Our Remote Summer Associate Experience at WCM During COVID-19
(The following post is a collaboration from our 6 Summer Associates for 2020, who, suffice it to say, received a very different WCM experience than we were all planning. They all did a great job, and hopefully, learned a lot in this unique, remote environment. Best of luck to Gina, Drew, Alex, Jessica, Daniel & Rebecca in their 3L year and beyond).
When we accepted our offers to spend our 3L summer at WCM, we pictured 10 weeks of mingling with our coworkers in a bustling office, collaborating in conference rooms and travelling between the office and court to see the associates and partners in action. Of course, COVID-19 had different plans. Instead, we collaborated over Microsoft Teams, observed remote depositions, and best of all, attended a remote happy hour or two.
Although many of our peers were scrambling to find alternative opportunities for the summer, WCM honored their word and provided us each with a meaningful experience, despite the hardships caused by COVID-19. WCM made it possible for us to experience their firm culture without ever stepping foot in an office by adapting their summer program to be 100% remote, yet still effective.
Over these past 10 weeks, we worked with various Partners and Associates on a wide range of assignments such as drafting memoranda of law, motions, and subpoenas, and various legal research assignments. These assignments introduced us to many different fields of law, like insurance coverage, torts, employment, and even environmental. Additionally, we collaborated on an extensive research project for a client, which provided an interesting gateway into the world of insurance coverage throughout the United States. We saw the product of our work come to life when two Partners presented our research in a client presentation.
Even though the impact of COVID-19 completely changed the expectations we had for the summer program, working remotely had a silver lining: we were able to work with Partners and Associates from all of WCM’s offices, an opportunity we likely would not have had if our program were in-person.
After spending 10 weeks at a law firm during a global pandemic, it is clear that the practice of law is likely forever changed and will continue to face obstacles. But WCM’s ability to run effectively, and provide a fulfilling legal experience, offers hope for what is to come in the legal field. Despite the chaotic circumstances, we thank WCM for its mentorship, and for providing us with knowledge and skills that have better equipped us for a career as lawyers.
Alex Goldberg, Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law
Daniel Axelrod, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
Drew Fryhoff, Brooklyn Law School
Gina Rodriguez, New York Law School
Jessica Melusky, Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law
Rebecca Stark, St. John’s University School of Law