During week three of my experience as a RumbergerKirk summer associate, I participated in client meetings, researched, and traveled to the Tampa office for an opening and closing statement workshop.
On Monday, I attended a client interview in a neighboring city and I learned how important it is to understand the ins and outs of the client’s business to assist them best. Watching partner Rebecca Beers conduct interviews gave me greater context for the statement, “be the most prepared person in the room.” Her knowledge base of the client’s business, including their process and procedures, and her ability to connect with the client’s employees made an interview seem like a conversation. I learned a great deal from sitting in the room and taking backup notes.
Rob Blank, a partner in the Tampa office, led a workshop on opening and closing statements early in the week, and the other summer associates and I were given a problem to work through so we could conduct our own opening and closing statements in front of the partners and associates in the Tampa office at the end of the week. I had never done an opening or closing statement before, but Rob’s workshop gave me a clear idea of what elements were essential and what to expect.
I was assigned an opening statement, and of the summer associates, I went first. It was fun! I received positive feedback and pointers on how to grow moving forward. It was a good experience. What I appreciated most was the supportive and informative way I and the other summer associates received feedback. RumbergerKirk consistently creates safe spaces for summer associates to learn and grow, which is a valuable feature in any clerkship program.
Unfortunately, there was a glitch in my flight arrangements in returning to Birmingham from Tampa, but Karen Garcia, RumbergerKirk’s director of human resources and legal recruiting, took care of everything. I called her after hours on Friday and she answered my call and made the necessary changes to my flight arrangements and booked a room for me in the airport hotel. It is important to note, that even though I ran into an unexpected difficulty, I had someone to call, and they were responsive to my needs. I did not feel alone and for that I was grateful.