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Author Topic: Life as a Summer Associate  (Read 12612 times)

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Life as a Summer Associate
« Reply #50 on: June 14, 2009, 11:05:04 AM »
Doc review as a summer?  I should hope not...run away from that job.

2Ls get the jobs typically through on-campus interviews.  1Ls typically blanket firms with resumes and participate in a limited OCI.

Offers come (you hope) at the end of the summer...method varies by firm.



No doubt, if I had to do doc review as a summer associate I would have contemplated jumping out the window or something.

I'm just glad to see that summer associates even still EXIST in this economy.    Sheesh.

When you got there as a 1L, what were your typical assignments?

How different was your first 6 months comapred to when you were a SA?


Aw man, like almost night and day damn near.

We give summer associates stuff like research memo's and other short term stuff that they can complete within a few days or weeks.  When you become an associate you become part of cases (or deals on the transaction side) that last for many months, sometimes years.  Plus there's a noticeable attitude difference I think.  As a summer associate, nobody expects you to know anything.  Everybody's all smiles and "hey no problem's"  and "it's ok's" and what not.  When you are an Associate people expect you to know some sh!t, meet deadlines, utilize resources, be available on blackberry 24/7, etc.  In other words, they treat you like a professional.
Welp, this summer we actually have to know *&^% and make sure our assignments are 100% on point...no room for error  :-\

Sigh...


Oh yeah, assignments always have to be 100% on point.  That's a given.  Grammar, citation, spelling, shephardizing, etc.

Now being expected to know *&^% (like where to file a motion in NY state court for a transfer of venue or what kind of documents to ask for in a document request of a fortune 500 company for a trademark infringement case), now that's a higher than normal standard I suppose.  I would hope they're not expecting you guys to know something like that as summers.

I would expect a summer to know the substantive law that you learned in class, like what are the elements of negligence, how do we prove fraud in the inducement, was there a valid contract here, was it breached, etc.

So I guess when I say be expected to know *&^%, I mean beyond the substantive law.  I'm talking about knowing the actual practice of law, which ironically they don't teach us in law school.  Go figure.

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Re: Life as a Summer Associate
« Reply #51 on: June 15, 2009, 04:09:50 PM »
Doc review as a summer?  I should hope not...run away from that job.

2Ls get the jobs typically through on-campus interviews.  1Ls typically blanket firms with resumes and participate in a limited OCI.

Offers come (you hope) at the end of the summer...method varies by firm.



No doubt, if I had to do doc review as a summer associate I would have contemplated jumping out the window or something.

I'm just glad to see that summer associates even still EXIST in this economy.    Sheesh.

When you got there as a 1L, what were your typical assignments?

How different was your first 6 months comapred to when you were a SA?


Aw man, like almost night and day damn near.

We give summer associates stuff like research memo's and other short term stuff that they can complete within a few days or weeks.  When you become an associate you become part of cases (or deals on the transaction side) that last for many months, sometimes years.  Plus there's a noticeable attitude difference I think.  As a summer associate, nobody expects you to know anything.  Everybody's all smiles and "hey no problem's"  and "it's ok's" and what not.  When you are an Associate people expect you to know some sh!t, meet deadlines, utilize resources, be available on blackberry 24/7, etc.  In other words, they treat you like a professional.
Welp, this summer we actually have to know poo and make sure our assignments are 100% on point...no room for error  :-\

Sigh...


Oh yeah, assignments always have to be 100% on point.  That's a given.  Grammar, citation, spelling, shephardizing, etc.

Now being expected to know poo (like where to file a motion in NY state court for a transfer of venue or what kind of documents to ask for in a document request of a fortune 500 company for a trademark infringement case), now that's a higher than normal standard I suppose.  I would hope they're not expecting you guys to know something like that as summers.

I would expect a summer to know the substantive law that you learned in class, like what are the elements of negligence, how do we prove fraud in the inducement, was there a valid contract here, was it breached, etc.

So I guess when I say be expected to know poo, I mean beyond the substantive law.  I'm talking about knowing the actual practice of law, which ironically they don't teach us in law school.  Go figure.

I doubt any Partner or Associate is giving any substantive work to a Summer Associate. Of course the person assigning the work will hype it up. "This is really important because needs an answer by next Thursday!"

But at the end of the day, what firm is really going to say, "Yeah, that Memo you wrote really was pointless. I was already aware of the law, I just was curious about some obscure point. Toss it in my chair and I'll take a look at it later when I take a bathroom break."

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Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Life as a Summer Associate
« Reply #52 on: June 15, 2009, 08:13:45 PM »
LOL  yeah that definitely happens sometimes.  Although, I wouldn't TOTALLY rule out the prospect of real live substantive work going to summer associates. 

For example, I was just in a fellow associate's office today and he was on the phone with a client and he asked the client "do you want me to do this, or would you prefer that I pass this off to a summer to keep the cost down?"

I'm not sure what exactly the assignment entailed, but I got the sense that it was something that was not too major yet major enough for an associate to have to do it himself if need be.  So summers absolutely do get meaningful assignments, they just tend to be shorter in nature.
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Re: Life as a Summer Associate
« Reply #53 on: June 16, 2009, 09:14:47 PM »
LOL  yeah that definitely happens sometimes.  Although, I wouldn't TOTALLY rule out the prospect of real live substantive work going to summer associates. 

For example, I was just in a fellow associate's office today and he was on the phone with a client and he asked the client "do you want me to do this, or would you prefer that I pass this off to a summer to keep the cost down?"

I'm not sure what exactly the assignment entailed, but I got the sense that it was something that was not too major yet major enough for an associate to have to do it himself if need be.  So summers absolutely do get meaningful assignments, they just tend to be shorter in nature.

I think one of the most substantive things I got to do by myself as a SA was drafting an Affidavit from the witness' actual statement.

I was krunk to draft it and have the Sr. Associate approve it b/c both parties were gettin' ready to go to trial and my affidavit would've been considered as testimony that might come up in trial. . . AND YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED?????
















Both sides agreed to settle in arbitration. You know what happened to my Toyota-Turning Point Affidavit that was oh-so important to the litigation? The opposing client took one look at it, tossed it to the side and went right back to cussin' out our client cuz he was a "no good rotten scoundrel!"
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Re: Life as a Summer Associate
« Reply #54 on: June 17, 2009, 12:50:29 PM »
 :D :D :D  LOL  That's funny b/c it's so true.

Yeah, that's how it goes, man.  You spend hours upon hours working on motions and responses to motions and briefs and research, etc. And then in the blink of an eye, POOF!!!  The case settles. 

Sometimes we forget the everyday human element of this practice w/ respect to clients.  Usually (w/ corporations anyway) once we start down the road on litigation you can predict that you're not going to get a settlement until somebody's summary judgment motion gets dinged.  But sometimes the client can surprise you. You never know.

Better to be prepared I guess.


On a related note, I've noticed that the more seasoned cats tend to only do what is absolutely necessary before proceeding with a case.  For example, I have this case now dealing with some high tech subject matter.  The partner on the case filed the usual motion to dismiss on procedural grounds.  Typical tactic.  But it wasn't until the motion to dismiss actually got denied that he, for the first time, picked up some material on high tech subject matter and started to educate himself on what exactly was at issue.  He told me that he was hoping that it would get knocked out so he wouldn't have to spend time learning this tech stuff.
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Re: Life as a Summer Associate
« Reply #55 on: June 22, 2009, 10:26:02 AM »
:D :D :D  LOL  That's funny b/c it's so true.

Yeah, that's how it goes, man.  You spend hours upon hours working on motions and responses to motions and briefs and research, etc. And then in the blink of an eye, POOF!!!  The case settles. 

Sometimes we forget the everyday human element of this practice w/ respect to clients.  Usually (w/ corporations anyway) once we start down the road on litigation you can predict that you're not going to get a settlement until somebody's summary judgment motion gets dinged.  But sometimes the client can surprise you. You never know.

Better to be prepared I guess.


On a related note, I've noticed that the more seasoned cats tend to only do what is absolutely necessary before proceeding with a case.  For example, I have this case now dealing with some high tech subject matter.  The partner on the case filed the usual motion to dismiss on procedural grounds.  Typical tactic.  But it wasn't until the motion to dismiss actually got denied that he, for the first time, picked up some material on high tech subject matter and started to educate himself on what exactly was at issue.  He told me that he was hoping that it would get knocked out so he wouldn't have to spend time learning this tech stuff.

Makes sense, considering that I doubt your Partner wants to spend a lot of time and effort on a BS case.

How many cases do you receive that are absolutely BS and have no merits and are only field just to milk a couple thousand in settlement?
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Re: Life as a Summer Associate
« Reply #56 on: June 22, 2009, 08:34:28 PM »
:D :D :D  LOL  That's funny b/c it's so true.

Yeah, that's how it goes, man.  You spend hours upon hours working on motions and responses to motions and briefs and research, etc. And then in the blink of an eye, POOF!!!  The case settles. 

Sometimes we forget the everyday human element of this practice w/ respect to clients.  Usually (w/ corporations anyway) once we start down the road on litigation you can predict that you're not going to get a settlement until somebody's summary judgment motion gets dinged.  But sometimes the client can surprise you. You never know.

Better to be prepared I guess.


On a related note, I've noticed that the more seasoned cats tend to only do what is absolutely necessary before proceeding with a case.  For example, I have this case now dealing with some high tech subject matter.  The partner on the case filed the usual motion to dismiss on procedural grounds.  Typical tactic.  But it wasn't until the motion to dismiss actually got denied that he, for the first time, picked up some material on high tech subject matter and started to educate himself on what exactly was at issue.  He told me that he was hoping that it would get knocked out so he wouldn't have to spend time learning this tech stuff.

Makes sense, considering that I doubt your Partner wants to spend a lot of time and effort on a BS case.

How many cases do you receive that are absolutely BS and have no merits and are only field just to milk a couple thousand in settlement?


Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

Like all of 'em!   :D

I shouldn't say that actually.  Actually there are some that are brought on legitimate merits.  But keep in mind, settlement is the name of the game in Biglaw.  We win cases ON PAPER at Summary Judgment and we rarely ever go to trial.  If you go to trial then usually something has gone wrong.

The pro bono stuff is usually meritorious work though. Helping people who couldn't make it happen without you.  That's always a good feeling.

"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

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Re: Life as a Summer Associate
« Reply #57 on: June 23, 2009, 04:08:37 PM »
:D :D :D  LOL  That's funny b/c it's so true.

Yeah, that's how it goes, man.  You spend hours upon hours working on motions and responses to motions and briefs and research, etc. And then in the blink of an eye, POOF!!!  The case settles. 

Sometimes we forget the everyday human element of this practice w/ respect to clients.  Usually (w/ corporations anyway) once we start down the road on litigation you can predict that you're not going to get a settlement until somebody's summary judgment motion gets dinged.  But sometimes the client can surprise you. You never know.

Better to be prepared I guess.


On a related note, I've noticed that the more seasoned cats tend to only do what is absolutely necessary before proceeding with a case.  For example, I have this case now dealing with some high tech subject matter.  The partner on the case filed the usual motion to dismiss on procedural grounds.  Typical tactic.  But it wasn't until the motion to dismiss actually got denied that he, for the first time, picked up some material on high tech subject matter and started to educate himself on what exactly was at issue.  He told me that he was hoping that it would get knocked out so he wouldn't have to spend time learning this tech stuff.

Makes sense, considering that I doubt your Partner wants to spend a lot of time and effort on a BS case.

How many cases do you receive that are absolutely BS and have no merits and are only field just to milk a couple thousand in settlement?


Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

Like all of 'em!   :D

I shouldn't say that actually.  Actually there are some that are brought on legitimate merits.  But keep in mind, settlement is the name of the game in Biglaw.  We win cases ON PAPER at Summary Judgment and we rarely ever go to trial.  If you go to trial then usually something has gone wrong.

The pro bono stuff is usually meritorious work though. Helping people who couldn't make it happen without you.  That's always a good feeling.

Do Firms actually care about Pro Bono work?

As in, "Hey! Great job on that Pro Bono case last month1"

not

"Hey! Great job on that Pro Bono case last month that got our firm in the newspaper and trade magazines and gave us some great PR!"
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Re: Life as a Summer Associate
« Reply #58 on: June 25, 2009, 10:16:53 AM »
Depends on the firm. Some do, some don't. My firm actually does care about it. They give awards to associates who do the most hours of pro bono work.



 

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Re: Life as a Summer Associate
« Reply #59 on: June 25, 2009, 04:28:02 PM »
tag, good thread.