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George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

Summer Intern & New Attorney Research Survival Guide

Tips for new attorneys to smooth their transition from researching as a law student to researching in a professional setting.

Final Advice

Plan for productive downtime

You may find that you have some downtime between assignments. Have a plan to use it productively! Perhaps you can use it to check out some of the professional literature recommended by your summer colleagues, work on a BWEXIS certification, start digging for ideas for a fall note/comment, etc.

Get to know your new coworkers, both attorneys and staff

You will receive help with your research from your fellow attorneys or summer interns. Quite likely, you will also be helped by others on the staff, like paralegals, secretarys, and librarian. It behooves you to foster good lines of communication with all your summer co-workers.  

Dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s 

When you think you are done – make sure that your research is up-to-date. Make sure that any primary law is still good law. If using printed resources, check the dates of the last update / pocket part or supplement to see if further updating may be needed.