The New York Law Journal recently offered some advice for those who have landed summer associate positions. The tips include the following:
- Be Social, But Not Too Social – A summer associate program almost always has a social component to it, and the purpose is to make sure that the associate is a good “fit.” You must go to each social activity and meet and interact with as many people as possible. Social outings are a chance to get to know the firm culture and for the firm to get to know and like you. But never forget that these people are assessing you, and don’t mistake friendliness for an open invitation to share too much with people.
- Work Hard – Summer associates need to do excellent work at all times. When getting assignments, be prepared, appear eager, and pay attention. Ask substantive questions about those assignments, and always proofread and prioritize your work. You also may need to seek out your own assignments when necessary.
- Find Champions – Some firms offer a formal mentor program for summer associates. Supervisory partners/attorneys or members of the recruiting team are also possible mentors. As a summer associate, you want to have someone speak up for you when hiring decisions are being made.
- Play Nice – If you are difficult in any way, the firm won’t keep you. No one wants to work with someone who is nasty or difficult, and that includes your attitude towards support and administrative staff. If you are viewed as hyper-competitive, you may not be seen as a team player, and the team dynamic has become critical to law firms in today’s market. Don’t cross the line between confidence and conceit.
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