Christine Steenman

“The culture at A&O is different than what you will find at other firms in New York. I felt it when I first walked in for my call-back interview. There is a true sense of camaraderie among every one that works here”

Position

Associate, New York

Key Facts

Attended University of Michigan Law School

Practice Area

Banking

Joined A&O

September 2009

Christine joined Allen & Overy as a summer associate in the New York office. She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 2008 and then returned to Allen & Overy in New York as an associate after completing a clerkship. We asked her the following questions:

What were you initially looking for in a summer associate experience?
I wanted a summer associate experience that would give me an actual taste of what it would be like to work as a fulltime associate at an international law firm. I also wanted a program that not only let you, but encouraged you, to work on projects across different practice groups.

Were your expectations met at Allen & Overy?
Without question. I was given substantive, client work across several different practice groups including real estate, litigation and international capital markets. One project, which I still remember working on, involved helping draft a brief with a senior counsel in the litigation department. I was charged with drafting certain portions of the brief and was excited when my drafting (with, of course, some corrections from the senior counsel) was actually used in the final version. I wanted my summer associate experience to be about more than events and lunches, and my summer at A&O was much more than just fine dining. I truly felt like I made contributions to the work that was done and that the other members of the team not only welcomed my ideas, but appreciated the contributions I made.

What surprised you most about the Allen & Overy Summer Program?
I was surprised by what it means to truly be an “international law firm.” That phrase seems to be a tag line which all top law firms use, but at A&O it is much more than a catch phrase. In my time here, I can only think of a few transactions I have worked on which were purely domestic in nature. The overwhelming majority of the work we do in the New York office involves at least one, and more likely several, foreign jurisdictions.

What do you enjoy most about working at Allen & Overy?
I enjoy the challenging nature of the work that we do, but what I enjoy most about A&O is the people. You can find challenging and interesting work at any NY law firm, but to enjoy the work you are doing, you need to also enjoy the people you are working with.

How does Allen & Overy differ from other firms in New York?
The culture at A&O is different than what you will find at other firms in New York. I felt it when I first walked in for my call-back interview. There is a true sense of camaraderie among every one that works here from the partners to the associates to the legal secretaries. Everyone is recognized as an important part of the team. Also, because the New York office is smaller in comparison to some New York-based firms, young associates are given a high level of responsibility on the transactions they work on. In my personal experience, I found that I was running transactions and calls much earlier on than my peers at other New York firms.

What kind of clients have you had exposure to since joining Allen & Overy?
I’ve been exposed to all different types of clients including major international banks, global development institutions, governments, hedge funds and international corporations. Our practice is fairly diverse, which means we get to interact with a lot of different types of organizations and entities.