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.

 

Closing celebration at Sugar!

Over the summer, we have had the chance to experience every stage of a typical real estate transaction through the Mock Real Estate Transaction program. From the initial contract negotiation to contract amendment, Adam Lustig and Phil Sosnow led the summer associates through each step to closing. This week, after preparing a special warranty deed, a general assignment, a no lien affidavit, and a closing statement, we were finally ready! The teams showed up prepared (or so we thought). Continue Reading (Almost) Getting to Closing

About two weeks before beginning our summer program, each Summer Associate was assigned an attorney mentor. I was very fortunate to be paired up with Wendy Polit, a fourth year associate in Bilzin Sumberg’s Litigation department. Not only is Wendy an incredibly talented attorney, but because she worked at Bilzin Sumberg prior to enrolling in law school, she is also especially familiar with the ins and outs of the firm and its attorneys.

Although I was a bit nervous when first meeting Wendy, her easy-going attitude quickly set me at ease. Over drinks at Rosa Mexicano, a local Brickell restaurant, we discussed my expectations and goals for the summer, as well as what the firm expects of me.

She was very direct about the summer being hard work: I would be working on complex issues for high-profile clients across all departments within the firm. But the summer, of course, wouldn’t be all work, and she assured me that my summer would be a fun and growing experience.

Bilzin Sumberg organizes numerous social events so that Summer Associates can meet many of the attorneys and better integrate themselves into the firm’s culture. In just the first week, we have had a couple of lunches and happy hours where we had the chance to mingle with associates and partners to learn about them and their practice areas. Wendy also stressed the importance of working on projects from all departments, not only to get a better feel as to what I am interested in most, but also to meet and build rapport with the attorneys.

Although I have only been working at Bilzin Sumberg for a week, the firm already feels like home. All the attorneys I have met so far, including Wendy, have been incredibly kind and accommodating. I am very excited for what’s to come in the next couple of weeks!

This has been a great week filled with many firsts: first day, first assignment, and first mentor lunch. But, there has been another first. This week marks the first time I have ever been allowed to eat and drink in a library! That’s right, the Bilzin Sumberg library hosted both a happy hour and a heated, competitive bake-off during their Summer Associate training sessions.

The librarians did an excellent job teaching us how to use the library’s resources. We learned about the library’s layout, how to access various online databases, and what are the best practices for utilizing print and online research tools.

Library, Bake-Off Venue, Happy Hour Venue? You Be The Judge!

In addition, we learned that chicken fingers are the most preferred library happy hour snack, that the Legal Information Specialist Kelley Darling can tell library jokes, and that Director of Library & Knowledge Management Paul VanderMeer’s fruit tarts will beat out Director of Legal Recruiting & Professional Development Jessica Buchsbaum’s rocky road pie any afternoon (don’t feel bad, Jessica won last year’s bake-off with her world-famous tiramisu).

By providing drink and snacks at the training sessions, the librarians made research all the more fun and certainly gave us an incentive to keep going back!