Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer Associates

School is out and the mercury is rising marking the start of another summer in Las Vegas! One of our readers wants to know if there are any firms in town that still hire summer associates. While we're on the topic, does anyone have good stories or advice about being/dealing with summer associates?

54 comments:

  1. I have carte blanche to bring in a summer associate if I want one. His or her pay and benefits come out of my P&L. If he or she sources or generates billable work, that also goes to my P&L. I want students who are to be able to speak intelligently with a client and solve problems. Class rank means little. Where the student is attending school means little. Law review means little. Show me a law student with a demonstrated ability to work and turn a profit.

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    1. Where were you when I was in law school?? I was one of those B average students and didn't get a single look during OCI.

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    2. Hell yes! When I was trying to get a spot through OCI most would not even interview me because I lacked the "credentials." Course now I am out on my own making great money, generating my own business, and have a balanced work/family life. I was angry at the time, but I think I need to write a few thank you letters.

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    3. @ 9:06 -- 8:56 here: SAME! No one looked at me, and now I work a great job with great pay/hours/balance/etc. I really wanted to work at Gordon Silver... Glad they passed.

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    4. I was also one of those B average students, but was lucky enough to land a job (actually got two job offers) from OCI. It wasn't at one of the big firms though so that's not saying much.

      That said, I had no idea coming out of law school (and law school certainly didn't teach this principle) that your success at any firm would depend largely on how well you can generate business. I wish they had a class that focused on what it takes to succeed in the real world because I was clueless. I did learn quickly, thanks to some good mentoring and I'm now out on my own making a killing.

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    5. 8:44 am, where would a rising 2L with many years in the legal community, references from well respected attorneys, and proven profitable work product, apply?

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    6. 9:23 - Law schools can't teach "what it takes to succeed in the real world". No one who works at a law school in any capacity would have the foggiest idea "what it takes to succeed in the real world". The ivory tower is a place of theories and aspirations. Nothing of any actual value happens there.

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  2. I would not hire any Boyd graduates or Boyd 2L. Why does that one person hate the Boyd 2013 graduates? I hate the Cooley Law retards.

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    1. It's actually a long story. You see, he was from the Boyd 2012 night class, and really had his heart set on a young philly from the 2013 crop.

      He courted her like he had never courted a woman before, but when he finally made the move, she shut it down like a light switch. When he asked what he had done wrong, she said she could never date a Boyd 2012 grad, certainly not one from the night class.

      From that day forward, he vowed to spread vitriol all over the internets, but especially on small, local legal blogs, about the scourge that is the Boyd class of 2013.

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    2. 9:09: why do you "hate the Cooley Law retards?" Shouldn't you love them if they are "retards?" Wouldn't that make your work easier because they don't know what they're doing? I haven't come in contact with many, despite it being such a big law school.

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    3. 9:32 just made my day lol

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    4. Ackerman hires 2Ls

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  3. OCI is largely a waste of time. Call a lawyer you'd want to work for and tell that lawyer how you can help. If the first one doesn't take your call, call another one, and so on. Keep calling until one of them will see you.

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    1. That's exactly how I got my first law clerk position which turned into an associate position.

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    2. Could not agree more. Cold calling is more likely to land you an associate position in the future more than OCI ever will. Many large firms that participate in OCI take 10 students in three years and hire about one of them over the three years.

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    3. I'd third that - it was clear during my first semester of my 1L year (~12-13 yrs ago) that my law school grades would not be what got me a job during law school and after law school. I spent my three years practicing the 'it is who you know and what you can do, and not what you know' theory of going to every networking event, every free CLE I could get into, and volunteering to help with any organized event I could to increase the 'who I know' and the 'what I can do' part of that.

      I also took the tact of making it clear to those that would grant me an interview that "if you have to tell me how to do something more than twice, fire me." It worked and that clerk job at a small firm (3-4 attorneys max) landed me an associate position at a large (~300 attorney) firm after graduation.
      Although I ended up hating the big firm life and left a few years later, the process was sound and can work for those in similar positions.

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  4. Legal Elite list: http://www.nevadabusiness.com/2016/06/legal-elite-2016-nevadas-top-attorneys/

    It seems like it's shorter. Maybe because the Gordon Silver circle jerk has ended.

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    1. congrats Gina

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    2. I"m sorry, but any list that puts an attorney with 1 year of experience in the Legal Elite category loses its credibility--regardless of clerking experience.

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    3. Unless they are a re Cooley grad.

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    4. Lots of Boyd '10 on the list. Suck it, Boyd '13s.

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    5. Gina is an idiot. She refers to herself as a mob lawyer. Another joke of a list.

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    6. Adam Laxalt?

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    7. Less than 10% of the attorneys on this list have any business being on any sort of elite list. Nevada Business oughta take their lists seriously and use a real list.

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    8. I only practice criminal law. As such, almost none of that list means anything to me. What is interesting is there is literally only one lawyer on that list who practices criminal law. Granted, he deserves it, but how is there only one recognized criminal lawyer on that list?

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    9. The list is garbage. And that's an understatement. I agree with 8:00PM.

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  5. My one bit of advice for "summer associates" is this: The firm is what it is. Don't take a job that looks like shit and think to yourself that maybe someday it will blossom into a pretty flower. If you're ok with working at a shitty job for some time just to get the experience, that's alright. But don't have any illusion that someday the partners will get their heads out of their asses and start paying a fair salary, or start treating associates like humans. (Obviously this doesn't apply to all firms.)

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  6. Unrelated question:

    For those of you who deal with referrals (either giving or getting), what do you think about the following situation?

    Attorney sends some clients to a PI firm, who promises him/her a percentage of whatever their fee ends up being. He/she does not have a formal agreement in writing. Attorney and the firm have a falling out and are no longer on good terms. The firm originally says that they will still respect the referral agreement, but now that the cases are getting close to resolving, they want to renege and pay attorney nothing.

    What should attorney do now? Sue them? Just let it go? Something else?

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    1. Don't send them any more referrals. And don't be afraid to tell your story. Let the market do it's work.

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    2. Attorney should read NRCP 1.5(e)(2) and get that shit in writing in the future. Not only because it's a good idea to prevent PI firm from doing exactly what they're doing, but because entering into an arrangement to split fees without confirming it in writing and with the client's approval is an ethical violation.

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    3. Agree with 12:06. I work at a PI firm and I get referral agreements in writing upon signing. That being said, as a PI attorney, I would always pay my referrals as a matter of course because it is my reputation and my word on the line.

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    4. Dammit. NRPC. Not NRCP.

      -12:06.

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    5. NVSC is going to hear oral arguments on a similar topic on June 8. The Gage Law Firm v. Fenton, Grant, et al.

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    6. Wow. I'm pretty sure the facts there would make a good basis for a riveting episode of the Good Wife, L.A. Law, The Practice, or whatever legal thriller the kids are into these days. Case No. 66439, if you're interested.

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    7. Simple, if you have a written agreement, then your fee is enforceable. Sue their ass, but send a letter first. We get referrals from other firms all the time and when I cut my check I cut their check and the fee has been 6 figures at times and all they did was send the case to us. Your word is everything, but the signed agreement helps.

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    8. 11:37 I feel your pain. same thing happened just recently to me as well. and there wasn't even a falling out, just straight renege on the deal. Even the client was aware of the deal and wanted me paid. But nope, they were being straight asses. I am making sure everyone and their mom knows about them and their sheisty ways now.

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    9. 11:37, refer them to the Bar. Tired of attorneys ripping off other attorneys.

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    10. Put them on blast!! That is super shitty for them to do that. Return the favor by calling them out.

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    11. 11:37 here. Interesting feedback. As expected, there's a wide range of options. Unfortunately, some are not appropriate for this particular attorney (no written agreement, for example). The whole "blast" idea is an interesting one, but that would definitely eliminate any chance of resolving things and getting paid, don't you think? Attorney is more interested in getting his/her money than seeing the firm burn. Oh well, definitely open to further suggestions. And maybe the super shitty firms out there -- whether this particular one or not -- will see this thread and do the right thing.

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    12. I got stiffed by a douche who prides himself on stiffing referring attorneys. No problemo. I have sent my new PI buddy dozens of cases. That is how the market works.

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    13. Be really picky who you refer pi cases to, the smaller the firm the better. Less publicity. Less bill boards.

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    14. Do not hire, or refer pi attorneys who also do insurance defense. That is a conflict. Judges need to get their head out of their asses about that.

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  7. I work at a multi-state firm that hires summers in other offices, but not Las Vegas. Probably because the pool here is too small.

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    1. ....or maybe because your firm is a giant asshole.

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  8. The big firm I'm at had a few bad summer classes in a row so it stopped its program. Some of the bad ones were from Boyd, others were from bigger name top law schools. As a former summer, I think it's too bad. But I can't deny that I was also frustrated by some of the bad summers.

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  9. Good opinion issued today regarding getting your Attorneys' Liens enforced re: Golightly/Vannah: "attorneys
    must, prior to recovery, perfect their liens by serving notice that states both the attorney's percentage of the recovery and that the lien will include court costs and out-of-pocket costs advanced by the attorney in an amount to be determined."

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    1. Yikes. That's a rough result. Retroactive application could be a huge problem for PI firms too. If they're already in the interpleader process and haven't perfected the lien, it might be too late now.

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  10. Go out and early vote for anybody other than Hafen.

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  11. Why is Peter Brown named a top lawyer? The guy sucks, and isn't there chaos at his office?

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    1. Because once your office gets big enough, you can compel everyone in your office to vote for you.

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    2. Good point.

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  12. https://www.facebook.com/statebarofnevada/posts/876453779131670

    I want to write funny responses like: "You should know this is a phishing attempt because the State Bar of Nevada never, and will never, actually investigate complaints of unethical actions. They're too busy partying in Hawaii." Thank you, bobloblawlawblog for giving me a place to air my grievances instead of responding on FB.

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    1. ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!! Oh wait, they actually won't be shamed by this. Hmmm. Not so funny once you stop laughing...

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  13. Is anyone watching Las Vegas Law? The trial shown tonight should be shown to every criminal defendant for how not to act. I actually felt bad for Pandullo which is saying something after the trial shown last week. That closing was terrible.

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