FAMU Professional Development Series

Associate Life: What to Expect Your First Three Years

Associate Life: What to Expect Your First Three Years

RumbergerKirk is hosting a series of virtual workshops for Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law students during the 2020-2021 academic year. The second of five workshops, focused on what attorneys should do to be successful in their work after graduation and passing the bar.

During the presentation, associates shared insights with students about time management, building relationships, being prepared, and keeping a positive attitude–even when things may get tough.

Some key points they addressed:

  • Log your time as it happens–don’t wait until the end of the week or month.
  • Don’t be hard on yourself.  The first few years are a big learning curve and you are not expected to know everything on day one.
    • DO: Learn from your mistakes.  Everyone makes mistakes, just don’t repeat them.
    • DO: Ask questions, but make the effort to find the answer before you ask a partner.  Show them that you put in the effort, even if they tell you that you are wrong!
  • Build good relationships with staff and other attorneys.  They are part of your team. 
  • Work with as many different partners as you can.  It’s good internal marketing and it’s good to learn different styles and practice areas.
  • Always be prepared and know the facts of your case better than opposing counsel and the judge.  Have an outline, but be prepared to think on your feet. Anticipate questions from the judge and objections from opposing counsel.
  • Time Management: Be highly organized and never miss deadlines.  Your firm won’t like it and neither do judges.