5 Nuggets of Summer Associate Wisdom

May 15, 2012

These days, tips for summer associates come in many forms. This NYU Memo is a gem – hat tip Constitutional Daily. Throughout the summer, Westlaw Reference Attorneys will be serving summer associates in our own way — in any way we can. Be it over the phone (1-800-REF-ATTY), on this Blog, on Twitter (@WestlawRefAtty), or on Facebook. To start off, we collected nuggets of summer associate wisdom from former summer associates (now Westlaw Reference Attorneys).  Here are 5 tips from Westlaw Reference Attorneys who worked at Dorsey & Whitney; one in the summer of 2005, the other in 2007.


1. Learn the name of each attorney at the firm that is involved in the summer associate program.  Usually there is a committee at the firm.  Take advantage of every opportunity you have to meet and speak with them, as they often are the ones making the final hiring decisions.


2. Everyone is just as stressed as you are.



3. Being a summer associate is all about building relationships in your prospective firm.  Make it a priority to attend as many summer associate events as possible.  Not only will it signal to the recruiting attorneys that you are interested in and enthusiastic about the firm, but it also gives you a chance to meet many of the firm’s attorneys which could inform your decision as to which practice area of the firm to join.


4. Always have a positive, supportive attitude in interacting with fellow summer associates, even if you are competing with them for a limited number of job offers.  You will not make a positive impression on the firm if you are unsupportive or, worse, undermine your co-workers.



5. If you make a mistake, admit it honestly to the appropriate attorney.  No attorney is perfect, and it’s very likely that the consequences of having made a mistake will be much less serious than those of an attempt to hide a mistake.