Summer Associates: It’s About Standing Out

June 30, 2010


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As a Summer Associate you’re working with (and competing against) a group of peers that’s more or less as smart, ambitious and hard-working as you—that’s why they’re down the hall from you.  This is no great revelation, but as with so many other situations one needs to cultivate something to help stand out from the herd.  You might be the Associate that writes the most erudite or unassailable memo, you might have life or work experience that gives you an edge over others in a certain practice group, or you might simply be more charismatic than the other grinds.  A lot of times, what can make you a bright light is to be the person who knows about useful trends, tools, intelligence, etc. first. 

What’s new in the legal research world?  In case you haven’t heard, there’s an all-new-revolutionary-completely-redesigned-really-great new Westlaw platform called WestlawNext.  Now you’ve heard.  But to be even more on the cutting edge, there’s a link in the upper right-hand part of the page appropriately labeled “Next.”  There you’ll be clued in to recent changes and improvements and changes scheduled for release in the near future. 

Here’s one you could’ve found out about, below.  Imagine sitting in a meeting and finding a document that the partner is talking about—right there from your Blackberry or iPhone, when no one else knew you could do this.  Then maybe you could help the partner install the golf course yardage app to her device.  Now that would really make you stand out.