Summer Associate Questions

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Summer Associate Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:39 am

Going to be a summer at a firm in a major market with about 125ish attorneys. The firm has a full summer associate program that pays market rates. From past years it appears that either all of the SA's get offers or all but one receive offers. Question is what is the reason that smaller firms such as this wouldn't give offers? Is it economic reasons or is it for fit? Basically, what is the advice for getting an offer at a non-big law firm over the summer?

woopig2017

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Re: Summer Associate Questions

Postby woopig2017 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:06 am

I'm a 1L about to start somewhere this summer too, so take this with a grain of salt, but I worried about this exact same thing and the common advice that I got was that when a firm usually does 100% offer then they normally will only no-offer if there is an issue with fit or the summer just really underperforms. This could be a variety of things (pissing of a partner, turning in really bad work, falling asleep at your desk, etc.) but all of them should be pretty avoidable as far as I know. Again, I don't know this firsthand but I wouldn't worry too much about it unless you feel like you didn't fit in with the firm when you interviewed (in which case I'd be questioning why you took an offer there!)

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Re: Summer Associate Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:06 pm

Biglaw associate here. Personality reasons are the biggest reason. Usually these are pretty egregious, like saying something blatantly sexist/racist or doing something inappropriate at a work event. Another reason I've seen is the firm at the end says they aren't hiring for a certain department the SA had their heart set on and the SA doesn't agree to be put in another group. Usually the firm will still give them a soft offer and tell them to go look elsewhere though. As for work product, it would have to be horrifically bad (and bad in a lazy way that shows you put no effort and not just normal incompetence) or if you routinely missed deadlines without communicating it to the associate. If this is the case though, they'll often have a mini-intervention in the middle of the summer (if you get an unscheduled review, this means you).

Firms want to hire all of the SAs because a lower offer rate dissuades potentially good future candidates. Relax, you'll do fine.

snowball2

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Re: Summer Associate Questions

Postby snowball2 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:17 pm

One useful rule of thumb is to have a couple of drinks so you don't come across as judgmental or a recovering alcoholic but not so much that you start speaking your mind in a loud voice. Frat-level drinking can be tolerated for a rainmaker but for a SA it's a death knell.

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nealric

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Re: Summer Associate Questions

Postby nealric » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Going to be a summer at a firm in a major market with about 125ish attorneys. The firm has a full summer associate program that pays market rates. From past years it appears that either all of the SA's get offers or all but one receive offers. Question is what is the reason that smaller firms such as this wouldn't give offers? Is it economic reasons or is it for fit? Basically, what is the advice for getting an offer at a non-big law firm over the summer?


Smaller firms are much more sensitive to workflow variations and also much more sensitive to specific fit. If there is an office with 200 attorneys that usually takes 20 summer associates ever year, it's not the end of the world if they make an offer to a dud. They can staff the dud on doc review for a couple of years before politely asking them to seek other opportunities. Moreover, if it's easier to shuffle someone around if a particular practice group is slow. If an office with 20 attorneys and 2 summers makes an offer to a dud, they won't be able to just ignore them. Or, if a partner loses a major client, there's nowhere else for the associate to get work from.

Long story short, smaller firms/offices tend to be a lot more selective with their summers and have lower offer rates. If you got no-offered at Skadden NYC, you probably did something to seriously upset someone. If you got no-offered at a small satellite office of a lower v100 firm, it may just be you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.



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