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Karly Valenzuela

Associate, Los Angeles

"From the day I interviewed with McKool Smith, I knew that this firm was the perfect fit for me. Upon meeting with various young associates, I quickly realized that the culture was unlike the many Big Law firms that I had interviewed with in prior weeks (read: young associates get to do substantive work). This was made abundantly clear when I began as a summer associate and was quickly integrated into a case and treated as a team member.

My experience at McKool Smith since becoming a full-time associate has only solidified my decision to join the firm. As a first-year, I took several depositions, assisted with prepping major witnesses for deposition, participated on the trial team for two major patent cases, and worked one-on-one with an expert witness to prepare his expert report. As a second year, my practice has shifted over to a few white collar defense matters that have me jet-setting to countries like Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Israel (I’m sure additional ones are in the pipeline). 

During my time here, I have found that the way this firm is run is a lot less hierarchical and more egalitarian. In most situations, I am given the opportunity to punch above my weight.  Work is not simply distributed based on number of years of experience, but instead, it is given to those who show initiative and demonstrate that they have the ability to perform the tasks at hand. I have been given the opportunity to take ownership of my work as opposed to having my initial draft go through endless review by various levels of attorneys. Most importantly, however, the work I do on a daily basis matters. "

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