November 16, 2017 Article

5 Practical Tips from a Fourth-Year Litigation Associate

For young litigators, there is a lot to learn and, more importantly, to master.

by Robert K. Hopkins

Halfway into my fourth year as a litigation associate at a small, downtown Boston real estate litigation shop, law school and the bar exam are equal parts distant memories and night sweats about sleeping through the criminal procedure final. The pace and demands of litigation have generated thousands of “this is the real world and I’m a real attorney” moments. There is a lot to learn and, more importantly, to master. Lawyers are in it for the long game. Though partnership might be a hopeful speck in the binoculars, the fact is, even taking into account the countless successful (or otherwise) hours of research, depositions, cross-examinations, and oral arguments, middle-child associates like myself have a long way to go if we are to reach our professional and personal goals. That said, and with that in mind, I have compiled a few personal observations and tips that I have found revelatory, useful, or downright necessary for making it to year four.

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