This blog post will focus on a universally beloved topic: food.
Summer associates have three options when it comes to lunch. The first is to eat with WilmerHale attorneys. Partners, counsel and associates will offer to take us out to local restaurants, usually in groups of four—two attorneys and two summers. Since we're right by the water, there are a lot of seafood options, though a few summers went to get dim sum in Chinatown and raved about it. Naturally, it's fun to try out new restaurants, but it's also a great way to meet a variety of people at the firm. The attorneys encourage us to reach out to them if we're interested in their practice area, and once we have a lunch set up we often rope in another summer, which means that I got to have lunch with attorneys in the Investigations and Criminal Litigation group last week even though I didn't have any sort of connection with them to begin with. This gives us a broader understanding of the type of work the firm does, allows us to put a face on departments we weren't familiar with, and can lead to new assignments for us that we would not otherwise have known about. I've also begun a pretty thorough survey of calamari appetizers in the area—a dish I would never otherwise have known I liked.
Our second option is to go to a practice group lunch meeting. Many practice groups have monthly lunches where members of the group talk about recent cases or matters that they've worked on. For example, tomorrow I'll be going to the Government and Regulatory Litigation Practice lunch, and earlier this summer I went to the Corporate Practice lunch. The members of the groups from other offices are always there virtually through video conferencing, so we often hear from members of the DC, LA, New York, Palo Alto and Denver offices in these meetings. There are usually a couple of these every week. I've been using them to figure out which practice groups I'm most interested in.
Our third, and most highly discouraged, lunch option is to do neither of the above. Associates have told us many times that we should email them if we don't have lunch plans; we can tell that they want to take the time to get to know us and going out to eat provides another opportunity for them to do so. That being said, the cafeteria is great if, like my office mate a couple of weeks ago, you need to bring some food back to your desk so you can finish writing questions for an upcoming deposition.