During my second week at the firm, I had the chance to attend a week-long trial and provide the team with support as they represented our plaintiffs in a Delaware fiduciary duty case worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Later in the summer, I had the chance to help draft an inter-partes review petition for a patent and attend an inter-partes review hearing. My summer was full of substantive experiences, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. At some point, I wondered if some of the team members were even aware that I was not a full-time associate.
I had the opportunity to draft sections of motions and briefs that went before the court at all levels of the litigation process¬—from a motion for a temporary restraining order, to a pre-hearing brief, to an appellate brief. One week, I learned how to cross-examine a witness during the summer associate mock trial. The next week, I drafted two cross-examination outlines for an in-person hearing that I got to attend. Between the hands-on work experience, the friendly office, and the fun events (Cubs game, lakeside dinner, rooftop happy hour), the summer program was top-notch.
On the second day of my summer program, while my friends at other firms were snoozing through hours of IT training, I went into the office and shadowed the head pro bono partner Marc Greenwald all day while he participated in (virtual) hearings and took in pro bono cases. That day we helped get a man out of jail to attend his son’s wedding, and throughout the rest of the summer I worked closely with Marc on a project that brought me to the SDNY courthouse regularly to meet with AUSAs and our client. Not only did I immediately gain deep exposure to sides of litigation that you don’t learn about in law school, but I got to do so with a seasoned attorney who took time to show me the ropes and make sure I was learning as a participant in the matters, not just an observer.
My favorite part about Quinn is the amount of trust that the partners have in the more junior associates, including summers. My first assignment was drafting an outline for a Motion for Summary Judgment Brief. I was given complete latitude to craft creative arguments, conduct targeted research, and investigate the facts. I also worked on a research project for a partner, who immediately made me feel like a valued member of the team and continually solicited my opinions on the various matters we worked on. Every partner and associate I worked with was kind, easily accessible, and very responsive.
From the start, I joined active cases doing substantive work. I second-chaired depositions of fact and expert witnesses, drafted portions of briefs, wrote letters to the court, observed oral arguments, and researched novel legal questions. The highlight of the summer was going to trial in Delaware and spending late nights in the war room preparing with the team. I was regularly inspired by my colleagues. What is perhaps undersold is the thoughtful approach Quinn takes to mentoring young lawyers. I had fantastic mentors who always made time to talk and who were always eager to add me to exciting new cases.