Careers: Voice of a 2012 Summer Associate

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VOICE OF A 2012 SUMMER ASSOCIATE:
Erica Holzer, Maslon Litigation Associate

Throughout the OCI process, my primary goal was to find a firm that felt like the right “fit.”  I had a career prior to law school, and I understood the importance of not only liking your work, but liking where you work.  The buzz around town was that Maslon was the best place to practice law in the Twin Cities, so I submitted my bid.  As a summer associate, I came to find that the buzz around town was true. 

I think what makes Maslon different from other firms is the hands-on experience, the firm culture, and the firm’s emphasis on mentorship.  The summer program coordinators took great care to ensure that that I received a diverse and interesting mix of projects.  I worked on a variety of cases with legal issues ranging from trade dress infringement, to comparative fault, to an NBA player trade dispute, to employment discrimination.  I was asked to make substantive and important contributions to cases.  Typically, my contribution was through legal research and writing, but I was also regularly asked for my input on case strategy.  I was treated as if I were already an associate at the firm, and my contributions were valued as such.

Some of my most memorable experiences were observing Maslon attorneys in action.  Whether it was helping prep a witness for a 30(b)(6) deposition or creating estate plan documents for first responders through Wills for Heroes, I had the chance to do hands-on lawyering next to some of the best and brightest attorneys in the Twin Cities.  I was regularly invited to observe Maslon attorneys argue summary judgment motions, take and defend depositions, and negotiate settlements.  I even had the chance to watch Bill Pentelovitch, a partner at Maslon and one of the greatest trial lawyers in the country, argue in front of the Minnesota Supreme Court. 

But I quickly learned that being a summer associate is so much more than just doing interesting work.  At most firms, "work-life balance" is a catch phrase used during recruiting and then never mentioned again.  But at Maslon, work-life balance is a reality.  Maslon attorneys and staff have full and interesting lives outside of work.  It was important for me to find a firm where I could work on large, complex cases without completely sacrificing my family life and other interests.  When it comes to work-life balance, Maslon walks the walk.

The Maslon culture is inclusive, collaborative, and collegial.  It should come as no surprise, then, that Maslon places a high value on mentorship.  My partner mentor and I met for coffee on a weekly basis, and I formed a relationship with her that will no doubt last throughout my career.  In addition, I was given a writing mentor who provided specific, meaningful, and comprehensive feedback on all of my written work before it was submitted.  I also had an associate mentor who became my go-to source for candid advice.  For an aspiring attorney like me, the insight and guidance I received from my mentors was invaluable. 

Simply put, being a summer associate at Maslon means working alongside some of the most talented and successful attorneys in town.  I could not dream of a better place to practice law.  I would highly recommend the Maslon summer associate experience to anyone.

Erica Holzer
William Mitchell College of Law, Class of 2013





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