It is often understood that solo practitioners or law firm partners are the decision-makers in their practices, reviewing and resolving conflicts of interest, approving engagement letters or developing fee arrangements for a matter. Sometimes, the duties and obligations of law firm associates can get lost in that discussion.

However, law firm associates share some of the same duties as partners or solo practitioners. There are even rules and duties that are unique to more junior lawyers who are following the directions of others. Like any attorney, an associate typically owes fiduciary duties to clients as well as overarching duties to the legal profession, his or her firm and the public at large.

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