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MAY 2013 NEWSLETTER - Young Lawyers
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Practical Skills for the New Lawyer: What You Need to Know to Succeed as an Associate

 By  Christina Lincoln and Julie Goulet Stromberg



Christina Lincoln                 Julie Goulet Stromberg

“Law school does not prepare you for the real practice of law,” is a phrase all too frequently, and begrudgingly, uttered by new lawyers and their supervising senior associates and partners.  WLALA’s Young Lawyers Section (YLS) is looking forward to ending the year with a bang by proudly presenting “Practical Skills for the New Lawyer: What You Need to Know to Succeed as an Associate,” a two-part event which aims to teach new attorneys the practical skills required to maximize their potential during the first years of legal practice.  First, a consulting expert from a top communications firm will kick off the discussion by featuring an interactive lecture focusing on helping attendees identify, understand, and effectively leverage their own, unique communication style.  Second, the program will shift to a panelist discussion by four prominent Los Angeles litigation and transactional partners from top national and international law firms. Their dialogue will focus on “Partners’ Pet Peeves” and other insights regarding what new attorneys can do to maximize their success as associates.

1. Event Details

“Practical Skills for the New Lawyer: What You Need to Know to Succeed as an Associate” will be held on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, at the Century City offices of K&L Gates LLP, 10100 Santa Monica Boulevard, 7th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90067.  Appetizers and beverages, including wine, will be served at 6:30 p.m.  The substantive program will be begin at 7:00 p.m. and will last for approximately two hours.  Parking in the building is available for $14 after 6:00 p.m. or $3 for up to three hours at the Century City Mall.

II. Leveraging Your Unique Communication Style

The first segment of the program will feature a half hour interactive lecture by Beth Bailey, a consulting expert from Exec|Comm LLC, which is a highly regarded communications firm that provides training to top companies and law firms across the world.  She will not only help attendees identify their primary communication style, but also provide the tools necessary to help identify the communication style of others, including partners.  Armed with this knowledge, Ms. Bailey will teach attendees how to effectively leverage their own, unique communication style by providing detailed insight and the necessary know-how associated with the strengths and potential pitfalls tied to each of the styles.



III. Honest Feedback Regarding Partners' Pet Peeves

The second part of the program will host a panelist discussion by three partners from top national and international law firms.  The panelists will provide practical insight into what partners actually think and expect out of their associates.  Their honest and candid feedback will provide invaluable lessons of success for new attorneys from all backgrounds, firms, and practice sizes.  This one hour segment of the program will cover many important topics for associate development, such as legal writing, email etiquette, meeting preparation and attendance, and overall partner expectations of associates.  To create a powerful, diverse, and all-encompassing panel, YLS chose panelists from varying levels of practice and firm size.  All panelists are high-ranking, prominent attorneys in the Los Angeles legal community from some of the top law firms.  Panelists include:        

Katherine Blair, Partner at K&L Gates LLP.  Ms. Blair is the managing partner of K&L Gates’ Los Angeles corporate practice and focuses her practice on areas of corporate, securities, mergers and acquisitions, finance, corporate governance and general commercial matters;




Melanie M. Blunschi, Partner at Latham & Watkins LLP.  As a member of the litigation department at Latham's Los Angeles office, Ms. Blunschi focuses her practice on defending securities class actions, shareholder derivative litigation and professional liability matters for major accounting firms, public companies, financial institutions and corporate officers and directors;



Meryl K. Chae, Partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.  Ms. Chae is the leader of Skadden’s Los Angeles office real estate practice and one of the leaders of Skadden’s REIT practice, which has been named a “REIT industry powerhouse” by The Legal 500




Mary Craig Calkins, Partner at Jenner & Block.  Ms. Calkins is a member of the firm’s insurance litigation and counseling practice and serves on the firm's Diversity & Inclusion Committee as well as the Women's Forum Steering Committee.



The moderator for the event will be Tanya Forsheit, who is one of the founding partners of InfoLawGroup LLP and a former partner with Proskauer Rose LLP.  In 2009, she was named one of the Los Angeles Daily Journal’s Top 100 women litigators in California.  Ms. Forsheit is also the Immediate Past President of WLALA and one of the organization's lifetime members.




IV. Why You Should Attend

“Practical Skills for the New Lawyer: What You Need to Know to Succeed as an Associate” presents a unique opportunity for lawyers to not only gain access into the minds of partners, but also use this knowledge to maximize their career potential.  Coupled with Ms. Bailey’s invaluable instruction on how to identify, analyze, and maximize communication skills, attendees will leave the program enlightened with the tools necessary for their success as associates and future leaders of the Los Angeles legal community.  This program is a wonderful opportunity for lawyers to learn how to take their careers to the next level.  Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!

Christina Lincoln is co-chair of WLALA's Young Lawyer Section and an Associate as Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom LLP.  Julie Goulet Stromberg is co-chair of WLALA's Young Lawyers Section.