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Advice from former 1L summer associate Jordan Metoyer

February 2021: Jordan Metoyer is a Georgetown Law JD (2022) student. She joined the Firm's Houston office for our 1L Summer Program in 2020 and will return this year splitting her 2L summer between our Houston and New York offices. 

International experiences led Jordan to look for a global firm for her 1L summer: "I have been fortunate enough to live, work and study in Accra, Beijing, Dubai and Hong Kong. Informed by those experiences, I knew that I wanted to start my legal career at a truly global firm. White & Case became my top choice." 

Formal learning plus real-world exposure to the daily life of a lawyer

As well as a firm with an international footprint, Jordan also wanted to benefit from a well-structured training and development program. As a 1L summer associate, she learned a great deal from being part of a team focused on real client work. 

She says, "My team was responsible for advising a multinational energy company in the process of acquiring a business with assets across several continents. I updated closing checklists, researched cross-border legal matters and joined calls with the client."

Before the program: Asking questions and clarifying goals

Before joining the Firm's virtual program, Jordan met with her Firm mentor to discuss her goals. "I expressed my desire to work on cross-border mergers and acquisitions. During the first week of the program, she invited me to join the energy company acquisition team." 

The pre-program conversations extended to other practices and partners too, and all summer associates were encouraged to reach out to introduce themselves to the practices they expressed interest in. Jordan says that, "Before the program started, I spoke with White & Case lawyers in offices around the world. I learned about Debt Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Financial Restructuring and Insolvency, and Capital Markets." 

Did this pre-program insight help her focus on what she wanted to get from the 1L program? Jordan believes so: "This process helped me clarify my own career goals and gave me insight into what types of assignments to expect during the summer."

“The mergers and acquisitions matter was fast-paced and dynamic”

Unexpected upsides to a virtual program

Jordan wondered how the fully virtual program would impact the experience. "Given my previous work experience, I knew how valuable it was to walk into a colleague's office to discuss a work product face-to-face. I wondered if a virtual program would allow for similar feedback." 

However, as soon as she started her first assignment, Jordan started receiving real-time feedback. "The mergers and acquisitions matter was fast-paced and dynamic, especially because of all the local COVID-related legal issues. The associate I worked closest with and I spoke daily, often multiple times a day. She was willing to pick up the phone and call me with feedback and follow-up items. The virtual environment did not detract from my ability to contribute."

The virtual setting also had an unexpected upside, as Jordan discovered: "Working virtually allowed me to meet lawyers Firmwide, in the US and abroad—colleagues I may not have met otherwise." 

Jordan's advice for the class of 2021

What advice does Jordan have for her fellow class of 2021 summer associates, or anyone hoping to gain real-world experience of working in a law firm? Her top tip: Be involved. She explains, "When I worked on a pro bono assignment, I learned about children's rights in Latin America. I learned about a new area of law and met wonderful people committed to ensuring children have the right to education, health and safety." 

Finally, she adds, "I'd also say, become informed. As mentioned, I had several conversations with White & Case lawyers before the program, and this really showed me what it takes for an associate to be successful at the Firm."