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How to Crush It as a Summer Associate

Young businessman leader making handshake with partner - greeting, dealing, merger and acquisition concepts
By George Khoury, Esq. on May 08, 2019 9:04 AM

For law students wrapping up their semesters and getting ready to start a summer associate position, life can be a bit nerve-wracking.

Sure, it’s amazing that you actually got a summer associate position, but the anxiety over making a mistake can be enough to drive a law student mad. Fortunately, you can find a few tips below on how to breeze through your summer, and make a good, lasting impression.

Follow the Rules

Summer associates usually get some sort of guidance on firm policies for lawyers and staff. Summer associates generally are expected to dress and act according to the same standard as the attorneys in the firm. Don’t mess around with the basic rules, or you might get remembered as that one summer associate who got canned for not wearing socks when asked to accompany a partner to court.

Find Someone You Can Ask Anything

When you settle into your summer associate role, you should try to find out who you can ask any question of at the firm without fearing any repercussions. That might be an associate, a law clerk, or it might be the loudest secretary, but whoever it is, make sure you can trust that they won't out you for asking a stupid question, cause you'e likely to have a few.

Take Advantage of Resources and Training Opportunities

Firms will often have opportunities for you to get trained on specific software or on certain areas of law. These opportunities are likely to help you in the long term as experience matters. If you have the ability to both get trained and apply that training to actual work, your resume will thank you for it.

Enjoy, But Don't Go to Excess

Along with all the opportunity to learn, there is likely to be some opportunity to socialize with the firm's lawyers. When there are parties or events where alcohol is served, you don't have to be a teetotaler, but you should refrain from losing control or getting drunk.

For more tips on killing it as a summer or new associate, take a look at Greedy's great blog series, First Week at the Firm.

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