Are you worried about being a good summer associate? Are you worried about what other summer associates think of your "soft skills"? Are you bored as hell at work and want something to "integrity is important" you to sleep? Well! Look no further than the Young Lawyers Blog's Summer Associate Interview series.
In four installments, the somewhat tedious Q&As cover all the predictable territory, but I'm never one to underestimate the power of synergy, so I've collected some highlights below.
Becoming an attorney was just always something that I wanted to do as a child. It was always there in the back of my mind. I've always viewed being a lawyer as a respectable profession where you could also make a difference.
2. What do you think makes a great attorney?
Integrity. Being an attorney requires many traits: dedication, drive, sharp analytical skills, stamina, an ability to think outside the box, to name a few. These traits are, for the most part, common to all attorneys. However, I believe the characteristic that sets the great attorneys apart from the average is integrity.
3. What do you see is the greatest challenge facing the Class of 2010?
Another challenge is a general feeling that firms can view associates as temporary revenue-generating workhorses. The feeling is that firms sometimes do not view associates as assets who should be able to become partners if both sides keep up their side of the bargain. (An associate puts in the time, works the hours, and learns the craft. In exchange, the firm provides mentoring, training, exposure, experience, and ultimately the ability to join the firm for life). This deal no longer exists. I heard a statistic that 80% of associates leave their first firm within 5 years. Finding a firm where both the associate values the firm, and the firm values the associate, will be a challenge for the class of 2010.
4. What do you see is the greatest opportunity for the Class of 2010?
I am not convinced that the old model, or the "billable hour" is dead. So long as the class of 2010 is just the one more class, as all of the classes before it, I struggle to think of any real opportunities that are unique to the class.
Any thoughts? Please feel free to weigh in with your answers to these questions in the comments. Non-summer associates welcome!