Yaffa A. Meeran
I see the attorney that I want to be in the people I work with. They seek my input and opinion on all aspects of a case. This has made me feel valued, even as the most junior member of my team.
At Kirkland, you can work on a variety of matters, and you don't have to pick a lane. I love the open assignment system because I've been able to diversify the types of cases that I work on.
I like deciding not only whom I work with, but also what I want to work on. We're encouraged to seek out cases that interest us or people we want to work with. Open assignment equals open doors. You're not turned away.
Everyone's invested in one another’s success. The partners here seek to give junior attorneys opportunities.
In my first year — three months after I was sworn in as an attorney — I defended a deposition. I flew down to Austin and met with the co-counsel and prepped the witness. The next day, I served as his counsel, which was an amazing opportunity. Even as a junior associate, you're on the ground working with clients.
My pro bono work has been especially rewarding. I’m working on an asylum case with a mother and her son who came to the U.S. in 2018 and were separated at the border. My team worked with the government to reunite them after several months of separation and then release them into the U.S. We've since filed an asylum application on their behalf, and are prepping for her merits hearing.
When we get an opportunity to work with an individual or a family who needs legal counsel and can't afford it themselves, it's really rewarding. It's meaningful work.
In my first year, I was asked to join a securities litigation that was in its very early stages, right at the start of discovery. I participated in document discovery, fact and expert depositions, summary judgment briefing and mediation. All of these stages that generally take years happened in a year-and-a-half, which was helpful to me. It gave me a good foundation to join other cases and understand what was going on.
As a first-year litigation associate, I expected to do a lot of busy work — document review and preparation for depositions. I never expected to participate in them myself. Even as a junior attorney, your opinion is valued at Kirkland. When I walk into a meeting, I’m asked, “What do you think about this?”
I am especially proud to be a Kirkland attorney because I get to work alongside lawyers with decades of experience. I see how their careers have progressed at Kirkland, and I see all of their accomplishments. I see the attorney that I want to be in the people I work with. They seek my input and opinion on all aspects of a case. This has made me feel valued, even as the most junior member of my team.
I appreciate the opportunities that they provide. It speaks to their faith in my abilities, which in turn makes me a better associate and a better lawyer. I’ve grown exponentially.