The first day of work at a big Manhattan law firm is not as nerve-racking as one might think. The day consists mostly of a long orientation session, a long lunch with a fellow associate, and then a long afternoon of rearranging office supplies and otherwise trying to look busy.

Still, like almost every workday for a first-year associate, day one has its share of intimidating encounters and lessons to be learned. My first day was no exception.

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