Though it seems like just yesterday Eric, Brianna, and I were signing off for the final time as summer associates, everything has come full circle and we have returned to Bilzin Sumberg as full-fledged attorneys. Yesterday, as our first day and the firm’s immersive Academy experience began, the Florida Supreme Court released this year’s results from the Florida Bar, ensuring that the three of us would be officially sworn in as attorneys at the conclusion of the Academy. Once we took a few minutes to review the results and decompress, Scott Baena, Jessica Buchsbaum, and Eric Singer took some time to outline the firm’s culture. Scott spoke about the importance of understanding where we have been and who we are in order to help us plot the course for who we want to be in the future, further emphasizing the need for respect, collegiality, and collaboration amongst the attorneys and staff in the office. Scott is always imparting useful wisdom to us about relationship building, practicing law, career development, and life, so his involvement in the Academy is invaluable to us.


After our introduction to Bilzin Sumberg’s firm culture, we met with Werten Bellamy, President of Stakeholders, Inc. Werten spoke to us about how we can best make ourselves “indispensable” as associates by understanding our relationships with the partners within our firm as well as our clients outside of the firm. Aside from being incredibly energetic and entertaining, Werten’s experience in the field and practical, analogical advice really helped me to picture what my life as an associate could look like and the type of associate I want to be.

Our presentation from Werten was followed by lunch with the first-year associates, Alex Barshel, Hannah Lidicker, Forrest Murphy, Luis Reyes, and Lauren Sabella. Luis scouted out a great Cuban spot for the eight of us to eat, and Eric, Brianna, and I relished the chance to spend some time learning best practices from the young attorneys at the firm who were in our shoes just last year. We are extremely appreciative of all the time Bilzin Sumberg’s attorneys and staff have invested in us, both during our time as summer associates and through our short time in the Academy thus far.

Finally, we concluded our day with a session on mindfulness hosted by Oksana Esberard. This was an interesting and relaxing way to close out our first day. We participated in several breathing exercises designed to calm the body and mind and talked about ways to manage our stress in this profession.

Overall, the Academy and our legal careers are off to exciting starts and I am looking forward to what’s next!