The summer associates enjoying their ice cream sundaes!
I have the honor of writing the last blog post of the summer, as today was a pretty busy day for the summer associates – a group farewell lunch with mentors at Komodo, followed by a firm-wide ice cream social and lots of individual goodbyes.
As I reflect on the past nine weeks (that literally just flew by!), I’m grateful to the summer associates for their hard work and willingness to learn new things. They started the summer program with clear goals about the type of work they wanted, the tag along opportunities that interested them and the attorneys with whom they wanted to interact. We hope through the program and our training and mentoring we met – and exceeded – their expectations!
Throwback to our 2017 Summer Associates at Orientation!
I know that they feel as though they grew professionally over the summer and made friends at the firm and among themselves. . .oh, and they had a little fun a long the way. . .
We just want to let Frankie, Elise, Geoff, Hannah, Jenny, Claudia and Lauren know that we’ll miss them (their photoshopping skills, and their very entertaining blog posts, see here, here, here, here and here)!
As we move into the final few days of the summer, everyone is wrapping up assignments, saying their good-byes and enjoying the last of the summer events. I’m getting sad about leaving and appreciating the view from my office more every day.
View from the Brickell Ave side of the office
Last night, the Summer Associates, Jay, and Jessica headed to Trulucks in Brickell for an amazing feast of assorted appetizers, lobster bisque, steaks, salmon, and a decadent dessert platter. The conversation was lively, as we discussed the trips we have planned for the rest of the summer, Frankie’s apartment-hunt crisis, and Elise’s exciting run-in with the star of the Summer Shorts event.
We also reminisced about all the fun we had this summer – and everyone’s embarrassing stories. Jenny, for example, tried repeatedly to go down an up escalator during a tag along with Al Dotson. Upon realizing her mistake, she committed and tried to increase her pace, ultimately failing. Elise accidentally ordered an entire fish, eyeballs and all, at Sea Spice with Scott Baena. She claims to have ordered the filet – a likely story. Continue Reading
This past Friday, our summer associate class spent the morning sorting through boxes of food that were donated in order to help feed hungry people across South Florida. Except for a few mishaps, our morning at Feeding South Florida was both exciting and fulfilling. The Bilzin Sumberg crew was, of course, a food-sorting force to be reckoned with.
We are in the final weeks of our summer at Bilzin Sumberg, and the fun activities are non-stop. Last week, we had our mock real estate transaction closing and a lovely happy hour with Marshall Pasternack. On Wednesday, Jenny, Claudia, Hannah, Lauren, and I had an event with the Firm’s women attorney’s at Bottle & Bottega. We were greeted at the adorable gallery with delicious food from Daily Bread (a favorite of mine and Jenny’s) and some wine to get our creative juices flowing.
The time for my final summer blog post has come. I know… try to hold back your tears (regardless of whether they are tears of joy or sadness). I’ve decided to take this time to share a few tips regarding how to make the most of your time as a Summer Associate at Bilzin Sumberg:
Last week marked the culmination of the Mock Real Estate Transaction–a training program designed to give the summer associates exposure to the full life cycle and many phases of a real estate deal. The summer associates were divided into two teams, buyers (Team Captain America) and sellers (Team Iron Man).
Weekly sessions led by Adam Lustig and Phil Sosnow covered each phase of a real estate transaction, from Letter of Intent to Closing. Coaches Manny Gonzalez and Kent Koch were assigned to each team to help us understand and draft documents, as well as advise us in conducting negotiations. After the informative introduction, the teams would conduct a negotiation, attempting to reach a compromise by the end of the session. Buyers and sellers were given unique fact patterns for each phase, highlighting needs and wants to drive negotiation priorities.
The path to closing was not always smooth. In fact, during the Contract Amendment phase, our deal almost broke down entirely. Buyers and sellers fully embraced their roles and negotiations for an extension of the property inspection period got very heated. Personally, I learned a valuable and mildly embarrassing lesson about the importance of stepping out of the room to confer privately. Thinking aloud in role of the seller, I blurted out “what do we think of $X for Y weeks extension?” Buyers enthusiastically embraced my suggestion, my team shot me looks of stunned disbelief, and Adam declared “that sounds like offer and acceptance!” I frantically back-pedaled and thankfully we were permitted to disregard my comment and move on. Continue Reading
Today marks our second to last Monday here at Bilzin Sumberg and we cannot believe our time as summer associates is ending. Yesterday the summer associates were in for a treat! A fishing trip with our very own expert fisherman, Mitch Widom. We all met at the firm on a beautiful Sunday morning not knowing just how tired and tan (or sunburnt) we would be coming back. On the way to Isla Morada we enjoyed the famous La Spadas subs, fantastic margaritas by Mitch, and some ocean tales of wisdom by Jose.
Once we arrived it was game time. We arranged prizes for both most number of fish caught and largest fish caught and after a quick tutorial we were ready to fish. Our first and second locations were not too great for many people… except for Jenny who was able to catch the biggest fish of the day and take the cash prize home! We moved on to our third location and suddenly it seemed like all of us were shouting “fish on!” The third location was definitely the best (my unbiased opinion after catching 6 fish in the same spot).
We finished our day at Snapper’s where we had some delicious appetizers and entrees. The group’s favorite was the hog-fish, a great recommendation by Mitch. The summer associates had a lot of fun and we all agreed it was a great way to spend the day and get to know the attorneys at the firm in a more casual setting. After dinner we jumped on the bus and headed back to Miami while our driver played some great music along the way, everything from James Taylor to Justin Bieber!
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
Favorites among the attorneys include the grilled octopus at PM, a restaurant that is practically attached to our building and is an especially great option when it is raining. Another is the Novecento Salad at Novecento, which has a surprise pile of French fries underneath the otherwise classic dark green lettuce, avocado, tomato and steak salad. Obba is the definite favorite for sushi. Edge, across the street from the firm in the Four Seasons hotel, is probably the most popular. It has great salads (like the Chicken Chop Chop), and is affectionately referred to as the “Bilzin Sumberg Cafeteria,” as you are bound to run into other people from the firm during your lunch.
Our lunch schedules filled up quickly, so some attorneys invited us to their homes, to dinner, or to happy hours as alternatives. The Land Use event at Brian Adler‘s house was one of the most memorable. Brian and his husband whipped up a real feast; there was gazpacho, baked brie with fig jam on a baguette, assorted meats and cheeses with honeycomb, and pan seared foie gras – and these were just the appetizers! Richard Goldstein’s happy hour at a cigar bar was also a fun event and included cigars, rosé champagne, and a surprise appearance from Richard’s son.
I also consulted some of my fellow Summer Associates about their favorite events. Lauren reiterated how many new restaurants she has tried since starting at the firm, despite having lived here in Brickell for more than a year! Two of her new favorites are Coyo Taco (try the fried grouper tacos!) and My Ceviche. Claudia thought our lunch with Mitch Widom at Rosa Mexicana was the most memorable. She enjoyed hearing about Mitch’s fishing trips and how he has balanced his personal life with his life as a litigator. Geoff loved going to El Carajo with Richard Goldstein and Michelle Weber. If you haven’t been, El Carajo is a cute Spanish restaurant hidden inside a nondescript-looking gas station off US1. You would never know it was there from the street. Jenny and Elise both said amazing things about Zak the Baker in Wynwood. Frankie and I agreed that one of the most memorable afternoons was at Sea Spice with Scott Baena. He told us stories about his travels and his passion for barbeque over shared appetizers, lobster rolls, and a great view of the Miami River.
Overall, it has been great to be able to try so many new restaurants and have so much time with the attorneys outside of the office. I can’t believe we have less than three weeks left!
Before I begin this blog post, I’d like to take a moment to wish our great country a very happy birthday. 240 has never looked so good. Now, on to business…
This past Thursday, the Corporate and Tax Group hosted an event for our summer class. Following cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at Brava!, our group was treated to Summer Shorts Theater at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami for a performance that is not likely to be forgotten any time soon. However, the show’s memorability stems less from the actual actors’ performances than the reactions of some of my fellow summer associates.
After fervently discussing her penchant for Olympic weightlifting, Claudia proceeded to demonstrate proper clean-and-jerk techniques to Jared Spector during the pre-show reception. While not a member of the Corporate and Tax Group himself, Jared was in attendance of his own accord due to his oddly specific passion for semi-professional live performances of ten minutes or less. Jenny must have similar preferences; she was adamant that, prior to the show, she personally shake the hand of not only every actor and actress but also the entire production staff regardless of how busy each person was.