Our 2019 Summer Clerkship Program brought four law students to Shutts for an intellectually challenging and professionally gratifying experience. Nearing the end of the program, the students agreed to share a few of the highlights from their summer.
Matthew Casbarro joined us from the University Of Miami School Of Law, where he is the Articles and Comments Editor for the University of Miami Law Review. Matthew previously served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Robin S. Rosenbaum and the Honorable Jose E. Martinez. He is expected to graduate in 2020.
Here is what Matthew had to say about his summer at Shutts.
Q1. What advice would you give to someone looking for a summer clerkship? What should they do to succeed in the position?
First and foremost, focus on your academics, and in particular, your writing skills. Applying to summer clerkships can be very competitive, so having good grades can really help you stand out. If possible, I would recommend interning with a judge the summer after your first year of law school, which will really help you develop your legal research and writing skills.
During your interviews, the most important thing is to relax and be yourself. If you are given an interview, it probably means that the firms think you are qualified to work there, so try to look for the firms where you think you will fit in well. Before your interview, do a little bit of research on your interviewers, the type of work that they do, and anything else that you may have in common. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their work, or anything else about working at the firm.
I like to think of a summer clerkship as an extended job interview. Make sure you show up on time every day, and only submit your best work. It’s really important to stay organized and manage your time well. Aside from focusing on your projects, make an attempt to walk around and get to know people. If there’s a particular area that you’re interested in, don’t be afraid to approach some of the partners and ask if there’s any work you can do for them. Overall, keep a positive attitude and work hard and you will definitely be successful.
Q2. Describe a typical day on the job.
I would usually start my day by checking my emails and seeing if there was anything I needed to do before starting my day. I kept a spreadsheet of all of my ongoing assignments, listed by order of importance and due date. I would take a look at my spreadsheet and start working on whatever I needed to do that day. Every day, Alina, our amazing head of professional development, would come by and chat with us to see how we were doing and if there was anything we needed. There were a lot of days where we had lunches planned, and if not I would usually get lunch with my fellow summer associate. Whenever I would submit an assignment, or get a call to start something new, I would sit down with the partner assigning me the work and talk about it. I usually ended my day by updating my assignment list and of course, billing my time.
Q3. What are your plans after the conclusion of the program?
After the conclusion of the program I will enjoy some nice rest and relaxation before starting my third year of law school. I will be working on the editorial board of my school’s law review this year, and I will be taking some interesting and fun courses before buckling down to start preparing for the Bar next summer.
Q4. What were your expectations and have they been met (or exceeded)?
I didn’t really know what to expect before I started, but this summer has definitely exceeded any expectations I had. I was able to work in many different areas of law and get a sense of what I really enjoyed doing. Everyone, from equity partners to staff members, was extremely invested in my success both personally and professionally, and was more than willing to take time to answer any questions or help me with anything I needed. I had heard going in that Shutts had a great culture, but I was really blown away by how great an environment the firm has, and how everyone really enjoyed working here. I was able to attend many hearings, depositions, and even a trial. There were also many fun events outside the office that the firm hosted for us. It was an incredible summer.
About Shutts & Bowen LLP
Shutts & Bowen, established in 1910, is a full-service business law firm with approximately 300 lawyers in offices in Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. Learn more about Shutts & Bowen at www.shutts.com.