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“Be in the driving seat of your own career”

“Be in the driving seat of your own career”

June 2021: Kasey Stein is Associate Director, Americas Campus Recruiting in the US. We asked her for the one-minute guide to what she and her team are looking for and how law school students can make the best impression in their applications.

How would you describe a White & Case lawyer?

There is no such thing as a typical lawyer at our Firm. What our lawyers have in common is their entrepreneurial spirit. Our people are intellectually curious, globally minded and naturally collaborative. Intelligence and academic excellence is important—you need to be able to analyze how the law works and be creative, yet pragmatic, in your interpretation of it.

What can students do to find out what it’s really like to work at White & Case?

Our virtual learning program is a great place to start, as is the “1L Discover White & Case” two-day immersion program. What I really recommend to anyone interested in getting to know our Firm, our culture and the work that we do is to have conversations with people who work here. Law students can access their alumni networks and reach out to associates at the Firm, or our Recruitment team across the US can answer questions or connect you with an associate or 3L at your law school. We also host many events at law schools around the US and Canada, so keep an eye out to meet us at your school throughout the year.

Finally, subscribe to our podcast, ”On the Record with White & Case”—this will give you a real behind-the-scenes insight into working here, plus a chance to learn more about the people you may be working with in the future.

Tell us about the White & Case US Summer Program

We hire the majority of our entry-level associates through the Summer Program. I believe that it really makes the most of law students’ skills and ambition. From day one, summer associates are part of our teams, doing real work for real clients with real deadlines and real responsibility. There’s no better way to learn than working side-by-side with our lawyers.

The program sets summer associates up to succeed and to showcase their talents. Summer associates get exposure to a variety of work and practice areas that are of interest to them, including pro bono matters. There’s also a great schedule of social activities and networking events. Most importantly, they get to know the Firm and our culture, and we get to know them.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the summer associate experience?

In 2020 and for 2021, we hosted an all-virtual Summer Program. We have done our very best to replicate the rich, immersive experience of the in-person program online, and I believe that these two summer classes are especially well supported to connect and network with our lawyers and to explore their interests in different aspects of the law.

What advice do you have for aspiring lawyers or those starting their careers virtually?

For anyone starting their career at this point, I strongly encourage them to be very proactive, whether that’s asking for clarification on a task, asking for feedback or building your network.

There’s no doubt that we all look forward to getting back in the office as soon as it is safe to do so, but working in virtual teams, across different offices and even countries is something that our lawyers have always done. It’s especially important to be an effective communicator and team player in a virtual environment, so always look for opportunities to develop and use those skills.

Of course, while we’ve all learned how to work effectively in a virtual environment, we understand starting a new job this way can be daunting and perhaps overwhelming. Set a schedule for yourself and take care to set up your home workspace in a way that’s most effective for you. Above all, be sure to take care of yourself. Take breaks away from your computer, go for a walk, chat with friends or family. If you’re struggling, ask for help. We’re all in this together and we want each of you to succeed.

What kind of career will associates have at White & Case?

When you join this Firm, you’re expected to be in the driving seat of your own career. Of course, that does not mean that you’re expected to have your whole career mapped out from the start. For example, summer associates have the option to spend time in both our Corporate and Litigation practices and the majority of our entry-level associates are assigned to either our Corporate or Litigation pool, depending on location, with a formal commitment to a practice by the end of their first year. Take ownership of each of your assignments, show enthusiasm and don’t be afraid to raise your hand and you can go far here.

We also provide a career framework, which includes a series of professional development programs and structured learning to ensure each associate is well equipped with all the tools to succeed.

We’re a global Firm with a network of offices around the world. How will new associates experience this?

From day one, our US associates consult and advise with colleagues and clients on  matters that span the globe. Each one of our offices is part of our broader network, and with 44 offices in 30 countries, we pride ourselves on having teams that work seamlessly together, no matter where they or their client are located. In fact, this mindset and way of working was a real advantage for our people as we transitioned quickly to all-remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, we advised clients from 117 countries on matters in 202 countries.

How does the associate experience differ between our US offices?

Our Americas offices work together in a regional approach, so while the practice areas available in each office may differ slightly, an associate in Miami may be working with partners in New York and Mexico City. Whether associates are working with well-known technology companies in Silicon Valley, contributing to a major energy deal in Houston, or spending time with leading financial institutions in New York, they will find that their work has one thing in common—it will be high-stretch, challenging and exciting.

Associates may find slight cultural differences in each office based on size and the local market, but the developmental framework is consistent throughout the US.

What are your final tips for success?

Be open, be curious, be a great team player. Communication, hard work, enthusiasm and a team-oriented approach are key ingredients to success.  Get to know as many people as possible, treat everyone with respect, attend virtual events, invite lawyers for virtual coffee or lunch, and ask questions.