There are essentially three phases to a lawyer's career, one of which may or may not ever be realized. They are: (1) the Grinder, (2) the Minder, and (3) the Finder and Binder. The Grinder is the first- through third-year attorney who grinds out legal product—of a sufficient quality and in a billable quantity—to keep the partner and firm happy. Some time around the fourth year (give or take a year), management of other attorneys and a bit of client contact usually come into play. The attorney who is more than seven years out of school and has no clients is the Senior Minder, the most precarious position one can have in the profession. Why? If firm profits ever take a dive, these are the first people fired (in most cases, eventually replaced by less expensive associates). Finally, if knowledge, talent, training, and support from the firm are present, an attorney may become a Finder and Binder, also known as a Rainmaker.
Recently, the Office of Career Services at NYU Law School sent out a memo giving advice to summer associates. This was quite timely, of course, as the summer associate season is in full swing.
Looking for a second-year summer job is arguably the most important thing you will do during law school. The reason for this is that the type of second-year summer job you obtain and how well you do at it will significantly affect where you work upon graduation. Accordingly, looking for a second-year summer job is not something to be taken lightly.