It’s hard to not remark on the views from the New York office. They caught the attention of former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julián Castro, during his visit last week for the SEO Law Welcome Reception, when he opened by suggesting that there might not be a law firm in the city with a better view. While I have more than once stopped to gawk at the stunning views during my first week of work, equally remarkable, if not more so, is the emphasis that WilmerHale places on creating a collegial environment. The early interview period sometimes leaves one wondering how much of what is promised during recruitment will come to fruition during the summer. I’m happy to report that WilmerHale has taken numerous steps to invest in the people who work here, proving how they are truly dedicated to creating a collaborative and friendly environment.
As a native New Yorker, I’m no stranger to the on-the-run, no-time-for-anything attitude that often leads visitors to conclude that ours is a city full of cold and selfish people. Students in law school might recognize this disposition, because it can prevail among lawyers trained to be concise and maximize efficiency. This attitude can lead many to lose sight of the people around them. However, from the first day of the summer program, WilmerHale NY has made it clear that this is not a place where that is expected nor encouraged. In addition to training and learning about the many interesting matters we will get to work on, the partners and counsel chairing the summer program emphasized the collegial culture at WilmerHale, underscoring the expectation that summer associates be courteous to everyone – no matter the individual’s title.
The commitment of the lawyers to the summer program is also visible in the staffing of summer assignments. All of my assignments include senior attorneys and partners who have taken the time to answer my questions and discuss broader background issues which they inform with their years of experience. One of my assignments includes a writing exercise where I will workshop legal memos with fellow summer associates across the different offices and receive feedback and advice from multiple partners. The work this summer will be demanding, and the questions we will encounter will be complicated. But it’s reassuring to know you are surrounded by people who don’t lose sight of the fact that this is a people profession. And yes, the views are amazing, too.