A few of our associates and past summer associates offered their sense of a typical day:
ANNE RONDONI TAVERNIER
Anne Rondoni Tavernier was a 2015 Summer Associate. Anne graduated from the University of St. Thomas Law School in 2016.
“A typical day as a summer associate at Fredrikson & Byron involved an ever-changing combination of challenging legal work, professional mentorship and amazing field trips around Minneapolis.
My work flow as a summer associate was organized in a way that enabled me to explore and find my strengths. They encouraged us to take projects from all areas of the firm, which made my days challenging and exciting. But as the summer continued, I could invest my energy into the departments I was most interested in. I quickly realized that this was a hallmark of a Fredrikson & Byron attorney – entrepreneurship and being a self-starter is rewarded. By the end of the summer, I had worked on a death penalty case, filed articles of incorporation for an LLC, researched tax matters, observed a bankruptcy hearing, responded to subpoenas and worked with the department I ultimately ended up in – intellectual property litigation.
The incredible professional mentorship made the work fun, rather than onerous. Getting to know the firm’s attorneys is truly the best part of being a summer associate. Building relationships with the attorneys afforded me invaluable insight into day-to-day practice. I not only had coffees and lunches with attorneys, but I was encouraged to ask questions and voice my opinion after hearings or meetings. Feedback on my work was immediate and meaningful. I always got the support I needed to successfully complete a project. The attorneys were truly happy to work with us and welcomed us into their practices. Even now, as an associate, I deeply value the relationships I built as a summer associate.
In between all of this was constant fun. We’d go directly from reviewing a motion to dismiss to enjoying live music at Minnehaha Falls. We went on an overnight retreat that involved pontoon rides and an epic game of Pictionary, caught a concert at First Avenue, played on the firm softball team and had dinner with firm attorneys and their families. Every day I marveled – is this supposed to be my job? I felt so lucky to be a summer associate at Fredrikson & Byron.”
Marie Williams was a 2016 Summer Associate. She graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in December 2016.
“In my experience, each day as a summer associate at Fredrikson & Byron involved working on challenging projects, getting to know the firm and having fun.
The projects assigned to summer associates require real problem solving for real clients – no ‘canned’ or hypothetical fact patterns here. Depending on the demands of the project, a summer associate might spend an entire week on one matter, but it’s more likely that each summer associate is juggling three or four projects at a time. The summer associates are treated like junior associates – it was up to me to manage my time, ask questions, follow up with my assigning attorneys and seek more projects as needed.
The summer program is designed so the summer associates can get to know attorneys throughout the entire firm. Each summer associate is encouraged to take a mix of litigation and transactional projects to determine which practice area interests him or her and which attorneys he or she enjoys working with. To further facilitate this, I would attend a department or practice group meeting or go out to lunch with an attorney almost every day. The associates and shareholders I met were happy to talk with me about their experiences, and it made ranking my preferred practice groups at the end of the summer much easier. Plus, these conversations allowed me to learn a lot about Fredrikson & Byron’s unique culture.
The summer experience also included a variety of social events, which helped my summer class become great friends. Not only did the summer associates attend firm-sponsored events each week (like the weekend retreat at Grandview, a Lynx game, a concert at First Avenue and the associate and shareholder parties), we actually scheduled our own events and happy hours together. The culture at Fredrikson & Byron made this possible – we didn’t feel like we were competing with each other and there was no need to ‘size each other up.’ Developing friendships with the other summer associates certainly made the summer more fun, but these strong relationships will also help us throughout our careers – there’s no doubt we’ll be referring work to one another and collaborating together on projects, hopefully for years to come!”
Kaleb Rumicho was a 2015 and 2016 Summer Associate. Kaleb graduated from Howard University School of Law in 2017.
“There is not a ‘typical day’ at Fredrikson & Byron. Each day is different. The most consistent part of Fredrikson & Byron is the people. Whether it is the partners, associates or support staff, everybody is kind, helpful and supportive.
Fredrikson & Byron does not have a formal rotation system for summer associates. There are four associates who serve as workflow coordinators and send out projects from other attorneys. The summer associates then pick projects that they like. As a result, summer associates have wide latitude to tailor their experiences and explore the different practice groups. This system was helpful in helping me explore unfamiliar areas of law like mergers & acquisitions, SEC filings and contract drafting.
Many of the projects I did as a summer associate involved researching and drafting briefs, motions and some contracts. I had a unique opportunity to work on a financial disclosure form for a congressional candidate and attend depositions, court hearings and client meetings. Assigning attorneys took the time out of their busy schedules to explain projects, answer any questions that came up and provide feedback in the end. Additionally, the firm’s open door culture truly encourages and facilitates a positive and supportive work environment. This collaborative environment allowed me to meet and learn from great lawyers, improve my legal writing and have an enjoyable summer.
The summer program also incorporates many social events. The summer usually starts off with a summer associate retreat at either Minnesuing Acres or Grandview Lodges. Both are a lot of fun! The associates and shareholders, respectively, hold parties in honor of summer associates with delicious food and great company! There are opportunities to grab lunch with attorneys at different restaurants around town to learn more about the firm, practice groups and the firm’s culture. This is an awesome way to meet attorneys and start building relationships. Last but not least, summer associates get a backstage tour of the historic First Avenue club capped off with a concert, which is an incredible night! These are just some of the social events.
A summer at Fredrikson & Byron is exceptional. The firm is full of great people, has a wonderful culture and very fun social events. The people are down to earth, approachable and encouraging. I can attest to this because I spent two summers at the firm.”