In the past, most summer associates working at large firms felt that if they showed up at a decent hour, acted respectably and did a reasonably good job on their assignments, they were all but guaranteed an offer of permanent employment. Barring any major gaffes, summer associates were likely to snag an offer or two by the end of their second summer in law school.

That probably won’t be the case as this summer winds to a close. Summer associates likely have been walking on eggshells, trying to provide the best possible work product and to make themselves indispensable. The days of almost automatic entitlement to a permanent offer surely are over.

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