Now that the summer is almost over, the Career Center will be switching gears and posting tips and advice on the most magical time of the year for law students — On-Campus Interviews (OCI). In the next few weeks, law firms will be dropping down the chimneys of law schools across the country, giving summer clerkship offers to good little boys and girls. Obviously, you need the grades and class rank to be initially placed on the “Good List,” but to remain on that list once firms are “checking it twice,” it is important to be prepared when firms are “gonna find out who is naughty or nice.”
Just about all summer associate programs at large law firms have wrapped up by now, and 100 percent offer rates rolled in from firms across the country. That’s great news, but we were more than a little disappointed that we didn’t hear any lurid tales of summer associates gone bad this year.
Sadly, we didn’t hear about any fabulous summer associate events, either. With the high offer rates we’ve seen, we have to assume that there was enough money to go around for firms to host some excellent events, right?
Well, now that you’ve got your offer in hand (hopefully), you can spill the beans on what went down at your firm this summer….
Back in June, we wrote about the lawyers in the Fashion Victims Unit at litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel. We were a little surprised when we found out that partner Bill Urquhart was allowing — nay, encouraging — all associates to dress über casually at the office.
As Vivia Chen of The Careerist so eloquently put it, it seems that the age of “jaw-droppingly sloppy” lawyers has arrived. Jeans and t-shirts are the style of choice at Quinn Emanuel. Instead of the clicking of heels, the most familiar sound at the firm is one that has been banned from bar exams across the country: flip-flop, flip-flop, flip-flop, flip-flop.
News of the firm’s kitschy footwear leaked during the height of its summer program. But did you really think that Quinn Emanuel would let its new-found fashion fame go quietly into the night?
Since our initial call for information about summer associate offer rates at major law firms, a number of people have contacted us with reports. As it turns out, there’s a lot of good news floating around out there for summer associates.
This leads us to two conclusions:
- Biglaw firms only brought in people they could actually hire.
- You class of 2011 people are some boring individuals.
Honestly, listening to your summer stories is like looking at the Facebook photos of a Mormon school group’s vacation to Amish country. We know that people are worried about getting offers in this tough market, but the risk-aversion of the summers this year borders on cowardice.
Live a little, have a drink, ask her for her number. It’s a job interview, not an audience with the Pope.
In any event, 100% offer rates abound. Let’s round them up….
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It is the end of the summer and it happened: NO OFFER! Looking back at your summer you are completely caught off-guard. You kissed the right butts, you avoided grabbing the wrong butts, you chewed with your mouth closed, you only got blackout drunk twice, and you even managed to turn in a memo or two that even had footnotes. What went wrong?
Once upon a time, you had to make out with a partner’s wife, send a firm-wide racial joke, and charge over $1,000 on the firm’s bar tab to be “no offered” –- and even then, you would at least get a soft offer that you could show off during 3L OCI. In the new economy of today, “no offers” are much more frequent, and are less about the individual, and more about the firms themselves. While the stigma of being “no offered” reflects less on your capabilities as a Biglaw associate, it still stings, and you are still without a job at graduation.
If you are hit by this truck, and want to learn how deal with the disappointment of a “no offer,” follow the advice of Lateral Link’s Frank Kimball, legal recruiter and former Biglaw hiring partner, after the jump….
As any law student can tell you, pulling an all-nighter sucks. Biglaw associates, however, have to pull all-nighters quite frequently — and sometimes they’ll have to get by with very little sleep, for multiple nights in a row. As one of our Above the Law editors mentioned to me, a Biglaw all-nighter “is nothing like any other kind of all-nighter [he's] ever experienced.”
So what happens when you’re on your eighth caffeinated beverage of the night and you’re still yawning? You can literally feel the small amount of blood left in your coffee stream getting ready to stage a strike if you don’t catch a few Z’s. As a young lawyer, would you even consider going to sleep? And would your firm approve?
Hell no. Don’t even think about it. You can sleep when you’re dead. But for now, you get a futuristic-looking pod to take a nap in….
Last week a student worked through the night on a document for a big international arbitration. She willingly stayed and worked with a female colleague and did a great job, but she was actually asked to do so and that shouldn’t have happened.
In future we’ll stick to our policy so this doesn’t happen again.
In this week’s Career Center Summer Associate Tips Series, Lateral Link’s Frank Kimball, an expert recruiter and former Biglaw hiring partner, discusses the importance of evaluating your summer associate offer.
Succeeding in a summer program means more than receiving an offer of employment. While receiving an offer is probably the most important objective of a summer program, you have many more responsibilities. First, you must understand the fit between you and the firm, you and a practice area, you and the city, and you and the profession. That you are able to receive an offer of employment does not validate the wisdom of your choice.
Too often the summer zips by in a fog of assignments, reviews, baseball games, dinners at partners’ homes, and cocktail parties. You are making a very important decision. The law firm is not your fiduciary, and your parents cannot make this choice for you. There is no automatic next or right step. Only you can decide about fit, temperament, tempo, and style of practice.
Will your first career choice be the right one?
Last week, summer associate programs began to draw to a close. After a summer of
fun extravagance work, summer associates are eager to find out if they’ll be getting offers of full-time employment.
We expect the answer to be yes at most places. Sure, during the height of the recession, no offer rates spiked. But Biglaw firms seem to have corrected that problem. As almost any jobless 3L can tell you, firms simply started hiring fewer people to be summer associates in the first place.
What’s bad news for many 3Ls is good news for those who were lucky enough to snag summer associate positions. You know what they say: getting in is the hardest part. Right?
Above the Law has received various reports from summer associates at Biglaw firms, crowing about 100 percent offer rates….
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If you’re bummed about having to shelve your plans for a nice tropical vacation this summer, you’re not alone. According to 43% of survey respondents, this summer is turning out to be busier than the rest of the year.
The top reasons cited for the increased billables are that partners are bringing in more business (63%) and the economy is improving (42%). Some of the other reasons, however, are not as upbeat: respondents report having to pick up the slack for other associates who left their firm voluntarily or involuntarily (28%), or who went on vacation (15%).
Another 30% of survey respondents say that this summer has been slower than other months (while the remaining 27% of respondents report that their workload is about the same as the rest of the year).
Why the work slowdown? Which firms and practice areas are turning up the heat this summer? An which ones are cooling things down?