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If you work at a firm with other associates with whom you can discuss key issues and consult on critical client projects, then you have probably found yourself at an “associate meeting” or two. For those of you new to the practice of law, e.g., summer associates, or those currently brief writing in the basement of a metropolitan warehouse like yours truly, associate meetings provide an open forum for young lawyers to vent their grievances about the firm, complain about how $125,000 per year just will not cut it in downtown San Francisco or trash the copy center. There are so many great activities in store for the summer associate in particular, but none gives greater insight into the satisfaction of the firm’s younger barristers. What many do not know is that these meetings provide an opportunity for senior associates to evaluate the etiquette, creativity and oratory skills of the junior members among them. FOOD Associate meetings typically have a lot of food, so dig in. Now I am not kidding here — do not be shy. Eat until you drop. It is completely acceptable to get up when someone is speaking to get yourself a plate of cookies or to pop open a few cans of 7-Up. The most successful attorneys I have seen also comment as they are stuffing the macadamia nut oatmeal raisin cookies into their mouth with something like, “Have you tried these? They are gooood.” Remember, passion is a key trait for success in the law. QUESTIONS Ask questions — period. If you want your own personal copy machine attendant or a second secretary to handle golf reservations or off track betting, ask for one. The meetings are designed to be an open forum for associates to voice critical concerns so that they can better perform their work — if you are obsessed with betting on Afleet Alex all day and cannot bill, that extra secretary may be a real lifesaver for your firm. As for questions, consider asking some of the following to really peak the interest of your colleagues:

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