Advice for summer associates

by Vault Law Editors | June 26, 2009

  • My Vault

Ari Kaplan wears a lot of hats: consultant, career coach, motivational speaker, author of the pithily-titled The Opportunity Maker, Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development.  

In the New Jersey Law Journal, Ari also has compiled some advice for you summer associates out there.  In doing so, he consulted some of the sharpest, most insightful industry insiders to be found anywhere:

The year 2009 will be remembered in the annals of legal history as the great balancing act for summer associates. In fact, "There is going to be a new dynamic," says Brian Dalton … "Associates are going to have to strike a balance between being an eager associate willing to be flexible and a second-year law student desperate for an offer," he adds, noting that firms still want confident first-year associates.

"The expectations for work are going to be different than they have been in the past," predicts Dalton. With the strongest buyer's market for legal talent in years, he expects firms to be more stringent in making assessments of summer associates as lawyers.

Summer hires should volunteer for assignments and express a sincere interest in different practice areas. "Law firms are not going to accommodate wallflowers the way they have in the past because there is not as much work as there used to be," cautions Dalton. He recommends that summer associates also take a team-oriented approach to their work. "It is all attitude because you are not expected to know anything in terms of the relevant practice of law," he adds.

Seriously, though, here is just one of the many useful tips Ari offers:

If you are consistently working on matters for a client or industry, set a Google alert for relevant keywords so that you will be notified each time a case or company is mentioned online. Depending on your relationship with the associate or partner with whom you are working, you might share that news or simply refer to it in discussions about assignments or related concerns.

                             -posted by brian

Filed Under: Law

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