Starting a new job is a daunting task, made even more daunting if you are a lateral associate on your first day at a new law firm. When I arrived at Maslon in July 2011, I had high hopes that my experience here would combine the best aspects of my previous legal jobs: I spent seven years before Maslon split evenly between work as a litigation associate at Chicago’s largest law firm and service as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. Despite having great opportunities throughout my legal career, working at Maslon has been my favorite job as a lawyer and I hope to spend the rest of my career here.
In my brief time at the firm, I have seen how our office combines the sophistication of a commercial practice at the highest levels with the feel of a smaller firm. Maslon successfully competes for work against the largest law firms in the country, but allows associates the chance to play an integral role on every file. I have always been encouraged to provide input on the key decisions made on every case I work on and that open exchange of information leads to a great rapport between the most junior and most experienced attorneys at the firm.
The firm’s focus on giving associates substantial responsibility has paid off for me. In only 21 months at the firm, I have taken and defended a dozen depositions and argued motions in courts across the country; I’m deposing the main opposing expert witness in a multi-million dollar case next week; I’m slated to second-chair a trial next month. I have had almost daily client contact since my first day at the firm and I have become accustomed to and adept at helping clients to solve problems. I would not expect that many other law firms give associates similar chances to advance and grow as lawyers early on in their careers.
While I am fortunate to have gained great experience during my time at the firm, I am most fortunate to work with such a talented group of people each day. The extent to which people work well together here must be the result of the effort put into recruiting great people and keeping them here; that effort shows in the way folks treat each other on each and every project we work on together. Overall, I am proud to be part of what makes the firm a great place to practice law.