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Career Center: A Social Events Guide for Summer Associates

Party responsibly, summer associates.

Summer associates are inundated by invitations to lunches, dinners, in-firm programs, and social activities outside the firm. Particularly in a summer when the economic outlook is still a bit uncertain, summer associates must act with care and discretion at firm-sponsored social events.

Almost invariably misconduct involves excessive late-night drinking. Someone once said “nothing good happens after midnight.” They were right. The following tips, brought to you by Frank Kimball of Lateral Link, will help you navigate the social scene this summer.…

First, understand that the primary purpose of these firm events is a good-faith effort by the firm to entertain summer associates and persuade you to join the firm following graduation. It is not a secret effort to see how you behave in a social setting, whether you can order from a menu written in a foreign language, or how much beer you can consume at a baseball game.

Second, how you behave at social events will be observed (and remembered). So it’s always wise to behave with caution, as if you were in the middle of a 12-week interview (because you are). It should go without saying that drinking to excess, being too loquacious and entertaining, or behaving in any way that becomes memorable is an obvious no-no.

In case you weren’t one of the lucky few prestigious enough to get an invite to the royal wedding, click here for more advice for the summer associates who want to have their cake and eat it too. For additional career insights, as well as profiles of individual law firms, check out the Career Center.