On Wednesday, we went to South Beach Room Escape with Bilzin Sumberg’s  Real Estate department.  For the uninitiated, the purpose of an escape room is to work together with others to solve puzzles, manipulate objects, and use reasoning to – you guessed it – escape a room within one hour.

There were three different rooms: Panic, Black Ops, and Diamond Heist.  Each room had a different theme.  In the Panic room, you are trapped in an operating room.  The Panic team was Alex, Luis, Jessica Buchsbaum, Marjie Nealon, Adam Lustig, Steve Simon, Alexis Kanarek, and Craig Thompson.  Lauren and Hannah were in the Black Ops room, in which they had to retrieve a secret chemical weapon.  Audrey Ellis, Jim Shindell, Kent Koch, Ali Lehson, Manny Gonzalez, and Brendan Studley filled out the Black Ops team.  I was in the Diamond Heist room with Eric, Suzanne Amaducci-Adams, Marty Schwartz, Alan Kazan, Phil Sosnow, Katy Yankowski, and Jared Spector.  Our objective, unsurprisingly, was to steal a diamond.

After a brief tutorial, we were herded into our rooms.  The moment the door closed, the countdown clock began ticking.  We scanned our surroundings to find a room filled with everything from footlockers and mailboxes to stationary bikes and barricades.  Behind barred doors and inside a locked container was our prize: a glittering diamond (made of the finest plastic).

The real estate attorneys at Bilzin Sumberg are known for their collaborative skills, and that showed during our harrowing escape.  Each member of the team had something to contribute.  The clues in the room required pattern recognition, computations, and even the use of our fine motor skills. Some puzzles were particularly vexing; sometimes, the solutions were more obvious.  One funny moment occurred when, after finding a key, we spent several minutes trying to figure out what to unlock.  It turned out to be the door right in front of us!

With twenty minutes left on the clock, we heard a murmur from outside the door.  The Panic team had escaped their room!  This significantly increased the pressure on us; we knew we couldn’t be the fastest team, but we definitely didn’t want to be the slowest!  We redoubled our efforts. After another ten minutes, we solved the final puzzle, and the diamond case sprang open.  We were free!

After the Black Ops team made it out of their room (supposedly the toughest), we all helped ourselves to catered Rosa Mexicano and exchanged funny stories from the different room experiences.  The night definitely provided a good lesson on the importance of patience, teamwork, and perseverance, all critical skills for successful legal practice.