Common Junior Associate Mistakes in Big Law

To quote great 90s cartoons, knowledge is power and that includes knowing what pitfalls to avoid to be a great associate.

  1. Blindly Following Forms. Forms are a great starting point, but never assume that the form you are starting from is 100% accurate or appropriate for what you need to use it for. Check any statutes or laws referenced. Ask the author of that form if that is a good starting point. Use forms to build your knowledge and your own forms that you can rely on.
  2. Missing Internal Deadlines. Clients have deadlines but so do partners and assigning attorneys. Make sure when one of them tells you that they need to review something by a certain date that you get it to them by that date. If circumstances arise where you do not think you can meet that internal deadline, make sure you communicate that with the partner or assigning attorney as early as possible.
  3. Repeating Mistakes. No one expects a junior associate to know it all but it is expected that junior associates are continually learning. Learn from your mistakes, make note of them and do not repeat them.

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