Young Lawyers

Making an Impact During Document Review and Due Diligence

By Christopher M. Varano and Michelle S. Rosenberg |

Being an attorney is often considered a glamorous profession. Indeed, lawyers are frequently dramatized in popular culture and media. Famous actors such as Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, Paul Newman, Henry Fonda and Tom Cruise have all romanticized the role of an attorney. We all have our favorite legal drama, whether it is a favorite novel, play, TV show, or movie (and if not, we highly recommend "My Cousin Vinny"). More practically, "attorney" is routinely ranked as one of the most prestigious occupations in the world. Yet, surely many of you by now have realized there are many aspects of this job that are not even slightly glamorous, but are rather grueling, tedious and quite frankly unexciting. And those tasks, for better or worse, often fall on young lawyers.

Identifying Core Values Aids in Making Career Decisions

By Dena Lefkowitz |

"It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are," Roy Disney said.

Moving Away From Stereotypes of Midsize, Large Firm Associates

By The YL Editorial Board |

Old stereotypes die hard. An article titled "Midsize Firms Not Raising Associate Salaries Like Big Firms," published Sept. 14 in The Legal, highlighted the almost superstitious nature of the associate salary conversation in the legal community. While the stereotypes comparing large-firm associates with midsize-firm associates appear to have nine lives, young lawyers view the entire conversation as an omen—a black cat of the legal profession. Few care to cross their firms on the issue for fear of future bad luck.

Samuel Stretton

Lawyers Typically Bear the Burden of Copying Costs for Clients

By Samuel C. Stretton |

What happens after a lawyer is discharged is always somewhat messy. It is further complicated because usually there are bad feelings on both sides. The lawyer feels wronged and the client feels that the lawyer didn't do his or her job. Previous articles have been written on this subject, but the question continues to be asked regularly.

Michael J. Joyce

Learning to Live in the Moment as a Young Associate

By Michael J. Joyce |

The practice of law can be a grueling physical, emotional and mental journey for any individual, especially younger lawyers relatively new to the legal workforce and trying to find their way in an ever-changing legal landscape. Young attorneys often find themselves admiring the status and life standing of some of their more seasoned peers who have enjoyed years of success in practice—imagining the luxury cars, the suburban houses, the exotic vacations and the completely satisfied student loans. Granted, through the eyes of a strained young associate coupled with a strong dose of rose-colored glass, an aging Honda sedan, small fixer-upper on a quiet end street, weekend in Lake Erie free from the urge to open a laptop, and only a few years left on loans can look like this exaggerated and complete life of luxury—reality is always dependent on frame of reference. Younger lawyers might forget the years of work, dedication and focus that add into some of the benefits of practice, while wishing away the very years that are so important to a legal career and fulfilling life outside of the office.

Eliminating the Gender Gap at the Trial Counsel Table

By The YL Editorial Board |

When it comes to serving as lead trial counsel, the gender gap persists. According to a recent study prepared and published by the American Bar Association, men remain much more likely to take on the role of lead trial counsel. 
The study, titled "First Chairs at Trial: More Women Need Seats at the Table," was conducted by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and the American Bar Foundation. Based on a random sample of all cases filed in 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the study identified types of cases, practice settings, clients and other characteristics that impact the extent to which men are far more likely to serve in lead counsel roles.

Finding Ways to Maintain Civility With Your Competitors

By Dena Lefkowitz |

On Sept. 8, sisters Serena and Venus Williams squared off during the U.S. Open in a match that could have had historical significance for Serena Williams, who was closing in on a Grand Slam, a feat not achieved since 1988. In an article aptly titled "Love Game," Steve Tignor, for, described the charged atmosphere as a sold-out, celebrity-riddled crowd filled Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. "It was more unique, definitely," Venus Williams said of the vibe. "Serena is going for the Grand Slam, and I think everybody is interested because she has to play her sister to get to that. People want to see, you know, how that's going to come out."

How to Prepare for When You Reach That Elusive First Trial

By Bradly A. Nankerville |

Adrenaline took over as I rose to the podium. The moment's reality brought clarity, pushing aside lingering doubts. I was at my first trial, facing my first witness. I had deposed him eight months earlier at my first deposition, and I was now ready to deliver what I hoped would be an effective cross-examination. With my indexed outline and documents at the ready, I proceeded: "Your honor, I have a few questions for this witness."


How to Avoid the Simple Mistakes Young Lawyers Make

By Bridget H. Labutta |

You're coming to the end of your summer associate position and are hoping to make a good enough impression to be offered a permanent job. But you're not sure what the crusty old codger who has been at the helm of the firm since before you were born thinks of you.