My Summer Associate Experience: Andres Hernandez


Our 2016 Summer Clerkship Program brought in eight law students across several of our offices for an intellectually challenging and professionally gratifying experience. Nearing the end of the program, a few of the students agreed to share a few of the highlights about their summer.

Hernandez, Andres - Miami-webAndres Hernandez joined us from Emory University School of Law. He is a foreign attorney and earned a Master of Laws in Taxation and Business Administration from Northwestern University.

Now that his summer at Shutts has come to an end, Andres will return to Emory for his last year of law school and start preparing for his future as a fully trained US attorney. He’s keeping an eye on the Florida Bar exam and plans on moving to Miami within the year.

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

Q1.  What did you do before coming to Shutts?

A1. Before law school, I was working as an associate at Carrillo y Asociados, a law firm in Guatemala. Carrillo has a solid relationship with Shutts, handling matters for common clients with interest in the US and Latin America. In fact, that’s the main reason why I was completely sure that I wanted to apply to Shutts; I enjoyed every time that I had the opportunity of working with and learning from Shutts’ partners and associates. They were always professional and knowledgeable, had character, and used a personal touch handling clients’ matters that I really liked.

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

A2. It is hard to cut down the most memorable experiences to only three. With a 10-week program, I had the opportunity of working with very smart and interesting people. However, in the interest of time I can mention: (i) The process of new client intake, going over the clients concerns and developing the legal strategy, discussing the alternatives and analyzing the client’s interest from different perspectives to offer the best solutions available; (ii) A project where I was able to perform the complete research for a non-for-profit organization and even drafted a substantial part of the legal memorandum analyzing the requirements to keep its exempt status and dealing with the management of institutional funds; (iii) lastly, I was involved in several tax related matters, dealing mostly with international clients, trusts, and real estate matters, where I was able to fine-tune my knowledge.

Q3. Describe a typical day on the job.

Q3. The first thing I did was write a to-do list of the tasks that needed to be completed that day. Then I checked my e-mails, as I usually had a couple of emails from early that day from partners with new tasks or expanding on previous matters.

I usually arranged my workload with a partner’s deadline expectation, and then I would start doing the assignments: research, document review, writing explanations or follow-up with associates to align my work to what is expected.

At lunchtime, for the days without pre-arranged events or invitations to lunch from partners, I would grab a quick lunch with the other summer associates, and with other associates. I also had lunch with my mentor a couple of times which was great, as I had the opportunity to go over the program and my career goals.

During the afternoon I would continue with my assigned tasks and short assignments from partners. I was often invited to attend meetings with clients.

I usually concluded my day during the evening, and one or two times a week I would leave the office for one of the social events.

Q4. What advice would you give to someone looking for a summer clerkship and succeed in it?

A4. The importance of professional networking cannot be overstated. Participate in events related to your areas of interest and try to meet other attorneys that can share some guidance on practice areas or input regarding the firm where you are applying. Besides doing well in law school, another recommendation would be to start training themselves in the practice of timekeeping while in law school. Tracking tasks and the time required to complete them will definitely help for when the moment comes that you will be expected to start billing your time.

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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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