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Advice to my younger self
Boston partner Lauren Papenhausen provides advice for aspiring lawyers

Lauren Papenhausen is a partner in our global White Collar practice, based in Boston, and the graduate recruitment hiring partner for the office. She reflects on what she wished she had known as a junior lawyer.

Find out what type of work really appeals to you
I knew that I wanted to do litigation, but I didn't know what area I wanted to specialize in. After starting at a law firm, I did a one-year judicial clerkship. This was really useful in helping me to discover what type of cases I wanted to work on and what sort of lawyer I wanted to be. After this clerkship, I was in a position to do a targeted job search.

Take time to build your network
Early in my career, I could have done more to stay in touch with the people I met along the way. When you're starting out, you're focused on the work and it's hard to believe that making time for networking is a worthwhile investment. Now I see that was a missed opportunity to strengthen relationships.

Speak up to show what you know
I had to push myself to speak up. Lawyers are often naturally cautious. We like to have all the facts, to be right, to know everything before we speak out. But that can mean that you never get to say anything, and others on the team don't get to see what you have to offer. I'm more confident now in being upfront about what I know, what I can do, and what my opinions are. 

You don't need to work in New York to have a great career
Here in White & Case's Boston office, we have the same commitment to excellent results for our clients, we work on the same cases, and have the same access to the global network of White & Case offices as our colleagues in New York. We also have great gender diversity—almost half the partners in this office are women. 

I love this city—the history, the food, the New England outdoors. And, personally—I have three kids—this is a family-friendly place to live. Boston is somewhere that you can get your arms around and really get to know.

Understand your audience
As a junior associate, you can be so focused on the details of the work that you may not pay attention to how to communicate best with your audience. Presentation matters! Whether it's a judge, a client, a senior associate, or a partner, they'll all have different preferences. A pithy answer in an email could be right for one, but another will want the full argument laid out in a detailed memo. 

One solution is simply to be upfront and ask what the other party is looking for in terms of work product. Everyone learns in different ways and appreciates different modes of communication. It also can be helpful to speak with someone familiar with the communication style of the person to whom you'll be presenting your work. 

Having a great mentor makes a difference
I've worked with Michael Kendall, the Office Executive Partner of our Boston office, for 16 years. He's showed me how a good boss gets the best out of people. I've learned a lot from watching his focus on mentoring the people that he works with, his delegation of work so that it's fulfilling for everyone, and generally how he looks out for his team. He's a great role model for me as I now help foster the careers of our associates.

What's the best piece of advice that I ever received?
Don't interrupt the judge!

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