I’ve Been Shagging a Summer


QLike an idiot, I’ve been sleeping with this cute Summer Associate.  I’m a female associate at large New York firm, and the problem that has me freaked out is that he’s not doing very well.  So what if he doesn’t get an offer? 

I’ve heard rumors about past Summer Associates blaming their poor performances on hookups with associates and the stress that put on them, etc. If this guy plays that card, I’m screwed obviously. He and I are on good terms, but should I get in front of this and tell the hiring partner/summer associate coordinator what’s going on anyway?

ANo. Don’t tell anyone anything. Not yet.

While I’ve heard the same rumors you have about failed summers blaming their idiocy on some lurid sexual relationship with a “superior,” most people aren’t that lame. Besides, it’s not that easy to tell the hiring partner with a straight face that you screwed up the fiduciary duty memo because you had sex the night before with a fifth-year associate.

But I guess the real question here is this: Is the guy you’re shagging a dbag? Is he the kind of dude who would throw you under the bus to save his own ass?  If the answer is “yes” or “maybe,” you should be worried—and you shouldn’t be shagging him in the first place anyway. If the answer is “no,” you’re fine and relax.

Having sex with a summer associate is stupid, but if you’re doing good work and billing lots of hours, you won’t get you fired for it. I didn’t.

Ex-Bitter is a former big firm lawyer who now doles out advice to anyone who asks. Got a question? Email it to advice@bitterlawyer.com. Or read more Advice from an Ex-Bitter.

18 Comments

  1. Elmer G

    July 13, 2009 at 2:46 am

    Why are you surprised the cute guy isn’t doing well @ the firm?  It’s because you have been literally suffocating him.  Having an older female hovering over you is always stifling, particularly when she’s an full time associate.While a guy generally likes to know he has guaranteed sex, it should not be at the cost of his freedom.  The thought of having to please you every night is enough to make any one, even if it’s only for 3 months.

  2. BL1Y

    July 13, 2009 at 3:12 am

    I’m sure Alma has some interesting, enlightened thoughts on this.

  3. Alma Federer

    July 13, 2009 at 3:45 am

    Well, certainly more than the first two comments (below).  I think the writer should be very careful.  She should not be going over to the summer associate’s apartment, and should definitely not be sleeping over at his apartment.  If people see the two of them coming out of his apartment, she will be seen as cheap.  At the office, she should refrain from any type of sexual actvities with this associate.  I am not sure if this associate would turn her in, and if he did, for what?  For allowing him to have sex with her?  That is not a crime.  While it maybe a little stupid, it is not illegal, or even immoral, as long as both are not married or engaged to others.

  4. TTTAssociate

    July 13, 2009 at 5:33 am

    I have a feeling Judge Sotomayor will have something sordid like this come up in the hearings…
    And Dear associate at big NY, just shut up and enjoy the shag.  There is no reason to get both of you in trouble – you already have a career.  no sense in ruining yours to save a summer’s ass.  he’ll be fine.  and if he rats you out, I know a good hit man

  5. BL1Y

    July 13, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Alma: The issue is that mid-level and senior associates basically act as the lower levels of management at a law firm.  If the two associates are in the same department, then the door has been opened to a possible sexual harassment suit.  Law firms don’t like associates who are liabilities.

  6. Jimmy K

    July 13, 2009 at 6:50 am

    It’s all about potential exposure/embarrassment.  Sex is okay as long as the firm doesn’t get its pants pulled down.  Pun intended.

  7. Davey

    July 13, 2009 at 8:40 am

    I would keep it quiet.

  8. Assoc.

    July 13, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Hate to break it to ya, but the office already knows you two are bumpin uglies.  Sure, lawyers are great at keeping secrets.  But like the saying goes, “if you’re good at something, never do it for free.” 5 will get you 10 your name is etched on the door of the handicapped stall.  5 will get you 15 this isn’t your first inter-firm hook-up.

  9. Grammar Police

    July 13, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Intra-firm.

  10. Robert Smith

    July 13, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Senior women cannot date younger men and this was a mistake.  Why? One, older males are jealous of the Summer and will probably bury him as a result. Think they want some young guy in the firm doing the older associate they’ve probably been day dreaming about? (I assume if you’re attractive enough to snag a Summer, you’re attractive enough to interest older partners). Two, older guys will mildly resent you:  you’ve gone and shattered their secret fantasy that maybe you’d do it with them. Now they know you like younger men.  Three, they distrust you: they can’t tell you anything w/o worrying that you’ll blab it to the kid.  What to do?  You could continue the relationship keeping the kid emotionally dependent until he’s safely gone, or ease it to a close now, maybe in time to let him find someone else.  Even better, introduce him to an attractive friend and let him move on. it would be wise not to do this again, no matter how much fun it is.

  11. lurker

    July 13, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    lol. She’s freaking out about nothing.
    If he plays the card, he’s a lying pussy. Everyone has personal relationships, and some people date people at work and handle it fine.  If he can’t handle a cushy summer job and a personal life at the same time, the partner will toast his ass faster than he can say, “It’s all her fault!”
    If he doesn’t tell, she can’t end a relationship hookup? What kind of insecure doofus is she? Tell her to grow a pair or get out of practicing law in NYC.

  12. Anonymous

    July 14, 2009 at 3:06 am

    BL1Y, your cracked!  Why would this guy squeal on her?  He has a job, and is getting sex.  If the sex is terrible, he can always move on.  I know I did when I got bored with a selfish female associate.  He should too.

  13. BL1Y

    July 14, 2009 at 3:51 am

    @4:06: Not everyone is level headed and rational, especially if you combine a bad breakup with getting no-offered.  Or, he could be completely rational, get no-offered and decide he wants to take the quickest route to paying off his student loans and sue, hoping for a quick settlement.

  14. Anon Partner

    July 14, 2009 at 6:40 am

    The female associate is right to be worried. I’ve seen non-offered summers pull the “I’m sleeping with an associate” LOTS of times.  It’s usually a female summer, but that’s besides the point.  Having said that, the associate in question should keep her mouth shut until and unless the summer associate brings up their relationship during his exit interview.

  15. MD

    July 14, 2009 at 10:17 am

    You are getting more action than me. one lucky d bag

  16. Hannah Palindrome

    July 14, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Lawyers=BORING in bed

    Law School Sex=zzzzzzz

    Investment Bankers=ok

    Traders-Hello! Fun! Dirty! Nasty!

  17. Bill Dickey

    July 19, 2009 at 3:08 am

    Hannah, not sure whether you’re any good, but if you want to be proven wrong, let me know.

  18. HR

    September 5, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Your parents must be related.

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