CrossroadAs law students, we are often told that we have to choose one of two paths for our career trajectories. We can either go the public interest or the private sector route. While we are by no means locked into one route for the remainder of our careers, our starting point is critical. This crossroad was particularly difficult for me because I have always been passionate about service and giving back to my community. Part of me wanted to start my career in public service, while the other part wanted to explore what “big law” had to offer. After much thought, I decided to go the private sector route, but I made it a priority to find a firm that values Pro Bono work as much, if not more than, billable work. This, among many other factors, made accepting the opportunity to work at Bilzin Sumberg a no-brainer. From the Bilzin Sumberg Cares initiative to learning more about the Pro Bono work that attorneys are actively working on, it became very clear that Bilzin Sumberg truly cares about its local and national communities.

Today, I was able to learn more about Bilzin Sumberg’s Pro Bono practice through a Zoom call with Ilana and Philip. Both litigation attorneys dedicate countless hours to their Pro Bono work, in addition to their heavy case loads. Philip began by giving us an overview of the program’s current cases, including a case regarding gun control that some of the Summer Associates are actively working on. Ilana was able to share her experience litigating in federal court for an incarcerated client. Both Ilana and Philip’s passion for their work transcended our laptop screens. They went on to share anecdotes of the ways that the transactional attorneys have gotten involved in work that may seem “litigation intensive” – resonating with the Summer Associates that are more inclined toward corporate work. It was incredible to hear about Bilzin Sumberg’s ability to blur the lines between practice areas to better serve their clients.

Ilana and Philip really emphasized that the Pro Bono projects and cases are brought in by attorneys that are passionate about different causes. For instance, Philip shared that the gun violence initiatives began as a result of the Parkland Shooting in 2018. The impact of the tragedy sparked a conversation stressing the importance of gun control regulation, and Bilzin Sumberg’s Pro Bono practice jumped at the opportunity to get involved.

As a Summer Associate, I am incredibly proud to be a part of a firm that does not make me reconsider that crossroad I once faced. Bilzin Sumberg not only values its successes in its high profile cases, but the Firm also truly cares about giving back to the causes and the people that make the Firm’s successes possible. Bilzin Sumberg is always willing to learn of new Pro Bono projects and encourages its lawyers to think outside of the box. I look forward to the continued growth and success of the Pro Bono practice!