Week 2: Learning Something New Every Day
Week 2: Learning Something New Every Day
Mary Hudson, University of Florida, Orlando Office
It is almost beyond belief that the second week is already over. The days are flying by! This week, I completed five assignments, primarily small research assignments on 1-3 very narrow issues. As I have worked to draft succinct, easy-to-read memos, I laughed to myself more than once about the depth of work lurking below the surface of a few short paragraphs. I have gained even more respect for the legal profession as it takes a lot of effort to understand a topic well enough to present it in a way that looks like it took no effort at all.
In addition to this week’s assignments, all summer associates participated in a deposition workshop. During the first part, partner David Marsey presented guidelines and tips for deposing a witness. For the second part, we received a complaint and some discovery documents to use to develop deposition questions. I really enjoyed creating the deposition outline because it was an opportunity to be creative and formulate multiple theories of the case. It was also a learning opportunity. I went into the exercise with the mindset of trying to prove or disprove my theories, but the most important lesson I took from the workshop is that the true goal of deposing a witness is to extract as many facts as possible – not only the ones that suit the argument you are developing.
Hannah Klonowski, Stetson University, Orlando Office
This second week really felt just as exciting as the first, especially since we had our first seminar and workshop. This week, we learned how to take a deposition and later got the opportunity to practice it ourselves. I learned so much from this experience, and it was so interesting to see the different ways that someone could approach a deposition. After the seminar, I was worried that I might have a hard time being adaptable during a deposition and knowing that I may have to deviate from my outline of questions. However, during the workshop, I found that, while I was a little nervous going off-book, it wasn’t nearly as daunting as I thought it would be and it’s often pretty easy to identify when is a good time to pursue a particular line of questioning, even if you weren’t planning on it.
Evan Thomas, Florida International University, Miami Office
This week was full of assignments. I had the chance to work with associate Erin Weinstock and help her draft a motion for summary judgment. In between drafting the motion and working on other assignments, I was able to attend (via zoom) two different mediations. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. I appreciate the firm exposing me to experiences that the law school environment falls short on.
Jordan Benatar, University of Florida, Miami Office
My second week at RumbergerKirk was one for the books. First, Rumberger set up a deposition seminar for the summer associates. The seminar involved each one of us receiving a fact pattern and deposing one of the attorneys at our respective offices. This was a great experience for me because I had never sat in on a deposition before, let alone participate in one.
The work I do on a day-to-day basis has also been a great learning experience. This week, I attempted a response to an interrogatory and a response to Plaintiff’s first request for admissions. Both are topics that I had never really seen before.
Ella Biggins, Florida State University, Tampa Office
Week two flew by! I participated in two mediations and got a behind the scenes view of negotiation strategy. In my first mediation, associate and summer program alum Robert Barton showed me how you can be compassionate towards a plaintiff’s hardships while being completely transparent about how you and your client view the reality of the case.
In addition, the class of summer associates participated in a deposition seminar and workshop taught by partner David Marsey. We learned the ins and outs of deposition practice in Florida and then put this knowledge to the test when we each took our first (mock) deposition. The biggest thing I learned was to SLOW DOWN & LISTEN! When taking a deposition, you should pause after the witness answers a question to digest and think through their answer—you never know when they could say something you need to explore further. If you’re moving too fast, you’ll miss it.
Chris Jablonski, Washington and Lee University, Orlando Office
I am finally finding my way around the office and settling in. Who knew knowing how to print documents would be such an essential skill? This week I spent the majority of my time working on the research projects I had been given and doing a deep dive into a variety of areas of law. Additionally, the summer associates attended a seminar on depositions that was followed two days later by a workshop where we each got to perform a mock deposition. Learning practical lawyering skills from some of the people who do it best was a privilege and incredibly informative.
Besides the deposition workshop, my highlight of this past week was having lunch with my mentor, associate Michael Tessitore. He gave me great advice about my career, how to maintain a healthy work life balance, and ways to find a practice area that I want to pursue. Having a mentor to come to with questions and issues that have popped up has been my absolute favorite part of RumberKirk’s summer associate program thus far.
Madison Buckley, University of Florida, Orlando Office
Wow, and just like that week two is a wrap! I honestly don’t know where the time is going—this summer is going to fly by. My favorite part about this week was our deposition workshop. I know plenty of people in law school who have never been to a deposition, let alone have the opportunity to ask some questions themselves, which is exactly what we got to do. We weren’t just thrown to the wolves, either. First, we had a great presentation from David Marsey, a partner from the Tallahassee office, who explained some basics as well as some strategy tips. It was a little intimidating at first when we started asking a “witness” questions, but everyone was very supportive and it was just an amazing experience.