Podcast: The 2022 Summer Associate Experience – Part 1Read Time: 11 mins
Every law firm tailors their summer experience differently in hopes of attracting and recruiting the next great crop of Associates. What is the summer clerk experience like here at McGlinchey?
Margeaux Roush: Welcome to our next installment of the “More with McGlinchey” podcast. This is the next installment of the #WhyMcGlinchey podcast. And this will be the first portion of our podcast series featuring some of our Summer Associates. I am the Director of Talent Acquisition, Margeaux Roush. I am joined today by Taylor Bennington, an Associate in our Cleveland office, who will be the moderator for today’s session.
By way of background, Taylor came to us in January of 2020 as an applicant for our 1L fellowship as part of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). He was a 1L at the University of Akron, and we were particularly impressed with Taylor because of his commitment to community and his efforts in fostering a safe space for people to be their authentic selves. Taylor clerked with us in the summer of 2020 at the height of the pandemic, he then returned to clerk with us in the summer of 2021 as a 2L. And we continued to be impressed by everything he brought to the firm. He joined us as a full-time Associate in March of 2022 in our Financial Institutions Compliance practice group. So Taylor, I will hand it over to you to start speaking with our clerks.
Taylor Bennington: Thank you, Margeaux, and what a great opportunity it is to be here today. As you just mentioned, I spent two summers here, clerking, and I know just how valuable this experience can be. So what a great opportunity it is to spend a little bit of time this morning talking to our clerks for this summer. So without further ado, let’s dive into this conversation. It’s my privilege to introduce you to Georgia Bauer. Who’s in our Houston office. Georgia. I’m curious what made you decide to clerk with McGlinchey?
Georgia Bauer: Sure. So there were, of course, a lot of things! I think the top three things that made me choose McGlinchey were the size of the firm, the timing of recruiting, and the people. So I did a lot of research about the firm before my interview, and I was really excited about working at a mid-sized firm. I had some pre-law school experience at a really tiny firm and a really big firm, and I wanted to see what it was like in the middle. And I really love that McGlinchey has the resources of a really, really big firm, but the collegiality and culture of a much smaller operation. And I also really appreciated that McGlinchey was recruiting during on-campus interviews (OCI) in the fall. That helped my 2L year. It helped me really focus on school work and not have to worry about the job search. And lastly, my interview with Matt Manning and Charles Adams made it really clear from the beginning that the people at McGlinchey are people I would want to work with. So really just the combination of the size, the timing of the recruiting, and a really great interview made it a really clear choice for me.
Taylor Bennington: Thank you, Georgia. Absolutely. That’s something that attracted me to this firm as well. We call it around here “the McGlinchey family.” It’s all about people and our colleagues. Also in our Houston office, we have Jessica Bozell. Jessica, I’m curious, what did you hope to get out of your summer clerking experience here at McGlinchey?
Jessica Bozell: Well, one of the biggest things that I hoped to get out of my clerkship experience here was law school versus actual practice. And so they teach you a lot of things in the classroom. One of those things that they don’t teach you is what it actually is like to practice in a law firm. And so it’s been great being at McGlinchey and just everyone being so welcoming and friendly. And so it makes it a lot less daunting and scary and intimidating and exciting to get these projects started and done. And with that being said, another thing that I really hoped to get out of this experience, that I did, was improving my legal writing and research skills. With that said, getting exposure from different practice areas, too. A lot of the projects we were given involved areas of law that I hadn’t even taken a class in. And so it was really exciting for me to be able to dive into these different areas that I wasn’t familiar with and to be able to reach out to anybody at the firm with questions, and everyone was more than happy to help. And so one of the best things that I’ve gotten out of this clerkship so far is mentors, which I feel like everyone at this firm has been for sure. So it’s been a great experience and everything I hoped to get, and didn’t even know, I hoped to get out of the experience has come to light, and true. So it’s been great.
Taylor Bennington: I’m really glad to hear that. And I’ll tell you 100% that mentorship doesn’t stop when you become an Associate. One of my favorite things is meeting monthly with my mentor. So just keep that in mind, on the Associate track, that mentorship is just as strong when you come and join the firm. Thank you, Jessica. Joining us in our Washington DC office is Keke Heneghan. Keke, what has been your best experience so far, favorite memory clerking here, or just overall the best aspect of your clerkship?
Keke Heneghan: So my favorite experience has been getting to sit in on client meetings and presentations, because I was able to see how the lawyers interact with their clients. I recently sat in on an interview prep session with a client. And when I was talking to the attorneys after this session, they both commented on how a large part of their job involves making clients feel at ease during this stressful time of being interviewed or on trial. Which is something that was really cool to observe, because it’s things like that that are never taught in law school. And I also had the opportunity to sit in on a roundtable presentation to a client, which is really cool because there were about five or so attorneys from McGlinchey who were in different practice groups, but were coming together in service of this client. It was really cool to see how they interacted as well.
Taylor Bennington: That’s amazing. That was one of my favorite things as a clerk too. Obviously I clerked my first summer in the pandemic, but even so I was joining zooms. I was hopping on calls. You get that client interaction that I just don’t think you get in a lot of other places. So absolutely. That’s awesome. We have Julia Berry Lopez joining us in our Albany office. Julia, what is one surprising thing you learned this summer while you’re working in Albany?
Julia Berry Lopez: Thank you, Taylor. Well, I did find it surprising to learn that in Virginia, it is illegal to take oysters and load them on a vessel on Sundays. So there’s that? No, I’m kidding. But that is real statute! Seriously though, I know that some people have already commented on the firm culture, but I want to reiterate, I was really pleasantly surprised to learn that the firm culture really is what it seemed to be during my interview. What I mean by that is a lot of firms talk a big talk about work-life balance or supportive culture, but from discussions I’ve had with law students and Associates, it’s sometimes just talk. But what I’ve found here at McGlinchey is that people are truly supportive and pleasant to work with. And there’s an understanding that while we want to work hard for our clients and do good work, we also have other commitments in our lives. So that’s a really appealing quality when I’m thinking about long term career as well.
Taylor Bennington: Couldn’t agree more. It’s not just dressing curtains. It’s something that I’ve experienced as an Associate having been here four months now. That culture, it’s not a show. It’s a real thing. I think it goes back to our Southern roots as a law firm. And last but not least, we have KayLeigh Nader, who’s here with me in Cleveland and is also a fellow Akron Zip! So KayLeigh, what is your advice for students applying for clerkships?
KayLeigh Nader: Yeah, so I thought about this question kind of two ways. So looking at how you apply and go through the process, and then also looking at the firm and how that fits your values and interests. So I thought about when I applied and I was going through the process with McGlinchey, I think one of the things I thought about was being my genuine self. So really putting myself forward, the person I am, my interests, what I was looking for in a firm. And then I also, when looking at firms, I really wanted to find a firm that aligned with my values offered things that I was interested in, and then also was able to offer me the experience I was seeking. So when I was interviewing, I think some of the things I was looking at were, was there a system in place for formal feedback, mentorship, the kind of relationships you’d be building, and then the people you would be working with. So I think a moment that really made it stick for me why McGlinchey was a good fit, was Kelly Lipinski, who’s the managing partner here at Cleveland, emailed me after my interview and said, “no matter how this pans out, I would love to still get coffee with you afterwards and talk about your career in the legal field and you know, where you want to end up.” So I think it’s really important just to know your values, your interests, and just be genuine.
Taylor Bennington: Couldn’t agree more. Thank you, KayLeigh.
Margeaux Roush: So I’ll throw this question out to all of you guys. During your clerkship or your time here with McGlinchey. Has anything kind of stood out to you? That’s pushed you in a particular direction with your career or there’s something you realize that you really want more of as you pursue your legal career?
Jessica Bozell: This is Jessica here. I will say that going into law school, I was completely opposed to litigation because I was scared of speaking in front of a judge in a courtroom, filled with people. And then once I started participating in moot court, I was really excited and I’m like, wow, litigation’s where I want to go. And at McGlinchey, we have a lot of litigators here. I’ve been able to participate in a lot of court hearings, but I’ve also been given projects by Charles who does more transactional work. And so that actually has made me second guess whether, is it litigation or transactional now that I want to do? Because I’ve been really interested in the projects that he’s given me. And so, whereas I thought I was toward a litigating path and set on that now it’s like, oh, well here’s two great options. So McGlinchey has helped open another door that I thought for the most part closed, which is great. So now I have more opportunity. So that’s my answer to the question.
Keke Heneghan: So I came to McGlinchey interested in patent law. And so when I joined where I was drafting a response to a patent office action, which was really interesting, and I found that experience very rewarding. And I think that assignment just reaffirmed my interest in patent law.
Julia Berry Lopez: Hi, it’s Julia here. I love hearing everyone’s different answers. I came knowing that I absolutely did not want to do anything remotely related to criminal law or family law, but I was pretty open to sort of anything in the transactional world. I knew absolutely nothing about consumer finance, which I have been working on and actually really loving learning. You get to be kind of geeky with it, I guess, so I love that. One thing that I do look forward to building more as my career progresses is more direct client interaction. That’s something that I really enjoy as well. So I look forward to more of that in the future.
Taylor Bennington: We’ve talked a lot about what y’all have been involved with this summer in terms of your legal work and being involved with attorneys. But aside from the legal work that you’ve been involved with, I’m curious, what’s been your favorite memory, your favorite thing that you’ve done social experience so far at the firm… Lightning round for everybody. Jump in.
Georgia Bauer: This is Georgia in Houston. And my favorite thing was we had a sushi lunch where we actually had somebody come to the office and teach us to make sushi. And she brought all of the equipment and everything. We even got to use like a blow torch to cook the pieces of sushi. And it was really fun and super delicious.
Julia Berry Lopez: Hey, it’s Julia here from Albany. That sounds fantastic. I think one of the things that I like most in the social aspect is just sort of like the water cooler talks, or I guess Keurig machine talks is probably more accurate these days. Just running into people in the hallway and talking about whatever is going on, the news, clients, weekend plans, whatever it is. It just makes it feel like a very homey, comfortable atmosphere to be involved in.
Keke Heneghan: This is Keke. My favorite social event was going to a Nats game.
KayLeigh Nader: KayLeigh here. I think so far, one of my favorite things has been getting either lunch or coffee with the various Associates. One in particular, we get coffee pretty regularly and she gives me career advice, life advice. So it’s been good. And then I also like all the food that’s available at all times, it seems like!
Jessica Bozell: Jessica here from the Houston office. I agree with Georgia that the sushi-making class was very, very cool to be a part of. Another one of my favorite events that we did with a firm was going to Minute Maid Park and watching the Astros play. It was really cool, knowing nothing about baseball and I mean, absolutely nothing about baseball and just being able to ask everyone around me, Hey, what does this mean? How many strikes? Well, I know how many strikes we would get to get out. But just the general rules of baseball that I didn’t know. And it was really cool just seeing everybody so passionate about their sports team here. So it was great.
Margeaux Roush: And I’ll just add one last thing onto all of that. Whether you end up here at McGlinchey or not, you’ve started a relationship with attorneys across the firm. We’ve had firm-wide events and firm-wide interaction throughout the summer, and we really do encourage you to stay in touch with us, whether you come to join us as an Associate or not, because that’s networking is kind of how we do it. And we really do look at you guys as a member of the McGlinchey family from the beginning. So after your clerkship here, we really do encourage you to stay in touch with us and come to us with questions. That mentorship role that you guys have felt from your supervisors and the other Associates in the office and the other members that you’ve worked with, we really do mean that we want that to continue. So thank you guys all so much for your time today, and we really appreciate you joining us this summer.
Taylor Bennington: And thank you all for this great conversation. I know on behalf of all of us here at the firm, we’re so excited that you’re here this summer.
Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts: