NEW YORK – In our legal education and the beginning of our careers, it can feel as though we need to know exactly what we want to do in our careers and make all of the perfect decisions to set us down the right path. But talk to any experienced attorney and you’ll be told careers take unexpected turns and you might end up in a place you never imagined. Weil recognizes this universal truth and has set up a department rotation system to help each summer associate make the most out of his or her summer.
There are four departments to pick from: Business Finance & Restructuring, Corporate, Litigation, and Tax. There is a minimum of four weeks in a rotation, giving each summer associate the best opportunity to get a true feel of each department—the work, the people, the nuances. With twelve weeks in the program, summer associates are able to rotate through up to three different departments within the firm. For me, the opportunity to customize my summer experience set Weil apart from the rest. I could spend all twelve weeks in the Corporate department, exploring all of the many groups the department has to offer, or I could spend most of my summer in Litigation, and then go to the Tax department for the last four weeks. I could even pick three different departments if I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to practice at all. Weil also offers the opportunity to do a two week on-site pro bono externship, which I immediately knew I wanted to take part in. While each summer associate has the opportunity to work on pro bono matters within the firm, doing an on-site externship for organizations adds another meaningful opportunity to your summer experience.
Although you choose your department rotations and the number of weeks you want to spend in each department before the program begins, Weil offers the opportunity to change your mind. Maybe you planned on spending all your time in Corporate, but got an assignment on a bankruptcy matter that piqued your interest. Weil allows you to change your mind and rotate through Business Finance & Restructuring, even though it was not a part of your original plan. Knowing I could change my mind and try something new if I decided a department wasn’t the best fit for me allowed me to start the program with a peace of mind with the rotations I picked. I’m able to think critically about the work I’m doing and honestly consider how much I like it.
Sometimes in law school, it feels as though if you make the wrong decision about what class to take, or what journal to join, you’ll be dealing with the ramifications of that one bad decision for the rest of your career. At Weil, the only “wrong” decision is not letting yourself take advantage of all the program has to offer. In the end, all you have to do is keep calm and rotate (if you want to!).