For many law school graduates, their first taste of practicing law comes from working as an associate at a law firm. What is life as an associate attorney like? For those people who have opted to join a large firm, the first year of practice is probably filled with both excitement and stress. There are many wonderful perks that come with being an associate at a big firm (prestige, high salary, etc.) At the same time, however, there are many potential pitfalls that junior–level associates will want to be aware of and avoid. In this article I have included some advice for new lawyers for surviving your first year of practice at a law firm.

Survival Tips for the First-Year Associate

How much do associate lawyers make? Click here to find out.

What is an associate in a law firm’s average day like? Click here to find out what a typical day is like for a first-year corporate associate.

Picking Your Practice Area

Firms differ on whether or not they let their first-year associates choose the practice area that they will specialize in. If there is some flexibility, most firms will generally let their first-year attorneys state a preference for a specific area of law and try to place them within those practice groups. In addition, these decisions are sometimes finalized during the summers that the associates are interning with the firms as summer associates.