill.
Ah, the cruelty. They tease you with a bacchanalian paradise for a summer only to quash your soul under the biglaw grindstone. The ol' bait and switch. At least now we 2Ls won't be deceived by their grandiose illusions.

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:34 pm
From two summers ago (the last time it was in-person):

Market pay is $3,535/week. Any lunch or dinner with an associate/partner is free, and you will have the opportunity to do lunch basically every day and dinner like 2-3/week. There are also recruiting events that come with a free lunch/dinner/breakfast and/or an open bar. Usually but not always, drinks with a partner/associate would also be free even if it's not an official event. My particular firm also had free light breakfast available in the morning, and most meetings were catered. The office had liquor, beer, coffee, espresso, and cold brew available at all times.

The first week was literally 100% training and social events. There was a fun social event every single night of the week, and it was super expensive shit like on-field suite for an MLB game. Lots of bonding. These big fun social events continued throughout the summer up until a big party on the very last day, but after the first week it was more like 2-3/week rather than 6-7.

In week two we started to get assignments and would work maybe like 4-8 hours a day, MAX. A huge chunk of your time is eaten up by getting lunch with attorneys and going to additional recruiting/training/social events, and they know that so the work level is adjusted accordingly. Apparently with the remote summer this year everyone worked more because there were less distractions. The goal of your work was basically to just not completely fuck it up, build a good relationship with the attorney(s) assigning it, and learn about practice areas. You get feedback on your assignments.

Halfway through we all got evaluations on how we were doing. At the end we got a final evaluation and a return offer. We also got a bunch of swag.
This was basically my experience as a summer associate at two different firms in Texas (1L and 2L), although I worked a bit more than you did (especially at my 1L firm).

It was fun, but as an introvert who is pretty health-conscious (I eat healthy and I love to exercise), I was completely exhausted by the end of the summer. I would say the summer was a lot of fun until about week 6 or 7. At that point I was exhausted, I felt disgusting from all the food and alcohol, and I was ready to be done.

A virtual summer doesn't sound too bad tbh. I would've loved it as an introvert.

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:58 pm

Slightly off topic but figured one of y'all would know: what is the post-tax take home amount for market-paying SA living in NYC? (Assuming I don't do any funky business to change the withholding.)

A random tax calculator I found says $2,300 / week ($23K for the entire summer), but I wanted to confirm.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:58 pm
Slightly off topic but figured one of y'all would know: what is the post-tax take home amount for market-paying SA living in NYC? (Assuming I don't do any funky business to change the withholding.)

A random tax calculator I found says $2,300 / week ($23K for the entire summer), but I wanted to confirm.
I think it's more like $28k or maybe a bit more for the summer since in total we only take home $37k. Not sure if we get taxed as if we're making $190k for a year or not. Would be great if they could just advise us.

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:44 pm

I was a summer associate at two different firms (1L and 2L) with the first being in-person and the second being fully remote.

There were definitely a lot more perks during the in-person summer. As others have echoed above, it's constant food, drink, and events for ten weeks straight. During my 2L summer, the firm didn't give out any tech. We downloaded a virtual desktop onto our current laptops/desktops and used our own phones. Lunches were not compensated (though a couple dinners were when we had events). The number of Zoom meetings, especially during the first couple weeks, was a lot. There were a number of days where there was over 8 hours of on-camera Zoom meetings between orientation/meeting attorneys/events. Still, the overall number of events during remote summer was fewer than in-person (1 a week vs 2-3). Definitely felt more disconnected from attorneys/fellow summers during my second summer than my first.

It's not all bad though. Though there was more work during my second summer, there usually wasn't enough to fill up an entire day. That meant you spent a lot of your day waiting around your email to see if someone was going to send you something to work on. I spent most of my days napping/gaming/working out as a result. Ultimately you still get paid far too much for what you're doing but remote summer felt like a letdown compared to in-person, at least for me.

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:58 pm
Slightly off topic but figured one of y'all would know: what is the post-tax take home amount for market-paying SA living in NYC? (Assuming I don't do any funky business to change the withholding.)

A random tax calculator I found says $2,300 / week ($23K for the entire summer), but I wanted to confirm.
If that's your only source of income for the year, it should be ~$30k net.

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:07 pm
I mean, that’s great and all, but frankly your in-person summer experience doesn’t shed a ton of light on what to expect from a virtual summer.
OP asked us to describe a "typical biglaw summer experience" and specifically asked about what was "standard" as compared to virtual, so that's what I delivered.

Re: the people asking about taxes, they withhold taxes according to the fiction that you're making $190k for the year, but if your actual income ends up lower (i.e. you aren't combining it with a spouse or some other job) then you should get back the extra withholding as a refund when you file your return for that year.

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jotarokujo

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by jotarokujo » Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:12 pm

a lot of people have preferred WFH as a full time associate to working in the office, though some have disliked it.

for similar reasons, many people will prefer remote SA to in person. But the effect may be distorted because an SA is pretty different from being a normal associate. so it's probably a toss up/up to the individual as to whether wfh is good for any given SA. if one needs to spend time with family/doing stuff at home, they probably prefer remote. if they want to be around the office and be engaged with they firm, they would prefer normal.

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:47 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:58 pm
Slightly off topic but figured one of y'all would know: what is the post-tax take home amount for market-paying SA living in NYC? (Assuming I don't do any funky business to change the withholding.)

A random tax calculator I found says $2,300 / week ($23K for the entire summer), but I wanted to confirm.
If that's your only source of income for the year, it should be ~$30k net.
Do you actually get taxed like it's ~$30k net, or do you initially get taxed like it's ~$190k net and then get money back in tax return to put you back to ~$30k net tax rate?

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

Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:32 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:47 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:58 pm
Slightly off topic but figured one of y'all would know: what is the post-tax take home amount for market-paying SA living in NYC? (Assuming I don't do any funky business to change the withholding.)

A random tax calculator I found says $2,300 / week ($23K for the entire summer), but I wanted to confirm.
If that's your only source of income for the year, it should be ~$30k net.
Do you actually get taxed like it's ~$30k net, or do you initially get taxed like it's ~$190k net and then get money back in tax return to put you back to ~$30k net tax rate?
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:08 pm
Re: the people asking about taxes, they withhold taxes according to the fiction that you're making $190k for the year, but if your actual income ends up lower (i.e. you aren't combining it with a spouse or some other job) then you should get back the extra withholding as a refund when you file your return for that year.

Anonymous User
Posts: 369281
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:34 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:32 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:47 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:58 pm
Slightly off topic but figured one of y'all would know: what is the post-tax take home amount for market-paying SA living in NYC? (Assuming I don't do any funky business to change the withholding.)

A random tax calculator I found says $2,300 / week ($23K for the entire summer), but I wanted to confirm.
If that's your only source of income for the year, it should be ~$30k net.
Do you actually get taxed like it's ~$30k net, or do you initially get taxed like it's ~$190k net and then get money back in tax return to put you back to ~$30k net tax rate?
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:08 pm
Re: the people asking about taxes, they withhold taxes according to the fiction that you're making $190k for the year, but if your actual income ends up lower (i.e. you aren't combining it with a spouse or some other job) then you should get back the extra withholding as a refund when you file your return for that year.
My firm for the summer gave us option to fill out partial-year employment withholding form so hopefully they fixed this issue and they just withhold on the summer income

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:14 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:53 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:33 am
I'm just hoping there aren't going to be a million icebreaker/get to know you events. However, I'm 100% positive the entire first week is going to be just that...
my whole first week last summer was different types of trainings and breakout rooms (first 2 weeks, to be more exact)
I'm trying to keep a positive and upbeat attitude going into this summer, but that sounds horrific
This was my experience too (at Latham) and it was indeed awful. If you have a Zoom summer, expect it to suck, I don't know anyone who enjoyed theirs, though it's hard to complain about piles of money for doing almost nothing except watching mindless practice group presentations.

Anonymous User
Posts: 369281
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:34 pm
From two summers ago (the last time it was in-person):

Market pay is $3,535/week. Any lunch or dinner with an associate/partner is free, and you will have the opportunity to do lunch basically every day and dinner like 2-3/week. There are also recruiting events that come with a free lunch/dinner/breakfast and/or an open bar. Usually but not always, drinks with a partner/associate would also be free even if it's not an official event. My particular firm also had free light breakfast available in the morning, and most meetings were catered. The office had liquor, beer, coffee, espresso, and cold brew available at all times.

The first week was literally 100% training and social events. There was a fun social event every single night of the week, and it was super expensive shit like on-field suite for an MLB game. Lots of bonding. These big fun social events continued throughout the summer up until a big party on the very last day, but after the first week it was more like 2-3/week rather than 6-7.

In week two we started to get assignments and would work maybe like 4-8 hours a day, MAX. A huge chunk of your time is eaten up by getting lunch with attorneys and going to additional recruiting/training/social events, and they know that so the work level is adjusted accordingly. Apparently with the remote summer this year everyone worked more because there were less distractions. The goal of your work was basically to just not completely fuck it up, build a good relationship with the attorney(s) assigning it, and learn about practice areas. You get feedback on your assignments.

Halfway through we all got evaluations on how we were doing. At the end we got a final evaluation and a return offer. We also got a bunch of swag.

If I could just repeat the summer experience over and over for my whole career, while collecting $190k, I would do it lol. Pretty damn chill.
i thought the market is $3700 per week? but i guess that's minimum difference

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:50 pm

Market is $3654 (190k/52 weeks). Last summer, I worked at 2 firms. One paid 3700 instead of 3654. The other one paid semimonthly so I ended up getting $3958 a week.

jotarokujo

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Re: Biglaw Summer Experience

Post by jotarokujo » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:53 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:14 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:53 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:33 am
I'm just hoping there aren't going to be a million icebreaker/get to know you events. However, I'm 100% positive the entire first week is going to be just that...
my whole first week last summer was different types of trainings and breakout rooms (first 2 weeks, to be more exact)
I'm trying to keep a positive and upbeat attitude going into this summer, but that sounds horrific
This was my experience too (at Latham) and it was indeed awful. If you have a Zoom summer, expect it to suck, I don't know anyone who enjoyed theirs, though it's hard to complain about piles of money for doing almost nothing except watching mindless practice group presentations.
plenty of things suck about going into the office too tho

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