Changes - And Some Things Stay the Same
So, where has HP been? Well, HP had some life changes, including an unexpected loss of a family member who was just a few years older than HP. And, HP decided HP was ready for a change from BigLaw. HP got a great offer, and HP jumped ship to a small, but exciting, entrepreneurial firm. So, HP has gone from giant, to big, to "petite" firm (it's actually more than HP and her dog, it's a real firm with associates and partners, and all). I'm hoping now that things have settled I'll have time to share my views on small versus big, challenges of both.
But, some things stay the same. I can tell you that great associates shine at small firms as well as big firms. Complaining, unprofessional personnel are probably even more noticed in small organizations. What makes a great young lawyer? Well I see them, they are energetic, careful, they volunteer, they follow-up, they hustle, they respond promptly, and when they are not sure about something, they ask. They seek to learn new areas, they seek to expand networks, they seek to make themselves, their colleagues and their firm look good. I know some of these, and believe me in a heartbeat I could call up and give a great recommendation for them if they find a new opportunity. Attitude is HUGE. I've discussed this with colleagues many times. I will want to work with the associate who does all the things I've mentioned. Conversely, a smart, but pain-in-the-ass colleague is moving down my list (and others) because they complicate, perhaps delay, and deflate the office. I'm not saying you have to be perky cheerleader (or that super sweet, perfect teacher from the "Bad Teacher" movie), but a good attitude - willing, thorough, following through - will take you far.