So, Going to Be a Summer Associate?


It’s the time of the year when most law students are packed up and gone, whether on a quest to find work, back home to chill, or mixing it up again with regular folks we call normals. Over the years, we’ve collected stories of associate abuse and have also weighed in on what you need to know—and what not to do—as a summer associate. Take a look.

1Nine Summer Associate Don’ts. From old Mr. Bitter comes a list of the nine things you really shouldn’t do over the summer. Prime tip: “No matter how smart you are, or think you are, you don’t know a damn thing about practicing law. So, for the sake of your own career, don’t pretend that you do.”

2The 7 Less-Deadly Sins of Summer Associating. Resident legal marketing guru C. Hank Peters reflects back on his “two weeks and three days” as a summer associate in 1971. Prime advice: “Put D&D on ice for the summer.”

3Soak It Up, Summer Associates. Back in the day we sent out intrepid reporters to bring us back some grisly news, including news about the apparent pseudo-psychology behind judging summer associates. We called it bullshit, concluding (again): “It’s hard to screw up a summer associate job. Damn hard. Firms aren’t looking to see if you possess “social skills,” they’re just trying to make sure you’re not a jackass. They’re not trying to spot the gem in the rough, they’re trying to spot the asshole in the crowd.”

In case you hadn’t noticed, we reserve Thursday mornings to bring out posts from the Bitter Lawyer archives, including posts about summer associates, how to not sleep with summer associates, and how to be a dumbass and turn down your summer offers.

Read more from the Bitter Vault.

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