My Foley Hoag Experience: Uncomfortably Comfortable with an Unmatched Culture and Community

July 28, 2020

By  Iris Carbonel

I remember my Foley Hoag interviews clearly because where interviews usually feel intense, awkward and performative, my Foley callback was exactly the opposite. I was uncomfortably comfortable. It turns out I know partner Jeremy Younkin’s neighbor. I was fascinated by associate Rachel Hutchinson’s incredible pro bono practice. Even though partner Corey Brown and I disagreed on which city has the more superior sports teams (obviously Boston…), we connected over our travel experiences and Barry’s Bootcamp. Associate Kelly Caiazzo introduced me to The Partnership Inc. as yet another opportunity available to Foley Hoag attorneys. Associate Kyrsten Lundh and I went for coffee, and I instantly found a mentor in her. When I accepted my offer, Rachel and Kyrsten both emailed almost immediately to express their excitement, and I just knew the culture at Foley Hoag was unmatched before even starting as a summer.

The support and outreach didn’t stop there. On my first week of work, I got an invitation from partner Jeff Mullan to join the “5:01 club,” founded by Charles J. Beard himself. Story goes that after work (at 5:01pm), Charlie would meet up with colleagues at a nearby establishment, and they called their group the 5:01 club. As a Charles J. Beard Diversity Fellow, it was an honor to be joining his legacy in yet another way.

Associate Maddy Rodriguez, a boss woman and my mentor, stayed on a Zoom call with some of the summer associates until around 10 or 11p.m. one night giving us advice and telling us about her experiences. Though we had to go remote this summer, the relationship-building and support networks were still there.

Perhaps the most heartwarming moment of my summer took place at the most unexpected of times: during a debrief of a client call. Partner Seth Jaffe spoke about working on a project with partner Kathleen Brill in 2006. Kathleen noted that the project Seth was referring to was before her time at the firm and before she even went to law school. She admitted that watching Seth’s work on that project was what inspired her to pursue a career in law. Seth, unaware of this fact, started tearing up, and I don’t think there was a moment more indicative of the community that is Foley Hoag. It became glaringly clear that people here respect each other, admire each other, and, most importantly, genuinely care for each other.

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