My First Year at Selendy & Gay
December 7, 2021
While in law school, Annie Arcoleo was disheartened by the lack of private sector firms that shared her values. But when she learned about Selendy & Gay, "it checked all the right boxes."
Annie spoke to us about the lessons, growth, and friendships she's cultivated during her first year at the firm, and shared why working on her first amicus brief was particularly meaningful.
What made you want to join the firm?
As a law student, I found myself dismayed by what felt like a lack of forward-thinking firms in the private sector. I struggled to identify firms I could genuinely get excited about – ones with tightknit communities that shared my values and offered opportunities to practice alongside top talent. When I learned about Selendy & Gay, it appeared to check all those boxes, and it became my first-choice firm immediately.
My experience as a summer associate cemented that interest. I was able to participate in real case work alongside attorneys at all levels, including partners, who modeled the sort of career I wanted my own to emulate.
I’ll never forget where I was when I received my offer call (buying plants in Burlington, VT) and the career I saw ahead of me on that day.
One year into practice at S&G, I’ve grown more than that law student could have ever imagined.
What has your first year been like?
My first year has been one of lessons, growth, and friendships. I’ve worked on so many exciting and complex matters including disputes in the technology, finance, and healthcare sectors, and learned both black letter law and the realities of legal practice while doing so. I’m grateful to call my colleagues my friends; they are people I respect, look up to, and trust. I have so much to learn from them, and I hope for many more years as full as this one has been.
What achievement(s) from your first year are you most proud of?
Days after being admitted to practice in New York, the very first brief with my name on it was filed in the Ninth Circuit – an amicus brief in support of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s (USWNT) fight for equal pay. The USWNT is one of the most successful teams of all time, but its players are paid substantially less than their male counterparts on the U.S. Men’s National Team, even though they’ve won more games and at higher levels of competition than the men’s team. I could not have hoped for a more appropriate first brief – it felt like an affirmation of everything that made me want to become a lawyer.
I am grateful that the firm places a premium on giving junior associates hands-on roles in such important and impactful matters, and I look forward to many more as I continue my career with S&G.
How has the firm helped you develop professionally?
Selendy & Gay’s commitment to training new associates is truly second to none, and I’ve benefited tremendously from the many formal trainings I’ve undertaken, including a mock deposition and full scale mock trial. Equally beneficial to me are the informal trainings and mentorship relationships I’ve forged with our incredibly talented associates and partners. Those relationships, and the willingness of my colleagues to take the time to teach, have helped me develop as an advocate, a writer, and a professional. In a busy and fast-paced workplace, time is a precious commodity, and I can’t overstate how thankful I am that my mentors have chosen to spend theirs helping me, and other junior associates, grow.
How have you changed as a lawyer over the past year?
I’m rounding out my first year of practice, and despite having had what I regard as an excellent legal education in law school, nothing can fully prepare a student for the realities of legal practice, besides practice itself. This is the aspect of my first year at S&G that I’ve most appreciated – the substantive practical experience I’ve gained.
I’ve been fortunate to work on a variety of matters, including securities, contract, and fraud actions over the last year and am proud of my contributions on each of them. I know that early and frequent substantive experience is essential to my development as a lawyer, and I’m so happy to be at a firm that supports those goals.