Reflections of a first-year associate, 12 months in

Richard Adams//January 4, 2019

Reflections of a first-year associate, 12 months in

By Richard Adams

//January 4, 2019

Richard Adams
Richard Adams

It’s hard to believe that we are now in 2019, and I’ve now been an attorney for a little over a year! Happy New Year to all.

I wanted to touch on my journey over the past 12 months as I navigated the life of a first-year associate. In my six-month post, I touched on the importance of delegating, continuing legal education after law school and the bar exam, and how personal marketing plans can be somewhat overwhelming.

One big thing to note is that all of the items I touched on are ongoing issues that do not magically resolve themselves once you become a two-year or three-year associate, or even a partner.

Setting up a good foundation for dealing with these issues is key. If something isn’t working, change it up. Try something new and adapt accordingly. Take charge of your process and find what works for you.

It’s all about laying the foundation. I met with many new people during 2018, trying to make new connections with professionals and others in many industries, including financial and legal. Several people I’ve met are some of the most compassionate and holistic people in their industries. Others, were fully focused on how I could help them, and that was it.

All of these meetings and events helped shape me as I met with clients and interacted with my colleagues. They helped give me context while I attended CLE’s and dived deeper into my practice areas.

Bottom line – the first year as an associate should be spent laying the foundation for the type of attorney you want to be in the years to come. Every new connection and every CLE and other event where you learned something new is all part of this goal. It’s all an investment in yourself as a professional.

Take chances. Meet new folks who are not traditional attorney-referral sources. Be the only attorney in the room and be a resource for those around you. If you do so, you’ll be surprised at the results. Your firm will, too. Afterwards, what you have learned and experienced can be further built upon in your next year of practice, and so on.

Do any of our readers have any suggestions for surviving the first year as an associate?

Richard Adams is an associate with Rosenberg Martin Greenberg LLP in Baltimore.


Networking Calendar

Submit an entry for the business calendar