The weeks before I started as a summer associate with the litigation team, I knew I was excited but I didn't know much more than that. I don't have lawyers in my family, so I'd never known a lawyer's day-to-day. I had a career before law school, so I knew what it was to work in an office. But not a law office. Of course I knew I liked law school and I liked my externship with a court; but I had no idea what it would be like to work at a law firm.
Within days I had my answer. And it was a good answer. At Maslon, I worked on real cases. I was a colleague to friendly and dedicated people, ready to help each other and encourage each other. I was part of a team, putting together our intelligence and hard work to help clients. This is why I went to law school, and, as a summer associate, I was doing it.
On one of my first assignments, I worked with another attorney on a pro bono case in federal court. We met with our client, spoke with opposing counsel, and met with the judge in chambers. We negotiated a settlement, argued for terms favorable to our client, and ultimately settled. In the end, our client got what he wanted. Everything he wanted, actually. And we did too: heartfelt thanks from a person in need of help and invaluable experience with the federal district court.
On other assignments, I was part of a team tackling large, complex cases. I saw ideas develop as new facts came to light and then bloom into arguments for briefs. I helped with high-stakes cases from jurisdictions across the country. I sat in on a deposition, client conference calls, and oral arguments.
That's the summer associate program at Maslon. Yes, we have social events, so you get to know a friendly, diverse, and accomplished group of attorneys. Yes, we work in downtown Minneapolis, so you get access to the culture, dining, and nightlife that the Cities offer. And yes, we do top-notch legal work, so you're expected to read, research, and write the law at a high level. But most importantly—undoubtedly most importantly—we do what you went to law school to do: work on real cases to find real solutions for real clients.
University of North Dakota School of Law, Class of 2016