It's been almost a month since I started at WilmerHale. Although everything is getting a little more familiar, I do admit that I still have to call tech support a couple of times a day.
Some of the major events we attended these past two weeks included (1) the West Coast Summit, which you can read more about in Denver Summer Associate, Lauren Mercer's blog, (2) the Pro Bono Clinic at UC Hastings Law School and (3) the office's annual margarita contest.
Pro bono has always been a pillar of the firm and an important reason as to why I was excited to join WilmerHale. Accordingly, the firm allows us to be staffed on pro bono cases throughout the summer. We also get a chance to participate in a number of pro bono activities. On one Saturday, all the summer associates and many attorneys drove up to San Francisco to volunteer at the Pro Bono Clinic at UC Hastings. Volunteering at the clinic is an annual summer program event and one that demonstrates how important pro bono work is to the firm. I found my time at the clinic to be very rewarding. I had the opportunity to do client intake for lower income individuals who could not afford an attorney. Listening to their stories made me realize how fortunate I was and the positive impact I can have as a future attorney. Further, seeing so many attorneys and people come together to help the community was an inspiring environment that I want to continue to be a part of.
On balance with pro bono work, WilmerHale has many other activities planned for its summer associates. Unique to the Palo Alto office, the annual margarita contest is one of the most exciting events of the summer. All the summer associates were paired off and tasked with (1) building their own team of attorneys and staff and (2) creating their own spin on the classic margarita. Having spent some time behind the bar during university, I was excited to put my old bartending skills to the test. Ethan Friedman, my summer associate teammate, and I ended up making a guava-orange based margarita with muddled mint, lime juice, ginger liqueur, Cointreau, Peychaud's Bitters and two types of tequila.
One of the best parts about the event was seeing all my team members get excited about our margarita. From contributing to ideas and going out to buy supplies, all of us were ready for some friendly competition. And, it wasn't just us; all the summer associates were vying for first place glory with secret team meetings and practice mixing sessions.
The day of the competition was intense. With an aptly decorated judges' table, four work stations and a very distracting taco bar, it really seemed as if we were on a Food Network TV show. Accordingly, everyone brought their A-game; one team even made candied fruit. Fortunately, my team won! I'm glad our drink was a hit amongst the judges and am even happier that we got to take home our own mini-trophies.