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2022 Summer Associates Recount Their Experience at Jones Foster

As the 2022 Summer Associate program comes to a close, we sat down with Megan Norris and Michael Furnari to discuss their experience at Jones Foster. Megan and Michael were selected from a pool of highly qualified applicants and afforded a full spectrum of educational and social opportunities during their time here.

They worked side-by-side with the experienced attorneys in our West Palm Beach office in order to broaden their knowledge across multiple practice groups and begin to apply their education to real-life matters and legal proceedings. They were challenged with a range of projects and had the opportunity to attend client meetings, trials, hearings, depositions, and negotiations. 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.

Below are some of Megan and Michael's experience highlights.

Megan E. Norris, J.D. Candidate, University of Miami School of Law

Q: How has the program helped prepare you for a future in law?

A: The firm’s program gave me insight into a future in law like no other. I received first-hand experience by researching relevant and pressing issues; attending trials; listening to depositions; and drafting contracts, motions, and memorandums. I exponentially enhanced my research and writing skills. I also gained invaluable professional experience by listening to and communicating with the firm’s attorneys. I was able to receive a glimpse into my future as an attorney, and I am grateful for the opportunity to do so.

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

A: Very much so. Prior to my summer with Jones Foster, I knew only of practice areas like real estate, private wealth, tax, and municipal work from the pages of my law school textbooks. These areas, while foundationally the same, are addressed much differently in practice. This really sparked my interest in areas that I had not even considered practicing prior to this summer. I look forward to exploring them further in my final year of law school.

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

A: I would tell them to apply to Jones Foster if any of the firm’s practice areas even remotely intrigue them. I went into this summer with only a vague understanding of several of the practice areas and am leaving with an entirely different perspective. Summer Associate opportunities should be about taking risks, learning a vast range of information, and exploring new territory. Jones Foster takes this very seriously and strives to provide such an experience. It is important to have an idea of preferred areas of interest, but it is equally important to have an open mind and be ready to take on any assignment. The practice of law is much different from law school, and it is essential to find a firm that values the continued education of its Summers in this regard.

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

A: I most appreciated how naturally I was welcomed into the firm’s culture. Every attorney was approachable, helpful, insightful, and delighted to work with me. The atmosphere was supportive and engaging, which was quite a relief at a time when society is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, I greatly appreciated how diligently the firm worked to provide such an enriching experience as a Summer Associate. I was provided with an unparalleled opportunity to enhance my own understanding of the law and to learn how to apply it in practice. I received incredible mentorship and guidance every step of the way. I am very grateful for such a rigorous yet rewarding summer.

Michael Furnari, J.D. Candidate, Vanderbilt Law School

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

A: I most enjoyed getting to see Jones Foster attorneys in action during depositions, hearings, and trials. I had the privilege of observing a full jury trial, which was very exciting and an excellent learning experience. Seeing Jones Foster attorneys in action showed me firsthand the value of good lawyering.

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

A: I worked with a litigation associate responding to a motion for default judgment in a commercial litigation matter. We had to work on a tight deadline to prepare strong arguments for our filing. I really enjoyed this assignment, and it taught me a lot about how to effectively research and write under pressure and how to structure a persuasive argument. Seeing my research and writing incorporated into a filing was very satisfying.

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

A: I appreciated how helpful and forthcoming the attorneys and staff were during my time here. Everyone sharing their knowledge and advice made getting acclimated much easier. The culture at Jones Foster is very collaborative, and that not only makes work more enjoyable but also improves the quality of the work product.

Q: How has the program helped prepare you for a future in law?

A: Law school has been an excellent experience, but nothing prepares you for legal practice quite like being a Summer Associate. I have refined my writing skills and gained a greater appreciation for the communication and teamwork required to succeed as a lawyer. Law school is very individually-focused, but the legal practice requires a totally different approach. Working at Jones Foster and being exposed to so many different facets of legal practice has been very helpful.

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 www.jonesfoster.com.