First-Year Associate

First-year associate job description

A first-year associate is an entry level attorney who typically specializes in one area of law. Entry-level and first-year associates perform a variety of tasks under heavy supervision and should be familiar with standard legal concepts and procedures.

To qualify for the job, candidates should have a Juris Doctor (JD), and be a member of an applicable state bar.

Employers prefer candidates with summer associate or law clerk experience.

Typical duties of a first-year associate

  • Researching and analyzing the law on complex issues and writing briefs for submission to a supervising lawyer in the firm
  • Analyzing and summarizing complicated legal documents, including contracts, and suggesting alterations to those documents
  • Performing discovery of various electronically stored data and hard copies of information in preparation for litigation
  • Performing due diligence in legal matters concerning contracts, agreements, and mergers and acquisitions

Robert Half is one of the premier law firm staffing agencies.


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