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Author Topic: Life As An Associate  (Read 172566 times)

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1660 on: July 14, 2008, 10:15:23 AM »
Okay, I have a very serious question.  I just finished 8 weeks as a summer associate, and to be honest, I didn't enjoy it all that much.  The events were stressful, and there was a lot of pressure to attend them (small summer class).  I liked the work, and I liked the other members of my summer class.  I felt like a lot of the attorneys were two-faced... for instance, I got positive feedback from someone on a project, and then I went to my midsummer review and that person had slammed me because I had asked for an hour extension.  An HOUR.  Another partner gave me a negative comment in my review because, when asked for an "update," I had sent an email instead of giving an oral report.  WTF?  How could I have known she wanted an oral report?  Is it normal to get such nitpicky comments in reviews like this?

Do I just not like Biglaw practice, or is it the firm? 


As I understand it, while your particular criticisms are not the norm, it is somewhat common in pretty much any law firm whenever they are doing a review to come up with random stuff to critique you on.  Associates and partners are often instructed to think of at least one negative to critique us on, so you may see something as trivial as "asked for a one hour extension" because that's literally all that that person could say about you in terms of criticisms, and the rest is probably all positive.  So take that for what its worth.
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Charles H. Houston

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1661 on: July 14, 2008, 09:44:01 PM »
Okay, I have a very serious question.  I just finished 8 weeks as a summer associate, and to be honest, I didn't enjoy it all that much.  The events were stressful, and there was a lot of pressure to attend them (small summer class).  I liked the work, and I liked the other members of my summer class.  I felt like a lot of the attorneys were two-faced... for instance, I got positive feedback from someone on a project, and then I went to my midsummer review and that person had slammed me because I had asked for an hour extension.  An HOUR.  Another partner gave me a negative comment in my review because, when asked for an "update," I had sent an email instead of giving an oral report.  WTF?  How could I have known she wanted an oral report?  Is it normal to get such nitpicky comments in reviews like this?

Do I just not like Biglaw practice, or is it the firm? 

 :-[  Oh, dear lord. 

Are you sure that they're not looking for these negative things because of some larger issue, which may be economic?  These sound like excuses to sink your associate position.


I'm not sure I get you--the pay was the best thing about it!  I'm in NYC, and like most firms they pay market salaries, market bonuses.

I suppose the larger bad feeling I have about the place is not so much due to the examples above, but I can't necessarily say more since I don't want to out myself.  Suffice it to say that I worked pretty long hours, especially for a summer, and yet still somehow in my review they basically insinuated I was a slacker.... which is not what you want to hear after you've been up really late working on a project.  Moreover, I didn't really "click" with any attorneys, except two midlevel associates who left during the summer.  My partner mentor totally ignored me (I've heard this isn't uncommon from friends at other firms, but it would have been nice to have someone to talk to).

Guys:  I'm not going to "out" the firm.  It wasn't right for me; hopefully that doesn't mean someplace else won't be.  I think some other summers had better experiences, anyway, so mine wasn't necessarily representative.

My only advice would be, don't choose based on "the people"; choose based on the work... because most of the people involved in the recruiting process are the people who come off well, if the firm's recruiters are doing their job.  There are all types of people at any given firm.  Note that this is the exact opposite of the advice I gave BEFORE being a summer associate, so at least I learned something.   :)
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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1662 on: July 14, 2008, 09:49:46 PM »
I feel some of this might have been firm-specific.

A.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1663 on: July 14, 2008, 10:22:43 PM »
My only advice would be, don't choose based on "the people"; choose based on the work... because most of the people involved in the recruiting process are the people who come off well, if the firm's recruiters are doing their job.  There are all types of people at any given firm.  Note that this is the exact opposite of the advice I gave BEFORE being a summer associate, so at least I learned something.   :)


Just like you don't pick a law school based on the admissions staff and student reps, you shouldn't do so for a law firm either.  Talk to people who've worked there, go back for a real second look, read reviews, etc.  But it's certainly not just about the work.  If you had a small summer class, I assume you weren't at a very large firm.  It's at these places where cultural fit becomes most important.  You didn't find yours, so you should probably talk to your classmates about their summers and reinterview in the fall.

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Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1665 on: July 22, 2008, 06:21:47 PM »
Fascinating:

http://www.elsblog.org/the_empirical_legal_studi/2008/07/how-the-cravath.html

ah, the infamous $125k spike - the salary that was heard around the world and had basketweaving majors lining up in droves to take the LSAT.

I am curious to see how long the legal profession can sustain this $160k model.
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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1666 on: July 22, 2008, 06:49:21 PM »
So am I...to wax country, you better git it while the gittin's good...

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1667 on: July 22, 2008, 06:57:56 PM »
public interest for me, although my loan debt is enormous
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Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1668 on: July 22, 2008, 06:59:49 PM »
So am I...to wax country, you better git it while the gittin's good...

I heard that, son.

It's funny how all those rumors were going around about jumping to 190k and then the next thing you know, lawyers started getting laid off.  Oops, bit off more than we can chew there, did we?
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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #1669 on: July 23, 2008, 03:32:38 PM »
public interest for me, although my loan debt is enormous

Look into loan forgiveness, if you haven't already.
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