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Life as a summer associate in Los Angeles
"A truly exceptional experience"

Alberto De Diego Carreras joined the Firm as a 1L summer associate in our LA office. He tells us about his client secondment, learning opportunities and the enjoyable social activities he experienced.

So what's your verdict on life as a summer associate at White & Case?

The Summer Program was a truly exceptional experience. Not only did I get to take part in fascinating work, the summer was also genuinely fun, filled with lots of wonderful social activities and events. In fact, I had such a terrific experience that I have decided to return for the entire summer again next year.

“A secondment offers rare insight into client needs and into the role of outside counsel in serving those needs”

Was the possibility of a client secondment something that you were aware of when you applied to the Summer Program?

As a 1L Diversity Fellow, you have the opportunity to do a client secondment and it was certainly a factor that influenced my decision to apply to the Summer Program. It is a unique feature that sets the summer program at White & Case apart from that of other firms, adding an invaluable dimension to an already rather rich summer experience.

A secondment offers rare insight into client needs and into the role of outside counsel in serving those needs, insight that any attorney would be lucky to gain at some point in their career, let alone a summer associate at the very start of his or hers. In that respect, it is a rather generous and unique opportunity that White & Case offers.

Tell us about the range of work that you got involved in and the different teams you worked with.

During the course of the summer, I worked on a wide array of matters. I began my summer with a three-week rotation in corporate, during which I revised credit agreements, summarized lease agreements, observed closings and much more. I then went on my three-week client secondment, during which I worked mostly on litigation matters.

There, I had the opportunity to attend depositions, oral argument in the Ninth Circuit and state court hearings. Upon returning to the Firm, I began my four-week litigation rotation, which closed out the summer for me. During this final rotation, I worked on infinitely interesting matters, ranging from general US commercial litigation to cutting-edge cross-border international litigation matters. I researched and wrote memoranda on a variety of interesting issues, and I had the opportunity to draft deposition outlines and to edit and revise summary judgment motions.

I also had the opportunity to be part of a number of incredibly exciting and rewarding pro bono projects.

What were your highlights from the program's social activities and networking opportunities?

One of the highlights for me was a dinner and wine-tasting hosted at the home of one of our partners in the Los Angeles office. This was a wonderful opportunity for the summer associates to get to know everyone at the Firm in a social setting and to continue developing and deepening relationships with the associates and partners.

Similarly, the weekend retreat at the Ritz Carlton in Dana Point was an obvious highlight. Nearing the end of the summer, it was a wonderful experience to join everyone from the office at a beautiful resort in a stunning part of California, for a weekend of well-earned rest and relaxation. Getting to paddle-board alongside many of my new peers was quite memorable.

Lastly, I also very much appreciated that the Firm hosted various social activities for summer associates only. For example, we were gifted tickets to incredible seats at Dodger Stadium for a summer-associates-only outing. This was a great opportunity for us to get to know each other better and to truly bond as a team.

What's your advice for anyone considering applying for the Summer Program?

My advice for anyone considering applying for the Summer Program at White & Case is simple: Do not hesitate. Apply. It is truly a terrific learning experience, and any summer associate is bound to walk away from it all the better for having done it.

How has the program shaped your career plans?

It has shaped my plans in various important ways. First, by affording me the opportunity to explore both corporate and litigation work, it helped solidify my interests and confirm my intuitions. I felt fairly certain prior to beginning the Summer Program that I wanted my practice to be in litigation, but I also very much wanted to explore both so as to be sure.

While I very much enjoyed my corporate rotation, the summer reaffirmed my intuitions regarding litigation, which I felt was incredibly valuable. It also helped reiterate that I want to be part of a firm that is engaged in the kind of cutting-edge cross-border work that White & Case is so renowned for.

What are you looking forward to next?

I am very much looking forward to returning to White & Case next summer. I had such a terrific experience this summer that I have decided to return for the entire summer again next year, to continue deepening relationships with the associates and partners in the Los Angeles office, all of whom played a role in making my summer a great experience.

Additionally, I look forward to the possibility of an international rotation for a few weeks at another White & Case office. And finally, I look forward to furthering my education over the next academic year, so as to return to White & Case next summer even better equipped than I was before.

What's the biggest learning you will take from your White & Case experience?

The biggest learning I will take away from my time at White & Case this summer has to do with the importance of preparation and responsiveness. It was invaluable to get to work so closely with such talented associates and partners and to observe the degree of preparation and hyper-responsiveness that all of these individuals exhibited. It was inspiring and galvanizing, and I aspire to emulate it.

Alberto on his client secondment experience
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