On Wednesday, the other summer associates and I had the opportunity to teach a group of middle school students the relationship between freedom of speech under the First Amendment and cyber bullying.

The small group of students visited the firm through the Breakthrough Miami program, which Sara Herald is deeply involved in. Breakthrough Miami is an academic enrichment program that uses student-teaching-student models to ensure that young children attending under-resourced schools still have access to educational opportunities. The program has a 100% high school graduation rate as well an over 90% college attendance rate for the young students involved.
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Summer Associates, Jordan Rhodes and Brian Trujillo.

When the other summer associates and I first saw “Axe Throwing with the Corporate Department” on our calendars at the beginning of the summer, we had no idea what to expect. But that didn’t stop us! On Tuesday night we showed up to Extreme Axe Throwing in downtown Miami, ready for what the evening had in store. After watching the “Axeperts” give a brief demonstration and go over some very minor safety concerns, it was time to throw some axes!
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At Bilzin Sumberg, each Summer Associate is assigned a mentor. On our first day at the firm, we gathered in the lobby to wait for our mentors to pick us up for lunch. Unsure who I was looking for, I looked around nervously until my mentor, Anthony Sirven, introduced himself. We went to

Law school teaches us how to analyze a case, what study habits work best, and how to prioritize time. However one thing my 1L year did not teach me is what to expect at a local government meeting or litigation hearing.

In the last week, I have attended a city commission meeting with the Bilzin Sumberg Land Use department and a hearing for the Litigation department. Both experiences highlighted the importance of over preparation and being able to adjust to changing circumstances.

We arrived to the City of Miami commission meeting nearly an hour ahead of time so we could set up and organize our materials. Although I have attended local government meetings before, I was unsure of what to expect. We did not know when our item would be heard or how long it would take. But while we waited, I was able to hear from dozens of community members as they spoke about the issues that mattered to them. Then when our item came up, the team had to be prepared to find any document or board that proved relevant all within the few minutes allotted to speak. Prior to learning about the Land Use department, I was not aware that an area of law like this even existed. In just a few weeks, I have learned about procurement and how lawyers practicing in this area often attend meetings like these as another form of advocating for their clients.

The importance of preparation proved instrumental at the civil court hearing I attended as well. This was my first time at the Miami-Dade County Court House. When the case was called, Jake Greenberg allowed me to stand with him as he addressed the judge to really get the full effect. Although the hearing lasted no more than fifteen minutes, I was able to see how crucial it is to familiarize yourself with your case. Curveballs can come up and as a lawyer, you have to be prepared to answer questions and advocate for your client.
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They were not kidding when they said our lunch plans will fill up quickly this summer! I have had the opportunity to get to know so many wonderful people during the lunch hour (while also exploring the great cuisine Brickell has to offer). One of the first invitations I received was for a “Ladies Lunch” and I became very curious as to what exactly this was. I soon learned that every so often the women at the firm go out as a group for lunch and that this has become a sort of tradition.

Although there has been an increased emphasis on diversity and inclusion within the legal field, the area is still one of the least diverse professions. Women make up roughly 38% of the legal profession overall; however, that statistic drops for the higher level positions in private practice. There are several studies that highlight the benefits of diversity in the work place. Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians while those in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely. In addition to these financial benefits, efforts to embrace diversity can attribute to greater retention and morale.


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The summer associates take a picture with their mentors at the Welcome Reception.

After a week full of fun and informative orientation sessions, the Summer Associates are ready to delve into our assignments! However, I first wanted to reflect back on our first week at the firm. As Summer Associates, a

We started the day with a legal writing seminar taught by Ed Lintz of Legal Writing Pro—a resource to which I attribute much of my success in law school (Point Made, written by the company’s founder, was by my side at all times then and now). But the seminar was particularly helpful