Summer associates from WilmerHale’s western offices converged in Palo Alto for a two-day summit to mark the midpoints of our programs. To attend, I woke up early to pack a bag and beat LA traffic to the airport for a morning flight to San Jose. It was so fun to travel with the other two LA summer associates; we’ve all grown close after working together in our small office. We were all excited to finally meet the Palo Alto and Denver summer associates in person after so many cross-office video conferences!
Once we landed in San Jose, it was a short Uber ride to the office. While Palo Alto is one of WilmerHale’s smaller offices, it felt giant compared to LA! They even had scooters in the hallways to help you “commute” from room to room. It was so nice to meet the other summer associates and hear about their WilmerHale experiences. After a quick icebreaker, the 15 of us were laughing and chatting.
The summit was jam-packed with activities, info-sessions and yummy food. We heard from current and former WilmerHale attorneys on work-life balance and career aspirations. We had a negotiations workshop, where we went head-to-head to negotiate hypothetical disputes. We worked with a writing consultant to discuss simple ways to improve our advocacy. The Co-Managing Partners gave a presentation on the state of the firm, answering our many questions.
But it wasn’t all work. We had a friendly game of WilmerHale-themed trivia. (Did you know that part of a Cameron Diaz movie was filmed in the New York office? Neither did my team.) There was a cooking class, where we teamed up to make yummy appetizers like gyoza, pakora and tacos. We capped the summit off with ice cream sandwiches and drinks on the sunny office patio.
The summit was busy—I hardly had a moment to myself—but I was still sorry to leave. It was such a treat to be in the Bay Area and put faces to familiar names in other offices. The summit taught me more about the firm’s current and future plans, but it also showed me all the potential that comes with a career at WilmerHale.