Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Collective Summer Associate Wisdom

After my first day of working a real job, I thought I'd create this thread and add the most important piece of advice I learned at the firm today:

"The only way to not get an offer here is to blow confidentiality."

And with that, like a submarine on the prowl, I'm going silent...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

if everyone else is doing blow in the bathroom, is it okay to join in? Is it required?

What if everyone includes your associate mentor?

What if it includes a partner?

What if it only includes the whore you and a partner picked up on the way to the bar?

5/17/2006 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If everyone else is defending insurance companies and exploitative businesses, is it ok to join in?

What if everyone includes your associate mentor?

What if it includes a partner?

5/18/2006 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd hardly call being a summer associate a "real job." It's laughingly far from it :)

5/18/2006 4:05 PM  
Blogger Tom Fletcher said...

I'm going to have to beg to differ Anonymous... it sure feels like a real job!

5/18/2006 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it depends on several variables, as to whether a summer associate-ship feels like a real job:

1) If you're straight out of college and into law school, it has to feel like a "real job," even if they're not working you as hard as the actual associates.

2) If you're at a firm that, from top to bottom, makes its summer associates work hard, then it feels like a real job. Certain firms have that reputation, if you read Vault. Fletcher's firm may indeed be one of those.

3) Even if you're at a firm that, by and large, has a fun, more relaxed summer, you might have gotten assigned to a hard-ass partner or associate who needs you to do a lot of work.

5/18/2006 7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely doesn't feel like a real job (yet). This week has been far and away the easiest $2600 I could've ever hoped to make.

5/18/2006 7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question: what counts a "business casual" for guys? I need to go buy some new clothes before starting on Monday but I don't know what to buy.

5/18/2006 7:46 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

Oh I have been thinking about this for the ENTIRE week.

A. Shirts

Any dress shirt will work for business casual, just don't button the top button and don't wear a tie. BUT, some even more casual shirts can work too. For example, the kinda dressy shirts you see at any trendy store? Works! If you want to save your $2580, then you can even drop $20 or less at old Navy on long-sleeve shirts that have plain designs (e.g., stripes, or small logos on the shirt pocket). Any long-sleeve shirt from Polo.

B. Pants.

Non-denim long pants. Any!

C. Belt is required.

D. Dress shoes are required. If not dress, then some sort of a dark, non-sneaker. But army boots won't work.

E. Non-white socks.

F. Misc.

I strongly urge all men to wear undershirts while unbuttoning the top. I REALLY don't care for chest hair and/or smooth silky chests.

5/18/2006 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Armen, I disagree with your saying that posters who thought the discusion about awards was appropriate "showed their true colors" when one poster made an ad hominem attack. One poster did so. Others advanced legitimate reasons for having the discussion about awards. The others didn't resort to ad hominems. On the contrary, they praised people, such as the guy who won the top prize this year.

I certainly agree that all posters should refrain from making ad hominem attacks on each other, whether the poster is anonymous or not. But don't say that commenters with a particular viewpoint or interest are are de facto ad hominem attackers merely because they have that viewpoint.

In addition, I think you should reconsider casting aspersions on posters who choose to remain anonymous as having less "dignity" and class than those who choose to post with their names.

First, those who post with their names reap certain political and social benefits that they are (often) aware of. They value those benefits. At the very least, they enjoy the pride they receive from knowing that they publicly stand by their words. They are always free to post anonymously, if they so choose. You could do so as well, if you wanted.

Second, their comments tend to be less controversial and often less interesting, espousing "Boaltie" establishment positions or "gee whiz, I'm an earnest, non-pretentious student -- Go Boalt!" which can be suspect in its own way.

Anonymous posters often provide the grit, the flair, the uncensored libido (or, alternatively, the unleashed cerberum) that the "dignified" named posters usually cannot provide for obvious reasons. Anonymous posters will point out problems with Boalt, whether they be small or large, that the Student Services office can read about (if they still read this blog) and attempt to repair. The school has no newspaper, no student investigative journalists who are hitting the hallways of Simon, the North Addition, and Boalt Hall, unearthing the inefficiencies, injustices, and secrets that a supposedly transparent school like Boalt has.

A named poster is like Milhouse from the Simpsons. You need Milhouse. He's the comic foil. Without him and his ilk peppered throught the show, Bart, Homer, Moe, Burns, etc. just wouldn't be as funny. But, at the same time, you can't have a show of only Milhouses. The more colorful characters of Springfield are constantly speaking ironic truths or (at least half-truths) that contribute to the marketplace of ideas.

This thread, for example, will likely receive lots more great collective summer associate wisdom as a result of the anonymous posting feature. So keep it coming!

5/19/2006 2:28 AM  
Blogger stacita said...

here's my flip side advice to the original post: don't blow your offer by blowing anything else.

ladies, be wary of the longing looks.

and always dress up. always. the last thing you should be judged on is what you wore.

5/20/2006 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


But what if your firm says it is business casual and everyone wears business casual unless there is a client in town?

What if everyone includes your associate mentor?

What if it includes a partner?

5/20/2006 12:05 PM  
Blogger stacita said...

anon 12:05:

you should always dress according to what your boss wears, but then think a little nicer. it's okay for your boss to dress schlockier... it's not okay for you. sorry, that's what we call bullshit politics.

doesn't mean a full suit, but at the very least (and I don't know your gender), you should just keep a suit jacket on the back of your door and plan to wear clothes that are casual but could look formal if you had to throw the jacket on.

also, it depends what city you're in...


5/21/2006 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Stacita, you're the best!

5/22/2006 4:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Who would've thought that straight men thought so much about other men's chest hair?

On another note, what does "casual to business casual" for women entail? Are open-toed shoes okay?

5/22/2006 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Check out what shoes others are wearing. I only started wearing open toed shoes after the first month because all the other female associates and the sole female partner were wearing them.

Generally, if you think it's inappropriate, then it probably is. So don't wear flip flops unless you're at Quinn.

5/23/2006 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone else having oodles of fun keeping track of time in 6 minute increments?

5/23/2006 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My plan for making partner? Double billing clients so that I accumulate way more billables than my peers.

How am I gonna do it? Simple, I will keep all of my tasks to 3 minutes or less, and then switch to a different client. Since we bill in 6 minute increments I get to bill them both for a .1. I have beaten the system!!!

Muah haha try and stop me

5/24/2006 7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:33, did you just read In the Shadow of the Law by Kermit Roosevelt? I did and one of the main characters, an associate, tried the exact trick you described. It didn't really do too much for him in the long-run.
By the way, the book is a great read for summer associates. It's like John Grisham for people who have actually worked at big firms.

5/25/2006 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So does anyone know exactly how many billable hours they want from us during the summer? With all of the lunches and activities, eight billable hours per day seems impossible unless I want to be there for 12 hours. Do they expect us to stay that late? I've been averaging between 5.5 and 7.5. Am I on my way to being the one in 150 that doesn't get an offer?

5/27/2006 10:37 AM  
Blogger Armen said...

Aim for 30 per week.

5/27/2006 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who has got crackberries this summer? I wasn't expecting to get one but there it was, sitting in front of me on the first day.

Still haven't decided whether to love it or hate it yet. Though I realized I could surf the web and check my gmail on it, so that's kinda cool.

5/27/2006 11:18 AM  
Blogger Armen said...

Oh yeah, as an aside, I've now had a senior partner and an associate mention the blog to me. *Gulp*

5/27/2006 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Armen's 30 per week comment, that may or may not apply to you and your firm. Some firms simply want you to keep track of your time so that you account for the fact you were doing firm activities (including lunches) for 40 (or 40+) hours per week without concern for whether they will be billing a client for it. Other firms may be much more interested in recouping some of what they spend on you this summer and may expect you to bill more. Others are just sadistic but we all know who those firms are.
My take is that the most important thing is writing good time-keeping entries, regardless of the firm. This is even more important than meeting their particular expectations regarding total hours accounted for/billed. If you don't do this well, the billing partner will be writing off a bunch of your hours and that doesn't help anyone (except the client but worrying about the client is the job of the billing partner and if she--actually, probably he--writes off well-written time entries, it will probably make the client happier than getting a ridiculous entry written off).

5/27/2006 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6/01/2006 7:23 PM  

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