DALLAS – If someone had asked me what I expected to do at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP as a Summer Associate at the firm’s Dallas office, I would have likely said something along the lines of research projects, writing assignments, and working with amazing attorneys on top-tier deals. While I have thoroughly enjoyed doing all of those things, some of my favorite projects and assignments have been the ones I never imagined I would do.
During my first week at Weil’s Dallas office, I was able to participate in the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (“DVAP”) with the other summer associates. DVAP allows attorneys, paralegals, and law students to volunteer their time by collecting information from prospective Legal Aid clients and providing pro bono assistance. A fellow summer associate and I teamed up and interviewed a woman seeking legal help. This opportunity was great not only because it was my first ever “client-type” interview, but it was wonderful being able to support someone in their process of getting legal aid. Additionally, I observed a senior partner, associates, and a paralegal from Weil also volunteer their time at DVAP.
After participating in Weil Dallas’s 8th Annual Community Service Project at Paul Quinn College, I can proudly say that I have learned how to pick onions. The fun I had pulling onions and weeds while talking with partners, associates, and other summers made my time in the Dallas heat fly by. What made the event even better was hearing a partner talk about Weil’s commitment to pro bono work and contributing to the legal representation of the less fortunate in our society.
As a Summer Associate at Weil, I have not only been able to work on assignments that are a part of important matters, but I have also been able to work on projects that are significant to the community in which Weil’s Dallas office belongs. From working on a community farm to serving food at Stewpot during lunch to researching employment law for a pro bono client, Weil has shown me that being an attorney goes beyond representing large clients on big matters. Being an attorney or staff member at Weil means showing everyone the same respect regardless of their background.
I have come to see how the commitment to being a good steward and active citizen has permeated all parts of Weil’s culture. Community service and pro bono work are not just given lip-service at Weil, it is something the firm strongly encourages for its attorneys, staff, and even the summer associates.