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June 02, 2008

Your summer clerkship: Your real value to the firm?

Zero--and hopefully not less than zero. But don't take that so hard. We are paying you--and our most inarticulate lawyer could make a persuasive, cogent, and eloquent argument for the reverse arrangement. You're an investment. An experiment. It's nice having you around. You're nice kids, from great schools, with great grades. But you don't know anything. So our advice:

1. Proofread, and be careful. Paying attention to detail is one of the few things you can do for us now. But valuable. (What else valuable can you really give us this summer?) Get that habit, and get it forever.

2. Give us your ideas (not your tech savvy).

3. Give us your best answer, get to the point--and then show us your thinking. Back it up with the best authorities you can find so far, even if it's a work in progress. And don't guess.

4. You say you're brilliant? That's nice. But that and a dollar will get you a Diet Coke, or maybe a beer at the Tune Inn. We seek Huntin' Dogs--workers who use everything they have and are to do great work for great clients. We know such creatures when we see them. Takes about a week to spot "it" or "no it".

5. Ask dumb questions. Frequently.

6. Proofread, and be careful.

Posted by JD Hull at June 2, 2008 08:20 PM


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