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2021 Summer Associates Reflect on Their Experience

Our Summer Associate program was back to an in-person experience this year, providing the Summer Associates with a full spectrum of educational and social opportunities.

2021 Summer Associates Lainey Williams and Rachel Sears were selected from a pool of highly qualified applicants to work side-by-side with the experienced attorneys in our West Palm Beach office.

Jones Foster’s Summer Associate Program is designed to broaden law student’s knowledge in multiple practice groups and facilitate communication with employees in various departments. They are challenged with a range of projects and have the opportunity to attend client meetings, trials, hearings, depositions, and negotiations. Each receives firsthand experience by participating in departmental meetings, working with clients, and learning from the Firm’s preeminent attorneys spanning multiple generations and years of experience. The program includes an introduction to marketing and business development, an often overlooked yet increasingly important area of study for young attorneys seeking to build a practice.

We asked Lainey Williams and Rachel Sears to reflect on their time at Jones Foster and share takeaways from their experience.

Lainey R. Williams, J.D. Candidate at University of Florida Levin College of Law

Q: What did you enjoy most about your time as a summer associate?

I enjoyed getting to know many Jones Foster attorneys through weekly meetings and social events. It was a great opportunity to hear about their experiences as practicing attorneys and to learn more about the Firm’s diverse practice areas.

L Williams headshot

Q: Did the experience of working with different practice groups provide insight into any new areas of interest?

Yes, this summer I was able to work on cases with different practice groups within the litigation department. This experience allowed me to explore areas of the law that I was previously unfamiliar with. As a result, I had the opportunity to work on matters involving local government issues and it has sparked a new area of interest for me.

Q: What is one of your most significant accomplishments during your time at Jones Foster?

I had the privilege to work with Vice-Chair and Litigation Shareholder Scott G. Hawkins on a local government matter and I learned a great deal about the researching, drafting, and strategizing that goes into filing and responding to motions. Working on this matter allowed me to apply the lessons I have learned at the University of Florida in practice during hearings on several motions. This gave me practical insights and invaluable experiences that went beyond classroom learning.

Q: What aspects of the Firm culture or dynamics did you most appreciate?

I greatly appreciated the sense of community between colleagues at the Firm. Everyone was very open to sharing knowledge and advice based upon their own experiences. I found the Firm’s overall culture to be very uplifting and inspiring. I was encouraged and motivated to be the best I could be every day.

Rachel L. Sears, J.D. Candidate at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law

Q: What did you enjoy most about your time as a summer associate?

A: I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to research a diverse and challenging set of issues that introduced me to a variety of different areas of law that I had not previously been exposed to. The program not only gave me practical hands-on legal experience but allowed me to further develop and expand my knowledge of the law.

R Sears headshot

In addition, Jones Foster provided the opportunity to attend a number of events including The Florida Bar Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Society 41st Annual Legislative Case Law Update at the Breakers in Palm Beach where I was able to learn about current changes in Florida statutory laws, recent court decisions, and also network with attorneys who attended from cities throughout Florida.

Q: What is one of your most significant accomplishments during your time at Jones Foster?

During my time as a Summer Associate, I had the opportunity to work directly with one of the Corporate & Tax attorneys to research and draft multiple articles that discussed the benefits and challenges of investing in cryptocurrency from a tax perspective, as well as current best practices when it comes to placing these particular types of assets into a will or trust. This experience exposed me to a new and rapidly growing area of law, and I look forward to continuing my research into the developing laws of cryptocurrency and utilizing my knowledge after I graduate from law school next year to help guide my clients into optimizing their investments in digital currency.

Q: What advice would you share with other J.D. candidates interested in a summer associate experience?

First and foremost, I would advise other J.D. candidates interested in a summer associate experience to be flexible and open-minded on assignments. Each assignment given is an opportunity to gain exposure to various aspects of the law and allows you to develop and learn critical legal skills. Take notes, ask a lot of questions, and don’t be afraid to ask for additional learning opportunities.

Also, utilize the Firm resources! The Firm gives access to many research tools and has an in-house librarian and IT staff that are well-versed in navigating each resource to ensure that your experience is as successful as possible.

Q: What aspects of the Firm culture or dynamics did you most appreciate during your time with us?

During the summer, I observed and appreciated the close-knit dynamic at the Firm—from attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants to Human Resources and IT professionals. Each person working at the Firm has an individualized specialty and is quick to offer up their expertise and services to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible.

About Jones Foster

Jones Foster is a commercial and private client law firm headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida. Established in 1924, the Firm has served as an integral part of South Florida’s growth and prosperity for nearly a century. Through a relentless pursuit of excellence, Jones Foster delivers original legal solutions that help clients, colleagues, and the community to move forward. The Firm’s attorneys focus their practice in Real Estate, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Private Wealth, Trusts & Estates, Corporate & Tax, and Land Use & Governmental. For more information, please visit