This week, my fellow Summer Associates and I started our much-anticipated positions at Bilzin Sumberg. While the coronavirus is keeping us away from the office and out of the Courthouse, Jessica and Betsi have planned an engaging and robust, albeit untraditional, Summer Program. On our opening Zoom call, Jessica and Jay welcomed the six of us to the Firm’s first ever virtual Summer.

Savannah, John, Danielle, Alexa, Andres and I started out the week with two days of Orientation. In various video conferences, we learned quickly to adjust to using our laptops to work from home—a transition made smooth by the Firm’s decision years prior to switch from desktops to laptops. In typical first-day fashion, we also shared a virtual lunch with our mentors.

As my mentor Elise and I caught up over Zoom, I realized that chatting on the phone or video didn’t feel difficult at all—especially months into the pandemic, which has made video chat the new normal. Working from home, in some ways, has made it easier to get on the phone with an attorney whose pre-pandemic schedule may have required them to be out of the office more often. And although some of us are working from different locations (Danielle is in North Carolina, Andres is in New York, Savannah is in Gainesville, and John is in Palm Beach), scheduling coffee break phone calls, Zoom check-ins, and group work sessions has helped recreate the sense of community I came to love last summer.

The coronavirus has generated so many unprecedented challenges to our pre-pandemic ways of working together. Despite these obstacles, however, I am inspired by the resilience I have encountered among the attorneys and the staff at Bilzin Sumberg. This, coupled with the enthusiasm and thoughtfulness of my fellow Summer Associates, makes me excited to see what the next few weeks have in store!