As a friendly public service to the thousands of first-year associates beginning their careers at Big Firms this fall after “working” as summer associates, I offer this guide to transitioning from the Summer Games to the First-Year Realities.

OK, I also have a somewhat selfish motive. After years of witnessing the bright eyes of the newbies turn dark and sullen after the reality sets in that their lunches are no longer free — both literally and figuratively — I hope to avoid witnessing that sad sight by giving them their reality check before they’ve spent much time in the workforce.

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