Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

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HelloYesThisIsDog
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by HelloYesThisIsDog » Wed May 09, 2018 8:22 pm

LawSSS2 wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 7:20 pm
SmokeytheBear wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 6:07 pm
LawSSS2 wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 3:05 pm

Straightforward, thanks! I'm not a big fan of heels...I'll wear them, but prefer not to all the time. There's no stigma if you don't?
The only time I see women in my office wearing heels is if they are going to a depo or court. Otherwise it's ballet flats or tennis shoes.
Sweeet.
Spoiler:
Image
This one of-counsel at my office is always in extremely high heels. I actually don't think I ever have seen her in ballet flats. I don't know why she doesn't opt for comfort at this point.

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Nony
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by Nony » Wed May 09, 2018 10:21 pm

My supervisor in my old office always wore 4" heels because she's maybe 5' 1" on a good day. And some people just really like pretty (and high) shoes.

Plan
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by Plan » Wed May 09, 2018 11:36 pm

Thanks Smokey! Was waiting for a guide on SA’s.

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rockathon
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by rockathon » Tue May 15, 2018 11:19 pm

Would I be at a disadvantage if I don't drink/go to bars?

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UVA2B
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by UVA2B » Tue May 15, 2018 11:23 pm

rockathon wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:19 pm
Would I be at a disadvantage if I don't drink/go to bars?
You don't have to drink, just get something non-alcoholic to hold/nurse during conversation. No one will notice/care if you're drinking a club soda or a sparkling water because you personally don't drink. But also don't make a big deal about not drinking. Just say something along the lines of, "I don't really drink, can I get a [insert non-alcoholic beverage]?" If you don't make it a big deal, it won't be a big deal.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by SmokeytheBear » Tue May 15, 2018 11:30 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:23 pm
rockathon wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:19 pm
Would I be at a disadvantage if I don't drink/go to bars?
You don't have to drink, just get something non-alcoholic to hold/nurse during conversation. No one will notice/care if you're drinking a club soda or a sparkling water because you personally don't drink. But also don't make a big deal about not drinking. Just say something along the lines of, "I don't really drink, can I get a [insert non-alcoholic beverage]?" If you don't make it a big deal, it won't be a big deal.
Exactly. Key is to be social, but don’t draw attention to yourself by making the fact that you don’t drink a big deal (remember—be forgettable).

gymnastsplits
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by gymnastsplits » Wed May 16, 2018 3:09 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:30 pm
UVA2B wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:23 pm
rockathon wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:19 pm
Would I be at a disadvantage if I don't drink/go to bars?
You don't have to drink, just get something non-alcoholic to hold/nurse during conversation. No one will notice/care if you're drinking a club soda or a sparkling water because you personally don't drink. But also don't make a big deal about not drinking. Just say something along the lines of, "I don't really drink, can I get a [insert non-alcoholic beverage]?" If you don't make it a big deal, it won't be a big deal.
Exactly. Key is to be social, but don’t draw attention to yourself by making the fact that you don’t drink a big deal (remember—be forgettable).
I don't have any law firm experience. But, as someone who doesn't drink (health reasons) and has attended a lot of work-related drinking events, the line I usually use is "I'm not drinking tonight, could I get a [xyz]?" or "I think tonight I'll get a [lemonade/iced tea/water]." This way, I don't need to draw attention to the fact that I prefer not to drink ever (which could lead to lots of questions) because I spin it more as 'I'm not drinking tonight'

Kodokushiest
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by Kodokushiest » Wed May 16, 2018 3:24 pm

Why wouldn't you just order your water/iced tea/lemonade without any prefatory announcements?

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by SmokeytheBear » Wed May 16, 2018 3:25 pm

Kodokushiest wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:24 pm
Why wouldn't you just order your water/iced tea/lemonade without any prefatory announcements?
Summer events at big firms tend to be a booooooze fest where everyone is looking to take full advantage of debauchery on the firm's dime. If you don't order top shelf something, let alone a drink, someone is bound to ask you why you aren't ordering a drink.

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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by gymnastsplits » Wed May 16, 2018 3:32 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:25 pm
Kodokushiest wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:24 pm
Why wouldn't you just order your water/iced tea/lemonade without any prefatory announcements?
Summer events at big firms tend to be a booooooze fest where everyone is looking to take full advantage of debauchery on the firm's dime. If you don't order top shelf something, let alone a drink, someone is bound to ask you why you aren't ordering a drink.
This, exactly. Again, not currently at a law firm, but it's a similar scene in tech. Even if I make no prefatory statements, it draws attention when the waiter/bartender comes over to take orders and it's like "rose, Moscow mule, g&t, whiskey on the rocks...[and then here comes me] tap water." Then I have to explain that I don't really feel like drinking/I don't drink/no, I really don't want a drink tonight and it's not because I have to go to work tomorrow.

Obviously once you have your drink in hand you don't explain why it's not alcoholic. The friction usually happens during the ordering time.

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jingosaur
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by jingosaur » Wed May 16, 2018 5:06 pm

Just want to mention that I showed up the first day in business casual, blacked out at the first event, did maybe 50 hours of billable work the whole summer, and still got an offer and positive reviews. But take the training seriously if a partner is spending time on it. And go to events. Those are like the only things that matter.

Kodokushiest
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by Kodokushiest » Wed May 16, 2018 9:08 pm

gymnastsplits wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:32 pm
SmokeytheBear wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:25 pm
Kodokushiest wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:24 pm
Why wouldn't you just order your water/iced tea/lemonade without any prefatory announcements?
Summer events at big firms tend to be a booooooze fest where everyone is looking to take full advantage of debauchery on the firm's dime. If you don't order top shelf something, let alone a drink, someone is bound to ask you why you aren't ordering a drink.
This, exactly. Again, not currently at a law firm, but it's a similar scene in tech. Even if I make no prefatory statements, it draws attention when the waiter/bartender comes over to take orders and it's like "rose, Moscow mule, g&t, whiskey on the rocks...[and then here comes me] tap water." Then I have to explain that I don't really feel like drinking/I don't drink/no, I really don't want a drink tonight and it's not because I have to go to work tomorrow.

Obviously once you have your drink in hand you don't explain why it's not alcoholic. The friction usually happens during the ordering time.
Maybe this varies by firm, because I don't remember it ever coming up, but I agree that not making a big deal about it is the right way to go.

gymnastsplits
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by gymnastsplits » Thu May 17, 2018 12:58 am

Kodokushiest wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:08 pm
gymnastsplits wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:32 pm
SmokeytheBear wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:25 pm
Kodokushiest wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:24 pm
Why wouldn't you just order your water/iced tea/lemonade without any prefatory announcements?
Summer events at big firms tend to be a booooooze fest where everyone is looking to take full advantage of debauchery on the firm's dime. If you don't order top shelf something, let alone a drink, someone is bound to ask you why you aren't ordering a drink.
This, exactly. Again, not currently at a law firm, but it's a similar scene in tech. Even if I make no prefatory statements, it draws attention when the waiter/bartender comes over to take orders and it's like "rose, Moscow mule, g&t, whiskey on the rocks...[and then here comes me] tap water." Then I have to explain that I don't really feel like drinking/I don't drink/no, I really don't want a drink tonight and it's not because I have to go to work tomorrow.

Obviously once you have your drink in hand you don't explain why it's not alcoholic. The friction usually happens during the ordering time.
Maybe this varies by firm, because I don't remember it ever coming up, but I agree that not making a big deal about it is the right way to go.
Sorry! I should have made this clearer, but I'm not at a law firm. I'm in tech, but it's a similar situation where there is tons of free alcohol (well, maybe not tons, but frequent socials/networking events with open bar). I was more trying to share how I've handled this in the past/my experiences.

NourishAndStrengthen
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by NourishAndStrengthen » Thu May 17, 2018 10:38 am

UVA2B wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:23 pm
rockathon wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:19 pm
Would I be at a disadvantage if I don't drink/go to bars?
You don't have to drink, just get something non-alcoholic to hold/nurse during conversation. No one will notice/care if you're drinking a club soda or a sparkling water because you personally don't drink. But also don't make a big deal about not drinking. Just say something along the lines of, "I don't really drink, can I get a [insert non-alcoholic beverage]?" If you don't make it a big deal, it won't be a big deal.
This. At my consulting job it was never a problem. I don’t drink for religious reasons. If people asked, I told them and nobody cared. Most respected me for it.

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HelloYesThisIsDog
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by HelloYesThisIsDog » Thu May 17, 2018 1:07 pm

I feel like this thread about not making a big deal about not drinking is making a big deal about not drinking.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by SmokeytheBear » Thu May 17, 2018 1:46 pm

HelloYesThisIsDog wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 1:07 pm
I feel like this thread about not making a big deal about not drinking is making a big deal about not drinking.
Agreed--let's not Vandy this topic.

Woodford
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by Woodford » Mon May 21, 2018 1:50 pm

If you are working in a litigation group keep a suit or at least a coat and tie in your office so that you can accompany attorneys to court if something comes up. You'll usually know in advance, but you don't want to turn it down if someone pops in and asks you to tag along.

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HelloYesThisIsDog
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by HelloYesThisIsDog » Tue May 22, 2018 12:05 am

Woodford wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 1:50 pm
If you are working in a litigation group keep a suit or at least a coat and tie in your office so that you can accompany attorneys to court if something comes up. You'll usually know in advance, but you don't want to turn it down if someone pops in and asks you to tag along.
+1, I did this as a summer. But just remember to take it home with you the night before if you're going to court first thing in the AM and not stopping at the office first.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by SmokeytheBear » Tue May 22, 2018 12:14 am

HelloYesThisIsDog wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:05 am
Woodford wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 1:50 pm
If you are working in a litigation group keep a suit or at least a coat and tie in your office so that you can accompany attorneys to court if something comes up. You'll usually know in advance, but you don't want to turn it down if someone pops in and asks you to tag along.
+1, I did this as a summer. But just remember to take it home with you the night before if you're going to court first thing in the AM and not stopping at the office first.
And remember to take it home at the end of the summer.

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HelloYesThisIsDog
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by HelloYesThisIsDog » Tue May 22, 2018 12:56 am

Unless you get too fat from free lunches and can't fit in it anymore.

addie1412
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by addie1412 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:41 am

Currently in the process of making aaaall the mistakes at my SA

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by SmokeytheBear » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:50 am

addie1412 wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:41 am
Currently in the process of making aaaall the mistakes at my SA

Then just be nice, don't drink the most or least at an event, and don't sleep with an attorney's wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/sister/brother/fiancé/fiancée.

BearCat
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by BearCat » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:30 pm

Drank the least here, got an offer. I wouldn’t want to work with people who would question/shame/hold it against someone for choosing not to drink alcohol. That is really weird to me. Never got a second glance when I turned down alcohol.

That said, I managed to get along with everyone and had a great time at summer events anyway. I guess if you don’t drink and are a boring weirdo, that might count against you, but only the boring weirdo part.

dog
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by dog » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:12 am

addie1412 wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:41 am
Currently in the process of making aaaall the mistakes at my SA
Never seriously doubted my research skills until starting a couple weeks ago. Admittedly some super informal assignments and pretty narrow questions, but still. Not a good feeling.

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UVA2B
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Re: Smokey’s Guide to Biglaw Summer Associate

Post by UVA2B » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:20 am

dog wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:12 am
addie1412 wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:41 am
Currently in the process of making aaaall the mistakes at my SA
Never seriously doubted my research skills until starting a couple weeks ago. Admittedly some super informal assignments and pretty narrow questions, but still. Not a good feeling.
If it makes you feel better, you didn't cost anyone any money more than likely (edit: except the firm, of course), and you likely mostly answered a question the assigning attorney didn't want to/couldn't justify charging to research themselves. If you turned in your research on time, and you did valid research (even if it's not 100% right), they'll probably give you a passing review.

It's a difficult struggle from an SA perspective who is trying to impress the people they work with, but you have to realize you're being given assignments that the attorney doesn't want to deal with, or maybe altruistically, they have an opportunity to teach you and train you with. You're definitely being judged, and you should try to do your best work on assignments you're given, but not finding a case that is directly on point, or failing to find a nuanced argument that is relevant to your assignment, or whatever research failing you think you had is likely nothing more than a blip on that attorney's radar.

Keep trying your best, doing good research as best you can, and when you miss something or some correction is pointed out to you, emphatically and unequivocally offer to correct the mistake. That's how you show you're both willing to work hard and willing to learn from more senior attorneys.

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