Beginning work at a law firm can cause uncomfortable feelings of culture shock and not belonging, especially if you are like me and haven’t had much prior exposure to law firm life before your first summer experience in law school. The Law Library has a great resource for students making the transition to law firms and general counsel offices, and much of the content will be valuable for students working in government or other legal roles.

An Associate’s First Year: A Guide to Thriving at a Law Firm is an e-book in PLI PLUS written by almost twenty attorneys from big law and general counsel offices with advice on how to succeed in the law firm environment. (For more information about PLI PLUS, see the end of this post.) The book covers your first days at your new job all the way to how to decide when it’s time to move on in your career. The first few chapters in the book are especially helpful for summer associates and recent graduates. I recommend the following chapters:

Even if you are graduating next week (congratulations!), you still have access to BYU Law Library resources through your Gmail authentication through the end of July to access this book, so please take advantage!

We also have print books in our collection about life as a lawyer that you can check out. Some options include:

For help locating a book or accessing a database over the summer, contact a friendly librarian.

What is PLI PLUS? PLI PLUS is a really useful database used heavily by many practicing attorneys. PLI stands for Practising Law Institute, a non-profit focused on continuing legal education (CLE). Many attorneys take CLE courses through PLI’s educational platform. We subscribe to PLI PLUS, a research platform with hundreds of CLE course books, treatises, and answer books written by big law attorneys. PLI PLUS is especially strong in corporate, transactional, and tax resources, and many resources have a beginner focus, such as How to Read Financial Statements 2022. PLI PLUS also carries the respected immigration law treatise, Fragomen on Immigration Fundamentals: A Guide to Law and Practice.