The last thing on my mind when I entered into finals season last fall, at the end of my first (and entirely online) semester of law school, was where I would be working in the summer. My first finals season was filled with stress and a total lack of familiarity with the law school system, and the prospect of my first real legal job seemed extraordinarily far away. In a surprise twist, I survived and before I knew it, my spring semester was over and so was my 1L year. Better than that however, was that I even had an offer for a summer job! Jay Sakalo barely finished offering me the position of Summer Associate, before I excitedly blurted out “I accept” into the phone. What seemed to be the worst part was over; I had 1/3 of law school under my belt and had an offer from a formidable law firm in Miami, but soon all the voices from my classmates, professors and acquaintances started creeping into my mind, saying how working at a firm is miserable, with long hours, mundane work and unappreciative bosses; efficiency was maximized and humanity minimized, and soon I began thinking to myself “Lucas, what have you gotten yourself into?” I can tell you, this is not a great feeling especially when you just finished your first year and know close to nothing about anything having to do with the legal profession. As a first-year, I had no experience, little knowledge and a metric ton of anxiety about starting my first job, where I fully expected to be buried under a mountain of infinitely complex work I had no business dealing with, not to mention all of the non-legal logistical work, like keeping track of my time.
I’m coming to the end of my third week now at work and I can confidently say that every one of those people who told me horror stories were wrong. My experience here has been one of support, understanding, and fulfillment. Jessica Buchsbaum and Betsi Cobas have worked tirelessly to make sure we were ready to go and gave a comprehensive orientation where we learned everything we needed to know. When we started picking up assignments, the attorneys have been nothing less than awesome, giving us meaningful and interesting work while going out of their way to help us whenever we need it. People at the firm, be it my mentor or an associate or a partner or staff, have consistently gone above and beyond with offering advice and assistance. Most importantly, the folks here have made us feel welcomed, which is immeasurably kind of them. I’m sure I speak for the other Summer Associates when I say thank you to all, we won’t let you down.