NEW YORK – Sitting in your law school classroom only prepares you so much for the reality of working as a lawyer. We know that as students, but the next question is: how do you learn more about the day-to-day life of a corporate lawyer? The answer I was told – and one that I have found to be true – is by “doing and seeing” the work. This was one of the reasons I was most excited to spend my summer at Weil.
As a summer associate, I have had the chance to draft and mark up deal documents, sit-in on client calls, and shadow associates and partners to see firsthand the kind of work I can expect as a corporate lawyer. Participating in these substantive and observational opportunities has given me a better understanding about the culture and work of the different corporate practice groups. Observational assignments show how the teams work together to prepare a deal closing or respond to a client’s question. It is one thing to be told about the team of lawyers as a support system, but it is another thing altogether to see that teamwork in action during a meeting or in the final hours of a closing.
Finding the right team is why everyone talks about personality and culture when picking your firm and area of practice. I already thought the Weil culture was right for me, but I have found observational assignments to be the key in determining which practice group I think would be the best fit for me. All along the way, associates and partners have demonstrated the quality and type of work expected of a lawyer – teaching us by their example what it means to be a practicing attorney at Weil.