August 13, 2021 Share
The Light at the End of the Tunnel of Uncertainty
By: Charles Hark (Summer Law Clerk 2021)
What an absolute whirlwind this past year and a half has been. It has been an extremely challenging year as a law student because after roughly 8 months of learning how to do pretty much everything there is to do in law school, a global pandemic hit. After learning how to interact in a historically in-person administration of classes, I now had to learn how to do this all behind a computer, with technology that barely worked.
The summer after my 1L year, many pre-secured law school summer internships were canceled as a result of offices being shut down. Luckily, I was able to have an internship where I just “observed”. I sat in on phone calls and Zoom hearings. This was a result of the widespread halt in business because the masses did not leave their homes, and most of all were not considering legal services during a pandemic. While I eventually got the hang of the changes and challenges associated with transitioning to fully remote, two thoughts always loomed:
1) How am I going to know what I’m doing in next summer’s job (which is generally more immersive than first-year jobs)?
2) How am I going to know what I’m doing after I graduate?
As a 2L, I distinctly remember a conversation with my fellow 2L friend and our mutual 3L friend in which she told us she had just finished writing an 11-page memo for work that she was assigned at 2pm…It was 5:30pm. This was extremely worrisome for me because my only experience with memos and research assignments was writing one paper in each of the semesters my first year…not in 3 ½ hours. I was a month away from starting my summer clerkship with Kelley Kronenberg.
Fast forward to the first 10 minutes of my first day, this concern was gone.
For my Summer Associate Program, I have had the unique opportunity to work as a Law Clerk for the full duration of the summer in the Probate, Guardianship, Estate Planning, and Trusts Unit under Business Unit Leader and Partner, Josh Rosenberg. After being completely candid with Josh in our first conversations and explaining that I felt I was at a disadvantage due to my lack of practical experience from the summer prior, he could not have been more encouraging and supportive, explaining that, if nothing else, this is going to be an incredible learning experience.
I could not have asked for a more supportive team from the get-go, consisting of Josh, Partner Robert Segear, and Florida Rising Star attorney Daniela Pretus. All communication with these incredible attorneys have been far from “Draft this memo by 5” or “research this issue by tomorrow”, but, rather, each attorney goes above and beyond to tell me what the task is, the necessary background to complete the task, why we’re completing said task, and what it will accomplish. They fully understood how to make this a thorough learning experience, as promised. Additionally, I can always count on valuable insight and a good “war story”.
I also can’t give enough credit to the stellar paralegals Regia Marques, Jamie Madsen, and Kim Markowski. They have been beyond helpful every step of the way, answering any and all questions; they know the answer to, quite literally, everything. I am proud of how far I’ve come with this team’s guidance and instruction and the work-product I can submit now, just 7 weeks later; and yes, researching and writing a memo in 4 hours is no longer impossible.
Before going to law school, I worked for a year and a half at Chewy.com; an e-commerce company that is nationally recognized and awarded as being in the top echelon of workplaces based on employee satisfaction, culture, and everything in between. I thought to myself “Kelley Kronenberg is a law firm; sure it might be a good environment, but it’s a law firm…”. I’m happy to say, I was proven wrong for a second time. There has been virtually no difference in the first-class treatment of employees at Kelley Kronenberg from my prior job at Chewy. This is largely attributed to the massive efforts put forth early in the expansion of the firm by Managing Partners Michael Fichtel, Howard Wander, Heath Eskalyo, and the first-class Human Resources department to establish a great, comfortable, energetic, and forward-thinking work culture. They have taken every step to make all employees feel at-home, encouraged, and welcomed. I heard Kelley Kronenberg was a great place to work as a law student, but I never heard just HOW great, and I’m glad I got to experience it first-hand.
For anyone reading this that is navigating their law school career and is considering taking the leap to apply for a Summer Associate Program position with Kelley Kronenberg, do it. I do not have one negative remark to say about my experience this summer. You are treated like family from the onset. Everyone is approachable, abides by an open-door policy, and simply wants you to learn. You are entering THEIR profession, and they want it to be filled with competent and respectable attorneys.
DISCLAIMER: This article is provided as a courtesy and is intended for the general information of the matters discussed above and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Neither Kelley Kronenberg, nor its individual attorneys, staff or educational program associates, are responsible for errors, omissions and/or typographical errors – always seek competent legal counsel.