As a first year - if you like working with a particular partner a lot, is it a good idea to just volunteer for all the work they have for you to do, or is it better to try to get a balance of different work from the practice group? Not trying to come off like Incrediboy.

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Stick to the ones you like.

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First year is too early to tie yourself down to one person. You need to develop your relationship with more people while you’re still cheap and people are willing to take a chance on you. Once you’re more senior, partners already have their favorites and it’s a lot harder to get work from people you’ve never worked with before. Also, you never know who will leave and when. It’s too risky to only be working for one person as a junior.

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Do all the work. Saying no needs to be reserved for people you don't want to work for. Everyone expects first years to be available.

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Stick to who you like unless you really want the type of work someone else has. If you get the sense they’re not sticking around, diversify.

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Both! Building a strong relationship with a specific partner and getting lots of work from them can be great. But you should also be taking work from others, for multiple reasons: getting a variety of experiences, learning different things from different people, not being known as the associate who turns down work, not putting all your eggs in one basket (like, what if the one partner leaves or dies or is on the outs for some reason?), etc.

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I’d try to get a balance of different work. Could be a great learning experience.

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Balance. Seriously. I had a favorite partner I did most of my work for and now some people act like he owns me. It’s ridiculous. You need more than one partner who will have your back and you are not in a position as a first year to know best who that should be. If you like a particular partner absolutely keep working for them, but I wouldn’t do more than 50% of your work for any one person if you can. Obviously may vary from time to time as particular deals/cases get super busy. You will learn so much more from varying styles and skills of various partners and will be able to bring things you learned from p1 to p2’s deals and vice versa and impress people all around.

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Another vote for diversifying here. Everyone at the firm has different strengths, areas of knowledge, and styles of practice, and you learn more with more exposure. I started working with just 1-2 partners early on, and I feel like my ability to issue spot was constrained by it, in a way, because I only know the issues they care about and arguments they make. I do try to take work from other partners now, and each time I learn a lot from their different perspective.

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