Editor’s Note: Each summer Penn Law students hone their skills through a wide array of private and public sector internships across the country and around the world. Generous financial support and fellowships for international and public interest work enable students to pursue diverse assignments in the U.S. and abroad. This dispatch from Jane Marie Russell L’14 is one in a series of firsthand accounts by Law School students about how their summer employment opportunities are preparing them for their legal careers. Russell is working at Holland & Knight LLP in Miami, Florida, where she grew up and plans to practice in litigation after graduation.
Practicing what I have learned in a city that I love
Working at Holland & Knight LLP this summer in Miami has been an incredible experience. I grew up in Miami and worked here prior to law school. As much as I love Penn Law, I wanted to come home to work here during the summer and after graduation. The Magic City is the capital of Latin America and attracts international business from around the world. I knew that practicing law here would be a fulfilling and exciting opportunity.
As a summer associate, I have applied the education and skills I have developed at Penn Law. Over the course of the eight-week program, we receive a variety of assignments that expose us to different practice areas. Most of my assignments have been in Litigation, which is my area of interest, but I have also had exposure to Corporate and Health Care work. Having taken Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Professional Responsibility have really helped me this summer. It is a lot easier to work in a firm when you already have an idea about the ethical and courtroom rules that govern the practice of law.
Writing has been of central importance to my experience at Holland & Knight. Classes like Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy have been the most helpful during my internship. Working on the Journal of Constitutional Law and writing a Comment have also helped me hone my editing and Bluebook-ing skills.
The summer program at Holland & Knight has also been a lot of fun. Every week is filled with social events so that we summer associates can get to know each other and the firm. Events have included practice-group luncheons, dinners with the associates, and after-work events with partners. The lawyers here really make us feel welcome as part of the firm family. They also teach us the importance of giving back to the community. Lawyers at Holland & Knight are encouraged to volunteer, and as summer associates, it is no different. We have participated in a Small Claims Clinic, completed research memos for pro bono cases, and even helped clean up a local beach.
Working at Holland & Knight means a lot to me as a law student, as well as a hometown girl who grew up going to the beach on Key Biscayne, on cruises from the Port of Miami, and to restaurants in the Brickell area. To now work at one of the most respected law firms in the city and overlook Biscayne Bay from my office is like a dream to me. I feel very blessed to attend a law school where I have the opportunity to practice what I have learned in the city that I love.