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US Summer Associates share their personal highlights from the program

August 2021: Ten weeks, eight offices, 107 summer associates and 3,200+ pro bono hours: Three members of the "Class of 2021" look back on their White & Case Summer Program experience.

Describe your overall impressions of the White & Case summer program.

Anna Williams (New York): "This is my second summer at the Firm, and because of it, my experience has been well rounded. I have had the opportunity to try an array of practice areas, connect with a vast number of attorneys across offices, and participate in a two-week externship at a public interest organization."

Jay Krishnan (Boston): "White & Case is filled with multi-talented colleagues from all parts of the world. One of the Boston summer associates is a world traveler, another taught himself Russian, and one has summited some of the world's highest peaks. What everybody has in common is a passion for legal work and a desire to help our clients."

Joshua VonTrapp (Houston): "This is my second summer at White & Case. As with last summer, I have had the opportunity to form relationships with great mentors; the attorneys at the Firm, both in Houston and in the Firm's other offices, have been very generous with their time, both in casual coffee chats and lunches, and with explaining assignments or answering questions. The attorneys I have worked with have made me feel like a part of the team from day one and have given me meaningful opportunities to contribute and learn."

Tell us about the work. What matters have you been working on?

Jay: "I was hired as an Intellectual Property Fellow. One matter which I found particularly interesting had to do with the International Trade Commission (ITC) and the issues involved when a patent holder might trigger ITC jurisdiction in a patent dispute. These can be difficult and confusing issues, so we delved into the case law to help inform what would be the best litigation strategy."

Anna: "I have worked on a range of matters, most of which involved an international component. On one end, I helped prepare subpoenas for a pharmaceutical litigation case and contributed to resource nationalism research for the Disputes team. On the other end, I handled a number of discrete assignments for a banking deal and helped summarize an M&A transaction. The matters were exciting and I valued the team-oriented environments."

Joshua: "One of the projects that has produced many assignments this summer has been a very complex LNG project in Latin America. It has been enriching to participate in different ways on many of the agreements and learn a little bit about how LNG projects work, particularly in developing countries."

What about pro bono work?

Joshua: "I worked with some litigation attorneys in the New York and Los Angeles offices on an asylum application and brief for our client, who is Cuban and a member of the LGBT community. It has been rewarding to learn more about immigration law and working to secure a victory for our client so that he can remain in the United States."

Anna: "While I was at the Vera Institute of Justice, I conducted legal research for de-criminalization legislation at both the national and state levels. My time with the organization was meaningful and it inspired me to centralize pro bono work in my future endeavors."

 Why are you interested in a career in the law?

Joshua: "As an undergraduate student, I participated in a collegiate Arabic debate competition hosted by the Qatar Foundation in Doha, Qatar. While there, I interacted with many law students from around the world, and many of the issues we debated involved the law. That experience, and an international law course I took the following semester, confirmed my interest in the law."

Anna: "While I was an undergrad, I had the opportunity to intern at a law firm in New York. The internship was my first exposure to the legal industry and I walked away from it with a confirmation of the type of work I wanted to do and where I wanted to do it. That confirmation, plus the pre-law courses I took thereafter and my problem-solving demeanor, pointed me to law."

Jay: "Science is my first love. Before law school, I worked at IBM Watson Health, where our teams were developing AI-enabled solutions to augment a physician's decision-making process. I realized that big changes in science and tech depend not only on the utility of the tech, but also on whether the technology would be adopted by society and how the technology fits within our evolving legal frameworks. In a way, I feel like I chose science, but the law chose me."