A Personal Look at Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell’s Summer Associate Program
01.03.17 | PermalinkMiami attorney Victoria San Pedro Madani joined RKC in 2014 after participating in the summer associate program in 2013. Orlando attorney Lindy Keown participated the following summer and joined the firm in 2015. Both attorneys sing high praise for the program and talk about their experiences and what makes it so unique and fulfilling.
“The summer associate program at Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell offers law students the opportunity to feel what it is really like to be a first year attorney working for the firm,” said Lindy Keown, an associate in RKC’s Orlando office. “The work I did was very substantive. I felt like I was working on things that actually mattered to a case, like drafting dispositive motions” explained Lindy.
RKC’s summer associate program teaches law students the skills they will need to be successful attorneys. It incorporates legal research, writing, educational workshops, attendance at hearings, depositions, and mediations, and a simulated trial. It exposes students to a litigator’s daily tasks and offers them the opportunity to learn the skills, practice the skills and see them in action by attending hearings, depositions, and trials, particularly any proceeding for which he or she prepared research and drafted motions and legal briefs.
“When I was going through on-campus interviews, I came across the blog that the summer associates were writing at Rumberger. First, I thought it was terrific that they were writing a blog about the experience and then second, I was extremely impressed by what they were learning,” remembered Victoria. “They wrote about workshops focused on skills like motion calendar hearings, deposition training and preparing for the simulated trial. I thought to myself, nobody is doing that! It was obvious to me that this would be a fantastic place to learn and be trained to be a good lawyer,” said Victoria.
“Participating in the simulated trial was a big selling point for me,” said Victoria. “As a member of trial team in law school, I knew I wanted to be a litigator. Mock trials in school always have a flavor of acting and I wanted the opportunity to work with trial attorneys and be trained on how to do things the right way,” she explained.
Much of the firm participates as coaches, judges, witnesses, and jurors in the simulated trial while teams of summer associates conduct the trials in a spirit of educational competition.
“Another great benefit of Rumberger’s program is the opportunity to work with experienced trial lawyers and senior partners,” noted Lindy. “I worked on at least one project with nearly every partner in the firm’s Orlando office, which gave me a good idea of the many different people I might work with as an associate,” she added.
Supervising attorneys coordinate and evaluate work assignments, provide consultation, and ensure that the summer associate becomes involved integrally in handling cases.
“Most law firms have the summer associates meet the senior partners at a mixer or mingle, but here at Rumberger, the most senior partners get involved. Myron Shapiro, a trial attorney with more than 30 years of experience, sat with me to teach me how to do cross examinations while seasoned trial attorney Scott Kirk helped me recraft my opening statement through a video conference,” remembered Victoria. “The mentoring I received then and continue to receive now has made all the difference in my career. They really do care about training the next generation and building on the firm’s legacy.”
Lindy Keown (left) and Victoria San Pedro Madani (right) discuss their experience in the summer associate program at Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell.
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