Junior Associate

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.

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.
 

Katherine M. Funderburg

Why did you join Jenner & Block? I joined for two reasons. First, Jenner’s excellent reputation for litigation greatly appealed to me. I knew I wanted to practice in Chicago and that I wanted to be a litigator. Second, the firm’s demonstrated commitment to pro bono work really stood out to me. I was excited by the opportunity to build skills as a junior associate while working on important cases for clients and doing good.

What kind of work have you been doing? Pro bono matters? Since joining Jenner, I have worked on a variety of matters, including commercial litigation, ERISA, and employment-related matters. I have also had the opportunity to work on several pro bono cases and to build relationships with those clients.

What are the people at Jenner & Block like? The people at Jenner & Block are dedicated, ambitious, and innovative. They are also kind and collegial. I have learned a great deal from my colleagues, including partners and senior associates who have taken the time to help me learn new skills.

What kind of training have you received? I’ve participated in formal trainings like the NITA deposition training program, which taught me about preparing for, taking, and defending depositions. Aside from those opportunities, I also regularly receive informal training from my colleagues, who are always happy to answer questions or provide additional guidance if needed.

What qualities are needed to be successful at this level at the firm? As a junior associate, I think it is important to be adaptable, self-motivated, and a team player. It also helps to have an interest in learning new things.

What sets Jenner & Block apart from other firms? As an associate at Jenner, I’ve had the opportunity to take on substantive work early on in my career, and to work with senior attorneys who are invested in associates’ growth and development.

LOREAL R. ROCK
Office(s):
Washington, DC
Law Schools(s):
Howard University School of Law
Started with firm:
2018
EFFIONG K. DAMPHA
Office(s):
Los Angeles
Law Schools(s):
Stanford Law School
Started with firm:
2018
KATHERINE M. FUNDERBURG
Office(s):
Chicago
Law Schools(s):
Northwestern University School of Law
Practice Area(s):
Litigation
Started with firm:
2019