Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

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proteinshake
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by proteinshake » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:12 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:27 pm
proteinshake wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:22 pm
is it okay to ask for one day off for my sister’s grad ceremony?
Yes, but it’s still important how you do it. Inform your primary contact at the firm (likely recruiting) that you have a potential conflict on the date of her graduation, and ask if that would conflict with any firm events. If not, just let them know of the family event, and they’ll likely be fine with it. If they have some big event on that day, consider whether you should miss that thing (not saying you should or shouldn’t, but sometimes even social events at firms can be low-key a big deal for summers), and if you’re sure you need to miss, just ask how you make it work. They should give you some guidance on how to proceed.
thank you, but I actually figured it out! gonna miss the ceremony but visit over the weekend so I can actually spend some time. do firms ever have events on the weekends?

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rockathon
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by rockathon » Thu May 16, 2019 12:25 pm

How do you handle being assigned a lot of work from different attorneys during your 1L SA? I have a friend who said he worked 10.5 hours by her second day.


For anyone who's had both a 1L and 2L summer in biglaw, are there any differences between the 2/how the SA is treated/work load?

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UVA2B
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by UVA2B » Thu May 16, 2019 1:57 pm

rockathon wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 12:25 pm
How do you handle being assigned a lot of work from different attorneys during your 1L SA? I have a friend who said he worked 10.5 hours by her second day.


For anyone who's had both a 1L and 2L summer in biglaw, are there any differences between the 2/how the SA is treated/work load?
This will be somewhat firm-dependent, because not all summer programs are handled the same. It’ll depend on firm, market, and practice group.

Generically, if you’ve been assigned more than you can handle (and there aren’t assigned SA work coordinators managing this for you), you should find your mentor at the firm (assigned or through a developed relationship) and ask how to handle the various assignments, where to budget your time, and how best to meet the expectations for the assigning attorneys on each assignment. And if there are senior associates who are in charge of the summer program, you can also ask them how to manage your workload effectively.

I wouldn’t be too scared about a 10.5 hour workday by itself though*. Those days will happen, and while you don’t necessarily come in as an SA expecting those kinds of days, you absolutely must suck it up and put in the work with a smile on your face and your best foot forward. In both of my SA experiences, people understood when social events came up and when your time would be limited, but that doesn’t mean you are in any position to complain or worry about the number of hours you’ve worked or the amount of time your assignments might take. You can look for advice on how to handle those assignments, but it’s still your responsibility to see to it that you present solid work product on every assignment on time.

SAs are a really long interview and typically the workload is beyond manageable. But there may be times where you have the opportunity for interesting and valuable experiences, so you’ll want to take advantage of those. And if you find yourself working one or two longer days, you just need to do it, and do it well with a smile. And if you have an entire summer of 12+ hour days where you’re miserable, maybe that’s a good sign that you won’t enjoy working at that firm long-term.

As for the 1L/2L distinction, they’re minimally different since 1Ls still have OCI up ahead where the bulk of hiring is done, but in terms of assignments given and expectations, they won’t differ much, if at all.

*note: a 10.5 hour work day isn’t that big of a deal, but if somehow your friend billed 10.5 hours on their second day, that’s an impressive amount of time they accounted for that will all be written off.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by SmokeytheBear » Thu May 16, 2019 3:09 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 1:57 pm
rockathon wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 12:25 pm
How do you handle being assigned a lot of work from different attorneys during your 1L SA? I have a friend who said he worked 10.5 hours by her second day.


For anyone who's had both a 1L and 2L summer in biglaw, are there any differences between the 2/how the SA is treated/work load?
This will be somewhat firm-dependent, because not all summer programs are handled the same. It’ll depend on firm, market, and practice group.

Generically, if you’ve been assigned more than you can handle (and there aren’t assigned SA work coordinators managing this for you), you should find your mentor at the firm (assigned or through a developed relationship) and ask how to handle the various assignments, where to budget your time, and how best to meet the expectations for the assigning attorneys on each assignment. And if there are senior associates who are in charge of the summer program, you can also ask them how to manage your workload effectively.

I wouldn’t be too scared about a 10.5 hour workday by itself though*. Those days will happen, and while you don’t necessarily come in as an SA expecting those kinds of days, you absolutely must suck it up and put in the work with a smile on your face and your best foot forward. In both of my SA experiences, people understood when social events came up and when your time would be limited, but that doesn’t mean you are in any position to complain or worry about the number of hours you’ve worked or the amount of time your assignments might take. You can look for advice on how to handle those assignments, but it’s still your responsibility to see to it that you present solid work product on every assignment on time.

SAs are a really long interview and typically the workload is beyond manageable. But there may be times where you have the opportunity for interesting and valuable experiences, so you’ll want to take advantage of those. And if you find yourself working one or two longer days, you just need to do it, and do it well with a smile. And if you have an entire summer of 12+ hour days where you’re miserable, maybe that’s a good sign that you won’t enjoy working at that firm long-term.

As for the 1L/2L distinction, they’re minimally different since 1Ls still have OCI up ahead where the bulk of hiring is done, but in terms of assignments given and expectations, they won’t differ much, if at all.

*note: a 10.5 hour work day isn’t that big of a deal, but if somehow your friend billed 10.5 hours on their second day, that’s an impressive amount of time they accounted for that will all be written off.
I am also super, super surprised (and a bit skeptical) of having 10.5 hours on the second day. This could also be more of a reflection of your friend than it is of the work given. When I was a junior, I had people who I worked with where it took them 4-5 hours to assemble signature pages to a purchase agreement (this is not an exaggeration), whereas it would have taken a less anally retentive person 45 minutes to do a superb job of organizing pieces of paper, checking a box on a checklist, and double checking.

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UVA2B
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by UVA2B » Thu May 16, 2019 3:35 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 3:09 pm
UVA2B wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 1:57 pm
rockathon wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 12:25 pm
How do you handle being assigned a lot of work from different attorneys during your 1L SA? I have a friend who said he worked 10.5 hours by her second day.


For anyone who's had both a 1L and 2L summer in biglaw, are there any differences between the 2/how the SA is treated/work load?
This will be somewhat firm-dependent, because not all summer programs are handled the same. It’ll depend on firm, market, and practice group.

Generically, if you’ve been assigned more than you can handle (and there aren’t assigned SA work coordinators managing this for you), you should find your mentor at the firm (assigned or through a developed relationship) and ask how to handle the various assignments, where to budget your time, and how best to meet the expectations for the assigning attorneys on each assignment. And if there are senior associates who are in charge of the summer program, you can also ask them how to manage your workload effectively.

I wouldn’t be too scared about a 10.5 hour workday by itself though*. Those days will happen, and while you don’t necessarily come in as an SA expecting those kinds of days, you absolutely must suck it up and put in the work with a smile on your face and your best foot forward. In both of my SA experiences, people understood when social events came up and when your time would be limited, but that doesn’t mean you are in any position to complain or worry about the number of hours you’ve worked or the amount of time your assignments might take. You can look for advice on how to handle those assignments, but it’s still your responsibility to see to it that you present solid work product on every assignment on time.

SAs are a really long interview and typically the workload is beyond manageable. But there may be times where you have the opportunity for interesting and valuable experiences, so you’ll want to take advantage of those. And if you find yourself working one or two longer days, you just need to do it, and do it well with a smile. And if you have an entire summer of 12+ hour days where you’re miserable, maybe that’s a good sign that you won’t enjoy working at that firm long-term.

As for the 1L/2L distinction, they’re minimally different since 1Ls still have OCI up ahead where the bulk of hiring is done, but in terms of assignments given and expectations, they won’t differ much, if at all.

*note: a 10.5 hour work day isn’t that big of a deal, but if somehow your friend billed 10.5 hours on their second day, that’s an impressive amount of time they accounted for that will all be written off.
I am also super, super surprised (and a bit skeptical) of having 10.5 hours on the second day. This could also be more of a reflection of your friend than it is of the work given. When I was a junior, I had people who I worked with where it took them 4-5 hours to assemble signature pages to a purchase agreement (this is not an exaggeration), whereas it would have taken a less anally retentive person 45 minutes to do a superb job of organizing pieces of paper, checking a box on a checklist, and double checking.
Good to see you, Smokey.

And yes, the likelihood that the person is overthinking their day 2 assignments is pretty high.

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beep
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by beep » Thu May 16, 2019 3:36 pm

My firm is pretty far afield in terms of trying to give summers actual work, and I would also be surprised if a summer got something that legitimately required 10.5 hours on the second day. That said, like, yea, summers are just going to take 3x as long to do anything as even a second-year associate would and it wouldn't surprise me that much if a clueless partner did not realize what they handed off wasn't as simple as they thought. There's usually enough layers between random partner and summer associate that it doesn't happen a ton.

In terms of how to handle it on the summer side: there has to be some kind of mentor or work coordinator the summer can talk to, and this is exactly the type of thing a summer SHOULD talk to a work coordinator about. I doubt pretty much any firm intends to give summers real 10-hour days off the bat.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by SmokeytheBear » Thu May 16, 2019 3:39 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 3:35 pm

Good to see you, Smokey.
'been preoccupied putting out some fires in this great state of California.

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rockathon
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by rockathon » Thu May 16, 2019 4:16 pm

Good tips all. Thank you

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UVA2B
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by UVA2B » Thu May 16, 2019 4:23 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 3:39 pm
UVA2B wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 3:35 pm

Good to see you, Smokey.
'been preoccupied putting out some fires in this great state of California.
Insert Uber joke

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