5 Best Ways to Impress at Your Summer Associate Position

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on May 31, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A summer associate position (or internship, or clerkship) is more than just a summer job -- it's a two- to three-month long interview. And that's not just because some lucky 2Ls may come out of their summer associate positions with a job offer. Even law students who aren't expecting an offer at the end of their summer will still build valuable relationships and future recommendations.

The key, of course, is to make the right impression. Here's how.

1. Summer Associates, How to Interact With Support Staff

Go out of your way to be nice to the paralegals, secretaries, and IT folks. They're the ones who can explain the firm's systems to you and help you when you're locked out of your computer or have no idea how to collate a file. In short, they help you get your job done. Here's how to get on their good side.

2. His and Hers Tips for Summer Associate Dressing

Does the suit make the associate? No, but showing up to work in an inappropriate outfit isn't going to win you many fans. That goes for outfits that are too casual just as it does for those that are too formal. (It is summer, after all.) Here's how to navigate the treacherous waters of summer associate dressing.

3. How to Make a Great Impression

You've got the basics down: work hard, dress the part, be friendly. But what next? Do you accept every assignment? Spend your days chatting up other associates? Try to hunt down partners for valuable face time? Here are our tips to making a great impression as a new associate.

4. How to Deal With Stress

Don't worry, everyone deals with stress, from the newest summer interns to the highest-ranking partners. The key to success is to deal with stress well. That means knowing how to work through it, how to use it as a motivator, and how to escape it when necessary.

5. What to Do When You Embarrass Yourself

You will embarrass yourself at some point. You might forget an important name or you might go a little too hard at the firm cocktail party. Here's what to do afterwards.

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