RALEIGH, N.C. — Poyner Spruill’s 2018 Summer Associate Program brought in six law students from across North Carolina.
The group included Nia Doaks, a rising 2L at Wake Forest University School of Law; Sarah Fritsch, a rising 2L at Wake Forest University School of Law; Ker Medero, a rising 2L at the University of North Carolina School of Law; Davis Fussell, a rising 3L at the University of North Carolina School of Law; Maurizo Lewis-Streit, a rising 3L at Campbell University School of Law; and Michael Todd, a rising 3L at the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Poyner Spruill set out to deliver a strong Summer Associate Program during the 2018 season, and based off feedback received from participants, the firm was successful in their endeavors.
“Given that this is my first summer out of law school, I had no idea what to expect from a summer working at a law firm, and this program certainly exceeded any expectations I did have,” Nia Doaks said of her experience.
When asked her thoughts about the program, Sarah Fritsch said, “The experience has exceeded my already high expectations, not only around the type of work I was able to do, but also the events created for the summer associates and the people we have gotten to know. It has been great to get projects from the various practice areas and get to apply the general knowledge from my first year of law school to real world situations with clients.”
Davis Fussell mentioned the balance of projects and events, as well as “the investment in the program firm-wide, and the quality and variety of the work.” Several of the summer associates mentioned the willingness of the attorneys to explain the details of the projects they were working on.
“I appreciate how everyone was willing to make time in their day to explain the background of what I was working on or how some particular issue fit within a larger matter,” Fussell said.
Fritsch agreed, adding, “All of the attorneys have taken the time to fully explain the background of the projects I was working on; it helped to put it into perspective that we are doing real work to help a client reach their business goals.”
All of the summer associates were excited about the type of work they were able to do during the program.
Fritsch said she enjoyed being able to shadow a deposition, mediation, and trial, while Doaks explained, “I was able to experience working on a project from the research and discovery phase and through the mediation, which had a big impact on me and reinforced my purpose for wanting to be in this profession.”
Fussell added, “My favorite experience was attending a mediation with Tim Wilson in Rocky Mount. I feel like I learned a valuable lesson from seeing how intentional Tim was about cultivating his long-term relationships with the mediator, the client, our co-counsel, and the other party and its counsel.”
Ker Medero enjoyed the unique opportunity to travel to Bentonville, Arkansas to participate in the Diverse Summer Associate Shadow Program with the Legal Department of Walmart Inc. The program’s goal is to give students exposure to the business side of a law practice by partnering with the summer associate programs of various outside counsel law firms to Walmart.
In addition to the variety and quality of projects, Doaks noted Poyner Spruill’s deliberate effort to provide opportunities in which the summer associates could get to know other people within the firm.
“One of my favorite experiences was the Escape Room and dinner in the Charlotte office. We had so much fun, even though my team lost by 12 seconds,” she said.
Some of the other favorite social events included a dinner hosted by Charlotte partner Tate Ogburn, a scavenger hunt around Uptown Charlotte, and a dinner in Raleigh with the management committee. Medero and Fussell both enjoyed cheering on the North Carolina Football Club and the Taste of Raleigh food tour.
In addition to the activities, opportunities, and exciting projects, the people were what many of the summer associates commented on in their feedback.
“What really draws me to Poyner Spruill are the people that you get to work with every day,” Michael Todd said. “Everyone from the managing partners, to the associates, to the support staff went out of their way to ensure that I was enjoying my experience, getting good work, and building relationships within the firm. It was clear that all of the lawyers, whether they were partners or associates, were genuinely interested in getting to know me and helping me become a good lawyer.”
This sentiment was echoed throughout the feedback received from the summer associates.
“People seem to genuinely enjoy one another,” Fussell said.
Fritsch wrote, “The people are what makes Poyner most unique. Everyone is genuine and kind but also ambitious and hard working.”
About Poyner Spruill
Poyner Spruill LLP is a full-service law firm that provides comprehensive business counsel and litigation services to clients ranging from small family-owned companies to publicly traded corporations. As one of North Carolina’s largest law firms, Poyner Spruill has a reputation for professional excellence in client service throughout the Southeast. Poyner Spruill has offices in Charlotte, Raleigh, Rocky Mount and Southern Pines. For more information, visit www.poynerspruill.com.