At Bilzin Sumberg, each Summer Associate is assigned a mentor. On our first day at the firm, we gathered in the lobby to wait for our mentors to pick us up for lunch. Unsure who I was looking for, I looked around nervously until my mentor, Anthony Sirven, introduced himself. We went to lunch and bonded over our love of writing and our common Miami upbringing.
For the Summer Associates, being assigned a mentor is a source of comfort. First, your mentor is someone who can answer your questions. As a 1L, I sometimes feel that I have more questions than my 2L counterparts do; however, Anthony always takes the time to answer and explain until I am up to speed. On a similar note, a mentor can be like an advisor– when I feel unsure about how to approach an assignment or a situation with a partner, I know that he will guide me in the right direction.
Mentorship at Bilzin Sumberg, however, extends beyond your assigned mentor. For example, Adrian Felix, an associate in the Litigation group, is involved in directing the Judicial Intern Opportunity Program, which seeks to pair judges with underrepresented law students for summer internship opportunities. After having lunch with my officemate Jordan and I, Adrian invited us to an event that the JIOP put forth in which we were able to meet and listen to the stories of almost a dozen judges from South Florida.
I also had the opportunity to attend a Commission hearing at the City of Coral Gables with Anthony De Yurre, a partner in the Land-Use group. Anthony took the time to describe the ins-and-outs of his Land-Use practice in Coral Gables and the City of Miami, where he works closely with the local government to find solutions for his clients. He explained how Land-Use is a repeat game that requires relationships with local officials, and how important it is to him to build value for his clients.
In each practice group I have explored, partners and associates have generously taken the time to explain their area of expertise. This helps me to gain a better sense of what area I might like to practice.