Summer Job Diaries: Rising 2L Steven Garrett '24 Explores BigLaw Litigation as Summer Associate at Katten
Steven Garrett '24, a summer associate a BigLaw firm Katten, has taken inspiration from the mentorship of Dean Gary Craig, Prof. Allan Ides, and Prof. Patricia Winograd in pursuing a career in litigation.
How did you land your summer job?
Around November of Fall 2021 I began to think about what I wanted to do for the summer. I did some research and found that 1L's can work at BigLaw firms. I connected with LLS' Career Development Office and Dean Gary Craig who began to advise me on the process. I ended up applying to pretty much every firm I could find with an open application. I interviewed at a few firms, but I knew Katten was the best fit for me. I ended up getting the offer just a couple days after applying and I accepted immediately. If I had any advice to give on those looking for jobs it would be to RESEARCH! I spent countless hours learning about different law firms and the industry. The more you know, the easier it is to be comfortable in interview settings.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
There isn't as much of a safety net as you would think. Often, partners and associates give you a question and ask you to form an argument with supporting research. I have even seen my work being used and cited by partners at the firm. The autonomy that even a summer gets over their work product is scary, but amazing.
What has been your most challenging assignment thus far?
I am working on a case where we are defending the client from multiple lawsuits. Because there is so much going on, it's important for me to turn in high-quality work product and show some initiative in the work that I do. It can be challenging and intimidating to email a partner an original idea about an angle or defense I think should be presented. But, partners are generally super receptive to this kind of intellectual freedom.
Also, I have to look up new words every single day! I just learned how to use the word "demurrer" in a sentence.
What new legal skill have you acquired during your summer job?
Speed. I have written a few longer memos now and am able to do them in under a week. During 1L, our materials were provided. But in a law firm, you have to find your own research or utilize the research of similar memos or briefs. I still haven't perfected organizing my research, but I am getting much more efficient.
What bit of legal knowledge have you been able to display?
There's been plenty of conversation about Civil Procedure.
How has Loyola helped you map your career path?
Going into Loyola Law School, I had no idea what I wanted to do. Pretty quickly, however, I found myself surrounded by former litigators in Dean Gary Craig, Prof. Allan Ides, and Prof. Patricia Winograd. After taking in so much of their amazing mentorship, I realized I wanted to be a litigator, which often feels a bit polarizing. However, LLS gave me a great baseline as to what litigators do and the types of matters they work on.