My Summer Associate Experience: Robert Secrist


Our 2019 Summer Clerkship Program brought four law students 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.

Robert Secrist joined us from Vanderbilt University Law School, where he is a member of the Legal Aid Society, the Cork and Tap Society, the Law and Business Society and the Entertainment and Sports Law Society. Robert previously worked as an Investment Banking Summer Analyst at MBS Capital Markets. He is expected to graduate in 2021.

Here is what Robert had to say about his summer at Shutts.

Q1. What did you do before coming to Shutts?

Prior to Shutts, I had just completed my first year at Vanderbilt University Law School. I am presently applying for the JD/MS Finance program. Last year, I participated in mock trial and am anticipating participation in moot court. I was a 1L representative for the Legal Aid Society and I am now the vice-president of the Cork and Tap Society.

Before that, I attended Rollins College in Winter Park and my previous, undergraduate internships were both related to real estate, but in different industries (investment banking and technology start-up).

Q2. What were the three most memorable experiences throughout your time here?

My three most memorable experiences throughout my time, in no particular order, were: assisting with a real estate closing, attending litigation proceedings, and associate outings (lunches, happy hours, bowling at Splitsville, dodgeball tournament, softball games). An honorable mention among my memorable experiences would also be attending lunches with a variety of partners, three to four days per week, over the course of the summer.

Q3. What knowledge and/or skills will you be taking with you after completing the program?

One of the top takeaways from this summer was simply how to work in a law firm. The dynamics of a large firm are unlike any work environment I have ever been in and, after the brief learning curve, I feel as if I became a beneficial member of the team. After completing the program, I will be going back to Nashville with an enhanced appreciation for the practice of law. I have become much more experienced at research and I feel as if I have greatly improved on my writing. The feedback I received on my work was extremely beneficial and pushed me to continue working on everything from stylistic choices to content.

Q4. Describe a typical day on the job.

Depending on the day, I would start in my office or be prepared to head to the courthouse. My mentor, George Dennison, who had a hand in making this an unforgettable summer, would often stop by to address any questions or concerns I may have had before diving into my assignments for the day. Some tasks I would receive lasted multiple days, while others could be completed within an hour or two. I tended to leave my door open, so that partners walking by might see me and offer more work that they felt was within my purview. I completed assignments in a variety of fields, ranging from litigation (construction and business) to real estate (land-use and transactions).

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

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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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