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I am a returning third-year student at Harvard Law School, whose career goals center around a desire to work with high-tech, emerging companies as they redefine the relationship between business and the law in the new economy. I return to Boston from internships in both Palo Alto and Los Angeles in my home state of California, my split summer having been spent in separate offices of the same firm, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. With offers for long-term employment from both locations, I am now faced with many decisions, not the least of which are whether the firm’s practice will allow me to satisfy my ambitions and whether its culture is such that professional satisfaction does not come at the expense of satisfaction on a more personal level. I must determine if what I have taken away from my summer confirms the expectations I had going into the summer, and whether or not those expectations were predictive of the best path for me both personally and professionally. Perhaps my professional interests are narrow, but given that they define the opportunities for which I am looking, I could not have picked a firm better suited to them than Brobeck. Last year, when The American Lawyer asked companies involved in the new economy to proclaim the top-rated law firms in the country, Brobeck was mentioned most often as securities, corporate, and litigation counsel, and was mentioned most often overall in the industry. The firm is fast approaching 800 attorneys — and may very well have surpassed that number by the time this piece is published. The firm’s growth, however, is strategic; it continues to expand in such a way as to form partnerships with some of the nation’s most prominent and profitable high-tech companies. The revenues and per-partner profits that have resulted from just such strategic planning are staggering. Brobeck has effectively carved out its niche in the dot-com world by creating client relationships built on mutual understanding and vision — and a mutual five-day-a-week casual dress policy. And it certainly did not escape my notice that the recent “Vault Reports” ranked Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison number one in pay. As far as professional opportunity and satisfaction are concerned, Brobeck could not be working harder to offer me more. There are other firms — albeit few of them — which concentrate on the representation of high-tech clients with an extraordinary level of success. It follows that there must be something on a more personal level which is keeping me from interviewing with the firm’s competitors this fall. Part of the draw is the opportunity for early responsibility that Brobeck offers its incoming associates. It is an attribute of the firm that I have now witnessed, observing the dynamic between partners and associates in two Brobeck offices, as well as first-hand as a summer associate who was entrusted with a degree of responsibility which (so I hear) is less than characteristic of summer association, in general. But high quality work early in one’s career is meaningless if it is to be suffered through, which is where the most important thing I took away from my summer comes into play: enthusiasm. In a very simple yet very profound way, I found the people I worked with this summer to be as enthusiastic about their careers as I hoped they were not pretending to be during last October’s recruiting. Everywhere I turned, it seemed, they had been offered the opportunities that they continue to promise will, in turn, be offered to me. The exceptionally collegial nature of both of the offices I worked in could only have derived from the fact that nobody was being stifled, nobody denied the opportunity to pursue their ambitions, with everyone supported by the vision and success of the partnership to which all belonged. And so when I find myself asking, “Does Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison represent the opportunity for which I have been looking?” my answer comes emphatically, “Yes!” While Brobeck can wine and dine with the best of them, I did not feel that the most important aspects of being an associate at the firm were being hidden from me over the summer. Rather, I felt they were shown to me, and I liked what I saw. Brobeck’s unique brand of enthusiastic collegiality and strategic vision are extremely attractive. They are qualities which I believe have helped Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison become one of the premiere law firms in the nation, and the success of my summer association has positioned me to begin an exciting legal career with the firm as it moves forward into the uncertainty of the new millennium. When I am told to “expect Brobeck to do extraordinary things, unlike what any law firm has done before,” I hear an opportunity knocking that I find impossible to pass up.

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