Newly minted law firm associates are a bit like babes in the wood as they enter the big, vast world of all that is legal. So an associate's first job is instrumental in shaping his work product, legal approach, attitude, professional relationships and overall experience in the profession. For some, this experience is positive: intellectually stimulating, fun and filled with great colleagues and high quality mentors. For others, it's simply miserable. The misery can creep in slowly or hit a professional like a ton of bricks, but either way, it's not a healthy or sustainable situation.