If there’s one skill that is crucial to your success as a Summer Associate, it’s managing your time wisely. If you are a procrastinator and like the thrill of getting things done at the 11th hour, you might want to kick that habit! Assignments may start to roll in slowly at first, which may lull you into a false sense of security, but soon enough you’ll be juggling plenty of different projects. Ideally, you would want to get ahead on a project, providing a quick turnaround for the partner or associate you are working with. This not only shows that you’ve made their assignment a priority, but also that you are eager to learn as much as you can during your time here. In doing so, you will also open yourself up to more opportunities.
Also, never discount small intervals of time where you might be free. 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there, it might not seem like much, but they add up. Use these moments efficiently, by perhaps making some headway on an assignment. That way, when you come back to it the next time you’ll have made some progress and can pick right back up from where you left it. These intervals also provide an opportunity to make connections with your new colleagues. Check in with people and make yourself available. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to attorneys who may have their door open. Early in the summer, they’re usually keen to meet the summer class and are willing to take a moment for a quick chat. Take advantage of the first couple of weeks of the summer to build relations, you never what doors they may open in the future.
Time management also means keeping a well-organized calendar. It is incredibly important to keep track of appointments and other commitments. For one, always check your calendar before setting down any concrete plans. There are a plenty of work events, lunches, and organized outings as a Summer Associate, and it can be hard to keep track of them all. Use your calendar as much as possible to make sure that you aren’t overloading your days. There’s nothing worse than having to cancel on someone because you accidentally double-booked yourself.
Last, but definitely not least, make some time for yourself. Don’t leave for tomorrow what can be done today, but by that same token, make sure you take care of yourself. In the evenings, give yourself plenty of time to wind down so that you can get a good night of sleep. Carve out time to exercise, at least a couple times a week, to help ensure you’ll be physically and mentally prepared for the day.
Other than that, there’s not much else to it. Law school prepares you to manage a significant workload, but the office provides its own unique set of challenges. I hope these tips can shed some light on how to best navigate those challenges and prove useful to you during your summer. Oh, and before I forget, don’t overlook the importance of checking in with your friends and family, they’ll be eager for an update on how your summer is going!