Work Assignments and the “Observational”
NEW YORK – Before starting at Weil in May, I often wondered what the work assignments were going to be like as a summer associate. Would they be substantive or menial? Challenging or straight-forward? Plentiful or scarce? Would I be able to get a true sense of the work in many of the different practice groups?
Now that the summer is winding down, I can attest that the work assignments have been especially beneficial in showing me the different types of work being done by various associates in many of the different practice groups. Working with my assignment coordinator and speaking several times a week, there was a clear effort to find assignments that varied not only in substance (i.e. different practice groups), but also in form (i.e. types of assignments). This was extremely helpful as it allowed me to see not only the different substantive areas of law practiced at Weil, but also various types of work that would be done by an associate on a project. Additionally, my assignment coordinator was very receptive to feedback regarding practice groups for which I wished to obtain additional work and others which I still hoped to experience before the rotation was finished. There was also a strong desire by my assignment coordinator to make sure I was not overwhelmed with work, but had a sufficient amount to keep busy day-to-day.
While proofing and reviewing documents, “redlining,” and researching were all types of assignments that were interesting and beneficial in learning about substantive work and practice groups, there was one type of assignment that often seemed particularly interesting and insightful: the observational. When given an observational assignment, I found that it provided a perspective of both substantive work and client interaction different from traditional work assignments. Furthermore, many of my “observationals” were with partners, which also allowed me to meet attorneys I had not yet done assignments for directly, as well as see higher level work of a partner or senior associate. Overall, I found that the coupling of work assignments with “observationals” provided a holistic overview of substantive work, as well as an understanding of many of the different practice groups at Weil, from which I hope to make an informed decision of the area of law in which I desire to practice.