10) If the firm has support for transcribing dictation (e.g. a word processing pool that does it, or secretaries that do it), learn how to use dictation. It is faster than typing and it allows you to take a break from the work and then return to it with fresh perspective.
[Dictation is] also a very fast way of getting your ideas on paper. They don't have to be perfectly formed and/or worded, but can be spoken right into the recorder as they come to you. Don't be self-conscious about it. (You will be at the beginning, but you'll get over that.) Just hit the "record" button and start speaking.
A very interesting perspective. Personally, I don't dictate. And I know quite a few patent prosecutors who don't dictate and who are nonetheless efficient.
At this point, I believe my brain is now trained to think by writing. But if I were starting over, and my firm supported it (or at least didn't fight it) I'd give dictation a serious try.
Don't try to edit/proofread your work on a monitor. Print it out and read it with a red pen in your hand. With dictation there is a time gap between when you dictate it and when you read the transcription. This allows you to approach the proofreading and editing as a distinct task from generating the work, rather than scrolling through the document on the monitor immediatley after you typed it, removing all the red underlined words, hitting print, grabbing the papers off the printer, bundling them to the file and leaving in the in-box of the reviewer.
I second this advice. And note that revise-on-paper is a technique that can be applied independently of dictation.
While the title of this thread is "summer job", this thread is even more important for newbie associates.