NEW YORK – My first month at Weil has been filled with enough dinners, concerts and events that I could have my own dedicated blog about it. But as I reflect on my time here, what seems most important is something I did not expect to be this big a part of my summer: mentorship. Weil’s summer coordinators do a fantastic job of giving summer associates formal opportunities to connect with lawyers at the firm, but it is the atmosphere of the firm itself that provides the informal interactions which have meant even more to me.
After a year of law school, it is easy for summer associates to enter a firm thinking we know the first thing about practicing law. Spoiler: we do not. Fortunately, within my first twenty four hours at Weil, I had a support system including a summer sibling, an assignment coordinator, an office mate who is a third year associate and countless associates and partners whom I had only just met but had already made me feel at home.
At the end of my first full day, I was given an assignment for the structured finance practice. Having only just finished my 1L year, my entire knowledge of the field could be accredited to an undergraduate economics major and one or two casual viewings of The Big Short. Rather than sending me on my way, the partner spent two hours orienting me to the legal landscape and the conceptual underpinnings, and soon I was ready to research the client’s concerns and write my own memo. Over the following weeks, I exchanged revisions and comments with the partner and we had daily meetings in which we would bounce ideas off each other and brainstorm new approaches to the issue.
Ironically, what is most noteworthy about this experience has been just how exceptional Weil is. Every summer associate here has the opportunity to build a network of lawyers from every practice area to help navigate our first foray into big law. Given how vastly different the practice of law is from the experience of law school, it has been invaluable to me to have the resource of dozens of lawyers with a breadth of experiences that I can use in shaping my own.