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Firm events: Party early, party often

This week, I attended a firm party held at one of the partner’s houses. The party was to celebrate the softball team’s advancing to the lawyer league playoffs. When the email invitation went out, I eagerly accepted because I find this kind of firm event, well, fun.

It wasn’t always this way. When I was a summer associate these events made me nervous. I never knew what to wear or what to talk about.

After having gone to several of these types of parties, I have learned that the best approach is to just be yourself (unless of course being “yourself” at a party entails doing keg stands or funneling beers, in which case I advise you to tone it down).

You talk about work enough AT work – use this opportunity to talk about your other interests. For example, at the party this week I discussed the finer points of all-inclusive vacations and the new season of the “Jersey Shore” with some partners (and yes, they are quite hip and know their Snookis from their Pauly Ds).

These events are a rare opportunity to see partners as human beings with families and other interests outside of assigning research memos and motions to young associates. Most importantly, it is an opportunity for the partners to see you as someone with interests outside of writing research memos and motions.

I found attending firm social events helped me feel more like a colleague than a subordinate. So RSVP for those firm events and get there on time – you might find that with the right attitude, you will have a little fun!