Sarah C. FlowersAssociate, Washington, D.C.
During the recruiting process, what struck me most about the S&C associates I met was their energy and enthusiasm. I could tell that the lawyers I met were not only engaged by their work but also genuinely liked the Firm and each other. I really enjoyed the conversations I had with people from S&C and felt that—more so than any of the other firms I received offers from—the culture at S&C would be a good fit for my personality and work ethic. I’ve found S&C to be unique in its genuine, vested interest in developing its associates to be world-class lawyers, whether their long-term goal is within S&C or outside the Firm.
After trying a variety of transactional matters, Financial Services eventually stood out to me as particularly interesting. Associates and partners made sure I worked on interesting matters from day one. Regulatory reforms following the financial crisis have created interesting opportunities for associates to work with clients in an increasingly complex environment. It is exciting to evaluate new rules and regulations for the first time and understand more and more each day how they may affect the role banking organizations play in our economy. Advocacy for clients regarding new financial regulations has afforded me the opportunity to think critically, draft extensively and discuss issues one-on-one with partners, senior lawyers and clients to an extent I never thought possible for a junior corporate associate.
During the two summers I spent with the Firm, I was able to work with lawyers from various practice groups to get a sense of what work I found most rewarding. As a first-year associate, I remained open to all types of transactional work and was able to get a taste for a variety of matters. Even now that I’ve developed strong relationships with several different associates and partners, I continue to reach out to others who may be working on interesting assignments where I see an opportunity to develop new skills and gain experience.
My transition from our New York office to our D.C. office was seamless. Not only did I continue to work with many of the same people on the same assignments, but I also continue to work on new matters originating in both New York and D.C.
I chose S&C for its reputation as a meritocracy, but I am fortunate to call many of my colleagues friends and to work within a culture of mutual respect. I think we all recognize that the nature of client service often demands a great deal of energy and attention—particularly when time is short—but we also recognize the need to refresh, recharge and attend to matters outside of work. It’s an easy choice to want to work hard in a place where you feel respected and valued, and a life of balance enables us to bring our best selves to the table.
During my summers, I was paired with engaged mentors who helped me find the work I was interested in and still help me navigate my career to this day. When I returned to S&C as an associate, one of my summer associate mentors not only brought me on board with interesting transactions he was working on, but also helped me find opportunities to work on projects in other practice groups as well. If I mentioned an interest in a particular area, he never hesitated to contact his cohorts in that group to make sure I gained exposure in that area. Even when new assignments came in through the formal first-year assignment system, this mentor often helped me evaluate them for their development potential, by pointing out opportunities that were not at first obvious to me, as an inexperienced first year. The advice I received in that regard has been invaluable.
Bringing your “A-game” to work, though rewarding, is also draining. That is why outside of work I think it is important to find diversions that are a source of rest or inspiration. For me, those diversions are family time, rowing, spending time in nature and working with organizations that meet the needs of the less fortunate.
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