Summer Experience: Jared Hunter ’24L Jared Hunter spent the summer as an associate at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in New York City.
Jared Hunter is a third-year law student and is originally from Wetumpka, AL, a small town outside Montgomery. He is an active member of the W&L community, previously serving as Social Chair and Historian of the Black Law Students Association, and currently serving on the OUTLaw 2023-24 Executive Cabinet. This past summer he was a summer associate at a firm in downtown Manhattan. After law school, he plans on joining many of his classmates in starting his legal career in New York (with his 5 year-old dog, Baines, in tow!)
What did you do for work this summer?
This summer I was a Summer Associate at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, which is a smaller “Big Law” firm headquartered in New York City.
How did you find/get this position?
I was familiar with the firm because I grew to become friends with one of our alumnae, Cindy Moon ‘21L, when I was a 1L; she spent her 2L summer there, and both informed me about the experience and encouraged me to apply. I also was afforded the opportunity to talk to two attorneys from the firm at the annual Lavender Law conference, which culminates in a job fair for attending law students. Two days after attending the conference, I received a call from the associate I met informing me I would be receiving a call back interview!
Describe your work experience.
Cadwalader employs an open-market system during the summer, so I had the chance to work with a number of different teams across the firm. Mainly, I was working on litigation and tax projects. I had the opportunity to assist in a “long-term” project, which stretched across 9 of the 10 weeks I was there. I also had the opportunity to assist in Pro Bono matters, including interview intake for New Yorkers experiencing poor living conditions in NYCHA housing and individuals requesting a name change through the city’s Transgender Name Change Clinic. Having the chance to dip my toes into a number of different pools allowed me to refine my interests and focus on what I actually enjoyed vs. what I thought I would like.
What were some skills you developed this summer?
Time management was a big one. This was my first experience being truly reliant on something/someone else to assist in my travel from Point A to Point B – I learned that the subway will NOT always be on time and even when it IS, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll reach your destination as planned. Planning ahead (which mainly necessitated me leaving my apartment earlier than I anticipated) was something I found crucial to both my professional and personal obligations. Also…the stations are hot. Being on time helped avoid showing up sweaty and exasperated.
I also really appreciated and learned to do things (that can be) NOW. When I began work, I would put completing and submitting timesheets off until the morning of the weekly deadline. Without fail, I would realize the notes I took and emails I saved were insufficient to really grasp what I spent my day doing. It ultimately was way easier for me to take 15 minutes each evening to submit my tasks for the day in the time management software instead of trying to recreate a week’s worth of tasks in one morning.
What surprised you about the work you did this summer?
Honestly, I wasn’t anticipating the amount of work I was given. It ultimately was an incredible blessing to get to work with so many different practice groups, but I was admittedly a bit surprised once the requests began to pick up and I found myself working into the evenings or on weekends. I truly received an authentic, comprehensive look into life as a junior associate (in the best possible way!).
What was your favorite aspect of this summer work experience?
It may be a little cliché, but truly: the people! I absolutely fell in love with the associates and partners I met at the firm. As I mentioned, we are definitely on the smaller end of most Big Law firms regarding staffing. What results, happily, is a very collegial, almost fraternal atmosphere, where everyone truly knows (or at least knows of) everyone. It reminded me a lot of W&L – I may not know every single person enrolled, but after a couple weeks you recognize faces and feel totally comfortable waving hello when walking in town/dining in the same restaurant/working out at the gym.
I also loved how accessible and obviously EXCITING New York City is. For less than $3 you can go anywhere in the city! My little sister just graduated from college and was interning at a PR firm a few blocks from my office but living in Brooklyn – it took nothing but a podcast episode on the 2 train to see her and spend a day together. It was amazingly easy to see friends from law school, undergraduate and even high school that live in the city.
Has this experience helped you figure out post graduate plans, and if so, how?
Absolutely! I received a return offer a week after the program ended and can happily say I will return to New York next year as a Capital Markets associate. I am elated to begin my professional career in the city of my dreams.
How do you think this experience will shape the rest of your time at W&L Law?
Honestly, it makes me grateful for the time I’ve gotten to spend here. So many don’t receive the opportunity to pursue a professional degree, and I cherish the friendships I’ve developed and the knowledge I’ve gleaned from my time in Lexington. I am admittedly excited to graduate so I can get back to the City (and the bag!) but I hopefully will also have the chance to pay it forward and help any 1Ls or 2Ls that are interested in similar practices areas or New York.
Outside of Law School
Cooking, hanging out with friends, having a drink at a local restaurant, running, listening to music, watching PBS documentaries and programming like Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, and American Experience
“The Glass Castle” – Jeannette Wells / This American Life, More Perfect, The Read
Favorite thing to do in Lexington
Walking the Woods Trail when it’s cool, “Guys Night” at Applebee’s, or the Lexington Bar Crawl™️ (a name my friends and I coined for our Friday tradition of starting at a restaurant at the end of Main Street and “bar-hopping” our way up the street over the evening).