“It was an all-consuming, intense experience,” Ken Myers said of working for the late Alexandra Korry on this week’s edition of the Drinks With The Deal podcast. “Her approach was that you are an equal partner, and she challenged you,” said Myers of Korry, for whom he worked when he was an associate at Sullivan & Crowell LLP. “She’d be most upset with you if all you did was take her orders and directions.”
That “instilling of self-confidence” is critical, said Myers, who’s now an M&A partner at Fenwick & West LLP. “Working in Big Law as an associate can be challenging, and sometimes it can get pretty dark. To have someone who while still putting you through your paces says, ‘You’re smart, and you have good ideas, and you’ve got this,’ that kind of light is really important for an associate who’s doing this at the highest level.”
Korry worked in a way that anticipated screen-sharing, Myers said, so that both lawyers would be able to look at a document, discuss its wording and be able to make changes to it at the same time. As a partner, he said: “Now I appreciate fully the amount of effort it took on her part. What the junior attorney gets out of that conversation is much richer than if it’s just dictated to them.”
Myers also discussed the challenges of being part of a two-lawyer couple — his wife Ting Chen is a partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP — and his work in creating Dealboard, an online staffing tool for Fenwick’s M&A group.
“It’s been really fun to be a quasi-product guy internally,” Myers said. I have a little team of developers at the firm, and it’s kind of neat to have an idea” and think about how to develop it.
Here’s the podcast with Ken Myers: