It is common for a young lawyer to start an associateship bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and eager. Who can I help? How can I help? What do I need to do to prove myself? When you are new to a firm, or young, there is a certain energy that comes with that position; you are hitting the ground running in a new career! This jives perfectly parallel to the qualities you described about yourself in your interview. You are dedicated. You are hard working. You are diligent, reliable and most importantly, valuable. You have promised those things to the partners in your firm, so it is natural to want to deliver and take on as much as possible as quickly as possible. It is important to remember, though, that turning down an assignment is also an admirable quality and should be practiced when appropriate.

Keeping busy and taking on lots of work is ideal. With a busy schedule comes the opportunity to explore different areas of the law and get exposure to more nuanced principles and rules. You also get more practical experience by working with others, learning how to communicate and present your legal analysis, understand and absorb business practices, and receive mentorship and build interpersonal relationships. You are meeting colleagues and making connections, learning about their practice, and in turn, discovering and developing your own interests. Not to mention, lots of work means lots of billable hours. These are the enriching experiences that comes with the young lawyer’s territory.

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