This week (somehow already) marks the halfway point of our summer associate program, and it is hard to believe how quickly the days have passed. With the realization that our time as summers is limited, it becomes imperative to reflect on the importance of being intentional and proactive with every moment we have left.

By now we have learned the ins and outs of the office and firm culture and have completed our first few assignment (hopefully without much trouble from iManage and Westlaw). Having made it through the introductory phase of the summer program, here are some thoughts on how to make the most of the rest of the summer:

  1. Embrace the Journey
    As the workload increases, and as we begin to get into our work routines, it is important to continue to embrace the journey. To keep bringing the enthusiasm and energy we brought throughout the first few weeks and appreciate the opportunities the firm is working hard to provide us with.
  2. Continue to Form Relationships (Not Network)
    I have never been a fan of the word “networking.” It just seems so impersonal… So to call the events and opportunities to meet others at Bilzin “networking” just does not feel right. I can say with confidence that everyone I have met at Bilzin has made a real effort to get to know the summers on a personal level—and I feel fortunate for the thoughtful personal and professional advice I have received so far. Throughout the rest of the summer, we should look to continue to build on the relationships formed and to seek to forge new ones. Try to work with those you have not had a chance to meet, or try to schedule a lunch or coffee with someone you have worked with but not had the time to chat with at length.
  3. Seek Out New Challenges
    With the creation of new routines come new comfort zones. They may feel cozy, but beyond them lie opportunities to grow and learn. I encourage all the summers, including myself, to continue to push yourselves outside familiar territory. Ask questions, take on new assignments, and lean on Jessica, Betsi, Melissa, and your mentors when needed.

As we find ourselves halfway through the summer associate program, let’s make sure we spend our time wisely. By being intentional and proactive with our remaining weeks, we can make the most of this experience. Embrace the journey, continue to form relationships, and seek out new challenges!

As the sun set, Bilzin Sumberg’s summer associates and the Real Estate Department exchanged their briefs and contracts for a memorable evening at LoanDepot Park to watch the Miami Marlins take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Seated comfortably in our box, we were able to experience the incredible energy throughout the entire stadium. Despite the Marlins’ initial struggle to maintain their lead, everything changed in the bottom of the 8th inning. With his teammates at 2nd and 3rd base, Garrett Cooper took his position at home plate and rocketed the ball over the fence for a home run. This put the Marlins ahead 6-4 against the Pirates, triggering enthusiastic cheers and high-fives amongst us.

Yet, the excitement wasn’t limited to the game itself. Before it even started, we got an amazing opportunity to walk down on the field and meet Billy, the Marlins’ mascot!

As a summer associate, I came into this program with an open mind, ready to explore the many avenues of law. The experiences and interactions during events like these have offered me not just a glimpse into the firm’s culture, but also into the varied paths of law that I could potentially embark upon.

While the Marlins’ win was certainly the cherry on top, the real victory lay in the collective experience of the evening – a blend of on-field excitement, off-field camaraderie, and a shared love for our city and team. Moments like these truly embody why I’m proud to be part of this firm and why we are “Proud to be Judged by the Company We Keep.” Here’s to more victories, both for the Marlins and for us at Bilzin! Go Marlins! Go Bilzin!

Real Estate Summer Event: (L to R) Jessica Buchsbaum, Lauren Cankaya, Phillip Sosnow, Crystal Singh, Aharon Rosenberg, Alberto Poleo, Carlos Markovich, Alani Fraga, Hannah Lidicker, Sanika Nanda, Sarah Carraher, Skye Jackson, Daniel Bumm, Isabella Durand, Joseph Beguiristain, Adam Lustig & Michael Murray.

I won’t lie—on a spectrum with “cool, calm, collected” on one side and “Nervous Nelly” on the other, I definitely tend to gravitate towards the latter. Additionally, as a 1L who has never worked at a law firm with more than ten employees, I was definitely intimidated by the prospect of leaving the world of Boutique Law. I can be somewhat of a creature of habit, and this summer was the perfect storm for some strong nerves: new place, new people, new experience.

So, while I was definitely excited to have the opportunity to learn from such an impressive group of attorneys (and with such an impressive summer class!), I was truthfully a little nervous, too. But, before even finishing up my 1L semester, my amazing mentor, Alani Fraga, called me on the phone just to introduce herself and let me know she’s here for any questions, no matter how big or small, that I may have. Whether it was helping me figure out how to fill out the building’s parking form, or just making herself available via phone/text/Jabber/messenger pigeon, just chatting with Alani and hearing how excited she was for the summer helped shift a lot of those “new place, new people, new experience” nerves to “new place, new people, new experience” excitement.

As I start my fourth week with Bilzin, I can honestly say every single person I’ve met has been beyond welcoming. That’s not even an exaggeration; literally everyone has been friendly. From recognizing my photo off the main website— the Hub— and sparking a conversation in the elevator, to reaching out and inviting me to a lunch at a vegan restaurant because they heard I don’t eat meat, I have been met with enthusiastic kindness since starting my summer here at Bilzin. When a 1L is asked what they’re looking for in a workplace environment, even if they don’t know it yet, I’m sure this is the type of workplace they’re envisioning. I’ve met so many new and friendly faces so far, and I am genuinely excited to continue meeting more throughout the rest of the summer!

Last night, there was no such thing as too many cooks in the kitchen! After work, the Bilzin Sumberg 2023 Summer Associates and alumni of past Summer Associate classes trekked together to partake in a cooking class – and it was no doubt one of the highlights of our summer experience thus far.

With assistance (and a lot of it) from the Two Chefs chefs, we partnered up to create several incredible dishes, including but not limited to: quinoa and veggies, mini sliders, tuna tartare, mashed potatoes, a variety of flatbreads (special shout out to Skye, Sanika, and Savannah – these were delicious), and my personal favorite – Shalia and Kayla’s chocolate soufflé! Melissa, our fearless Hiring Partner, had a hit with her stuffed mushrooms, and Hannah and Elise’s churrasco was also a fan favorite. Meanwhile, Carlos was thriving on photography duty! Throughout the night we enjoyed various appetizers and drinks as we cooked, and chatted about our individual summer experiences, fun events to come, and of course, a little bit of what we are working on in the office! To wrap up the evening, we took the culinary creations we had crafted to the dining room and ate together.

After just a short few weeks here, I can see why Bilzin Sumberg is “Proud to be Judged by the Company We Keep.” The assignments have been thought-provoking, the social events have been lively, and you truly can’t beat working in Brickell; but the people are what unequivocally make the place here. It has been both humbling and inspiring to work alongside my fellow summer associates, all of us coming from schools across the country and with interests across the legal field; it has been equally motivating and constantly educational to learn from talented attorneys who are so happy to mentor us in their areas of expertise. The team here has already welcomed us with open arms and made us feel like part of the Bilzin Sumberg family, and we cannot wait to see what the rest of the summer holds!

Coming to Bilzin, I knew my primary interest was litigation. But even as a second year law student, I still felt I didn’t fully understand what transactional work looked like. So much of our legal education is so heavily litigation focused that sometimes it’s easy for me to forget that there are whole other avenues of the legal profession to explore. Bilzin’s Mock Real Estate Transaction helps bridge that gap by giving us the chance to role play a full real estate transaction from start to finish, starting with the initial offer all the way through the closing.
Although we’ve only just negotiated our initial terms—and finalized what I now know is called a Letter of Intent—I’ve already learned a lot about what it’s like to practice real estate law. My team represents the fictitious seller “Mattel,” who is selling their property to “Barbie” so she can build her dream theme park experience.

To prepare for our negotiations, we met with our coach, Senior Associate Salomé Bascuñan. Salomé made sure we understood all of the real estate specific terminology, talked us through which terms we should prioritize, and introduced us to several negotiation tactics. After getting her expert opinions, our team devised a negotiation strategy that ensured our “client’s” most important needs were met. We were ready to make a deal when we met with “Barbie’s counsel.” After some tough negotiations, we reached final terms that all parties were happy with.

The Mock Transaction has been great not only because of what I’ve learned, but also because it’s been an excellent opportunity to spend more time with my co-Summers, who I have been enjoying getting to know over the past few weeks. I’m looking forward to getting to know my colleagues better, learning more about real estate, and the closing party to come as we continue with the Mock Transaction!

As Mr. 305 himself said, “everyday above ground is a great day.” But plastic pollution in the ocean has been linked to increased levels of greenhouse gas emissions, and rising sea levels, putting at risk our number of days above ground.

The day after World Ocean Day, Summer Associates from firms across Miami gathered at Key Biscayne to assist in a beach cleanup organized by SFALP. As we are all calling Miami home for the summer, this opportunity to get involved with the community and spread awareness of plastic pollution on our beaches was enriching and a great experience to enjoy with our group of summer associates. Trash found ranged from beer bottles and caps, to fishing line and phone chargers. We were provided with gloves, buckets, trash-picking tools, and instructions on how best and safely to collect trash we found.

After enjoying a light breakfast and applying loads of sunscreen, we mingled with other law students summering in Miami, and even befriended a few ducks. By the end of the morning we had collected 285 pounds of trash by the end of the morning. Bilzin Summer Associates Sarah Carraher, Isabella Durand, and Carlos Markovich won the award for “coolest trash”, finding a bra (pictured below with their prizes)! The Bilzin summer experience is about more than networking and working on legal assignments, it’s about cultivating a sense of community and recognizing the responsibility we have to the city outside of the office.

As summarized by some fellow summer associates:

“It’s incredible how much trash there is on the beach, and it’s great that we get to help clean it up and do our best to make a difference.”

“I’m having a great time, we get to come out here in the morning get some sun and do some charity work with our Bilzin summers, as well as other summer associates from across the city.”

Less plastic is fantastic! Let’s all do our best to reduce plastic pollution by using reusable water bottles and utensils, switching to metal straws instead of plastic, and most importantly, not littering. Dale!

Summer associateships in Miami are a dream come true for many budding legal professionals. The sun, the beach, the vibrant city life—what’s not to love? But wait! There’s a storm on the horizon, or you woke up and it’s a downpour. Don’t let the summer rain showers dampen your spirits. Instead, let’s dive into how to prepare for and, yes, even enjoy those refreshing rain showers during your summer associateship in the Magic City.

Gear up, rain or shine:
When it comes to Miami showers, preparation is key. You can wake up in the morning to a sunny day and by the early afternoon, there can be a torrential downpour. Embrace the weather by investing in rain gear that suits your personality. A vibrant umbrella, a fashionable raincoat, and a pair of befitting rain boots will not only keep you dry but also show that you came prepared. Plus, who can resist the opportunity for a fun fashion statement?

Enjoy the Rainy Commute:
Whether you walk or drive to work, let the rain add a sprinkle of excitement to your daily commute. Pack your umbrella, put on your rain boots, and plan ahead. Embrace the sound of raindrops, the fresh smell in the air, and the slightly cooler temperatures. It’s a chance to appreciate the beauty of nature and enjoy a peaceful moment before diving into a busy day at the office

Prepare During Lunch Plans:
Use rainy days to plan your lunch breaks strategically. Instead of feeling trapped indoors, embrace the opportunity to explore Miami’s vibrant culinary scene. Take advantage of the opportunity to go to the cafes, trendy restaurants, or hidden gems near your workplace. Treat yourself to a delicious meal or indulge in a cup of hot cocoa while watching the rain from a cozy spot. It’s a delightful way to turn a gloomy day into a gastronomic adventure.

Watch the Rain from Above:
From our offices on the 24th floor, the weather can be quite the show. Watching the rain clouds slowly moving in and appreciating the contrast with the still-sunny parts of town has become some of the favorite parts of my day. Appreciate the breathtaking views of Miami’s changing weather patterns. Witness the rain draping the city in a glistening curtain and the clouds rolling by. It’s a serene and mesmerizing spectacle that can make even the busiest workday feel magical.

Making the Best of Getting Rained On:
Despite all preparations, sometimes you’ll inevitably get caught in the rain. Rather than letting it ruin your day, make the best of the situation. Embrace the spontaneous nature of the moment and let go of any worries. Everyone else around you is in the same situation, laugh at the unexpected turn of events, and remember that life’s little surprises can often lead to the most cherished memories.

Don’t let a little rain spoil your Miami summer associateship. By embracing the showers and being a little prepared, you can turn rainy days into memorable experiences. Whether you’re caught in a surprise drizzle, or staying indoors watching the storm roll away, there’s plenty to enjoy during those summer showers. So, gear up, keep your spirits high, and make the most of your Miami summer associateship, rain or shine!

Savannah shared some useful tips in preparing for your first day, the next step is having a great first week as a summer associate. Last year, before my first day at Bilzin Sumberg, I remember wondering what we’d be doing. I wondered if we would do icebreakers and meet attorneys, or maybe start assignments right away, or if we’d do training sessions to ease in. The answer is- the first week is full of all of these things! These 3 tips are useful to make the most of your first week as a summer associate:

Tip #1- Training
Training sessions are a large focus of the first week, and they are important! Before writing a memo or doing legal research, every summer associate is familiarized with the tools and resources at our disposal that allow us to put forth our best work. These tools are not always as simple as using Westlaw, something many law students are already somewhat familiar with. Most importantly, try to pay special attention to who the office experts are! You will be given so much information on how to use certain tools during the first week that it’s inevitable that you will need to reach out with questions once you start assignments.

Tip #2- Assignments
Focus on your assignments. Assignments are the bread and butter of the summer associate experience! Be sure to give them the attention they deserve, meaning don’t miss deadlines and always be communicative with your assigning attorney and/or your mentor about when you need help or have questions. Everyone appreciates hard work, curiosity, and a good attitude. No one will expect you to execute every assignment perfectly, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself and just give every assignment your best effort!

Tip #3- Social
Stay social. Make every effort to strike up conversations with fellow summer associates, attorneys, and anyone else in the office! Everyone around you will appreciate someone who is eager to get to know them. This also is a great way to start networking, which can lead to lots of fun lunches and even getting assignments and tag along opportunities. And lastly, try to attend after work events. These events are a great way to organically meet people and make some fun memories!

I must confess: while I enjoyed my 2L year, I have been counting down the days until the start of my second summer at Bilzin Sumberg. Last summer was an incredible experience, and throughout the school year I found myself missing the wonderful people I had worked with and wondering about the fascinating projects I had contributed to.

Now that the first week of our much-anticipated summer program has concluded, I’ve realized that this year I felt much more confident than I did as a 1L summer, perhaps because I knew what to expect. With this in mind, I figured future summer associates may want to know what to expect on your first day at Bilzin Sumberg. Here is my list of tips.

  1. The night before, review any emails regarding your first day. They are the best source of information and will share all that you actually need to know!
  2. Miami traffic is always worse than you expect, so build in enough time to your commute to ensure you arrive on time. Plus, if you arrive early, you’ll have a few minutes to chat with the other summers, all of whom are certainly looking forward to meeting you!
  3. The parking garage will be more full than you would expect, so also build time in to find a spot, if you drive into the office.
  4. Most of us wear business professional on the first day, but still make sure to wear shoes you can walk in.
  5. There’s no need to worry about finding your office on your own. The first day orientation sessions all take place in a conference room, and you’ll be shown to your office at the end of the day.
  6. Our photos for our work accounts are taken on the first day, so it can’t hurt to throw a hairbrush in your bag or any other items you may need to freshen up before photos are taken.
  7. You don’t need to bring a laptop or any device other than your cell phone. The firm provides laptops and any tech you may need for work.
  8. The first day is kind of like syllabus week in college. Lots of very important information, but no actual assignments to complete just yet. Take it all in and don’t worry about getting work done just yet—you’ll have plenty of time for that over the rest of the summer.
  9. A few things you may want in your bag include a water bottle, a Tide pen or sewing kit in case of a wardrobe malfunction, a lint brush, a phone charger, and a notebook. None of these are necessary, but they are certainly useful to have in some cases.
  10. Feel free to start reaching out to attorneys right away—they are really excited to meet you. Everyone always says that the reason they love to work at Bilzin is because of the people, so start meeting the folks who make this firm so special.
  11. Take a deep breath. Everyone wants to see you succeed, and you were chosen as a summer associate because you are smart, accomplished, and personable. You are meant to be here!

It’s a fantastic time to be embracing the heat in south Florida, with our very own Miami Heat heading back to the NBA finals!

Welcoming (L to R) Skye Jackson, Isabella Durand, Michael Murray, Sanika Nanda, Savannah Bergeron (returning), Carlos Markovich (returning), Pressly Pratt, Sarah Carraher (returning), Crystal Singh, & Alberto Poleo.

We are equally excited to extend a warm welcome to our 2023 Summer Associates. We are thrilled to have them join our law firm for what promises to be a fun and enriching summer. Our attorneys and business professionals are dedicated to fostering a supportive environment where they will thrive and make the most of their time here.

Throughout the summer they will be sharing their unique experiences and insights, here, as we believe in sharing the individual journeys that make up the summer experience at Bilzin Sumberg. As we embark on this summer adventure together, we hope to make it a truly memorable one!