First year here… a few months in and I still feel like I’m still consistently out of reach of really understanding the legal issues in some of my more complex cases. This equals me feeling stupid whenever I am asked to research an issue and my conclusion is basically wrong or lacks nuance—normal for a newbie or am I messing up here?

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Totally normal. I once spent hours on an issue analysis, wrote like a seven paragraph memo on it, and the partner basically responded “yeahhh, no.” It’s all part of the learning process! I’ve found that the best mentors are the ones who let you struggle and try to figure it out but have an open door for questions when you need them

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Totally normal and a function of experience (or lack thereof). One thing that helped me earlier in my career when I did more research was to check in with the partner if possible before finalizing a research memo. Even just a quick 10 minutes to go through the issues you’ve identified and a high level of your analysis. If you’re missing anything major or are way off base they can point it out during that quick conversation. Some partners are more receptive to this than others.

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It’s completely normal- something I have to keep reminding myself. You’re not going to be at partner-level out of the gate. Hang in there.

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You're very junior, so I wouldn't worry. But I would strongly recommend creating relationships with more senior associates that you can talk through the legal questions with, so they can help you think it through.

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