Jenner & Block

Elin I. Park

Why did you join Jenner & Block?

I joined Jenner & Block because it is an exceptional law firm.  Jenner & Block is a top-tier firm that is deeply committed to its civic responsibilities and prides itself on its collegial environment.  During my interviews, I was struck by how smart, open, and friendly the lawyers were, and I knew that this was the right place to begin my legal career.

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

I work on various complex commercial litigation matters.  My most recent work has been focused on representing clients in contract and class action disputes.  I have also had some experience with government and internal investigations. 

On one of my pro bono matters, I had the privilege of being part of a tireless and fearless team of lawyers that successfully overturned a murder conviction that had been based on a false confession.  My pro bono matters are a mix of civil and criminal cases.

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

In the past year, I have learned how to manage and lead my cases.  I have learned, and I still continue to learn, how to prepare, strategize, argue, and organize my cases from the moment a complaint is filed. 

What are the people at Jenner like?

The people at Jenner & Block are what makes this firm unique.  My colleagues are very smart, hardworking, passionate, and great team players.  My colleagues make this firm truly collegial. 

What kind of training have you received?

There are many opportunities for formal and informal training.  Jenner & Block does a great job of providing various formal training.  But, I have found that my most valuable training often comes from stepping up, taking ownership of cases, and simply learning by doing.

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

To be successful, junior associates should be eager to learn, work hard, and demonstrate talent.  Also, it is important to be reliable and be a team player.

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

Being a junior associate at Jenner & Block does not mean that you will only be engaged in select types of tasks.  Even at this level, my peers and I are expected to perform complicated and challenging work.  Such work can sometimes include being the point person to handle a case.

What does it take to get to the next level at the firm?

To get to the next level as a litigator at Jenner & Block, it is important to demonstrate an ability to navigate and master the various aspects of litigation.  And, at all levels, I think hard work is an important component of success.

What sets Jenner & Block apart from other firms?

What sets Jenner & Block apart from other top-tier firms is our collegial atmosphere and a deeply-entrenched sense of duty to the public.  The people at Jenner & Block make these two things possible.

Natalie K. Orpett

Why did you join Jenner & Block?

I wanted to work with excellent attorneys and have the opportunity to learn on my feet.  But I also wanted to work with people I respect, and I wanted to work in a firm that takes attorneys’ social responsibility to serve the community beyond the pages of its brochures and into action.  When I first interviewed at Jenner & Block, I did not meet a single attorney – whether partner or associate – who was not actively working on at least one pro bono matter.  That has remained the case since I started working here.

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

I’ve intentionally sought to expose myself to a wide variety of matters, and I’ve been lucky to have succeeded in doing so.  In less than one year, I worked on an entire complex civil litigation matter from complaint to judgment, intellectual property matters, an internal investigation, another investigation, an immigration matter, a criminal sentencing, a matter representing a Guantanamo detainee, a custody dispute, and more.

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

Having just passed my one-year anniversary of taking the bar exam, it’s hard to grasp just how much I’ve learned in one year.  Certainly an enormous amount of substantive law on areas I had previously known nothing about.  How to research and write more effectively.  How a trial is managed.  How discovery works.  How to interact with many different types of clients.  The list goes on.

What are the people at Jenner & Block like?  

Hard-working, smart, professional, and extremely talented.  But just as importantly – if not more so, in my mind – friendly (not just polite), compassionate, and deeply committed.

What kind of training have you received?  

I’ve received a great combination of formal and informal training.  The formal trainings included a very valuable multi-day deposition training in Chicago as well as trainings on managing client relationships, basic lawyering skills, effective oral advocacy, conducting interviews, ethics, and more topic-specific matters like the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and First Amendment issues.  Informal training happens all the time – I have been fortunate to have several wonderful mentors who take the time to give me feedback on my work and provide me with opportunities to develop my skills.

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

Like any other firm, it is important to do excellent, thorough, careful, and timely work.  Because of the culture at Jenner & Block, though, it is also important to be collegial, to take the time to get to know people, and to be both a reliable and an enjoyable person with whom to work.

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

This is not the place to come if you want to hide in your office.  It’s not that you won’t receive work if you do, it’s just that you’ll miss an enormous part of what this place is all about.  Even as a first-year associate, if you show that you’re willing and able, you’ll be given opportunities well beyond the typical experience of a first-year.  

Christina Avedissian Aryafar

Why did you join Jenner & Block?

I was initially attracted to Jenner & Block because it is a top-tier firm with a national reputation for excellence.  But I ultimately chose Jenner & Block because of the incredible people at the firm.  From my very first interview, I was impressed by the friendliness, dedication and talent of the attorneys and staff at the office.  Additionally, Jenner & Block demonstrated a tireless commitment to pro bono work, which was important for me in choosing a firm.

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

During my first year as an associate, I had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of matters, ranging from consumer class action suits to insurance matters.  I have drafted responses to written discovery, prepared expert witnesses for trial, written motions and briefs on a variety of topics, and have even assisted with a multi-million dollar trial.  I have also worked on several interesting and rewarding pro bono cases.  I helped advise a non-profit charitable organization on First Amendment libel issues, assisted individuals from Guatemala and Somalia with immigration applications and served as a trustee for a minor victim of violent crime. 

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

I have learned how to conduct legal research much more effectively and efficiently.  I have also learned how to prepare witnesses for testimony at trial and how to conduct an effective direct examination. 

What are the people at Jenner & Block like?

The people at Jenner are incredibly smart, professional, and hard-working.  I consider it a privilege to be able to work with some of the most talented and accomplished individuals in the legal profession.  Additionally, the attorneys and staff at Jenner & Block are friendly, helpful, and fun!  They make it a pleasure to come to work each day. 

What kind of training have you received?

Jenner & Block has provided great formal training opportunities.  Earlier this year, I participated in a multi-day deposition training program in Chicago.  Additionally, I have heard practical, real-life advice about jury selection, persuasive legal writing and direct and cross examination from partners at the firm's lunch-time training series. 

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

To be successful, a junior associate must be diligent and reliable, produce high-quality work, and turn in assignments on time.  At Jenner & Block, it is also important to be respectful to your colleagues and to maintain the collegial atmosphere of the office. 

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

Because the firm's Los Angeles office is on the smaller side, junior associates are often given much more responsibility and challenging assignments than junior associates at other firms.  A prospective associate should be eager and willing to take on this responsibility and to quickly develop new skills.  Jenner & Block is also unique in commitment to pro bono work.  Junior associates are highly encouraged to give back to the community through pro bono legal assistance.

Daniel D. Welsh

Why did you join Jenner & Block?

I joined Jenner & Block’s Los Angeles office because I was excited about having the opportunity to work with truly outstanding attorneys.  The positive energy of everyone I met during the recruitment process, the firm’s legendary commitment to pro bono service, and the responsibility given to young attorneys all confirmed for me that Jenner & Block was the ideal place to build my career in the law.

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

My work at Jenner & Block has encompassed everything from protecting the trademarks and copyrights of Hollywood blockbusters to defending nationwide class actions to pro bono representation of a human trafficking victim.  I have been consistently challenged to take on greater responsibility while being provided with the support and mentorship to needed to succeed.  In my first year alone, I took depositions, interviewed witnesses, drafted a wide range of trial and appellate briefs, and led settlement negotiations with opposing counsel.  At each stage, I was given guidance and feedback that have fueled my professional development.

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

The most important thing I have learned is how complete dedication to exemplary client service sets Jenner & Block apart from other law firms.  Whether representing a Fortune 500 company or a pro bono individual, Jenner & Block attorneys demand the highest standards of attention to detail, quality of work product, and responsiveness to client needs. 

What are the people at Jenner & Block like?

Every attorney at Jenner & Block with whom I have had the privilege to work has been intelligent, engaged in their work, and exited to help junior associates learn and develop professionally.  Partners treat associates with the highest levels of respect, and the collegiality among associates makes it a pleasure to come to work every day.

What kind of training have you received?

While Jenner, like most other large firms, offers a number of valuable formal training programs, the most important training has been the informal mentorship I have received on a daily basis.  From my first week at the firm, partners and more-senior associates have taken the time – even during late nights or under tight deadlines – to teach new skills, share experiences, and constructively critique my work.  At Jenner & Block, I feel that I am surrounded by examples of the kind of attorney that I would like to be.

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

New associates need to be willing to assume responsibility for providing exceptional client service to all clients on all matters.  Simply put, if you are willing to go above-and-beyond on every matter, for every client, you will find tremendous encouragement and support from the firm.

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

Being a junior associate at Jenner & Block is exciting, challenging and deeply rewarding.  You will have the opportunity to learn from the best attorneys in the country, to work on matters of national significance, and to change lives as you take the lead on pro bono cases.  For me, there is no better place to begin a career.

Elin I. Park

Why did you join Jenner & Block?

I joined Jenner & Block because it is an exceptional law firm.  Jenner & Block is a top-tier firm that is deeply committed to its civic responsibilities and prides itself on its collegial environment.  During my interviews, I was struck by how smart, open, and friendly the lawyers were, and I knew that this was the right place to begin my legal career.

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

I work on various complex commercial litigation matters.  My most recent work has been focused on representing clients in contract and class action disputes.  I have also had some experience with government and internal investigations. 

On one of my pro bono matters, I had the privilege of being part of a tireless and fearless team of lawyers that successfully overturned a murder conviction that had been based on a false confession.  My pro bono matters are a mix of civil and criminal cases.

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

In the past year, I have learned how to manage and lead my cases.  I have learned, and I still continue to learn, how to prepare, strategize, argue, and organize my cases from the moment a complaint is filed. 

What are the people at Jenner like?

The people at Jenner & Block are what makes this firm unique.  My colleagues are very smart, hardworking, passionate, and great team players.  My colleagues make this firm truly collegial. 

What kind of training have you received?

There are many opportunities for formal and informal training.  Jenner & Block does a great job of providing various formal training.  But, I have found that my most valuable training often comes from stepping up, taking ownership of cases, and simply learning by doing.

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

To be successful, junior associates should be eager to learn, work hard, and demonstrate talent.  Also, it is important to be reliable and be a team player.

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

Being a junior associate at Jenner & Block does not mean that you will only be engaged in select types of tasks.  Even at this level, my peers and I are expected to perform complicated and challenging work.  Such work can sometimes include being the point person to handle a case.

What does it take to get to the next level at the firm?

To get to the next level as a litigator at Jenner & Block, it is important to demonstrate an ability to navigate and master the various aspects of litigation.  And, at all levels, I think hard work is an important component of success.

What sets Jenner & Block apart from other firms?

What sets Jenner & Block apart from other top-tier firms is our collegial atmosphere and a deeply-entrenched sense of duty to the public.  The people at Jenner & Block make these two things possible.

MARK P. GABER
Office(s):
Washington, DC
Law Schools(s):
Stanford Law School
Started with firm:
2010
NATALIE K. ORPETT
Office(s):
New York
Law Schools(s):
Columbia University School of Law
Started with firm:
2012
CHRISTINA AVEDISSIAN ARYAFAR
Office(s):
Los Angeles
Law Schools(s):
University of Southern California Gould School of Law
Started with firm:
2012
DANIEL D. WELSH
Office(s):
Los Angeles
Law Schools(s):
Stanford Law School
Started with firm:
2012
ELIN I. PARK
Office(s):
Chicago
Law Schools(s):
University of Chicago Law School
Started with firm:
2012