This is an edited and abridged version of an article that originally ran in the January 2021 issue of ABA Health eSource. ABA Health eSource is published by the ABA Health Law Section, which is the voice of the national health law bar within the ABA. Read the full version, which contains more career questions from health law associates and answers from Hal Katz, partner at Husch Blackwell, in Austin, Texas. Learn more about membership in the ABA Health Law Section.
Recent conversations with associates at Husch Blackwell reminded me of my days as an associate. I recall wondering whether I was doing a good job, if more billable hours meant significantly more money, and what it would take to become a partner. The firm had a mentor program and associate reviews, but I still was unsure of the answers. Directly approaching a partner was intimidating. The partners who assigned me work were brilliant, important, and busy, and getting any of their time to answer questions on work assignments was tough. I also worried about coming across like I wasn’t ambitious, intelligent, or appreciative. Over the years, I’ve tried to mentor associates inside and outside the firm and create more comfortable opportunities for these kinds of discussions.
I asked a handful of diverse associates to provide me with their career questions (anonymously), and I’m sharing the questions along with my answers.
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