Summer Associates

Summer Associate Etiquette 101: Share Your Bottle of Wine

There was not much in the way of summer associate scandal this year. There were fewer summer associates at law firms, and they were on their best behavior — resulting in 100% offer rates at many firms. This meant, though, that the stream of summer associate stories was disappointingly dry. (Of course, if you have a story to share — now that summer programs are over, it’s safe to spill the beans — please email us.)

Alas, it was not a dry summer for one law student at Milbank Tweed. This particular summer associate, from a school near the top of the US News rankings, has won an Olympic medal. Apparently, she’s also a champion drinker.

This rising 2L fell under the spell of Mad Men and embraced the three-martini lunch. Her drink of choice, though, was wine — by the bottle…

Our sources tell us that, on at at least one occasion, Milbank’s Oenophile Olympian ordered a bottle of wine at a summer associate lunch. But it was not for the table; it was just for her.

To order a full bottle of wine at lunch might at first seem extreme. To be fair, though, this Oenophile Olympian is not a tiny gymnast, who would get hammered off a thimble of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. At over six feet tall, she’s built more like Lisa Leslie than Lindsay Vonn. Athletes get used to burning through 10,000 calories a day, and given what we’ve heard about the Olympic Village, they definitely party.

But good manners, people! Sharing is caring. If she was not able to finish her personal bottle, she should have offered it to others. Instead, we’re told that she put it in her purse and took it with her. Some Milbank lawyers found this off-putting, possibly because they wanted to steer clear of a potential hours-hoarder.

Apparently she saw Milbank Tweed like an underage party on the quad. Reports suggest that she then transferred the wine to a water bottle back at the firm and brazenly sported it while walking around the office. Even if her flask of choice was a non-transparent metal bottle, lawyers at the firm noticed.

(Rumor has it that she even took her booze-bottle to a meeting in a partner’s office. In vino, veritas… and cojones?)

One source describes her as “very odd.” She would sometimes show up to summer events in some sort of “jumpsuit” — possibly the “same Olympic outfit that she was rumored to have worn during OCI’s.” Our source also tells us that she might not be completely welcome back at the firm — i.e., that she either did not receive an offer or received a “cold offer.”

(Who knows? Maybe she wouldn’t mind popping open a cold one.)

Since she was only a 1L, a cold offer on returning the next summer sounds a little odd. Additionally, we understand that the Oenophile Olympian won’t be seeking out a legal position next summer regardless — we’re told she’s taking a sabbatical from law school to train for the 2012 Olympics in London. Hopefully this will also give her time to get her etiquette muscles into shape before her next law firm gig.

We wish her luck in the next Summer Games, and advise her to steer clear of Summer Associate Drinking Games in the future.

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