The Summer Associates have officially arrived, and we are so excited to be here! As we wrap up our first week at the firm, I would like to reflect on some of the events we attended during our first few days.
On Monday morning, Jessica Buchsbaum and Betsi Cobas welcomed us to the firm and provided us with a detailed schedule for the week. Jay Sakalo then gave us our first “pep talk,” explaining the purpose of the summer program and offering valuable insights for success. To reinforce his advice, Jay gave each Summer Associate a book entitled Big Potential, which argues that success is not purely a function of individual traits, but instead depends on the success of others around us. While I have not read the book in its entirety yet (no pop quizzes, Jay!), I have skimmed the opening chapters, and I am confident that it will be an excellent and timely read!
Immediately following our meeting with Jay, we met with various department heads. Each one graciously demonstrated the ins and outs of working at the firm, and they assisted us with important clerical matters. Next, we went to lunch with our mentors. My mentor, the infamous Myles Burstein, took Kayla and me to Fi’lia where we discussed the exciting world of CMBS over fine Brickell cuisine.
On the second day, we had breakfast with Managing Partner Albert Dotson, who discussed the firm’s history and culture. While lightening the mood with the occasional joke, Al explained the importance of the “symbiotic relationship” between the firm and the community. He emphasized that the firm’s motto—proud to be judged by the company we keep—represents more than just a saying. He reiterated that it is a value the firm takes seriously, and judging from my interactions with everyone this week I could not agree more.
After breakfast, we went on our first office-wide tour, received our office assignments, and attended an informative seminar on ethics and managing conflicts. A few hours later, we shuffled into the library (which contrary to our initial belief is not on the 15th floor) where we were greeted by the friendly library staff for an informative happy hour presentation. While we indulged in sushi and wine, the librarians boasted about the firm’s impressive knowledge management system and demonstrated how we can use it to find documents and other valuable resources.
On the third day, we started bright and early with writing coach Susan McCloskey. Susan tailored the meeting to address our biggest concerns, highlight our most common strengths, and offer practical solutions for addressing our most glaring weaknesses. She provided extremely thorough feedback, and I know I am not the only Summer Associate who found it to be incredibly helpful. Immediately following this workshop, we eagerly accepted our new assignments and began to dive into our work!
Overall, it was an incredible first week. I learned a lot, met a number of amazing individuals, and started working on some exciting new projects. I would like to thank Jessica Buchsbaum, Jay Sakalo, and Betsi Cobas for all the work they have done to create an outstanding summer program! We are all very grateful for your efforts, and we cannot wait to see what our summer at Bilzin Sumberg has in store for us!