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“I feel supported to constantly grow and learn”

June 2021: New York associate Kevin Gomez says that a secondment at a New York nonprofit organization is a great way to consolidate and build on his skills as a litigator.

"Her Justice provides free legal help to women living in poverty in New York City, so the work is really about making a difference in individual's lives," he explains. "On a daily basis, I help women navigate the legal system on matters including child support, custody or visitation, and divorce. It's incredibly rewarding work."

Secondments: Benefits for both sides

How does this pro bono experience and focus on family law relate to the work of a litigation lawyer at a top-tier firm like White & Case? Kevin says that there are clear benefits. "A secondment definitely benefits both sides. I draft and file motions, plead for my clients before the court and make strategic decisions independently. This first-hand experience and the level of responsibility to get it right for my clients can only make me a better litigator for corporate clients."

Kevin strongly advocates for the benefits of secondments for current and future associates: "As well as really building my legal skills, I feel a strong personal connection to my clients. At Her Justice, I know that my work will have an immediate impact on someone's situation, which is immensely satisfying."

"A Firm where I could become the lawyer I wanted to be"

Kevin recalls his first encounter with White & Case, five years ago. "I met two attorneys from the Firm at a LGBT+ law fair and I was struck by how intelligent, yet down-to-earth, they were." He joined as a summer associate in 2017: "Straight away, I felt that this was somewhere I could be myself as an openly gay Latino man. The atmosphere in the office was great; both friendly and supportive. I felt that this would be somewhere that I could grow, a Firm where I could become the lawyer I wanted to be."

The importance of people, affinity networks and workplace culture

Since joining as an associate, Kevin has been actively involved in recruitment activities. So what advice does he have for law students figuring out if a firm is right for them, and vice versa? "For me, it's all about the people and the culture. There are going to be long hours occasionally, so think about whether you would want to spend a late night in the office with these co-workers."

Kevin also points to his involvement in two of the Firm's affinity networks. "Being part of both the Spectrum (LGBT+) and the Alianza (Hispanic) networks has helped me connect with people who share my experiences across the Firm."

What aspect of White & Case's culture does he particularly value? "I feel supported to constantly grow and learn. I've learned a great deal from various mentors and also just from doing the work." And what's the best piece of advice that he has received? "Not to take feedback personally. If I get a red-lined version of some work back from a senior lawyer, I know that they're not criticizing me, just making the work product better. And next time around, I'll be able to put that knowledge to use."

Kevin's advice: Ask questions, reach out

How can future lawyers make an informed decision about where to start their career? Kevin's advice: "Talk to as many people as possible and find out what you need to know. Recruiters can connect you a members from of the Firm's affinity networks, an associate from a practice area of interest, or someone that went to the same law school as you. Be proactive and feel comfortable asking questions."