Chandler Clark is a 3L at the IU McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, Indiana. He will be working for Lewis Kappes as a part-time law clerk during the 2020-2021 academic year and will be joining the firm as a full-time associate following the completion of his legal studies. Chandler provides a glimpse into his experiences as a 2020 summer associate in the following article.
Lewis Kappes’ Summer Associate Program provided me with a glimpse into the life of a Lewis Kappes associate. Through several assignments, substantive projects, and positive office interactions, I quickly recognized Lewis Kappes’ passion for professionally developing its staff and cultivating/maintaining a positive workplace culture; this experience confirmed that I want to practice law alongside this team. For that reason, I have the pleasure of joining Lewis Kappes as a full-time associate next year. Below, I expand on my takeaways from Lewis Kappes’ Summer Associate Program, highlighting the features which make me eager to join the firm.
Despite an industry-shaking global pandemic, Lewis Kappes’ Summer Associate Program provided numerous opportunities for professional growth. First, there was no shortage of work. Every day, I received assignments from various Directors with clear explanations of upcoming deadlines and expectations. After completion of each assignment, I met (either in person or virtually) with the Director and received feedback that helped improve my knowledge and skills in each particular area of practice. My assignments spanned multiple practice areas, including but not limited to bankruptcy, utility law, business litigation, probate, family law, education law, and corporate lending.
Second, I provided substantive assistance on the variety of matters in which I was involved. For example, by working with Mike Hebenstreit in his bankruptcy practice, I researched, prepared for, and participated in every step of the bankruptcy process, including but not limited to the initial client consultation and filing of schedules. Additionally, spectating Mike’s role as a Bankruptcy Trustee, particularly in multiple 341 hearings, exposed me to the policies, rationales, and legal principles that underlie bankruptcy proceedings. This opportunity for substantive work was not limited to bankruptcy matters. By working with Bob Rund, I participated in the 2020 publication of his annual legal treatise, titled Indiana School Laws and Rules. Additionally, close work with Jim Zoccola revealed me to several stages of business disputes, including but not limited to the initial client consultation, quickly responding to existing clients’ emergencies, and drafting pleadings. Jim also allowed me to spectate a virtual deposition.
Third, Lewis Kappes’ response to the pandemic exhibited the skills necessary for success in the legal field. Ultimately, successful attorneys must adapt to new circumstances, overcome challenges, and diligently represent clients despite externalities. My summer with Lewis Kappes provided a snapshot of these qualities in action. For example, the firm adapted to the COVID-climate with its impressive technological presence. In this capacity, the firm’s attorneys did not miss a beat in virtual hearings, phone conferences, and other telecommunication methods with clients and opposing counsel. Similarly, although social distancing presented communicative difficulties, Lewis Kappes’ attorneys overcame this challenge by tailoring their representative techniques to compensate for a lack of face-to-face consultations. And last, the firm’s attorneys creatively responded to the difficulties presented by COVID-related shutdowns in order to competently and diligently represent clients’ interests.
Although I am eager to join a team of high quality lawyers whose passion for professional development was not stymied by social unrest, I am perhaps most excited to work alongside a genuine group of individuals who make up the firm’s positive culture. At Lewis Kappes, you will find it difficult to reach your office in the morning before receiving a friendly greeting. Impressively, this cordial atmosphere lingers throughout the day in the form of coffee meetings, lunch outings, conversations in the “millennial room,” and general correspondence in the hallway. This culture, combined with Lewis Kappes’ industry leadership, contributed to the Summer Associate Program’s success. These features are why I eagerly agreed to join Lewis Kappes as a full-time associate following completion of my legal studies.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.