On Saturday evening, Michael Kreitzer invited the attorneys and secretaries from the Litigation department to his home in Aventura for the Summer Associate Litigation Group Party. My officemate Jordan and I were the first to arrive.  Michael and his partner, Chris, warmly welcomed us into their home, leading us to the backyard decorated to evoke New Orleans.

As the members of the Litigation group and their significant others trickled into the party, we admired the feathered masks and purple and green lit trees. The other Summer Associates and I eagerly accepted Michael and Chris’s invitation to tour their boat, and we stood on the water appreciating the other boats passing by.

For dinner, we were transported to New Orleans, piling crab cakes, chicken gumbo, and jalapeno cornbread onto our plates. Others skipped right to desert, cutting pieces of King’s Cake in the hopes of finding the baby figurine.

Far from the office, the other Summer Associates and I talked to members of the Litigation group about life outside of work. From Mitch, we heard about his Grand Slam earlier that day and his love of fishing. From Raquel, we learned about her long friendship with Melissa, and what it is like to work with her best friend. From Jose, we were encouraged to explore the different departments by popping our heads in attorneys offices and asking about their assignments.

Immersed in the festive atmosphere created by the beautiful views, lively decorations and delicious food, I was struck by the energy resonating from the members of the Litigation group. Here were a group of busy and hardworking people, who took time out of their weekend to come together and celebrate. Michael was kind enough to open his home to us, inviting us to explore every room and artwork. As I looked around, the happiness was tangible: laughter and stories of the long years spent working together filled the cool night air. Even as I left the party, dozens remained to continue the celebration.

From this and the other firm events the past two weeks, I have come to recognize and appreciate Bilzin Sumberg’s culture as one that fosters support among attorneys, encouraging professional relationships as well as friendships. The enthusiasm and encouragement emanating from the attorneys feels tangible and intentional, creating an environment in which Summer Associates feel comfortable and excited to meet others at the firm.

As Summer Associates, we are grateful to work at a firm where the friendships and comradery are apparent and genuine. Huge thank you to Michael and Chris for opening their home to us and transporting us to New Orleans for the night. We look forward to the events to come!