Associate Life

Andrew Stauber

101 Matters and Counting

October 9, 2012 5:19 PM | Permalink | Print

Friday, September 14, marked my first anniversary with WilmerHale, a milestone that my amazing labor and employment co-workers deemed cupcake worthy (thanks guys!). Reflecting back on my first year at the firm, I was curious to see how many different matters that I have worked on since starting at the firm and was thrilled to see that there was a way to figure this out. I did a double-take when I saw the results: 101 different matters!

Thinking about these 101 different matters and my experience during my first year as a WilmerHale associate, I now understand what my colleague Joanne in Washington DC meant when she talked about the importance of being a generalist and a specialist at the same time. Over my first year, I worked with a very diverse client base (biotech companies, educational institutions, sports organizations, financial services companies, and youth-oriented non-profits) on a smorgasbord of issues: reviewing employment-related agreements and handbooks, drafting a position statement for a discrimination case, working with company officials to prepare for a potential labor strike, assessing the labor and employment risks in a merger, or advising an organization on the benefits and risks of a particular employment-related decision. At the same time, each novel matter that I worked on offered me an opportunity to become an expert in a particular area of law.

For example, a client reached out to me to ask about having a criminal background check policy for its employees. I began by reviewing existing templates, but also given that there had been some recent dialogue and guidance on the topic, I reviewed the law, drafted an updated policy, vetted it through our department, and walked the client through the policy and its requirements. As I developed an interest in and knowledge on the subject, I realized that I had become the office resource on the topic. Just two days ago, I overheard my next-door office neighbor Ariella, a counsel in my group, telling a client that she was going to confer with the attorney in the office who specializes in this niche, and I was thrilled that a minute later she was at my door. Given the amount of time Ariella and everyone else has spent training me, both formally and informally, it is a great feeling to be able to share insight and knowledge in a way that helps my seasoned colleagues.

Next year on September 14, I hope that (a) I will eat another delicious Blackbottom Cheesecake Brownie cupcake from Crumbs, (b) I will have once again worked on a Vegas-size buffet of different matters, and (c) that with each matter, I will work to gain the knowledge and experience to become a go-to resource for more and more issues and areas of labor and employment.