Do You Have, or Want, a Summer Associate Position? Some Tips for Success

Andrew JamesToday’s interview is with Andrew James, creator of the Summer Success Crash Course.

He’s here to talk about how to get a summer associate position, and what to do to ensure you succeed over the summer. If you’re going to be a summer associate, you owe it to yourself to check out his course, because it’s pretty great. The first two lessons are free, so what do you have to lose?

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10 Things Your Law Firm Boss Wants You To Know, but Isn’t Going to Tell You

WorkWhen you show up for work at a law firm, you realize pretty quickly that there’s a lot to learn. Some things people will tell you, but there’s a lot of stuff no one’s going to tell you.

Having been on both sides of the equation (as the one screwing things up, and the one getting annoyed with more junior people making my life difficult), here are a few things I learned along the way.

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The More Things Change…

No girls!Today’s interview is with Kate McGuinness, who joined the legal profession in the 1970s, when things looked quite different than they do today. Once a BigLaw partner and now a writer and women’s rights activist, she’s got fascinating stories to tell about what’s changed, and, sadly, how much hasn’t changed as fast as she’d hoped.

Take it away!

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Why Diversity Matters

DiversityDiversity? Who cares? Sure it would be “nice to have” but we’ve got a bottom line to think about! Partners gotta eat, you know. Who has money for a diversity initiative? Haven’t we talked enough about women? I’m so tired of it all. Is this really that big a deal?

Why Diversity Matters

Yes, it is. But not necessarily for the reasons you think.

Even if you personally couldn’t care less about the existential benefits of equality, you should still care about having diverse people around in your law practice. Why?

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Want to Make a Good Impression at Your Law Firm Job? Check Out This Interview with Greenhorn Legal!

Desiree MooreI’m very excited about today’s interview with Desiree Moore, President and founder of Greenhorn Legal. They’re filling a huge gap in law school education, namely getting students ready to actually, you know, practice law!

Today Desiree’s talking about how to make the transition from school to practice, first as a summer associate and later as a full-time employee. If you follow her advice, I have no doubt you’ll be way ahead of the curve!

Let’s get started.

Alison: I’ve got a summer associate position in a large, big-city law firm, and I’m already starting to get nervous about it. I don’t have a lot of work experience, and I’m not used to being in really formal social situations. Do you have any advice for how I can fit in, and make sure I get an offer at the end of the summer?

Desiree: This is a great question. In recent years, summer associate positions are increasingly difficult to come by. If you have been offered a position in a law firm for the summer, you should be proud. Still, it is important to remember that this is not where your efforts end. Rather, this is just the beginning.

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“The Graveyards are Full of Indispensable People”

GraveyardYesterday, I went to a really fantastic event, the TEDxBayArea Global Women Entrepreneurs conference. (Seriously, if you’re in the Bay Area, try to go to this next year. It’s great.)

Kara Swisher, who is apparently very famous in certain circles, gave a fascinating talk about work and life, in the context of having recently suffered a stroke while on a business trip in Hong Kong.

In it, she talked about her grandmother, who was fond of telling her to work less, because:

The graveyards are full of indispensable people.

This wording struck me, because it echoed the advice I once gave a friend who was starting her first BigLaw job:

If you want to maintain some semblance of a life, make sure you don’t become too indispensable.

I’ve been mulling over this idea of being “indispensable” since yesterday, and I’ll share with you what I’ve realized.

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What It’s Like to Get a Cold Offer

icePerhaps you’ve heard rumors that some BigLaw firms make “cold offers” at the end of the summer. Instead of getting a pat on the back and an offer to return, certain summer associates get a “Thanks, but no thanks.”

But, somehow, these firms still report a 100% offer rate. What’s going on?

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What Are Law Firms Looking For? Get the Inside Scoop From a Legal Recruiter!

HandshakeYou’re in for a treat! My fantastic friend Rebecca Netter, who left Biglaw to become a legal recruiter, has agreed to answer some questions about getting a legal job, from the perspective of someone who spends all day figuring out if someone is a viable candidate for legal jobs.

In other words, she knows what she’s talking about.

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The Inside Scoop on Law Firm Summer Associate Programs

HierarchyWhat, you might reasonably ask, qualifies me to talk about law firm summer associate programs? Glad you asked. Basically, I made a hobby out of being a summer associate. I managed to summer at three different firms, in three cities and two countries, over three summers, for a combined total of something absurd like 30 weeks. Hey, it’s not a bad gig! Most of the time.

Why Do Law Firms Have Summer Associates?

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Rock OCI and Get the Job You Want: Introduction

Photo of Conference Room TableFirst things first: what is OCI, anyway?

On Campus Interviewing

The name varies, but most law schools have some variant of on campus interviewing, or OCI. Basically, a bunch of law firms send representatives to a single location (either on campus or in a nearby hotel) and these people conduct short interviews with law students. Afterwards, certain chosen students are granted “callback interviews” – more extensive interviews that happen on-site at the law firm’s office. If all goes well, the callback interview results in a job offer to join the firm’s summer associate program the following summer.

One slightly odd aspect of OCI is that it generally happens before 2L classes start, so you’ll be interviewing for a job that starts after your second year of law school, before that year has even started. Kind of weird, right? And potentially problematic if the economy shifts markedly during your second year, and the firm you thought you’d be summering with decides to cancel or downsize their program, leaving you in the lurch. But let’s not dwell on that now!

How Do Firms Decide Which Students to Interview?

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