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From Texas to Paris, via New York

Growing up in nearby Louisiana, Blair Trahan was familiar with Houston. Yet when she moved to the city to participate in the White & Case Summer Program (rated as the top program in the city by AmLaw), she was pleasantly surprised at how much Houston has changed in recent years.

“It’s now an incredibly diverse and fascinating place. There’s a great art and music scene and so many things to do. I loved the combination of pocket neighborhoods, Southern charm and the dynamism of a big city.”

Mentorship and advice

What was it about working in the White & Case office in Houston that appealed to Blair? One word sums it up—mentorship. "From my very first interview at the Firm, I was struck by the fact that everyone seemed really invested in helping me succeed. I had a gut feeling that this was somewhere that I would not only get a solid foundation in the law, but also somewhere that people would go the extra mile to help." 

Did the ten-week Summer Program meet these expectations? Blair certainly thinks so. "I felt like everyone, from partners to associates and my summer classmates, cared about what we were doing. People were always willing to sit down and talk to us and offer career advice." 

Wide-ranging practice exposure

Much of the work in the Houston office is focused on energy deals, but Blair saw the full-service nature of the Firm's work in action too. "I'm particularly interested in international arbitration, so working on energy deals across multiple jurisdictions was great exposure for me." 

What were the typical tasks or responsibilities that she undertook? "I worked on several research projects relating to disputes, proofread documents and wrote draft briefs." She adds that her work always felt like it was contributing to the wider team efforts. "The work I did was intensive and complex, and was always something that was needed—never ‘busy work' of any kind!"

She explains how her fellow summer associates were also able to do work that reflected their interests and experience. "One was a former engineer, so he worked on some construction projects. Another associate had just completed his MBA and so he worked on some M&A deals."

International travel and exposure to our globally minded culture

Apart from Houston, Blair joined other US summer associates for a three-day conference in New York. "It was great to spend time in New York and we had several interesting training and learning sessions. There was also a wonderful social program organized for us, including the fun ‘Field Day' event—great team-building and great fun too."

The prospect of a potential overseas rotation as part of the Summer Associate Program was particularly appealing to Blair, who is currently completing a semester-long exchange in Barcelona, Spain. So when she was invited to spend two weeks in Paris, it was a great opportunity to expand her personal and professional horizons.

"My family is Cajun French, so I immediately felt at home in Paris. A fellow summer associate from New York was there at the same time as me, so we had a lot of fun exploring the city after work." Working on the same matter from another office made an impression on Blair. "It was a chance to really see how truly global White & Case is. Teams from around the world work cohesively together to deliver the very best for our clients." 

She enjoyed the similar working cultures between the offices too. "I would say that White & Case lawyers are united by their outlook and open to different cultures and people. Apart from all the collegiate and friendly work interactions, I met so many great people at the World Cup in Madrid this summer."

Blair will join the Firm as an associate in 2020 and looks forward to keeping in touch with her fellow summer associates and future colleagues before then. 

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