My First Year at Selendy & Gay
December 2, 2020
After several years in Big Law, Spencer Gottlieb was looking for something different. Nearing the end of a federal clerkship, he accepted an invitation to meet with the partners of a newly formed litigation firm that was challenging the paradigm of associate development and training.
Spencer spoke with us about the wide-ranging cases he’s handled in his first year at Selendy & Gay – including a major crypto-asset class action – and why public interest work has been some of the most rewarding.
How did you first learn about Selendy & Gay?
I read about the firm when it was founded but learned far more by attending a reception the firm sponsored for clerks. I instantly knew this place was different from almost every other law firm I had encountered.
What made you want to join the firm?
I was impressed at how committed it was to challenging the conventional wisdom about what associates can and should do. Large law firms where attorneys number in the thousands tend not to focus on any individual’s professional growth, and as a result associates often fall through the cracks. Being one of thirty or forty associates makes an incredible difference. Firms like Selendy & Gay simply do not have the option to let their associates’ talents go to waste, and as a result, associates are exposed to far more substantive experiences earlier in their careers.
What has your first year been like?
It has been intellectually stimulating to learn the intricacies of subject matters – from crypto-asset exchanges to cocoa futures to solar energy – that I had only ever heard about in the news. And there have been no barriers on the types of cases I work on or the roles I play. It is refreshing not to be defined by your class year but only by what you are willing and able to do.
What achievement(s) from your first year are you most proud of?
Cross-examining a witness at trial and being part of a team that filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court were new experiences for me and highlighted what makes this profession rewarding and exciting.
How has the firm helped you develop professionally?
Beyond the firm’s established training programs and hands-on opportunities, there are the conversations, meetings, emails, calls and informal mentorship that have helped me grow as a litigator. And the firm is always receptive to (and encourages) input from individual associates and through the Associates Committee.