Summer Associates, How to Navigate After Hours Work Events

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on May 27, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If you are among the lucky summer associates to snag a gig at BigLaw, then one of the things you've probably heard about are the over-the-top events that you get to attend. Granted, the events are not as over-the-top as they once were, but you can still bet on some entertaining after-hours work events.

If you've never attended an after-hours work event, we're going to clue you in on the three things you need to navigate one successfully.

1. Work Events Are Work

The first rule of after-hours work events is that the events are still work. Not in the traditional sense of legal practice, but in every other sense of the word. Everything you do, wear, say, must comply with your work persona. This is not the time to let your coworkers see the "fun weekend" you.

2. What to Wear

Since after-hours work events are work, then what you wear should be reflective of that. While we have given you summer associate dressing tips in the past, when it comes to work events there are other considerations. Who is attending? (i.e., will clients or partners be in attendance?) Where is the event? What will you be doing? All of these factors will influence what you wear, but a good rule of thumb is too look polished, and err on the side of being conservative, rather than edgy. If you are at a total loss, ask your summer associate mentor.

3. How to Behave

Just because your firm takes you on a wine tasting does not give you the liberty to get wasted -- intentionally or not. Always be composed, and act just as you would at the law firm. It's ok to have alcohol, but we would suggest pacing yourself, and limiting yourself to two drinks.

With job offers not as plentiful as they once were, you have to be on your best behavior at all times. One way to impress is to handle yourself well in all situations. Don't let a social gaffe get in the way of your offer -- just remember you're always working.

What after-hours work events are you looking forward to? Let us know on Facebook for FindLaw for Legal Professionals.

Editor's Note, April 29, 2015: This post was first published in May 2014.

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