The first week has really flown by and it is hard to believe it is already the end of our first week of the Academy. The morning started out with a firm-wide breakfast for Teach for America – an organization near and dear to both the firm and our clients.  

After the breakfast, Stacia Wells walked us through a session on understanding financial statements. As a firm catering to commercial clients, spotting potential legal issues in financial statements is a critical skill. I know we all appreciated Stacia’s engaging and straightforward approach to what can be an intimidatingly complex area for recent law school graduates.  

Oksana Esberard then led us through a mindfulness session. We learned that we can add value and increase productivity by simply giving everyone a moment to gather their thoughts before diving into business in meetings.  

We then headed over to the Design District for lunch at MC Kitchen, where we were joined by clients Steven Gretenstein (of Dacra, a real estate development company) and Lyle Chariff, Mauricio Zapata, and Luis Guevara (of Chariff Realty Group). After a delightful lunch, they took us on a tour of emerging neighborhoods – starting with the Design District. The Design District is home to cafés, restaurants, and art galleries, as well as to flagship stores for luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Louboutin. Our group was privileged to visit Dacra in the Design District and see their fascinating private art collection adorning the walls of the Dacra offices.  

After the Design District, we toured Wynwood (famous for the Wynwood Walls, as well as many excellent restaurants and breweries) and the emerging neighborhood of Allapattah. It was an eye-opening and inspiring experience to hear the stories of how these three neighborhoods have evolved and grown over the years. We felt truly privileged that Bilzin Sumberg’s deep and meaningful client relationships allowed us to benefit from these insights.


IMG_1219Last week, the summer associates along with Jessica, Craig, Marty, and Alan traveled to Miami’s Design District. On the ride over, Marty explained Bilzin Sumberg’s role in the project. In representing the Miami Design District Associates, LLCBilzin Sumberg helped secure loans to finance the acquisition and construction of 40 buildings in the area. When we arrived at the Design District, our group was greeted by Dacra’s Chief Operating Officer Steven Gretenstein. He explained the development of the Design District including how the company secured luxury brands to open new stores and reached out to many reknown artists who participated in redesigning the area’s buildings and garages.

With Steven as our guide, we walked through the Design District and the paper layouts of the area came to life. Steven frequently stopped to explain the designs of certain buildings, location preferences of the fashion luxury brands, and progress of construction phases. One highlight was when Steven walked us into the Louis Vuitton store to show us the store’s three-story design and arrangement of the merchandise. Other nearby stores had rooftop gardens and building features designed by foreign artists. Overall, the tour was amazing (not to mention the final stop at MC Kitchen). It was incredible to watch as Bilzin Sumberg’s attorney’s could point to a specific block or building and recall the loan that was secured for it or their legal involvement in the project. As a Miami native, it was nice to finally learn the history behind buildings I drive by everyday!

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On site during the Design District Tour

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Brendan Studley enjoying the view.


Jessica Kramer's view during the tour.


The group learning about the Design District.


Brendan Studley and Camille Manso enjoying the tour.