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Making the most of your summer program
New York associate Jarrah’s top five tips for summer success

New York associate Jarrah Albuainain has put together his top-five tips for making the most of your time as a summer associate.

1. Express your interest

The Firm is proactive in assigning summer associates to the type of work they express interest in, whether it be with a specific practice group, matter or lawyer. The Recruitment team work tirelessly to make sure summer associates get at least a taste of the type of work they are interested in.

If something piques your interests, speak up. A large part of the success of your Summer Program experience rests squarely on the initial choices you make.

2. Get out of your comfort zone

Try everything. Keep an open mind and try out a wide range of legal work, even if it feels foreign or intimidating to you. Remember, now is your time to try new things. So if you think you want to end up in litigation but have been curious about what corporate work is like, split your summer between the litigation and corporate pools. If you think you want to work in M&A but have never been exposed to the world of banking, try getting in on a banking deal. 

The worst that could happen is you discover that particular realm is not for you. On the upside, you might discover a hidden passion for a practice area you never knew existed, and at the very least learn to appreciate how that practice area contributes to the overall success of the Firm.

3. Reach out

White & Case is filled with many interesting, globally minded people who are extremely friendly and approachable. Reach out to as many people as you can. Whether it be an associate from a specific practice group or someone you simply identify with, talk to as many people as possible—and polish up your active listening skills. Junior associates in general will be enthusiastic to give you the inside scoop on their respective practice areas and what it is like to be an associate with the Firm.

You may find the idea of reaching out to partners and senior associates intimidating. However, lawyers at all levels at the Firm will make a genuine effort to meet up with members of the summer class and answer any questions you may have.

4. Do not be afraid to ask for help

Whether it be a particularly complex assignment or a minor administrative question, do not be afraid to ask for help. Everyone will reach a point during the summer where they feel too afraid to ask a question "they should already know" or wrongly assume "everyone else knows." Avoid wasting time debating whether to ask for help or hoping to figure it out along the way. Ask for clarification when you need it. This will not only allow you to get moving on your task but will also demonstrate your willingness to learn.

The additional clarification will also be reflected in the quality of your work product, which at the end of the day is what you will ultimately be judged on. Remember, everyone understands this may be your first time performing legal work and they do not expect you to know everything. Make the most of what you do know; reach out when you don't.

5. Enjoy the fun but embrace the not so fun

The Summer Program will be filled with plenty of opportunities to have a good time. From Broadway shows to concerts, you will participate in countless social functions during your ten weeks at the Firm.

However, you may also be asked to work late on an assignment from time to time. Embrace those requests in order to fully grasp the day-to-day and unpredictable nature that defines this profession. Make yourself available for those late-night fire drills and take advantage of the opportunity to be not only a reliable part of the team, but an indispensable one. Making yourself available allows you to leave a good impression on your teammates and encourages them to seek out working with you in the future. Dedicated Summer Program participants hit the ground running when they come back as first-year associates and do not face the same challenges in finding their niche as their less-than-dedicated peers.

Play hard, work harder, and come ready to demonstrate your skills, abilities and willingness to learn. You will only get one shot at a Summer Program—make the most of it.

Learn more about US summer associate opportunities on our careers page