Entry level associate class of 1

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Entry level associate class of 1

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:17 pm

Has anyone ever had any experience with this in big law working as the only first year in a particular field?

SFSpartan

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Re: Entry level associate class of 1

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:40 pm

Bumping, as I am also interested in this. While I'm going to be the only entry level associate at a midlaw firm, I suspect a lot of the advice given here can also apply to my circumstance.

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Re: Entry level associate class of 1

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:53 pm

Also interested. (Not OP)

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Re: Entry level associate class of 1

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:58 pm

What do you want to know? It's pretty much the same in that you get staffed to certain matters and work on those matters, and the firm keeps giving you new matters until you say no mas.

WhiteCollarBlueShirt

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Re: Entry level associate class of 1

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:04 pm

Not directly on point, but I was/am by good margin the youngest in my group at a regional big law firm. However, I had some prior experience being part of a legion beforehand in a large market.

Feel free to ask away if any questions.

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Re: Entry level associate class of 1

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:11 pm

What were the pros and cons of that experience work wise and socially?

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Re: Entry level associate class of 1

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:21 pm

Also wondering. Headed to smaller office (25 people), but summered in slightly a bigger office (75 people).

By people I mean attorneys, that didn't include staff, etc.

ballouttacontrol

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Re: Entry level associate class of 1

Postby ballouttacontrol » Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:40 pm

This is me too, as far as my practice group in my office.

Idk what much difference it make tho, other than not having similarly situated buddies to chat with about stuff

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Re: Entry level associate class of 1

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:46 pm

[One of the prior anons seeking info]

To lend some structure to this: Did your firms struggle at all with the expectations gap? E.g., did they expect you to have competencies that you hadn't developed, that a firm with larger first-year classes might teach? Basically, did you feel like more senior people (read: everyone) mentored, or did you feel like it was fake-until-you-make 24/7? (Recognizing, of course, that the reality of the answer is probably "it's somewhere in between")

WhiteCollarBlueShirt

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Re: Entry level associate class of 1

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:24 pm

To the above, I will say that I felt the formal education about my practice area as part of the legion was far superior. Being part of a small group is much more trial by fire, learn by doing, and a great opportunity for hands on practical training. Whether or not people mentor, scream, treat you as a human, etc. has far less to do with the size of the group and more to do with each person's individual personality.

I certainly preferred and valued my technical training as a piece of the legion, but I certainly prefer and value my freedom as an individual.

My main advice is to ask questions when you need to, make use of available CLE's, white papers, other research materials, and treat each experience as a learning opportunity. You are not a brain surgeon, law is rarely a life or death situation, especially for niche corporate, tax, and regulatory folks.

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Johann

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Re: Entry level associate class of 1

Postby Johann » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:[One of the prior anons seeking info]

To lend some structure to this: Did your firms struggle at all with the expectations gap? E.g., did they expect you to have competencies that you hadn't developed, that a firm with larger first-year classes might teach? Basically, did you feel like more senior people (read: everyone) mentored, or did you feel like it was fake-until-you-make 24/7? (Recognizing, of course, that the reality of the answer is probably "it's somewhere in between")


I think this question kind of misunderstands how biglaw works (which is fine). Everyone in biglaw is expected to come in with minimal to no skills and be able to adapt and figure out how to serve the people above you and add value to them with almost no training.

How much you interact with partners compared to seniors probably depends on the partner and not the size of each class. There is 1 partner I do work for I never interact with. Another one I do work for calls me on my cell if he thinks I'm the owner of the answer rather than the senior.

There are things I do bad and things I do well. But my reviews so far have been positive because I generally add value to the people above me. Figure out how to do that, learn the skills you need to learn to do that (i.e. doc review software, how to write, excel, etc. whatever it may be), and then execute. If you do that, people will understand what your specialties are and will rely on you for that. They'll overlook your incompetencies as long as what you can deliver still produces value.



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