What are some good practical law topics that would be useful to a 1/2-year Corporate associate?

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This is sad, but I used to do my own markups of the M&A agreements and ancillaries when I was junior and not slammed. Then, I’d compare to what the more senior folks did and work to understand the differences. Embarrassed to write this lol but it made me good at it.

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This isn’t embarrassing this is smart

Just start reading practice notes.

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This

Understanding proofreading marks

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Experience

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Honestly I don’t think you really soak all that much in unless you’re reading them to answer a question your work requires you to answer. I’d just try to stay up to date with the industry and news as a whole and dive in deep when you need it.

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Hyper organization. And when you have time, read through Partner/Senior Assoc redlines to your work carefully and try to understand the reason for all of the changes.

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Read the explanations for different provisions in form agreements.

Try speed reading. Not like actual speed reading, but get used to identifying the parts of those thick texts of a principal deal K that clue you in to where next to look so as to most efficiently read through a hefty doc. If you’re new, you probably aren’t used to reading a merger agreement or credit agreement or whatever just yet. I’m not even talking about understanding what you’ve just read, per se (since you won’t know the goobligop), I mean simply (quickly) taking all the sentence-structurally important words in, and fanning out from there, like first identifying the subject predicate kind of thing. Time yourself and let me know how you improve! You can learn substance via conceptual readings which is good, but agree with the prior poster that (the proverbial) you really learn best when digging into tough analysis of an actual issue juxtaposed over one or more documents, emails, etc. Also, reviewing markups of seniors and redlines of ancillary docs for an original deal vs. a mod (joinder, supplement, amendment) would probably be pretty helpful. This all assumes you’re pretty good with the MS suite and other tech which is probably priority number one. I personally think more people should learn Excel and macros! But that’s a soapbox-shaped horse of a different color.

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