Frequently Asked Questions: Summer Associates
After reviewing our website, you may be considering whether Jimerson Birr is the right place to begin your legal career. Below you will find general descriptive information about who we are and what we stand for in written and spoken word format. If you have any additional questions not covered below or have interest in our firm, please contact us.
- Where is this firm at, where is it going and why should I want to be a part of it?
- What core values and guiding principles does the firm value the most?
- How would you describe the firm’s service offerings and capabilities?
- How would you describe the firm’s client base and how do you see the firm’s client base growing in the future?
- What sets this firm apart in the way that it provides legal services to its clients?
- How would you describe the firm’s culture?
- What types of people work at this firm and why would I enjoy working with them?
- How does the firm assist its attorneys in growing their book of business through marketing and business development efforts?
- How does the firm encourage and support attorneys who want to be involved in civic, philanthropic, trade or professional association activities on behalf of the firm?
- How does the Summer Associate Program work?
- How does this firm stay abreast of technological innovation in the industry to ensure its lawyers and staff are working with the best resources available?
- In what ways is the firm dedicated to training, mentorship and ongoing professional development of its attorneys and staff?
- Does the firm extend job offers to those who perform well in its Summer Associate Program?
- For what reasons were Summer Associates not extended offers in the past?
- How would you describe the leadership and management structure and style of the firm?
- What opportunities for growth and career advancement exist for me at the firm?
- What will it take for me to be successful at the firm?
- What does the firm look for in a Summer Associate?
- Will I have an opportunity to work in many practice areas or with many lawyers in my summer clerkship?
- What does a day in the life of a Summer Associate look like?
Where is this firm at, where is it going and why should I want to be a part of it?
Jimerson Birr is a full-service business law firm that provides a one-stop shop for businesses and executives. During the past decade, our award winning firm has established itself as one of the fastest growing law firms in the country. This is the product of our engaged and motivated attorneys who deliver customized, client-focused solutions. Watch this video to learn more about our firm’s trajectory:< Back To Top
What core values and guiding principles does the firm value the most?
Each member of our firm is responsive, competent, collaborative and personally accountable. Cultivating a culture of trust between the firm, it’s clients and each other is what we do best. This starts by putting our client’s big picture needs first at all times, and delivering timely, effective and “on budget” legal solutions. The quality of our legal work is reflected by the high standards we each set for ourselves, and measured by our ability to live up to those standards. Watch this video to learn more about why we are not a workplace that confuses efforts with results:< Back To Top
How would you describe the firm’s service offerings and capabilities?
At Jimerson Birr, P.A., we take a multi-disciplinary approach to handling complex business matters and in advising clients on a wide range of legal issues. With broad industry knowledge and significant experience in our areas of practice, we devise solutions that address each client’s particular needs and objectives to assure the highest levels of effective representation.
As set forth in our “What we do” section and “Who we serve” section on our website, we are a full-service business law firm, who seeks to provide provides client-focused, proactive legal and business counsel to clients of all sizes – from startups to Fortune 500 companies to closely held businesses and high net worth individuals.
At present time, we have a heavy focus on Florida-based litigation, with business litigation being our most active practice, but our firm is structured in a way that it can meet most any legal needs of any business client operating throughout North America and around the world. Our attorneys litigate disputes and negotiate deals in a way that helps clients cut through complexities, get to the heart of the problem, and win what matters most.
As our firm grows, we fully expect its service offerings to continue to expand. Our expansion is predicated on leveraging our existing and expanding relationships to their fullest potential. Not only do we have deep experience in our primary practice areas, but we also have specialized acumen in the industries in which our clients do business. That way, we always know we’re delivering the most relevant solutions and adding value through added service offerings. By knowing the intricacies of our client’s business inside and out, we’re able to provide the most effective counsel at the right price. We enjoy continually learning, growing, and adapting right along with our clients.< Back To Top
How would you describe the firm’s client base and how do you see the firm’s client base growing in the future?
Jimerson Birr is a global-reaching, multi-practice law firm. We represent individuals, private enterprises and public companies in a variety of industries including:
- Banking and financial services
- Community associations
- Manufacturing and distribution
- Real estate
- Professional services
- Small business
- Private equity and venture capital
- Energy and utilities
Our lawyers serve as counsel to a broad range of local, regional and national businesses. Because we value these incredible relationships, we work hard to continue to earn their business. Watch this video to learn more about how this focus on relationships will help us continue to grow:< Back To Top
What sets this firm apart in the way that it provides legal services to its clients?< Back To Top
How would you describe the firm’s culture?
Our law firm is employee-oriented and professionally fulfilling. It is made up of ambitious achievers who have respect for their clients, colleagues, profession, family, community and themselves. We certainly work hard, but we also have fun. And we enjoy working with each other, so it isn't surprising that year after year we are recognized as being one of the best companies to work for. Watch this video to learn more about what it feels like to work here:< Back To Top
What types of people work at this firm and why would I enjoy working with them?
Jimerson Birr attorneys and staff share many common threads, including:
- a persistent positive attitude;
- consistent personal accountability;
- team-oriented sensibility;
- strong work ethic; and
- habitual goal-setting.
Employees are self-empowered, taking ownership of our lives and our career path. You’d like being a summer associate here if you are the type of person who wants to be better today than you were yesterday. Watch this video to learn more about who we are:< Back To Top
How does the firm assist its attorneys in growing their book of business through marketing and business development efforts?< Back To Top
How does the firm encourage and support attorneys who want to be involved in civic, philanthropic, trade or professional association activities on behalf of the firm?
Since its founding, Jimerson Birr’s commitment to the communities in which we live and the industries we serve has been as strong as its passion and desire to champion client objectives. The firm’s attorneys and staff members are active in the community with their time, expertise, financial support and most importantly, with their passionate spirit. These experiences broaden and deepen our understanding of our communities and the world around us, which in turn enables us to better serve our clients.
Every attorney at Jimerson Birr belongs to local, regional and national professional and trade associations and many participate on committees, policy-making teams and in fundraising events. Furthermore, every attorney at Jimerson Birr is a member of their state and local bar associations, and many are also members of specialty bar associations or professional organizations comprised of peers in the legal industry. Lastly, every attorney at Jimerson Birr is a member of a civic or philanthropic organization. A quick look around shows that our lawyers are leaders in their trade, the industry they support and the communities they live in, at no cost to them other than their time. All of the engagement initiatives of our attorneys are funded by the firm and supported through assistance from the firm’s marketing department. Our firm has a track record of giving money to fuel community and community solutions, and lending its voice to causes that matter most to our firm, its employees and its clients.
Overall, the same spirit of dedication, persistence, selflessness, preparedness and endurance that we extend to our clients, we humbly extend to our professional, civic, charitable and community activities. All attorneys are encouraged to play an active role in the community, which often involves volunteer commitments, involvement on nonprofit and trade association boards, leadership roles in civic organizations and pro bono work, all with the support of senior firm leadership and the firm’s marketing department.< Back To Top
How does the Summer Associate Program work?
The Summer Associate Program allows you to experience a career in a dynamic firm that promotes your professional growth and provides the skills you need to be a successful first-year associate. From day one, you are given real, substantive work and are an integral part of our team. Many of our Associates (and soon to be Partners) started as Summer Associates and our goal is to continue hiring successful Summer Associates.
Summer Associates work closely with Associates and Partners to develop their legal skills. You will regularly have opportunities to draft or review pleadings, contracts, and blog postings. In addition, our firm has two marketing experts that will help you polish your personal brand. In order for you to maximize the opportunities of the Summer Associate Program, it is typically lasts approximately ten to twelve weeks.
Our relationship with Summer Associates begins with on-campus interviews. Once we extend an offer to a candidate, we regularly keep in touch with that candidate in hopes of establishing a meaningful personal and professional relationship.
We welcome Summer Associates into our work family from onset, as our firm usually has a series of social events scheduled at the beginning of each summer to integrate our Summer Associates with our team. From there, our Summer Associates tend to develop strong personal and professional relationships with the lawyers they are working alongside of. Formally and informally, our Summer Associates regularly find themselves tagging along at client development events, civic/philanthropic events, non-profit Board of Director meetings and many other events our lawyers regularly participate in. We want our Summer Associates to have a full Jimerson Birr experience, and that includes participating in the activities we engage in outside of the office.
To ensure that our firm is providing a socially and professional inclusive experience, each lawyer at our firm is tasked with the responsibility of, at a minimum, assigning each Summer Associate a work project, mentoring that Summer Associate through the project to its full completion, providing each Summer Associate with a shadowing opportunity at a hearing, deposition, trial, transaction closing, client meeting or negotiation with opposing counsel, and an “off-campus” social opportunity. Because of the firm’s commitment to enculturation, our Summer Associates have an opportunity to learn who each lawyer at our firm is, what they do and why they do it.
Through our Summer Associate Program, we provide a hand-picked and diverse group of law students from around the country the opportunity to dynamically participate in a far-reaching and stimulating range of legal matters. Through immersion into our practice, and the individual brand of each lawyer comprising our practice, Summer Associates are exposed to our enduring core values—the values that guide our delivery of the highest quality legal services to our clients and our service to the communities that we work in.< Back To Top
How does this firm stay abreast of technological innovation in the industry to ensure its lawyers and staff are working with the best resources available?< Back To Top
In what ways is the firm dedicated to training, mentorship and ongoing professional development of its attorneys and staff?< Back To Top
Does the firm extend job offers to those who perform well in its Summer Associate Program?
Jimerson Birr’s business model is predicated in part upon upgrading the talent of our roster through a continuous pipeline of law students from top-tier law schools joining our firm on an annual basis. When the firm extends an offer of summer employment to law students, it is an expression that the firm sees character traits and aptitude in that student that superficially meet the standards of the law firm, not only as a Summer Associate, but as a potential business partner years down the road. The firm intends on providing job offers to every candidate that joins our program. Summer Associates will have ample opportunity to earn a spot on our team, proving that they are a cultural and professional fit for the firm, its service offerings and its client base. What each Summer Associate does with that opportunity is up to them.< Back To Top
For what reasons were Summer Associates not extended offers in the past?
Though our firm hires Summer Associates with the intention of offering gainful employment after law school graduation, there have been times where a particular Summer Associate was not the right fit for our firm. In those circumstances, our firm has been open and forthright with the candidate, provided constructive feedback on work product and job performance, administered interim and final performance evaluation, provided positive reference and assisted with finding gainful post-graduation employment. Simply put, we hire people who we want to be at our firm for the long haul, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. When it doesn’t work out, our management goes out of its way to assist our former employees in finding a firm or professional opportunity that is a better fit.
Our firm evaluates many factors when considering to offer post-graduation employment to its Summer Associates, but the biggest factor that our firm considers is whether the candidate can step right in during the first year practicing law and be a key contributor. Our firm’s hiring philosophy is to hire great people, provide them with the resources needed to be successful, deliver opportunities for our professionals to flourish, mentor our professionals at each step of the way and exalt their achievements as the victories accumulate. One of the most critical components of that formula is having lawyers at our firm who are able to perform at a high level, irrespective of their time in service as a practicing lawyer. While our expectations for the capabilities of our lawyers adjust as that lawyer gains experience, the firm has a fundamental set of standards that it will never adjust for lawyers of any experience level. If the firm, through collective feedback gathered from all lawyers in the Summer Associate evaluation process, decides that those standards were not met or is skeptical that those standards can be consistently met in the future, then the lawyers of the firm --as a group-- will decline to extend an offer of employment to the evaluated Summer Associate.< Back To Top
How would you describe the leadership and management structure and style of the firm?< Back To Top
What opportunities for growth and career advancement exist for me at the firm?
Every success story is a tale of constant revision, adaptation and change. The firm’s story is no different. We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are. As a firm that doubles its investment in its personnel, there is no way the firm can do anything but triple its present success. The firm will always continue to challenge its limits and create its own opportunities. What that means for each individual working at the firm is up to that individual.
On the surface, the firm offers three types of growth opportunities to current employees and candidates looking at continuing their careers with Jimerson Birr. First and foremost, it offers competitive financial opportunities. The firm will always remain committed to providing competitive compensation and benefits packages to personnel at all levels. Individual performers who perform at a level beyond their peers will always be rewarded with above-market wages.
Second, our firm provides plenty of growth potential for professional advancement. As a firm with a lifelong commitment to learning, we are an organization skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights. Our firm’s advancement is predicated on innovation and providing value added services to our clients. This requires us to embrace a simple truth: new ideas are essential if learning is to take place. Sometimes they are created de novo, through flashes of insight or creativity; at other times they arrive from outside the organization or are communicated by knowledgeable insiders. Whatever their source, these ideas are the trigger for organizational improvement. This thirst for knowledge and improvement will ensure that every member of our firm will always have an opportunity to grow and expand- in responsibilities, authority and influence. So long as you are the type of person who is focused on uplifting others, you will always have great influence at our firm. Our firm is built to provide opportunities for those who help build it.
Lastly, our firm provides a strong platform for those motivated by personal growth opportunities. If you care about your professional success, then constant development is nothing new to you. Professional success is closely connected to personal development, even though in corporate America professional development gets less attention than the development of certain skills needed to get the job done. Through our commitment to a well-balanced corporate culture, we’ve found that when personal development at work is given the attention it deserves it helps the firm achieve truly outstanding results for its clients and employees. The firm only finds success when the results it obtains for its clients are achieved by healthy, happy, well-compensated employees. Our collegial, yet professional, office atmosphere is comprised of people who are achievers and moving in the right direction in life. That is not by accident. We hire only that type of person, find out what motivates that particular person in business and in life, and then we fight like hell to help that person achieve all of their goals.< Back To Top
What will it take for me to be successful at the firm?< Back To Top
What does the firm look for in a Summer Associate?
Jimerson Birr is looking for someone who displays ambition, enthusiasm, and the ability to thrive in the practice of law. A strong academic foundation is required. A competitive candidate displays excellent communication skills and a natural curiosity to learn. In hiring Summer Associates, we look for candidates who seek intellectual challenges and meaningful personal experiences.
We appreciate the benefits that flow from a diverse group of professionals and welcome applicants from all walks of life. Many of our attorneys had other careers before attending law school and bring valuable perspectives to our clients. Above all, we are looking for someone who demonstrates a can-do attitude and a sense of personal accountability.< Back To Top
Will I have an opportunity to work in many practice areas or with many lawyers in my summer clerkship?
You will work alongside attorneys from all of our practice areas who are eager to help you develop as an attorney. When we asked one of our most recent Summer Associates to comment on what types of matters he worked on in the first month of the summer he replied: “Construction defects, shareholder derivative actions, employment law issues, intellectual property protection, corporate asset purchase transactions, administrative regulatory defense, and eminent domain takings.” Judging from that answer, our firm provides a fairly immersive experience. At Jimerson Birr, our Summer Associates are given the same level of respect and responsibility as all of our other associates. We try to make the summer clerkship as realistic as possible so that our Summer Associates will know us and we will know them.
Jimerson Birr attracts attorneys from many different practice areas and is always looking for new challenges. While most of our cases involve litigation in Florida, we are well-equipped to take on cases from around the world in almost every practice area. We are currently looking to expand our flourishing transactional practice and Summer Associates can expect to work on cases involving both transactional and litigation practice areas.
Each week during the Summer Associate Program is named after a different attorney. During that attorney’s week, he or she will take you to a legal event, such as a deposition, hearing, negotiation, or closing, and take you to a social event, such as lunch or happy hour. This is your chance to get to know our firm through the perspective of a wide range of our professionals and to learn why practicing law at our firm is a great choice. Everyone at the firm is here to mentor you and make sure that your Summer Associate Program adds long-term value to your career.< Back To Top
What does a day in the life of a Summer Associate look like?
As a Summer Associate, you will enjoy the same flexibility and responsibility that our associates enjoy. How you spend your day is largely up to you. There are no set office hours and our only expectation is that you keep up on your assignments and communicate your progress as needed. Summer Associates frequently accompany our attorneys to hearings, mediations, trials, conferences, client appointments and networking events. If there is a specific area of law that you would like to experience, feel free to ask, because chances are, someone here can help you gain the experience you want. We have an open-door policy and encourage our Summer Associates to get to know everyone at the firm on a personal and professional level.
There are also plenty of firm activities outside the office. Recent firm outings include Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp baseball games, a paddleboat excursion, community outreach events, all-attorney steak dinner, golf outings, happy hours, lunches and so much more. As a Summer Associate, you are encouraged to get out of the office and learn first-hand why Jimerson Birr is a great place to build your career.< Back To Top