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A Day in the Life of a Godfrey & Kahn Associate

April 01, 2008

By Jessica Braeger

One of the best things about being a mid-level corporate associate at Godfrey & Kahn is that my days take many unexpected turns. My life is rarely the same from one day to the next. The variety not only keeps things interesting by providing me with endless opportunities to grow both personally and professionally, but it also makes it difficult to choose any given day as a typical day. Recently, my day followed this schedule:

7:00 a.m. - Arrive at the office. An early riser, I am often one of the first to arrive. I sip my coffee, complete my time entries from yesterday, review a few new e-mails that have arrived overnight and organize my task list to prioritize what I need to accomplish today.

7:30 a.m. - Review revised drafts of the main transaction documents for an equity investment. Our client, an equity fund, is investing in a start-up company. We circulated initial drafts of a stock purchase agreement and the other investment documents a few days ago. A stock purchase agreement is the main document under which an investor buys stock in a company. It generally contains the principal terms and conditions of the investment. Late yesterday, we received revised drafts reflecting some comments from opposing counsel. I review the new drafts and identify any issues. My review is interrupted by a few calls from clients. One client calls with a quick question about a confidentiality agreement that we prepared for him last week. Another client calls to set up a conference call to discuss some proposed stock options. I schedule a conference call for later today.

9:30 a.m. - Meet with Mark Witt to discuss the issues I have identified in the transaction documents. Mark is a shareholder and member of the Corporate Practice Group, and I am working with him on this deal.

10:00 a.m. - Conference call with clients. After getting Mark's thoughts on the issues I have identified, I call the client to discuss the new drafts. After my call with the client, I call opposing counsel to negotiate several points. I then revise the stock purchase agreement and other transaction documents to reflect the changes we have discussed.

12:15 p.m. - Lunch. My lunches are rarely the same from day to day. Sometimes I have a lunch meeting; sometimes I have lunch with a colleague and sometimes I have a working lunch at my desk. Today I need to run home to care for my dogs. I also have a couple of errands to do.

1:30 p.m. - Conference call to discuss a client's proposed stock option grants. I have asked Robyn Arnold, a second-year associate and member of the Corporate Practice Group, to participate in the call with the client because she will be helping to prepare the documentation for the proposed grants. Robyn and I spend about 15 minutes discussing some background information before the call. We drafted a stock option plan and helped this client grant a number of stock options under the plan last year. The client now wants to grant some additional options under the plan. During our conference call, the client defines the goals and Robyn and I ask a few questions regarding the proposed grants.

2:15 p.m. - Respond to question from client. John Gaebler, a shareholder and member of the Corporate Practice Group, has forwarded an e-mail from a client asking about the default provisions for its credit facilities. The client wants to know what types of litigation would be considered defaults under its loan agreement. We already have copies of the loan documents because we represented the client in the loan transaction I review the documents, discuss a few thoughts with John and e-mail the client an answer to the question.

4:00 p.m. - Respond to question regarding a Hart-Scott-Rodino, or an HSR, filing. I received a number of voice mails while preparing the response to our client's question about its loan agreement. One of the voice mails was from Dave Navarre, a shareholder and member of the Corporate Practice Group. Dave was calling to discuss the timing of an HSR filing for a pending transaction. HSR filings are regulatory antitrust filings that are required to be made before completing certain transactions. They are designed to give the federal government a pre-closing opportunity to consider whether certain transactions will create antitrust issues if they are consummated. I review the HSR regulations and meet with Dave to discuss the proposed filing.

4:30 p.m. - Return voice mails and e-mails. I always return calls I receive during the day before I leave the office. I also try to provide at least an initial response to all e-mails before I leave the office, even if it is just a short note to let the sender know that I received the e-mail and am working on a response. On average, it takes me about an hour to respond to voice mails and e-mails at the end of each day. Today's voice mails and e-mails include, among other things, a client request for an electronic copy of an invoice and a question about a supply agreement that we prepared for a client last week. I also have several e-mails from colleagues here at G&K. Dani Machata, another associate and member of the Corporate Practice Group, e-mailed me a quick question about a closing we worked on last year; Todd Cleary, a shareholder and member of the Employee Benefits Practice Group, e-mailed me some comments to the employee benefits provisions of an asset purchase agreement for a pending deal; and Brian Gilpin, team leader of the Intellectual Property Practice Group, sent me some information regarding trademark searches to pass along to a client.

6:00 p.m. - Leave the office. Tonight I run home, walk the dogs, grab a quick dinner and head to a meeting at church to discuss a service project that I am helping to organize.

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