"I had the opportunity to try different practice groups before settling into one. I really valued not being locked into a practice area before I could do substantive work in that area."
- Meghan E.F. Rissmiller, Partner, Washington, D.C.
Getting to know Hogan Lovells
I selected the firm because it felt like a good fit from day one. My fellow summer associates, associates, partners, and staff members were warm and inviting. Everyone at the firm made me feel wanted and valuable. Moreover, during my summer I became very close friends with my classmates as well as some associates, who remain good friends today.
Aside from the welcoming environment, I chose Hogan because of the variety of practice groups and opportunities available in the Washington, D.C., office. When I started my time as a summer associate, I had only some clarity about which practice areas interested me and wanted to try as many areas of law as possible. The summer program with its mini-rotations allowed me to get a good sampling. When I returned as an associate, I still had the opportunity to try different practice groups before settling into one. I really valued not being locked into a practice area before I could do substantive work in that area.
I have only been at the firm for nearly two years but I have had opportunities that I did not expect I would have until much later in my career. These include managing large projects, defending depositions, having direct client contact, engaging in substantive antitrust thinking and strategizing, and drafting briefs and motions, among many other things. The partners in my group have been insistent upon providing associates the opportunities to gain the experience necessary to advance their careers.
I have genuinely appreciated the mentoring that I have received from partners and more senior associates at Hogan Lovells. I can name dozens of examples but one experience stands out. When an extremely senior antitrust litigation partner with a reputation for toughness heard that I was preparing to defend my first deposition, he came in to work on a Saturday to give me a personalized "Deposition 101." This training was invaluable. He also brought me his dog-eared copy of the Federal Rules of Evidence, complete with objections and explanations, which I borrowed for the deposition. A few weeks later, he showed up in my office to personally deliver a copy of the rules that he had purchased for me to keep. It was a memorable moment.
Even outside of the D.C. office, the people of Hogan Lovells have extended their hospitality. During discovery for a merger litigation case, the trial team and I spent weeks working out of the Los Angeles office. Everyone in that office was welcoming and accommodating. I felt like I knew the people in the office, including other associates, partners, and staff, very well by the end of the case. One of the major benefits of working at a firm with such an expansive global reach is that you can get the kind of support while traveling that you have at your home office.
Hogan Lovells' Antitrust practice is renowned and has won many awards, including being named one of the Global Competition Review's Top 10 "Global Elite" antitrust practices. As a result, we have the chance to work on many large and significant deals. Such an opportunity would not exist at a firm with a lesser reputation.
Hogan Lovells is remarkable in terms of its commitment to pro bono. I have volunteered as an instructor for the Thurgood Marshall Law Day Program, which brings students into our offices from an inner city charter high school to learn and act out a variety of legal subjects like a civil trial or a criminal trial. I find participating in the program incredibly rewarding but what always strikes me as significant is how many busy partners take hours out of their day to participate in this activity. This could be said for any number of pro bono activities that Hogan Lovells sponsors. Partners and associates at Hogan Lovells are deeply committed to their causes and give time and money to support them.
Word to the wise
When comparing Hogan Lovells to other firms, I would encourage applicants to think about the kinds of people you want to spend time with. Like at any law firm, there will occasionally be long days but knowing that some of your best friends are around the corner from your office slogging it out with you makes those days bearable.
My practice is focused on antitrust clearance of mergers and acquisitions, antitrust litigation, and non-merger antitrust investigations. I assist in representing clients in matters before the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and assorted U.S. Attorneys’ Offices. I am active in the Section of Antitrust Law and the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association.
I joined the Hogan Lovells team in 2009 after working as a summer associate in 2007. I am a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, where I was a member of the Barristers’ Council Moot Court Team, a Global Teaching Fellow, and the editor-in-chief of the Annual Survey of White Collar Crime published by the American Criminal Law Review. I also served as a law clerk to The Honorable Jane R. Roth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Before embarking on my legal career, I was a national security analyst with a focus on nuclear issues at a large defense contractor based in Northern Virginia.
My interests outside of my legal practice include running road races, particularly 10 milers, and cooking.