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Stephen Scott: The Global Law Firm Experience

As a 2018 summer associate at Jones Day in Pittsburgh, 3L Stephen Scott experienced firsthand what life is like at a large global law firm.

WVU Law student Stephen Scott at Jones Day in Pittsburgh

“I applied to Jones Day because it is internationally leading in litigation, among many other accolades, particularly in its Pittsburgh office,” said Scott. “Jones Day provides its associates with a breadth of opportunities to collaborate across offices and get involved with cases from beginning to end.”

Jones Day is a global law firm with offices in the Americas, Middle East, Asia, Europe and Australia. Its Pittsburgh office employs more than 70 lawyers who handle litigation and transactional matters for a local, national and international clients.

The firm treated Scott as if he was a full-time associate, immediately allowing him to work on billable and pro bono projects with attorneys in Pittsburgh and at other Jones Day offices. He primarily worked on civil litigation assignments involving several areas of law, including insurance, commercial transactions, and cross-border disputes.

Jones Day’s highly collaborative work environment also enabled Scott to work closely with attorneys in the firm’s Washington, DC office on an appellate brief.

“Everyone at Jones Day cared about my opinion and what I had to bring to the table as a part of the team,” Scott explained. My most memorable moment was discovering that one of my memorandums helped advise a client on a complex area of law. I was surprised to learn that I had contributed this much to the firm after being there a short time and made an impact on how the client managed their commercial transactions. I was thankful to have had this opportunity, and I was able to conduct a follow up project on the memorandum.”

Summer associates at Jones Day receive extensive practical training to help them build their legal skills as they conduct real-world work. According to Scott, the firm provided him with deposition and negotiation simulations that helped to be more confident and effective during the pre-trial process.

The firm also organized social events and outings for summer associates to create networking opportunities with other Jones Day attorneys. The firm put an emphasis on Scott’s development as an aspiring African American lawyer, connecting him with attorneys of color who work for the firm.

“I met some truly inspirational attorneys who have made a difference throughout the firm and the country,” said Scott. “I appreciated this chance to connect with others who look like me and who can help support my growth as a new lawyer.”

It was this same idea of fostering development through collaboration that helped Scott learn about the summer associate position at Jones Day in the first place.

WVU Law partners with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), a national organization dedicated to creating opportunities for minority law students. Together, LCLD and WVU Law provide a mentoring program for first-year minority students.

As Scott searched for the perfect summer opportunity before his final year of law school, his LCLD mentor encouraged him to learn more about Jones Day. His mentor, Erik Naft, had worked as an associate with Jones Day in Pittsburgh for seven years before becoming Assistant General Counsel for Global Legal Operations at Mylan Pharmaceuticals.

That LCLD networking opportunity put Scott on the path to his summer experience at a global law firm.

WVU Law student Stephen Scott at Jones Day in Pittsburgh

Stephen Scott is from Shepherdstown, West Virginia. He earned his bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Multidisciplinary Studies from WVU in 2016. 

At WVU Law, Scott is president of the Student Bar Association, Executive Notes Editor for the West Virginia Law Review, a member of Black Law Student Association and Public Interest Advocates, and secretary of West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest.

Scott will begin a clerkship with the Honorable Judge Stephanie D. Thacker of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in fall 2019. Thacker is a WVU Law graduate.  

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