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by Vault Law Editors | October 25, 2023


This is the third post in a series where we will highlight several pieces of practical advice from the associates who took our most recent survey. In the first installment, we looked at advice about summer programs. In the second installment, we looked at advice for your time in law school. In this one, we will sample the survey for advice on working that first real law firm gig.

1. "Hours are unpredictable. Clients are unpredictable—and sometimes demanding. Get ready to be uncomfortable! That is the only way you will learn."

2. "Go to every networking event—you never know what will you be able to learn from a veteran attorney."

3. "Find good mentorship."

4. "Pro bono credit is extremely important to get development opportunities."

5. "Build a strong relationship with a partner and become indispensable to their practice."

6. "Keep in mind that this will require a lot of sacrifices."

7. "Pay attention to diversity efforts and opportunities for mentorship."

8. "Always prioritize relationships. You'll be working with people for many hours of your day, so you want to make sure you can spend a lot of time around these people!"

9. "Be proactive—Under promise and over deliver."

10. "It’s pretty easy to lateral so don’t get hung up on where you are, just observe and learn something."

11. "Advocate for yourself more. You deserve it!"

12. "Work hard and network."

13. "Chase your dreams hard and build a solid Plan B."

14. "Really listen to what the associates say about life at the firm and especially practice tips. They usually have quite a few tips that will make the most annoying, mundane, or rote tasks easier and quicker."

15. "Find good people to work with and do what they do. Learn as much as you can for a couple of years while deciding if you enjoy that area of law."