Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Summer Associate Tips

Summer Associate Tips
First Day Advice • Pay attention to the recruiting coordinator • Available resources (third party web sites, copying, word processing etc.) will be reviewed • Important staff is introduced • The coordinator controls work flow as well as feedback to the hiring committee Meet your co-interns • Multiple heads are better than one, from remembering where the copier is to getting help on an assignment • The ability to work successfully in a group is a key factor in hiring decisions

How to Successfully Complete Assignments • Write the assignment down • Be knowledgeable about the assignment before you leave • Only the assigning attorney really knows what he or she wants • Do not be afraid to ask questions Go back for clarification, if necessary • Understand how much time you should spend and what resources you are able to use • Identify the applicable authorities • Obtain an example if possible • Know the deadline • If you are going to miss the deadline, inform the attorney ASAP • Do not miss a deadline to go to a social event • Do not try to juggle more projects than you can handle • Complete the following steps when project is finished: • IRAC - issue, rule, analysis, conclusion • Reread for logical analysis • Shepardize • Edit, edit and edit • Make sure the attorney obtains the completed assignment • Follow-up with the attorney to make sure that the attorney is satisfied and nothing else is needed • Get feedback from the attorney and address any criticism professionally • Apologize and volunteer to redo a project if a mistake was made

General Guidelines • Work during business hours • Dress and act professionally at all times (including social events, when applicable) • Act mature and do not gossip • Treat the staff better than the attorneys • Meet mid-level and senior associates as well as members of the hiring committee • Volunteer for projects • Report to the assigning attorney, unless otherwise directed • Seek advice from the recruiting coordinator if you have a misunderstanding with an attorney rather than talking about it to all

Questions to Ask Yourself About the Firm's Fit for You • Do you want to work with these people? • How happy are the associates? The shareholders? • Do you enjoy the work? • What training and mentoring does the firm offer? • Are there pro bono opportunities? • Will you get the responsibility you are seeking? • Can you and your family live happily where the firm is located? • Can you afford the cost of living?

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