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Day 3 of The Academy began with a presentation led by Werten Bellamy, President of Stakeholders, Inc. Mr. Bellamy examined the qualities that allow junior attorneys to reach success. In our discussion, he highlighted the importance of ingenuity in your practice. While most attorneys gain the necessary writing, analytic, and advocacy skills in law school, attributes such as innovation, enthusiasm, and drive allow you to distinguish yourself in the profession.

Mr. Bellamy noted the importance of anticipating the needs of the senior attorneys you work for.  As a junior associate, the senior attorneys are your clients. By proving yourself to be reliable, dedicated, and resilient, senior attorneys will be inclined to invest in your success. Mr. Bellamy provided wonderful insight into the expectations senior attorneys have of incoming associates, as well as how to effectively live up to those expectations. All in all, Mr. Bellamy provided an invigorating perspective on the methods by which to thrive as junior associates.

After Mr. Bellamy’s presentation, we made our way to the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Courthouse. Elise and I took our Oath of Attorney before Judge Seitz. It was the culmination of three years of legal studies and training (and many years of hard work). We were joined by our families, Scott Baena, Jessica Buchsbaum, and Michael Kreitzer. Judge Seitz reminded us all of some of the overarching principles of our profession. As lawyers, we must demonstrate an unwavering commitment to truth and justice. We must preserve the reputation of our profession. In such efforts, we must seek opportunities to bring individuals to access to justice. Judge Seitz’s words of wisdom reinforced many of the concepts we have discussed in the last few days – we must demonstrate an absolute commitment to our community and profession.

The second day of The Academy highlighted a common theme attributable to the success of the professionals I have encountered: unwavering dedication to improving our community. Representative David Richardson is such an example. We had the pleasure to learn of Mr. Richardson’s contributions to the reform of Florida’s correctional system. His commitment and passion materialized into actual changes in the system. The attorneys at Bilzin Sumberg are no different; they have shared with us valuable insight into their careers and the choices that have lead them to success. Fueled by their desire to implement changes that would improve our beloved city, our attorneys have made a significant impact in Miami and forged valuable relationships along the way.

A significant part of the legal profession involves engaging with your community and developing your network. As such, Scott Baena, Brian Bilzin, Jennifer Junger, and Anthony De Yurre shared with us invaluable advice based on each of their unique networking strategies and experiences. Similar to the commitment necessary to impact your community, developing worthwhile relationships requires an investment of your time and efforts. As first-year associates, we are interested in refining our networking skills to ensure that we maximize the opportunities to expand our network. In our networking seminar, we learned of various opportunities and methods to develop valuable relationships based on the experiences of Bilzin Sumberg attorneys who are all at different stages in their careers. “Working a Room” involves taking a real interest in the discussion with individuals whom you want to learn more about, as well as a continuing desire to develop such relationships.

We concluded our second, eventful day of The Academy with happy hour at the SLS Brickell. We had the opportunity to catch up with the attorneys in our Recruiting Committee, as well as implement some of the networking strategies we learned. Scott Baena and Jay Sakalo shared with me some wonderful stories about the history of Bilzin Sumberg. The history of our firm zeroed in on many of the takeaways from our course offerings during day 2 of The Academy – making a meaningful impact on your community and cultivating relationships can lead to great success.

 

As part of the summer associate experience, Bilzin Sumberg coordinates tag-along opportunities for the summer associates to attend. This week, Elise and I witnessed Al Dotson represent Related Urban Development Company before the County Commission. Hundreds of Liberty Square residents stepped up to the podiums to remind those present of the exigency of the approval of the redevelopment. Continue Reading One Step Closer

Still life of a fly rod in a boat

Between assignments and events, I soon found myself in week 5 of the summer associate program at Bilzin Sumberg. Along with week 5 came the highly anticipated Rosa Mexicano summer associate lunch in the wonderful company of Mitch Widom, Jessica Buchsbaum, and the litigation associates. After hearing plenty of stories from alumni about this lunch, my fellow summer associates and I knew exactly what to expect–Mitch would order us margaritas, and we would love them.

Over tasty guacamole later, Mitch regaled us with stories about his fishing adventures in Alaska and made me even more excited about our awaited fishing trip. While Mitch’s wife broke fishing records on their trip to Alaska, I’ll settle for a catch hefty enough to cook for dinner post-fishing.

I was especially blown away by Mitch’s ability to turn his passion for fishing into the Keymorada Invitational Fly-Spin Tournament. The tournament’s proceeds go to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and the UM Crohn’s & Colitis Center. Bilzin Sumberg’s devotion to the well-being of its community continues to inspire me everyday.

Dessert cart 1It was officially the second week of our Summer Associate Program, and our first fieldtrip was on the horizon–the Marlins Park tour and game, organized by the Land Use Practice. While Jerry, Jared, and Leah are renowned for their coordinating abilities (matching Clambake outfits), our class is well on its way to dethrone them. We met at 5:30 P.M. sharp (sort of), and four brave souls banked on me getting them safely to the ballpark (already taking heart in light of the upcoming Poker Tournament).

A couple of wrong turns and attempts at parking later, we made our way to the park entrance. “Not so soon,” said the universe, as Frankie realized he had left his ticket at the office. If you have known Frankie for approximately a week, you are more than confident in his ability to finesse his way through impromptu interviewing, subleasing gone wrong, and just about anything else. To no surprise, Frankie soon joined us on the Marlins Park tour, precisely in time to get a glimpse of the Clevelander pool area. Continue Reading Take Me Out to the Dessert Cart