Monday, September 30, 2013

Summer 2013 Recap: Firm life, Fitness, and Fun

By Gillian, 3L

This past summer was one of my busiest, but also some of the most exciting and rewarding months I’ve had. During the time I was away from school, I spent time working at a big civil defense firm, but also found time to tackle some personal goals and explore Los Angeles.

View from the top of our firm hike in
Will Rogers State Park, Summer 2013
For ten weeks, I worked as a summer associate at Reed Smith’s downtown Los Angeles office. Reed Smith has a variety of practice areas, and I was able to complete assignments in the areas of commercial litigation, labor & employment, insurance recovery, appellate, and financial services. The bulk of my assignments consisted of researching a particular area of the law for an assigning attorney that was relevant to the larger scope of litigation, preparing a memorandum on the law I found, and discussing it with the assigning senior associate or partner. Many of my assignments dealt with civil procedure or evidence issues, so I particularly enjoyed implementing things I had learned in my law school courses into a practical, real world setting. Beyond research and writing, I also completed some pro bono work with Public Counsel, where we had the opportunity to advocate on behalf of CalFresh recipients at a welfare office. It was my first time really interacting with clients, and it was a nice change of pace from my normal assignments. The firm also wove in a few exciting summer events – some of my favorites included a hike in the Pacific Palisades, sailing out of Marina del Rey, and going to a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live. I had a great experience at the firm this summer and was definitely lucky to have that opportunity.

Feeling good at mile 6 (I didn't include the photo
of myself at mile 21.  You're welcome.)

Although work kept me pretty busy throughout the week (and the occasional weekend), I checked off two things on my own personal bucket list. I am a runner, and after doing several half-marathons, I finally made the leap to the 26.2 distance in early June. I was massively under-trained and felt death creep up on me around mile 18, but I am proud to say I survived and be able to label myself a marathoner. Additionally, I have been a spin class fanatic for years now, and one day this summer I decided to become certified to teach classes. After completing the training and taking the certification exam, I began to teach classes twice a week at my local gym, the Gold’s Gym at 7th and Figueroa.

I also spent a lot of time this summer having fun and exploring LA. I managed to see Yasiel Puig’s MLB debut and made many subsequent returns to the Chavez Ravine to watch the boys in blue dominate this season. Other summer highlights included stand-up paddle boarding whenever I got the chance, traveling to Santa Cruz to see my younger brother graduate from college, and visiting Chicago for a wedding (and a Cubs game). 

Chicago Cubs game, Summer 2013
Now that I’m back at school for my 3L year, I am determined to hold onto the summer mindset as long as possible by finding the right balance between law school work, fitness and working out, and gallivanting around this city.

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