This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2021 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.
This entry is by Albert Manfredi, COL ’23
This summer was a transformative experience for me both personally and professionally, and it would not have been possible without the generous support of the career services funding grant.
I worked as a file clerk at the Corpion Legal Group, P.A. (CORPlaw), based in Miami, Florida. They offer concierge legal services to a clientele consisting of entrepreneurs, start-ups, tech companies, gamers, and influencers. Assisting this spectacular market was fulfilling in ways I could not have imagined. Each client had a different story regarding their perseverance and hardships as a business owner, especially in the climate of the pandemic. I was able to learn from the dispute resolution and litigation strategy sessions to develop ways to fight corporate bullies and protect the little guys from the too-often inequitable justice system. In the process, I learned about both high-level corporate litigation and business development to gain insight on the business and clients the firm was defending. The creative, cutting-edge, and trailblazing energy of both my non-traditional law firm and our clients often changed my perspective when tackling difficult problems and inundated me with the entrepreneurial spirit.
My role was dynamic over the summer, and it forced me to be both adaptable and efficient. I started as the bottom rung of the corporate ladder, working on a few administrative projects for the firm in addition to managing all digital court and document filing. However, after successful completion of project deliverables where I demonstrated keen critical thinking and writing abilities, the senior attorneys increased my workload both in quantity and quality. I began to draft demand letters to opposing counsel, worked in the sales department to seal deals and engagement agreements, and was tasked with improving the firm’s billing process.
After proving myself in these roles, I was unofficially promoted internally to work as the CEO’s executive assistant. In addition to my other responsibilities supporting the legal, sales, and billing teams, I managed the CEO’s calendar and inbox. While this task seems to be mundane, when paired with everything else, the juggling of several competing priorities had me on my toes 50 to 60 hours a week. I had always prided myself on my time management skills; however, this situation pushed me to an extreme level of unfamiliarity where I was constantly revising my organizational systems in order to both keep on track with project deadlines and remain flexible to put out administrative fires as they inevitably popped up during the workday.
It is only in these uncomfortable situations where learning truly occurs at its best, and I believe that I learned a tremendous amount that only this role and situation could have provided me. Not only did I improve my white-collar working skills and develop completely new ones to adapt to the role, working on the legal work and for the clientele instilled within me a passion to become an intellectual property attorney to further the mission of creatives and scientists like myself. I am deeply grateful to Career Services for financing this life-changing experience, I have come out of it with a new professional objective and mindset.