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A Summer to Remember

By Annie Gausn | Jun. 2, 2006

Law Office Management

Jun. 2, 2006

A Summer to Remember

Greenberg Traurig takes a cue from Donald Trump.

By Amelia Hansen
      In the competition to woo the country's top law school students, one firm is taking its cue from prime-time TV.
      This month, summer associates at the international firm Greenberg Traurig will compete in the company's third annual Business Challenge program, modeled on NBC's hit show The Apprentice.
      Donald Trump won't be scrutinizing every move, and the lawyers-in-training won't have to worry about hearing the words "you're fired."
      But in addition to learning the traditional tools of the legal trade-writing research memos and billing clients-the summer associates will break into teams and take on projects designed to give them real-life experience in what it's like to make strategic decisions for a law firm.
      At the end of the summer, they'll present their projects at an undisclosed location.
      Last year, they met in New York. "It was definitely different to have such a national and global focus for a summer program," remembers 27-year-old Anna Fudacz, a third-year law school student at the University of Southern California who spent last summer at the firm's Los Angeles office and plans to return to the firm this fall as a first-year associate.
      Fudacz's team-comprising summer associates from Greenberg Traurig offices all over the country-was assigned to look at global expansion possibilities for the firm.
      In late July Fudacz flew to New York to meet up with her teammates for their presentation. In the audience were season 3 Apprentice winner Kendra Todd; George Ross, an executive vice president and senior counsel for the Trump Organization; and Greenberg Traurig CEO Cesar Alvarez, who coached the teams throughout the competition.
      "All the firms do something special-the dinners, the ball games, the symphony, sailing," reflects Dan Black, a senior partner at Greenberg Traurig's L.A. office. "But we want to say, 'Listen, we so believe in you, we're going to fly you in and put you up for two nights.' We also want a young person to come to this firm and say, 'I feel really comfortable here.' "

Annie Gausn

Daily Journal Staff Writer

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