Valuable Lesson: The Skill of Creating a Great Work Product

The Legal Intelligencer

Olshan corporate associate Dorothy Sluszka authored an article for The Legal Intelligencer (subscription required) entitled “Valuable Lesson: The Skill of Creating a Great Work Product” as part of its Young Lawyer Series. Dorothy, who was a summer associate at Olshan in 2015, discusses how, as summer programs are underway at many firms, this is an excellent opportunity as young lawyers begin their careers to stand out by producing quality work, fact-checking, executing and meeting deadlines. “Receiving an assignment as a summer or first-year associate,” Dorothy writes, “can feel like a surreal experience as a flood of words that have no meaning to you but sound important, rules and section references without context and names of people you don’t know all come flying your way while you furiously type or scribble notes (make sure you can read your handwriting – a lesson I learned the hard way!) Despite feeling like you may have only understood every other word, it is still incumbent upon you to make sure you comprehend exactly what you are expected to deliver and by when. The best time to ask questions is when you first receive the assignment.” Dorothy provides advice on accuracy, explaining, “One of the most important and tedious aspects of executing an assignment is finalizing the work. Proofread more than once, run spell check (even though there will be lots of false hits because spell check appears to be baffled by romanettes and double parenthesis), check your defined terms and section references, and when you can, copy and paste names and numbers to mitigate the risk of typos. Your colleagues will understand substantive slipups while you are learning, but if your work requires them to clean up typos, fix defined terms, etc., you’re asking them to do your job.”

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