By Monica D. Mohan
This summer, I had the opportunity to work as a Summer Associate in the Boston office of Hinckley Allen. The summer program provided me with invaluable lessons I’ve taken back to the classroom during my final year of law school, and beyond.
The Hinckley Allen Summer Program taught me to operate at a high level of professionalism. Working with established attorneys in various offices and practice areas, including construction, litigation and tax, not only challenged me, but allowed me to be a sponge, soaking up as much information and advice as possible. To take maximum advantage of the experience, I kept an open mind and was eager to try new things. This approach allowed me to diversify my interests, gain exposure to different areas of the law and solidify my own interests—understanding where my skills are best suited.
Now, as I enter my final year of law school, I do so with greater wisdom and clarity. I realize I have two choices. First, I can delve deeper into general corporate work which is the subject area I plan to practice upon graduation, or I can take the opportunity to expose myself to something entirely different in my learning environment. Regardless of my choice, keeping an open mind when selecting classes and activities is extremely beneficial. As I experienced this summer, different areas of the law overlap and exposure to multiple disciplines will allow me to provide better counsel as an attorney. And, it makes me a well-rounded student and individual.
During my summer at Hinckley Allen, I was challenged with real life projects on topics I was not familiar with. As students, we fear the unknown, however, as professionals we need to consider the unknown a fear to be conquered. Approaching my assigned projects, I was challenged to move past my comfort zone and tackle each one with a can-do attitude. I learned that by asking the right questions and equipping myself with the appropriate resources, I could handle any subject area. As a result, I am confident in my research and professional writing abilities–the skills I’ll need as an attorney. I’m using this same approach in my studies, with research and assignments in new subject areas.
In my previous academic and professional experiences, I was always told to network. However, I didn’t realize the extent to which networking is crucial until my experience at Hinckley Allen. Over the summer, I met all sorts of people, internally across the firm, at social events, and during office visits. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about each person’s unique experience and perspective. As a result, I realized that there is a lot to discover about others, even classmates. Maintaining contact with these people and others as I continue with my studies and career provides an invaluable resource for me, and for them. With this insight, I’m eager to consider my classmates and professors as additions to my network, building connections and broadening my understanding of the law.
Now that I’ve experienced what it’s like to do real legal work, I look forward to finishing my degree and beginning my career, officially, as an attorney.
Read Monica’s original blog posted by Hinckley Allen here.
Monica D. Mohan, JD/MBA’17 (evening), worked at a management consulting firm in Boston supporting in-house counsel and was a member of the Transnational Law Review. After working as an associate at Hinckley Allen, she has since founded two tech companies.