A Day in the Life of a Litigation Associate

Published: Jun 29, 2022

Topics: Day in the Life       Job Search       Law       

Dylan Bolduc, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

7:30 a.m. – Wake up. I check for emails that might have come in overnight. This morning, it’s only my daily news alerts in my inbox. I like to be able to quickly scan the headlines for anything related to my clients or their industries.

7:45 a.m. – Hop on my Peloton for a 30-minute pop class with my favorite instructor, Cody Rigsby. Many of my co-workers also have Pelotons, so we often coordinate rides together.

8:15 a.m. – Time to get ready and head into the office. Attorneys at my firm generally go into the office about three days each week. I live in Downtown Brooklyn, so my commute is only two quick stops on the subway. I like the flexibility of being able to pick which days I go into the office. 

9:00 a.m. – Hit the Starbucks in the basement of our office building to pick up my daily iced latte (I’m an iced coffee year-round person). I also grab an iced tea for my coworker who had a late night.

9:10 a.m. – Stop by the Fried Frank cafeteria to pick up a seltzer and kombucha. My friends like to joke that I only function with a minimum of three beverages in front of me at all times. It’s usually some combination of iced coffee, seltzer, water, Diet Coke, and kombucha.

9:30 a.m. – First meeting of the day. I’m meeting with a summer associate to discuss the progress he’s made on drafting a letter to the court for a pro bono criminal defense case. I really enjoy working with summer associates, and I like getting them substantively involved in our matters.

10:30 a.m. – Time to do a lap on the 24th floor and say “hi” to those who are in the office. Most of our department sits on one floor together. It’s great to see everyone in the office. It’s so hard to replicate these interactions virtually, especially as a new attorney. Most people work with their doors open, which makes popping in to say “hello” very easy.  

11:00 a.m. – Webex call with a client to update them on the progress we’ve made responding to a subpoena they received from the government. Much of my work focuses on white collar investigations. My favorite part of working on these types of matters is doing a deep dive into our clients’ documents and learning the ins and outs of their work. No two clients are the same!

Noon – Grab a quick lunch from the cafeteria. I have plans after work today, so I am trying to be as efficient as possible. It’s so nice having an in-house cafeteria on an especially busy day like today. The menu changes daily, but my mainstay is the salad bar.

12:15 p.m. – Back at my desk to eat lunch while drafting some discovery documents for an IP-related litigation. Being on small teams gives me hands-on drafting experience as a junior associate.

2:00 p.m. – Grab coffee with a summer associate who is interested in litigation. This summer associate is a fellow Cardozo student! I was a summer associate at Fried Frank in 2019, and one of my favorite aspects of the experience was the opportunity to have one-on-one chats with attorneys about their practice areas. Some of the associates who took me to coffee as a summer are now my closest mentors. I hope to be able to carry on that tradition for the next generation of associates, and I always love chatting with a future Cardozo alum.

3:00 p.m. – Team meeting on another case. In this particular meeting, we’ve invited partners from other practice groups to give their input on our overall case strategy. One of the many benefits of working at a large firm like Fried Frank is that we have partners who are subject-matter experts in nearly every major area of law. From time to time, our litigation cases intersect with bankruptcy, real estate, and M&A. Being able to assemble a brain trust on a moment’s notice to discuss the best strategy for our clients is powerful and effective.

4:00 p.m. – Back at my desk to do a second-level review of documents reviewed by a team I’m overseeing. This includes spot-checking their initial review to ensure accuracy, while also getting myself up to speed on the facts.

6:30 p.m. – Leave the office and head to an event for Vassar College alumni. I am a very proud Vassar alum and have spent a large part of my time in New York City working with the Vassar Club of New York, our local alumni association. I’ve also overseen the admissions interviewing process for Vassar by assigning applicants to alumni interviewers. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of Vassar and its community, so paying it forward and staying involved is very important to me.

8:00 p.m. – Meet a few co-workers to take a couple of summer associates out to dinner. I’m a huge foodie and always looking for the next best restaurant to try! I love being the person that people come to for restaurant recommendations and last-minute reservations (thanks to my setting alerts on the Resy app). Tonight’s dinner is at Union Square Café, one of my favorite spots. I really enjoy doing small dinners with summer associates as an informal way to get to know them. We talk about career paths and practice groups, as well as hobbies and interests—like which Bravo show we’re all binging right now (at the moment, it’s Below Deck and Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip for me).

10:00 p.m. – Grab a Lyft home.

10:30 p.m. – Check emails and make a to-do list for the next day. I am very attached to my to-do lists and always feel better going to bed knowing that everything I need to do the next day is written down.

11:00 p.m. – Get ready for bed and scroll TikTok for a bit. Good night!

***