A few weeks ago, I thought to myself, "I should get a book on being a first year associate, since I have no idea what I'm about to get into." Lo and behold, a book fell into my lap. I read The Young Lawyer's Jungle Book, and here are my thoughts.
First of all, there are good pieces of information in here, especially the very detailed pieces. For example, when you're working on a project for one senior partner, and another senior comes to your door to ask if you're busy, the correct response is, "Yes, but how can I help you?"
The author also suggests keeping a list of your projects and successes, for when annual review time comes. He doesn't cushion the blow about the hardships of practicing law. I found myself dreading my new job, until I snapped out of it. This book is about the stereotypical evils: working 12 hours a day, the various offensive types of co-workers, the politics of gender and race.
But I refuse to submit to that fate. I'm excited about starting, I really like the people I'm starting with, and I don't think every big firm is the same.
The worst part of this book is the endless, insufferable footnotes - containing everything that an editor would have cut out. However, after I ceased reading anything in parentheses or in a footnote, and ignored the italics, it went smoother. The book is a comprehensive parade of horribles, but it provides advice on surviving them.
I feel prepared for the worst after reading this book, but I can't, and won't, vouch for its accuracy.
For that, I'll have to get back to you in a few months.