Skip to main content
Letter to future summer associates

February 2022: Dear future summer associates,

Welcome to White & Case! This is going to be an experience that will stay with you forever. Wherever your career takes you, you'll build skills that will be valued by any employer, make some great new friends and get to work with truly impressive lawyers. Here are a few things that I wish I'd known before my own Summer Program with the Firm.

Working in "Big Law" is exciting
I thought my days of studying new areas of law would be left behind in my academic days at the University of Virginia School of Law. The reality is that my work at White & Case is the most exciting legal experience of my life. I was fortunate to work on a variety of teams entrenched in issues on the cutting edge of law.

You'll get to do real work from the get-go
I was surprised and excited to be tossed into the thick of several high-profile cases. I had fantastic mentors who trusted me to engage in serious legal work with some of their important matters. They took enough time to get me up-to-speed, but after that, they let me loose and allowed me to dig into legal questions that were both complex and challenging. It was stimulating and rewarding.

“Be eager for work; attitude is everything”

What to do...
Be eager for work; attitude is everything. Most importantly, begin to cultivate a healthy work-life balance. Sleep, eat, exercise and have a fun hobby—all of these are attainable during your summer. Cultivate them when the pressure is low, so you are ready and built for when the pressure is high. Many of my mentors have taught me that this is necessary for a sustainable career.

And what not to do…
To start, don't miss out on the social and non-work opportunities. There are plenty of them, and White & Case organizes the best activities! Second, don't be shy to reach out to lawyers, so you can evaluate if their area of work is up your alley. Lastly, don't forget how many wonderful resources White & Case provides summer associates, such as access to a number of different legal news websites. Try to interact with them in the beginning and continue to use them as your summer develops.

“Learn how to be concise and methodical in your writing”

How to prepare for your summer associate experience
Familiarize yourself with your school's Legal Research and Writing department. First, enroll in an advanced legal research course or reserve time with your law school librarian so that they can introduce you to different legal research websites. A well-organized search can go a long way toward a successful assignment. Second, legal writing is unique, so devote some time in law school to learn how to be concise and methodical in your writing. Aim to communicate your message using as few words as possible.

Cultivate other skills, and not just the professional ones
Emphasizing kindness to colleagues and fellow summer associates is of the highest importance. The moment you enter the world of White & Case, you realize how kind everyone is to each other. I was struck by the level of cordiality at the Firm, it truly captures the essence of White & Case.

The best piece of advice that I want to pass on...
Practice like you play. Over the course of the summer, you will send hundreds of emails, conduct tons of research and engage in lots of meetings. Every assignment and interaction is an opportunity to grow. Each should build upon the last. Your emails should be as concise and professional as your memos so that your memo drafting comes more naturally. And your meetings should all be treated with importance, so that when you engage with a client you have already built the skills necessary for a successful interaction.

In conclusion, White & Case will give you amazing opportunities and summer associates should be sure to make the most of them. I wish you the best of luck!

Nick Roberti, 3L University of Virginia