How Summer Associates can make the most of their last few weeks on the job


As we’re past the halfway point for many summer associate programs, now is a great time for Fellows to pause, reflect, and think about how they can make the most of the time they have left.

You must assess how satisfied you are with your current performance and the personal brand you have built so far. If things don’t go as planned, it’s never too late to make some adjustments.

Maybe you’re on the shy side and you’re just lying. Or maybe you are very assertive in your eagerness to make a mark. By this point, you will likely have a clear perspective on what you could have done differently if you had the opportunity to go back and start the summer program again. Fortunately, there is still time to realign your approach and finish the program on a high note.

We have trained hundreds of summer associates throughout our legal marketing career. We suggest the following tips to ensure you get the most out of your summer experience.

Consider the feedback you’ve received on your tasks and projects so far. Did you get anything? Ask for feedback from your supervisors/designated partners. Listen carefully and be open to constructive criticism, and show a willingness to learn and enhance your skills.

And if you haven’t already, take the initiative and be proactive in looking for assignments. Walk the halls at the end of each day and ask the partners if there are any issues you can help with. Write a static blog. Assistance with CLE Client. Offer to search for a potential client. Set Google Alerts for important company customers and share key updates with your colleagues. A proactive attitude is a great way to stand out from your peers and make a lasting impression.

Be curious. Ask thoughtful questions and seek clarification when needed. Many young lawyers are reluctant to ask questions, fearing judgment or feeling like they should already know the answer. But the most disastrous thing for your career is when you make incorrect assumptions and approach a task incorrectly.

Strengthen and adjust your relationships. Now is the perfect time, as you have a better understanding of everyone’s roles, reputations, needs, and motivations. Who do you want to be a mentor? Who is the career path you would like to emulate? Show the in-house lawyers that you’re willing to go the extra mile, just as you would with future clients. And remember, your consistent partners can have as much of an impact on your career path as your clients.

Don’t be shy about reaching out to attorneys in other offices. If there is an attorney whose practice or background interests you, set up a Zoom meet-and-greet.

If you think you would like to explore or pursue another field of training, announce your interest. It is never too late to familiarize yourself with a variety of different areas of law to see what is the best fit for you.

Get to know the marketing professionals in your company. Legal marketers often have a wealth of resources that can help you succeed as a summer associate and beyond. Ask for guidance on how to become a thought leader in the industry, strategies for growing your network, and how to start building your professional brand. Business development plan template request.

Ask them to help you identify steps you can begin to take today to lay the foundation for successful business development. The marketing team can also advise you on partners who are particularly skilled in business development or who might be good mentors for your legal career.

Consider participating in freebies if you haven’t already. Not only will you have the opportunity to hone legal skills in a real-world context, but you will also have the opportunity to collaborate with lawyers and professionals from other organizations.

Don’t let the summer heat make you feel complacent. Continue to take advantage of the many networking opportunities your company offers by attending events, seminars, and social gatherings. It’s a great opportunity to get to know your colleagues and build long-term relationships. After all, the summer fellow who sits next door might one day go home and be in a position to refer work to you.

The most successful practicing attorneys are constantly evaluating and adjusting their strategies for clients and their careers. Summer Fellows should also adopt this approach.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg Industry Group, Inc., publisher of Bloomberg Law and Bloomberg Tax, or its owners.

Author info

EJ Stern and Kathryn Wilson They are the founders of Fractional Law Firm CMO, which provides strategic CMO services, workshops, and group coaching to law firms of all sizes, virtually and in person.

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