Many of Marcus Peterson’s fellow alumni from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, are still cooling their heels after graduating one year ago, waiting to start law firm jobs thanks to long deferments.

Not Peterson. He spent the past 10 months on the job in Howrey’s Los Angeles office, bouncing among firm-sponsored classes, pro bono cases, regular billable work and shadowing partners. It’s not the first-year associate experience he was anticipating. “I kind of assumed that you spent the first couple of years doing doc review,” he said. Instead, “I’ve had some good substantive experiences. I’m preparing to argue in front of an administrative law judge this month.”