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Hogan Lovells U.S. Careers

Maile Hermida
See yourself
finding the right fit.

"Not all firms are so flexible about trying to make sure new lawyers find the practice area that’s the right fit."

Maile Hermida, Partner, Washington, D.C.

Focus

My practice focuses on food law and regulation. (Most firms have a general FDA practice — but our group is organized by subject matter). I work with food manufacturers, retailers, and their trade associations on everything related to food, from developing legislation, regulations, and policy to responding to government inquiries and investigations.

Getting to know Hogan Lovells

When I was a summer associate I tried a wide variety of projects trying to find a practice area that felt like a good fit. I worked on a few projects for the Food Group, which were fun and interesting. This exposed me to their practice, which wasn’t something I even knew existed beforehand — and is ultimately where I practice today.

Probably the most unique thing about my experience is trying out a niche practice as a summer, taking advantage of the rotation process as a new associate to give it a try, and ending up settling in the group after my first rotation. If we didn’t have rotations, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable starting work in a practice area that I had no background in.

Experience

Shortly after I joined the firm, I was given significant responsibility for two petitions to amend uniform state regulatory procedures. For the last few years, I’ve traveled around the country attending meetings to advocate for support of our clients’ proposals and discussing the issues with state regulators. I often attended these meetings on my own, without a partner’s direct supervision. I don’t think I would have had this opportunity if I were in a bigger group at a different firm where I did not have an opportunity to work directly with the partners so that they could quickly gain confidence in my abilities.

Word to the wise

Take advantage of the summer and rotations when you start, so that you can find the right practice for your interests. Not all firms are so flexible about trying to make sure new lawyers find the practice area that’s the right fit.