"My first summer, lawyers and staff from the Denver office helped build a playground for a school in the community. There is nothing like a little hard labor to bring a group together."
- Ana Gutierrez, Senior Associate, Denver
Getting to know Hogan Lovells
My first year of law school, I participated in the Colorado Pledge to Diversity, a group founded in 1993 by Denver area law firms interested in bringing about real change to the legal community through diversity. The purpose was to set forth clear, realistic, and attainable goals for the enhancement of racial and ethnic diversity in Colorado law firms. One aspect of the Pledge is that each signatory is to bring on a diverse first year law student to summer at the firm. The Pledge process for diverse summer associates is fairly unique; it is unlike on-campus-interviews. I would describe it as something of a mix between a sorority pledge process and the BCS national championship playoffs. Through an application to all Pledge participants, and a series of interviews with various firms, I ranked Hogan Lovells as my first choice and was concurrently selected by the firm to be a summer associate after my first year of law school. After my first summer, I was asked back to return for a second summer.
As a summer associate in both 2009 and 2010, my projects were assigned through a system that did not have a specialty focus; rather, we were exposed to projects in every practice area. Through this exposure, I became increasingly intrigued with the projects and work that came through the Environmental practice group. By the end of my 2010 summer, I had found my niche. When I came on as a law clerk during my third year of law school in the fall of 2010 through the spring of 2011, I worked primarily on projects involving natural resources, land use, environmental, siting, and regulatory issues, in addition to projects pertaining to development clients, oil and gas companies, and energy companies.
The learning curve and expectations at Hogan Lovells are high, but this is accompanied by a solidarity that I don’t think one will find at most other large international firms. The team that I work most closely with is incredible. We know how to work with each other, what each expects from the other, and we are willing to do the work not just for the client, but for the benefit of the knowledge and the furtherance of our team’s practice.
My first summer, lawyers and staff from the Denver office helped build a playground for a school in the community. There is nothing like a little hard labor to bring a group together. I thought this was a great team building activity and a great way to spend some time outside of the office.
One of my favorite firm activities is softball. Every summer the Denver office puts together a team to play recreational softball on Thursday nights. I think this is a great way to work with your colleagues on a completely different level, strengthen relationships, and just have fun and enjoy the outdoors.
Hogan Lovells is different when it comes to pro bono projects, community, and diversity because these are not topics and words that are thrown around aimlessly; rather, the firm has designated committees working diligently to attain specific goals to continue to improve and develop our involvement in pro bono projects, community, diversity, and inclusivity. Hogan Lovells critically reflects on its current status in each of these areas, generates debate and discussion on how to improve, and takes practical steps to make those changes. Participation in the Colorado Pledge to Diversity is one example of Hogan Lovells’ persistent and diligent effort to commit resources towards activities that will have a positive impact.
More than anything, I think the atmosphere at Hogan Lovells creates opportunities for professional and leadership development. Every conversation I engage in, every project I work on, and every contribution I have to the workplace is an opportunity for me to grow professionally and as a leader.
A great example of Hogan Lovells being committed to cultivating a collegial, friendly atmosphere would be roundtable discussions. There have been several occasions when I am one of a group of Hogan Lovells lawyers discussing a client matter. Even as a summer associate or law clerk, I was asked my take on various issues and matters. These discussions have allowed me to engage in the conversation in a meaningful way and continue to learn and develop my own professional character.
After working with Hogan Lovells as a summer associate for two years and then returning as a law clerk, I joined the team as an associate in the fall of 2011. I am a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where I was an articles editor of the Denver University Law Review.
During my terms as a summer associate, I worked on projects in a variety of practice areas before finding my niche in the Environment group. I have worked on projects involving natural resources, land use, and regulatory issues in addition to projects pertaining to development clients, oil and gas companies, and energy companies.
Outside of the office, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, playing and coaching soccer, reading, hiking, and running.