Summer Associate, Week 1: 59 Thoughts

Okay, so granted, I was also a summer associate last year.

Last summer, I wrote to you about what it was like to be a 1L at a firm and how much I was able to do despite how little we feel like we learn in law school. After having the honor of being asked back to the same firm for this summer, I decided to shake it up a little bit. I was feeling inspired by BuzzFeed’s recent posts of the same nature on Season 6 of Game of Thrones, so I decided to give you all an “unfiltered” peek into what my first week as a summer associate at a firm in Western New York was like, with some Michael Scott references peppered in — because, after all, I do work in an office.

  1. Heels hurt. I can practically hear my toes monologuing about why they hate me.
  2. Okay, but the way heels click across a floor makes you sound like a boss. I feel like I’m in the beginning of that Jordan Sparks song. Like, look at me, I’m important, I know where I’m going-
  3. Uh oh. Where am I going?
  4. These hallways are just one big circle, so I have to find who I’m looking for eventually, right?
  5. Orientation time. Leggo.
  6. Does anyone else love filling out paperwork? It’s like a test where I know all the answers right away!
  7. When was the last time that happened?
  8. Repress, Charlene, repress. Work is your happy place. Law school exams can’t get you here.
  9. Literally counting the moments until they let me have a second alone so I can take a selfie in my office.
  10. Because really, if you don’t take a selfie in your office, did you even come to work?
  12. How is my office bigger than my room in Boston?
  13. How is my office window bigger than my room in Boston?87be2a85a3271743845cb8a57c7fde9b
  14. My mentee from college SnapChatted me pictures of her office earlier and we literally have the same furniture.
  15. Do you think all law offices shop from the same catalog? Like “IKEA for Law Firms”?
  16. My administrative assistant Laurie just popped in to show me pictures of her cat and I just know we’re going to get along.
  17. And my phone just rang which means people actually call me. On a landline. This is bananas.enhanced-buzz-18434-1366427629-12
  18. And you know what Laurie says when I’m not in and she answers my line?
  19. “Charlene Ochogo’s office, how can I help you?”
  21. Aw! A welcome reception? For me? You shouldn’t have!
  23. Walk, Charlene. Don’t run.
  24. Okay, this computer training is super necessary, but I ate way too much at lunch and being in the dark is making me sleepy.
  25. Oh, shoot, I meant to ask our Lexis rep if I can get Lexis points for this.
  26. Okay, probably not, but can you imagine? I could buy a Lexis mansion by the end of the summer.
  27. There is an instant message computer program. For the firm. To chat with each other. HOW COOL IS THIS?
  28. Cue the flashbacks to AIM circa 2002.
  29. The real question is, are there emojis and how do I disable them so I don’t accidentally send a partner a hairtoss emoji?
  30. You know, I think I’ll take the stairs up to my office this time.
  31. My calves are going to be fire by the end of the summer!
  32. They mentioned there was one staircase that would lock you out. I wonder if it’s-
  33. …This one.
  34. Okay, no need to panic, just send some S.O.S. knocks and maybe someone will come by.
  35. I’M SAVED! Staircase A, I will be watching you.
  36. People remember me from last year! That’s so nice!
  37. Alright, first set of assignments for the summer.
  38. It’s definitely not a good sign when you need to Google ten of the words in your assigning attorney’s email.875e625174a21540866026878657fd3a
  39. Yeah, sure, I know all about equity financing…and stocks…and, uh, how about this economy?
  40. To the library!
  41. Oy gevalt. When was the last time I looked something up in a book?
  42. Dude, books are WAY better than reading on the computer. I could get used to this.
  43. Who knew calculating billables involved so much math? Thank goodness for phone calculators.
  44. Okay, but I have literally proofread this two-paragraph email seven times and found typos every time.
  45. How have I not learned to type coherently in 24 years?635892005112218996641251412_tumblr_inline_nfze6ukZkb1rnoj80
  46. Walked to the water fountain, got another assignment. Strangely…excited?
  47. And I just turned it in and felt super great about it! They even want me to help them prepare a CLE on the topic! You know what that means:image
  48. I know it’s a stereotype that interns are supposed to be able to make copies, but I haven’t been given any busywork and ironically, I don’t know how.
  49. Laurie to the rescue! She didn’t even bat an eye at the 20 lopsided copies I just made.
  50. I actually know how to research things! Law school taught me things!
  51. Even if citation is still the bane of my existence.
  52. How did I not pack my BLUEBOOK??? Literally the only office supply I had to provide for myself.
  53. Am I about to order a new Bluebook? This is what I’m using my Lexis points on?
  54. Life is a circle, man.
  55. Is it 5:30 already?
  56. Confirmed. That is now the third person stopping by to ask why I’m still here.
  58. I know that this summer is going to be a lot of hard work, but strangely enough, I’m not nervous.
  59. I really love this job, I love the people I work with, and I’m actually having fun. anigif_enhanced-buzz-26831-1364321761-4_preview.gif

Charlene is a rising 3L, but check out her posts about things she wishes she knew as a 1L, from day one to the last exam. Her inbox is always open so you can comment here, or shoot her an email at

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