Week 1 2020

Jam Packed First Week

Jam Packed First Week

Great view from my office!

My first week at RumbergerKirk could not have gone any better, especially considering the strange circumstances in which we find ourselves. The COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly change the face of the legal profession—in both good and bad ways—but the RumbergerKirk Miami office was ready to welcome me into its fold with [socially distant] open arms! I teared up a little when I realized that I had my own office with a beautiful view!

My first three days were packed with virtual orientation meetings in which my fellow Summer Associates, Cori and Drew, and I were instructed upon everything from accurate billing techniques to cost-effective legal research strategies. While, during the usual course of events, all Summer Associates would have met in Orlando for training, I think Cori, Drew, and I have gotten to know one another pretty well through virtual platforms. I can’t wait to meet them in person, though.

After a very productive start of the week, it was off to the races. Among other things, I was assigned to conduct research for and draft a motion for summary judgment—on my first day! This was very exciting and somewhat unexpected. I knew, based on conversations with associates and partners, that the aim of the RumbergerKirk Summer Associate Program (SAP) was to provide experiential learning opportunities, but I did not expect to have such a great opportunity to hone my research and writing skills so soon into the program. While practical experience is the focus of the SAP, RumbergerKirk devotes itself to continue to train and guide attorneys through the Associate College. I got to attend a very well thought out lecture presented by Birmingham partner Meredith Lees, which discussed ethical and precise billing practices. While I had some law firm experience prior to starting at RumbergerKirk, I had very limited experience with legal billing. I’m very excited to have had the opportunity to learn as much as I did on day one.

On Tuesday, everyone in the office invited me out to lunch to welcome me to the Miami Office family. This, honestly, meant the world to me. Despite concerns about COVID-19 and social distancing requirements at restaurants, the eight of us who were in the office that day had an amazing lunch just down the street from the office in the beautiful Mary Brickell Village.

One of the best experiences I had this past week was on Thursday when the Miami office held its weekly attorney’s luncheon meeting, which I was informed was a tradition dating back over thirty years! Thirty. Years. Full disclosure, as of the writing of this post, I am twenty-four-years-old (and a sucker for tradition). The meeting, which serves to ensure that all Miami attorneys are able to come together, break bread, and discuss current events, legal theories, and other personal matters, was held virtually on account of COVID-19, but I could still tell that everyone still enjoyed being in one another’s company—even if it was virtually. As part of the luncheon, my SAP Mentor, associate Justin Guido, briefed the room about a recent decision by the Fifth District Court, a very interesting practice that I will soon have to do myself—stay tuned for that experience!

The week could not have ended on a better note. To start, associate Victor Sanabria had invited me to observe a virtual mediation, which was fascinating. In a few words, the virtual mediation went off without a hitch. Using breakout rooms on Zoom, the mediating parties were able to stay separated when they needed to and come together when they wanted; all the while, the mediator was able to jump room to room. I had never had the opportunity to learn about what goes on behind the scenes of a mediation. I’m very grateful to Victor for that opportunity. After the mediation, I was invited to lunch with partner Josh Lerner, who had interviewed me during the fall 2019 On-Campus Interview process. This was, perhaps, my favorite experience of the week and look forward to doing so again, soon!

With such a great first week in the books, I cannot overstate my excitement for what is to come in the remaining eight weeks of the program (on a nerdy note, I am probably most excited to start the RumbergerKirk writing competition)!