As a junior attorney, it's hard to do this because for a majority of the time I'm still trying to figure out what is going on. Junior attorneys are not always included in all of the meetings or phone conversations and so there are always missing pieces. But another piece of advice a senior (male) associate gave to me was, reduce things to what you know, and then try to think of what's important. For example, oftentimes I'm given an agreement to review and I have no idea what the heck all of the terms mean or what the effects of them are. But then I think, ok...this is an asset sale. I am trying to buy something from you. Like buying a vintage gucci messenger bag from ebay (which I did). I want to make damn sure that what I'm buying is real and that it's everything you told me it is. If it's not, I want something in writing saying that I can return it upon a material misrepresentation! Another way to contribute is by working on your client/business development. I may not know a lot about what I'm doing, but I know we can't do any of this if we didn't have clients. So if I'm at all able to reach out to someone who may one day be a client, or can direct me to a client, I'm going to take you out for drinks. On the firm. Hey, if you can't find a way to add to the case, you mine as well get a good meal. A girl's gotta eat!
Try it out. You'll be surprised at the positive results.
I leave you with a pretty hard core picture of Hillary Clinton at work. Now this, looks cool.