This week we had a new associate start working for my firm. The partners did what they did with me - hiring someone who just graduated from law school, to whom they can teach the trade. The new guy is very nice and should fit in very well with the firm. I've helped him out a bit, not by offering much substantive advice with work (since I feel I'm rather new to this myself and really shouldn't be offering substantive advice), but rather by providing some procedural tips, for both PTO things and office things. I'm in a rather unique position because I know exactly what he needs to know and what materials and resources he's going to need. Why? That was me 8 months ago.
It's also kind of interesting because I can see how much I've learned in my 8 months with the firm. A lot of aspects of work are now rote - I've seen them before and know how to handle them. I know how to approach drafting patents and Responses to Office Actions. I understand the process and the law much better. That's not to say I'm an expert here, Hell no. I've got 8 months of experience under my belt, I'm still learning. But it's really interesting to see how far I've come, especially as I can appreciate where the new guy is right now.