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May 21, 2019

Best of Partner Emeritus No. 3: Summering Correctly in Gotham.

It’s that time of year again. Summer interns, law clerks and of course “summer associates”—i.e., third year law students eyeing a shot at the big time via 10-week clerkships at larger “peer” law firms in the Americas and Europe—flood the biggest cities and test their mettle. Some of us look forward to that annual summer help more than others. It was nearly four years ago that our patrician friend and mentor Partner Emeritus, a legend for decades in Manhattan’s corporate law circles, commented in response to an Above the Law piece (with an accompanying video of some hard summer partying) on summer associate offers by ATL mainstay blogger and editor Staci Zaretsky:

Ms. Zaretski, thank you for posting that pathetic video you labeled “celebration.” It's a sad world we live in where kids think they are having the time of their lives by raising bottles of Korbel champagne adorned with cheap sparklers. The video [in the ATL article] is proof that law firms are not celebrating like it was 1984 or 2007 for that matter.

When I was a younger partner, I would take a handful of summer associates to Smith & Wollensky or Peter Luger's in Brooklyn and then party hard at the VIP lounge at Flash Dancers ('80s) or Scores ('90s). Most of the summer associates were caught in compromising positions during these soirees. For example, I had many Polaroids with SAs who were photographed in salacious positions with female entertainers. I even photographed a few doing lines of coke in the VIP lounge.

Once the summer associates became associates I would bring them into my office and give them copies of the Polaroids and remind them that I was the last person they ever wanted to cross if they wanted to keep their job or law license. Most of these folks became partners, which proves my methods for inspiring peak performance were quite effective.

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Photo taken in 1986 believed to be PE instructing summer associates.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at May 21, 2019 11:59 PM

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