Learning So Much Already!

by Paige Risley
Week 2

I started Monday by working on the research assignments I had been assigned the previous week and attending the Opening Statement and Closing Argument seminar with Tampa partner Rob Blank! This seminar explained the ins and outs of openings and closing to prepare the other summer associates and me for our workshop in Tampa later that week. Learning from Rob about how to successfully do openings and closings was such a helpful experience, as I have never really seen either of them done before this seminar. At the end of the seminar, each of us were assigned to complete either an opening statement or a closing argument for either the plaintiff or the defendant. I was a little nervous to present my own opening statement later that week, but the tips from Rob made it a very enjoyable experience.

Tuesday brought new projects from multiple attorneys. All of my projects touch different areas of the law, which makes me so excited! One of my main goals for this summer is to see legal concepts and research areas I have not seen before. I can confidently say that even after two weeks, these goals are being met.

On Wednesday, I continued working on the projects I was assigned and prepared to head to Tampa the next day. My flight to Tampa was Thursday morning, so once I settled into my hotel, I was able to practice my opening statement and even met up with some other summer associates for dinner.

Tampa, here I come!

Our Opening and Closing workshop took place on Friday morning in the Tampa office. I was assigned to prepare the opening statement for the defendant. I was nervous, but excited to show how I have developed my skills since the seminar! Although I have some experience doing moot court, I haven’t had much experience delivering an opening statement. However, once I stood up in front of everyone and started speaking, all the worries went away. I loved being able to creatively present my theory of the case. After each summer associate presented, we all received feedback from Rob and many other attorneys, as well as the Director of Human Resources, Karen Garcia, and the Director of Marketing, Marisa Eubanks. I loved hearing insight on my statement from everyone, as I received great feedback from what both attorneys and a jury would like to hear. It was a really cool experience!

After the workshop, we all attended an amazing lunch together and then headed our separate ways. I am so thankful for such a great week two, and I can’t wait to see what else I learn in the coming weeks!

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