New Job as an Associate at BigLaw? Do These 10 Things Now

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on June 09, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

You did your time in job search land, and maybe you even worked with a recruiter, and you've finally landed a gig as an associate at BigLaw. Before you start and get overwhelmed with all there is to do, there are certain tasks that you should do up front to set the tone of your employment, and establish a foundation for success.

We recently read some great tips for things to do at a new job, and we thought we'd tweak them for the law firm context. With first impressions made in a mere seven seconds, try to do these things in the first week at your new job.

All the tasks you should perform fall under two umbrellas, and we'll call them "lifestyle" and "professional."

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.

Lifestyle Tasks

These tasks don't really involve your personal lifestyle, but are more about corporate culture and your workplace lifestyle.

1. Say Hi

If your supervising partner or a senior associate doesn't introduce you, introduce yourself to your neighbors and people that will be an important part of your team including your admin and paralegal.

2. Where's the Coffee?

Not sure why this is not number 1, but we cannot stress the importance of knowing where to find coffee. Period.

3. Do Lunch

Find out the best places to eat in the area, and whether you should skip the cafeteria or lunch cart.

4. Find a Buddy

Look for someone who is the same level associate as you and ask them the really pressing questions you may have, but that you shouldn't approach a partner with.

5. Figure Out Office Logistics

Where are the bathrooms, office supplies, printers, etc.? These are all important questions that will help you get through your day with fewer obstacles.

Professional Tasks

These tasks further your professional goals at your new job, and generally for career development.

1. Start Out Organized

Take the clean slate you have at a new job as an opportunity to start out -- and stay -- organized.

2. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

If you said you're great at something, now is the time to prove it.

3. Update Social Media Profiles

Change the info on your social media profiles, such as LinkedIn, and if you haven't already, ask previous employers and co-workers for recommendations and guidelines for posting.

4. Find a Mentor

You may not find your mentor in the first week, but you can definitely start looking.

5. Law Firm Identity

Make sure you are in touch with the right person at the firm to get your business cards printed and name plate for office or cubicle.

Starting a new job is gratifying (especially in this economy), but also tremendously stressful. By preparing yourself in advance, and laying a foundation for success, you can take much of the stress out of the equation.

Best of luck to you in your new endeavor!

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