Jenner & Block

Loreal R. Rock

Why did you join Jenner & Block?

After my federal clerkship, I knew I wanted to join a firm where I could get great litigation experience and a lot of responsibility early on.  Additionally, I was looking for a place where I could strike a decent “work-life” balance and be genuinely happy at the office.  Jenner & Block offered all of these things.  Everyone I met during my interviews was extremely nice and welcoming, and I got the sense from the associates I met that the flat structure of the office would allow me to get a lot of experience early on.  That was true when I walked in the office on my first day, and still holds true today.

What kind of work have you been doing? Pro bono matters?

I’ve had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of matters.  I have worked on a couple Content, Media, and Entertainment cases, involving royalty and rate-setting.  I have also advised a client in a communications, internet, and technology matter, prepared a client to testify before the SEC, and worked on some other investigations.  I’ve had the opportunity to first chair a few pro bono matters, including a child support case and landlord-tenant matters I received through the firm’s partnership with the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center.

Name 1-2 things you’ve learned in the last year.

We truly are a team here at Jenner & Block.  Everyone I work with, partners and associates included, has an open door and is willing to talk and work through specific challenges or issues.  We all pitch in to deliver excellence for our clients and work together to get tasks done. 

What are the people at Jenner & Block like?

Every day I have the opportunity to work with extremely intelligent individuals, who are also down-to-earth and some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet!  No one takes themselves too seriously and we value each other’s opinions.  Jenner & Block provides a great, collegial environment to work in.

What kind of training have you received?

In addition to on-the-job training and learning through experience, I’ve attended numerous internal seminars that cover various litigation topics, from filing a complaint to defending depositions to cross examinations.  These training programs have really helped me in my day-to-day practice.

What qualities are needed to be successful at this level at the firm?

Being a self-starter and willing to take ownership of your work.  You’ll be asked to manage and complete tasks that you’ve never done before, but resources are available (including the partners and senior associates you work with) if you’re willing to reach out and apply yourself.

What sets Jenner & Block apart from other firms?

The people.  Jenner & Block is truly a pleasant place to work and the people contribute immensely to that.

Bethany H. Felder

What kind of work have you been doing?  Pro bono matters?

I have represented a Jewish prisoner in a 1983 matter who has been deprived kosher breakfast and Passover supplies. My team earned a substantial settlement on his behalf. I am currently representing a young man in a first-degree murder charge.

Name 1-2 things you’ve learned in the last year.

The learning curve is so steep out of law school—I learn 1-2 things every day here. I suppose the biggest thing I’ve learned is that my opinion and work really does matter! I was stunned in my first year to hear very senior partners ask me for my advice, input, and opinion in important meetings and strategy sessions. Those experiences have taught me to take initiative, be thoughtful about my work, and be prepared to contribute at every turn.

What kind of training have you received?

In my pro bono matters, the supervising partners serve as soundboards and gutchecks while still allowing the associates to run the show. The partners I have worked with always make themselves available to review work product, answer panicked-junior associate questions, and attend important hearings. The partners will step in when things escalate or get messy (as they sometimes do in litigation), but mostly take a back seat to the associates.

In other, matters, the mid-level and senior associates at Jenner take the time to explain things to junior associates. All of the more senior associates I’ve worked with always make sure I understand an assignment, review my work before I turn it in to the supervising partner, and—again—are only an IM away when I undoubtedly barrage them with my junior-associate questions. I love this collaborative training environment—it feels natural and organic, yet efficient too—and helps build relationships with more senior associates.

What qualities are needed to be successful at this level at the firm?

Kindness, respect, adaptability, diligence, patience, and strong communication skills.  

What should a prospective associate know about being at your level in the firm?

Being a junior associate is tough—you often lack control over your own schedule. This can be frustrating. That said, as a junior associate you have every excuse to be curious and bold: ask questions of everyone, don’t be shy about what you don’t know. People here want to help you, but you have to let them!

What sets Jenner & Block apart from other firms?

The people. They are truly kind, smart, respectful, hardworking, excellent, love pro-bono work, and are committed to making the legal profession a more diverse and inclusive place. My one piece of advice to go to the firm where you like the people. Being a lawyer is hard—working with good people makes it a little easier.

Effiong K. Dampha

Why did you join Jenner & Block?

Jenner & Block stood out as a firm where junior associates get substantive litigation experience early on.  I also wanted a firm where I would not be pigeonholed into a practice area without being able to try out different things. 

My interviews were candid and without pretense.

What are people at Jenner & Block like?

Everyone is fiercely dedicated to their clients and to excellence.  Jenner’s commitment to pro bono seems to attract people who are not only warm but also conscientious and thoughtful.

What kind of work have you been doing?  Pro bono matters?

I have worked on a wide range of matters.  For pro bono, I have done immigration, prisoner rights, disability law, and human trafficking cases.  Those cases not only allowed me to do some good but also taught me foundational skills that I now apply to my other work.  That other work also spans a wide range of matters, namely, in the areas of professional responsibility, internal investigations, copyright, and privacy.  On some matters I have been the only associate on the case so I do all the drafting for motions and discovery and prep for depositions and hearings. 

What kind of training have you received?

Jenner provides a lot of opportunities for training, including continuing legal education courses, a formal mentorship program, and internal workshops.  Those are great, but I have found on-the-job training to be most useful.  The on-the-job training works well because Jenner actively fosters an environment where young associates can comfortably seek out and receive feedback on their work.  And feedback, I think, really only works properly when involving warm, conscientious, and thoughtful people.

What sets Jenner & Block apart from other firms?

I respect that Jenner & Block strives to live up to its stated values, invests in the professional development of its associates, and encourages a humane work environment.
 

LOREAL R. ROCK
Office(s):
Washington, DC
Law Schools(s):
Howard University School of Law
Practice Area(s):
Litigation
Started with firm:
2018
BETHANY H. FELDER
Office(s):
Chicago
Law Schools(s):
University of Michigan Law School
Practice Area(s):
Litigation
Started with firm:
2018
EFFIONG K. DAMPHA
Office(s):
Los Angeles
Law Schools(s):
Stanford Law School
Started with firm:
2018