Summer Lessons for Fall Associate - Five Steps for Early Success

October 26, 2023
Haynes and Boone, LLP Lawyers Lindsey Hughes and Robin Ladd, along with Knowledge Management and Innovation Specialist Mitch Heyland, authored an article in Thomas Reuters Westlaw Today on qualities and mindsets that can help new associates stand out in the early stages of their careers.

Read an excerpt below:

Law firm summer programs are now over, but lessons can still be gleaned from the experience that are invaluable for associates starting at law firms this fall. During our 2023 summer program, we had the privilege of working with over 25 summer associates across our offices.

With this breadth of exposure, certain common qualities of excellent associates emerged. None of these qualities require any specific knowledge of the law but instead involve habits and mindsets that will set associates up for success. The steps below provide a guide for you, as a new associate, on how to highlight your ability to (1) think critically, (2) pay attention to detail, (3) achieve the end goal of each assignment, (4) communicate effectively and (5) remember that pressure doesn't always make perfect. Adapting these qualities can help you stand out in the early stages of your career before you have developed the legal expertise that comes with time and training.

Now that law school is behind you, a new adventure awaits. As noted earlier, none of these steps require an associate to have taken any specific courses in law school, or to have any pre-existing legal knowledge, but instead focus on habits and mindsets that anyone can implement and that will set you up for success in your legal career. Always remember that it is the practice of law, not the perfection. Each assignment is a chance to, above all, learn more. So, seize this new opportunity with excitement and curiosity. As the future of the profession, know that every attorney is wishing you well.

To read the full article in Thomas Reuters Westlaw Today, click here.
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