Soak It Up, Summer Associates


This just in. According to Portfolio.com, summer associates are actually being judged at the various cocktail parties, swanky dinners and goofy “out of the box” events they attend. Or, as the writer of the piece says, “Call it young lawyers gone wild—but the fun is serious business.”

Is it that serious, or is everyone just looking for a story to write here?  Since when did being a summer clerk become this intense, stress-filled undertaking? Please. It’s the law school equivalent of spending spring semester, junior year, in France.

Lynn Traverse, a recruiting professional development manager at Bryan Cave, also does her best to make the process sound mysterious. “There’s certainly a place for absolutely brilliant people, but if the firm is structured where every single lawyer needs to multitask, that firm will be looking more at social skills.” What does that even mean?  More importantly, why is she making something so obvious sound so complicated?

The simple, unequivocal truth here is: 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. So please, enough with the nuanced, psychological analysis of this mysterious summer associate process. If you want an offer, just don’t act like a douchebag. [Portfolio]

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2 Comments

  1. Bill

    August 26, 2008 at 11:00 am

    OK, I have to admit, I laughed so hard at the pictures I just about sprayed my mochaccino all over the computer screen.  Thanks for brightening my morning.

  2. Al Dickman

    August 26, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Summer associates should enjoy all they can while it lasts, because next year it ain’t gonna be fun.  These lively folk will turn into nocturnal worms, slithering around the firm at 11:30 pm looking for some bad coffee, or dialing out for bad pizza or burritos.  10-15 pound weight gain is standard, kind of like women who go away as college freshman and come back home for thanksgiving fat as the turkey mom has in the oven.  But food for thought.

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