Voice of Maslon
When applying for summer programs, I sought a place where I could improve my legal writing, develop strong relationships with mentors, and explore as many practice areas as possible. It was particularly important for me to find a firm large enough to handle sophisticated legal matters, yet small enough to foster real relationships and a sense of community. Through conversations with mentors and other attorneys, it became abundantly clear that Maslon has that reputation. I was also told that Maslon takes care of its attorneys and has the best work-life balance in the region. These words made more sense as the summer progressed.
From week one I was working on substantive legal research for a major client and perfecting my legal writing skills. Towards the beginning of the summer, I spent quite a bit of time with my writing mentor revising each of my assignments—he was extremely helpful, patient, and generous with his time. By the end of the summer I had dramatically improved my writing skills and consequently shortened the time needed for revisions. One of the highlights of my summer was hearing that a partner had sent my research off to the client with no edits. My work was used at various stages of legal matters—in strategy, dispositive motions, and to guide negotiations. There is no doubt that I had challenging and substantive legal work in front of me; but I also had brilliant and thoughtful mentors along the way.
As someone with no family members in the legal profession and as the first to pursue a graduate degree, finding community at Maslon made all the difference. Maslon was the first place to interview me, and I immediately connected with and saw myself learning from the Maslon attorneys. One of those attorneys would later become my writing mentor, another my partner mentor, and another my associate mentor—each intimidating on paper and inspiring in person. It meant a great deal to have successful attorneys who would seek me out to ask not only how my work was advancing, but also how my personal life was. Some of my most memorable community moments include pontoon rides over a weekend retreat, a trip to Memphis for a conference, Twins games over lunch, and an escape room with these wonderful attorneys. My mentors showed me that being an excellent attorney is more than just your work product.
At Maslon, you are not asked to leave your personal life at home; instead, Maslon embraces your personal interests through its pro bono efforts. Frankly, I was initially concerned that mid-sized to large firms would not fully support pro bono work or that the balance between billed and pro bono work would not fit my efforts to be socially conscious. However, I found that at Maslon, pro bono work is given just as much value, resources, and respect as billed client work. For example, I worked with an attorney on an asylum application where we committed three interviews of two hours in length each, expert opinions, and medical resources to ensure the highest probability of success—just like any other billable matter. In fact, Maslon has its own program, UPLIFT, that trains local middle school students for a mock trial competition. It is one thing to see a program like that on a website; it is an entirely different impact when a high number of attorneys at the firm are directly committed to the program and volunteer their time. Maslon has a culture of fully supporting attorneys' social interests through genuine pro bono efforts.
Finally, when I was at Maslon I was not pigeon-holed into one practice area. Astrid, the Director of Recruiting, and the Summer Program Coordinators were responsive to every interest I expressed. As a result, I was able to work with attorneys in multiple practice areas including product liability, estates and trusts, intellectual property, contracts, insurance, employment, construction litigation, and criminal law. This is, of course, in addition to the many lunches and coffees that I shared with attorneys to discuss their practice areas. Law students looking to explore their practice area interests can benefit from exposure to a number of practice area specialties in the Maslon program.
Maslon is the perfect fit for law students seeking to develop real relationships with inspiring and passionate attorneys, take leaps in sophisticated legal work product, work for great clients, and explore numerous practice specialties.
Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Class of 2020