When you’re in law school, it can be difficult differentiating among top firms—they all sound great on paper. But after interviewing at a number of them, S&C stood out because of the quality of its lawyers and because they were the kind of people I wanted to work with. We debate complex legal issues, strategize with one another about the pros and cons of a particular proposal, and also get to know each other on a personal level. We all spend a lot of time at work, and it was important to me that I would be spending that time with the right people.
We don’t handle the easy cases. The matters we handle involve unsettled areas of the law, thorny legal issues, new theories of wrongdoing and complicated facts. And I love that. My work would not be fun without those challenges, and succeeding despite those challenges is infinitely more gratifying than winning some sort of cookie-cutter case.
When I came to the Firm, my plan was to try out as many types of litigation as I could—antitrust, securities, employment matters, investigations, what have you—because I just didn’t know what I would like and what each would involve. I tried them all. Although I liked them all, I found I liked securities litigation best, so I have managed over the years to steer my workload in that direction. We make new law in our securities litigation practice at S&C, and that means our work has a lasting impact and is broadly applicable to future cases.
Our culture is very much “work hard, play hard." We take our work very seriously and we take our clients’ issues very seriously. Nothing interferes with our efforts to get a favorable outcome for them. But at the same time, people here are very funny, witty and quick, and that makes them fun to hang out with. Socializing with lawyers and support staff after work is a great way to get to know your colleagues. It’s the people that make this place special.
When I first started working here, many partners and associates showed me the ropes—the level of commitment expected by S&C, what clients expect from us, which partners I should work with to get the experiences I needed, how their work has evolved over the years from junior associate to senior associate and so on. It gave me a sense of what I should be shooting for. That informal mentoring, along with the ability to observe the different styles and quirks of the range of lawyers I have worked with, helped me to develop my own style as a lawyer. I also take part in the formal mentoring program and meet with my advisees every six months (at least) to talk about their career development—I think it’s really helpful. But I don’t limit my advice to the formal program—I still think informal mentoring is hugely important.
Well, to be perfectly honest, what motivates me is winning. Thinking about winning is my first cup of coffee in the morning. It makes every part of the job—even the tasks that might otherwise seem tedious without context—interesting for me, because it’s all part of what it takes to win.
Read more about why our lawyers chose S&C:
- Stephanie G. Wheeler, Litigation Partner
- Robert J. Giuffra Jr., Litigation Partner
- Tracy Richelle High, Litigation Partner
- Nic Bourtin, Litigation Partner