My Summer Associate Experience: Shirley Grinstein

Firm News

My Summer Associate Experience: Shirley GrinsteinOur 2023 Summer Associate Program brought 14 law students from eight law schools to the firm for an intellectually challenging and professionally gratifying experience. The students took part in firm-sponsored social events and community service projects throughout the summer in addition to attending client meetings, depositions, court hearings and other proceedings. Nearing the end of the program, the students agreed to share a few highlights from their summer at Shutts.

Shirley M. Grinstein joined Shutts in the Fort Lauderdale office from the University of Miami School of Law. Shirley is a member of the Inter-American Law Review as well as a participant in the IBA ICC Moot Court Competition. She has also participated as Chair of Internal Affairs for Cardozo Jewish Legal Society, President of the American Conservation Coalition Miami, and a member of the Federalist Society and the First Generation Law Student Association.

Below, Shirley shares about what her summer at Shutts was like.

Why did you choose to join Shutts for the summer?

I joined Shutts for the Summer because during the interview process, I truly felt all of the attorneys were genuinely happy working here. Many of them leaving other well-known firms to be at Shutts. I was looking for a place where I could see myself working long-term, and I could find mentors to guide me and give me the ability to work in different practice areas. Shutts was a great combination of what I wanted.

What advice would you give to someone looking for a summer associate position on how to be successful?

My advice is to be yourself and to be open minded. When looking for a summer associate position, it can be tempting to want to become the “perfect candidate” to “say all the right things,” but that is counterproductive. You want to find a firm where you can further your interests in your preferred area, but also a place where you can connect with your colleagues and feel supported by them. Don’t let your grades, theories, or whether you joined extra curriculars stop you from applying to your desired firm. If you want it, go for it!

What were the three most memorable experiences throughout your time here?

My first memorable experience was on my first day coming to the office. I was nervous and excited, and did not know what to expect. Immediately when I got here, Linda Shuster greeted me at the front and Cathy Zaccardo showed me around to my office. It was really special to see that I had my own office. Right away, I felt welcome and part of the firm. Later that week, we had an activity where I partnered up with Spencer Hennings and Scott Marcus, and we had to introduce each other at the firm-wide lunch. It was great to learn more about them and find out that besides all of our names beginning with the letter “S”, we all partook in marine conservation activities.

The second memorable experience was doing an assignment with Brendan Barry and Ed Stacker. I got to draft documents that were sent to both the client and the County Attorney. It was a great learning experience to do meaningful work in a practice area that was new to me.  In efforts to perfect the documents, I got to work closely with both of the Partners and get immediate feedback on my work product. I learned a lot through the process and am now even considering practicing in the Land Use area.

Lastly, the third memorable experience was getting to work on a pro-bono case with Leticia Mora and Aliette Rodz from the Miami office. It truly showed me that despite being in different offices, Shutts is one firm and there is great collaboration that takes place among all of its locations. I am greatly encouraged and inspired by both of them. They are a true testament that as lawyers, we can make an immense impact on another’s life.

What were your expectations for the summer and have they been met (or exceeded)?

My experience at Shutts for the summer far exceeded my expectations. Everyone at the firm has truly been supportive and made me feel like I was part of the team that makes Shutts. I had the opportunity to contribute to cases through research memos and drafting a variety of documents, listen in on important negotiations, attend a closing, go to court for a hearing, witness zoom hearings, observe depositions, and most importantly, I build meaningful relationships. My goal every day coming to work was to leave a little bit wiser, to learn something new. This summer I can honestly say that every day I left the office with newborn curiosity and knowledge from what I did or the conversation I had during the day. I am grateful to have spent my summer at Shutts.

About Shutts & Bowen LLP

Shutts & Bowen, established in 1910, is a full-service business law firm with approximately 270 lawyers in offices in Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. Learn more about Shutts & Bowen at


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Shutts & Bowen, established in 1910, is a full-service business law firm with approximately 270 lawyers located in eight offices across Florida.

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