Thursday, April 24, 2014

His & Hers Summer Associate Dressing Tips

For some reason, fashion advice is often geared to the ladies while the gents are expected to know the right from wrong because of their limited options. Well, a summer associate is a summer associate, and man or woman, and both could use some guidance.
We'll start off simple...
Just Don’t Do It - Ever
We’re going to break it down for you. Don’t ever wear the following to work: sneakers, yoga pants or any other workout wear, sweats (whether they are Juicy or not), Uggs/Crocs/Other horrendous footwear, t-shirts, jeans, sundresses, shorts, or anything too revealing (no cleavage, midriffs or upper thighs please).
Follow the Firm’s Lead
First things first — do your research. Does the firm have a dress code? Read it. Does the firm represent fashion companies? Then maybe you should avoid wearing logos in case you’re pulled into a client meeting and you’re wearing a competitor’s brand. Most importantly, see what senior attorneys and partners are wearing, and follow their lead.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Five Things Every First Year Associate Needs to Know

The Careerist

If you're a new associate at a big firm, you're probably going through orientation—learning about firm policies, CLE requirements, and the best drafting and billing practices. All good and necessary stuff. 
But as a former Big Law associate, I can tell you that you need to know the unwritten rules of the road. So here's what's never openly discussed, but should be: 
1. Don't do/say anything that will get you designated the "class jerk." In every entering class, there's a new associate who gets branded as the one within the first five minutes of arrival, usually on the basis of a single careless or thoughtless comment. One associate told his officemate during their first week at the firm: “Buying my own lunch has become anathema to me.” You guessed it. The phrase quickly became attached to Mr. Anathema, and I’d venture to say the lunch invitations may have flowed a bit fewer and farther between. Moral of the story: think before you speak, and make sure you know (and trust) your audience.
2.  But don’t be so unobtrusive that you blend into the furniture. Remember Erich Segal'sLove Story? It featured a privileged, brainy jock named Oliver Barrett who offers his (spot-on) philosophy about life: Spending an hour in Dillon Field House is worth two in Widener Library. That same principle applies in Big Law. An hour at the firm's Friday cocktail party is worth two holed up in your office.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hot Alternative Legal Careers (2014)

by Hillary Mantis

Whether we are in good economic times or bad, lawyers have always been curious about non-traditional legal careers. You would like to use your J.D., but you don’t necessarily want to be a litigator or a corporate lawyer.
What are your options?
Here are some of the hot alternative legal careers trending right now, as discussed at a recent panel held by the New York State Bar Association’s Lawyers in Transition Committee. The panel featured four lawyers who have transitioned into different career paths.

Monday, April 14, 2014

1Ls in the Phoenix Area in May - Workshop/Reception with Snell & Wilmer

1Ls in the Phoenix area in May:

You just started or are about to begin your first legal job. It is a very exciting time, but it also can cause some anxiety. How do you succeed in this position? What should you do to gain the most out of your summer position? What are potential opportunities and pitfalls you should look out for?

Please join Snell & Wilmer for a panel discussion where practicing lawyers from different backgrounds will share their insights on how to gain the most from your summer position. Following the panel, you will have the opportunity to talk with the panelists and other Snell & Wilmer attorneys at an informal reception. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Panel Presentation
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. | Reception
Beverages and appetizers will be provided.

Shirley Baum—Senior Attorney, APS/Pinnacle West Capital Corporation
Jeremy Mussman—Deputy Director, Maricopa County Public Defender
Andy Stone—Associate, Snell & Wilmer
Danielle Viola—Judge, Maricopa County Superior Court

Snell & Wilmer
One Arizona Center
400 E. Van Buren
19th Floor
Phoenix, Arizona 85004

RSVP to Tawnee Reiner at

Things I Wish I'd Known as a First Year Associate


A family friend will be graduating from law school this spring and starting his career at a large law firm next fall. Asked to provide some advice, I started compiling tips and recommendations — things to do and not to do. As I considered my own experiences as a first-year associate at a big firm, and subsequent experiences as a more senior attorney, I quickly formulated a list that required a scroll rather than a Post-it.
There are so many things not taught in law school that are only learned by young lawyers through the hard-knocks school. These tips are intended to help young lawyers develop the attribute that is the single-most important building block for future marketing and business development efforts — namely, becoming an excellent attorney.
Here’s What You Need to Know
For what it’s worth, and in no particular order:
1. Being busy is no substitute for being productive. Billable hours are important, but the most valued associates are those who not only bill, but get the job done. Be a finisher.
2. Stop making excuses. You may get an occasional unfair review, or you may not get along with a particular partner, but law firms are, by and large, meritocracies. You must own up to your shortcomings, failures and disappointments. Learn from them.
3. Work on your writing skills. This will serve you well wherever your career takes you. Identify the skilled writers in your firm and emulate their writing style.
4. Learn how to use a calendar. You’ll soon be busier than you can imagine and you don’t want to miss a conference call or blow a deadline.
5. You have no idea how much partners value good associates. This may not be clear to you at first, but it will be after a couple of years.
6. You have no idea how much partners detest bad associates. Did you really think they wouldn't notice sub par work or a bad attitude?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Writing Your First Professional Memo

As a lowly summer or first-year associate, one of the things you will definitely be tasked to do is write a memo. And while you wrote a legal memo in your legal writing class, you can be sure that writing one at your fancy BigLaw firm will be nothing like your law school homework assignment.
Getting an assignment to write a memo should not send you screaming home trying to dig up your legal writing book to figure out what the hell goes into a memo. Here are seven steps to writing a great first legal memorandum:
1. Understand the Assignment.
This may seem pretty basic but if you don't understand the assignment, then you will not write a good memo. Being a good associate, we're sure that you have a pad and pen with you when you go into the partner's office to receive the assignment -- use them. And don't be afraid to ask the partner questions. Partners are people too. Remember, there are no stupid questions.
2. Know Your Audience.
Whom are you writing the memo for? The assigning partner? The client? Make sure you know who will be reading the memo, and if they have any particular requests, formatting issues, or other peculiarities that you should know.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

LexisNexis Free Summer & Post Grad Programs

from Carolyn Bach, Lexis Nexis

I’m excited to share updated information with you regarding our 2014 Summer Access program, Graduate ID program, and the Think Like a Lawyer program, all designed to prepare students for practice.

Summer 2014: All-Access to Lexis Advance®

1Ls & 2Ls:  Students may continue to use their current Lexis Advance® ID for any purpose this summer– including work they perform at a law firm, corporation or government agency.

Lexis Advance ID all summer long for:
  • Any purpose at all
  • All legal content and news on their current law student ID
  • Unlimited hours-per-week

Graduating 3Ls, can register for one of our Graduate Program IDs that will extend their access beyond graduation through December 2014. To learn more, visit and here’s a flyer to post/share as well.

Think Like a Lawyer

Please share this Think Like A Lawyer  link with your students so they can take advantage of training opportunities prior to heading out this summer. As you know, many employers require or highly recommend students take advantage of all applicable trainings offered at their school. Think Like a Lawyer training opportunities include Professional Research Certification designed to include the research skills expected among incoming associates based on feedback from commercial customers. The site also provides links to the summer access and 3L Id program.

Monday, April 7, 2014