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A Summer Associate Etiquette Manual: Special Katten Edition

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law legal tabloid blog.jpgLast week we told you about a fellow at Katten Muchin Rosenman in Chicago, who managed to achieve the impossible feat: he got fired from a summer associate gig. This is even more impressive than merely getting “no-offered” at the end of the summer. We wrote:

1. A summer associate in the Chicago office of Katten was fired earlier this month (believed to be the week of July 9, 2007).

2. His employment was terminated because (a) he allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with female summer associates, variously described as “repeatedly smack[ing] the asses of female summers” or “playing grab ass with female summers,” and (b) he allegedly made racially insensitive jokes, in front of multiple attorneys.

In the wake of this story, a reader sent us this message:

Apparently, the WSJ Law Blog “Rules of Etiquette” for summer associates need minor revision. Here are my suggested changes.

You can check out the new and improved etiquette handbook, after the jump.

Law Blog News You Can Use: An Associate Etiquette Lesson
Posted by Nathan Koppel
Wall Street Journal Law Blog
With summer-associate season looming, the Law Blog has geared up for the inevitable story of a young attorney drinking too much, telling an off-color joke or accidentally sending a snarky email to every partner, firm wide. Ah, so bursting with legal promise, but so socially naive!
Mintz Levin is doing its part to domesticate associates. In late May and early June, the firm will host etiquette events for its 30 summer associates at restaurants in Boston, New York and D.C. Table manners will be the focus….
Here are some basic pointers, courtesy of Mintz.
1. The Cardinal Rule: Bread on the left, drinks on your right. But there’s an exception: If your neighbor boorishly co-opts your bread plate, don’t “make a fuss,” says Mintz partner Deborah Daccord, who co-chairs the firm’s hiring committee. Either take the next available bread plate or ask your waiter to bring another plate. Do not slap the ass of the SA/senior associate/partner next to you as he/she takes her seat at the table.
2. Napkins: If you leave the table during a meal, it’s considered proper form to put your napkin on your chair. If your seatmate leaves the table during a meal, do not slap his/her ass.
3. Ass Slapping Discouraged: French Fries: So delicious but so problematic, requiring a bifurcated standard. If you are eating your main course with your hands, i.e. a burger, then by all means eat your fries with your hands. But if you’re dining on steak, then the frites should also be consumed with silverware. Do not slap anyone’s ass.
4. Soup: Once it cools sufficiently, you are actually allowed to pick up the bowl and down it, boarding-house style. Just kidding. The rule is to scoop the soup by pushing your spoon away from your body….
5. Chowda: Being a Boston-based firm, Mintz offers particular guidance on New England clam chowder. Typically, Daccord explains, you are not supposed to crumble crackers in your soup…. But chowder is often served with those oyster crackers. Not a problem: just empty the crackers into your soup, without crunching them.
6. Intros: You should always introduce a person of lesser authority to a person of greater authority, i.e., “President Bush, this is the Law Blog”; because it’s assumed that 43 needs no introduction. Do not slap the ass of the person you are introducing, especially the POTUS or the First Lady.
Law Blog News You Can Use: An Associate Etiquette Lesson [WSJ Law Blog]

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