The late New York Mayor Ed Koch famously asked “How Am I Doing?” as often as he could. Mid-summer is time for law clerks to ask the same question.
What might review look like?
The range of behavior that might be labeled “feedback” is on a continuum from detailed contemporaneous review of individual projects to the assumption that all is well if you are not being yelled at.
Few employers provide the former, and, I hope that you never encounter the latter.
Mid-summer review: Where to find it
If your employer lacks a rigorous formal review structure, make your own. Make short-but-scheduled appointments with assigning attorneys noting that you have specific questions about one or more assignments.
Mid-summer review: What to ask for
You want meaningful, specific information about what you have done well and where you have fallen down. Do yourself and the lawyer a favor: send a memo with specific questions about parts of your work.
- Did I provide the information that you requested?
- Does it appear to you that I understand the client’s problem?
- Was the piece well-organized?
- Was the point that I was trying to make clear?
- Did I miss a critical resource?
- Were my introduction and conclusion clear and strong?
Your memo opens the door for the lawyer to be critical, perhaps severely critical, so be prepared for a rigorous review session. You many not like what you hear, but it’s better to know by mid-summer than to be surprised at the end to learn that your work was sub-par.
Other reading: Finding FeedbacK: an ongoing challenge