Our first week at Bilzin Sumberg came and went. We dined with attorneys, judged a baking contest, and attended firm events. Somewhere in the midst of that, we received our first few assignments. It only took a few days of working to realize how lucky we are to have so many resources available to help us complete them.
Just down the hall from the summer associates’ offices, Bilzin Sumberg houses a sizable library. Books line the walls from floor to ceiling, a familiar sight to us students. One or more librarians at a time staff the library all day and into the night. The library staff members are experts in their field and are available to us any time we have a research question, no matter how big or small.
In addition to extensive access to legal resources, we also receive research training. So far we have been trained in Westlaw and Bloomberg, with additional research training planned for later in the summer. Westlaw and Bloomberg representatives visit Bilzin Sumberg once a month for additional training, including optional one-on-one training. And for an added bonus, these training sessions periodically yield free Westlaw access (yay!).
As helpful as these resources are, the most invaluable resource so far has been the people. As summer associates, we are assigned mentors, generally from a practice area that we are interested in. We all went to lunch with our respective mentors during the first week. Our mentors are our firm confidantes, helpful resources, and excellent role models.
The four first year associates took us out to lunch on Friday. Over burgers and onion rings, they offered us “uncensored” advice about the firm and the summer associate program. As summer associate program alumni themselves, they know what makes a successful summer, and they were kind enough to share their secrets with us! Amid their advice, they promised we could come to them with issues as mundane as how to work the copier (which I intend to hold them to when it’s time to make my first copy).
As the second week of summer begins and deadlines approach, we are all eager to impress everyone with our first few assignments. Between the books, the training, and everyone willing to help, I think we’ll be just fine!