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David Finkelstein, USA / June-July 2009

David Finkelstein

Pheonix, AZ, USA

Education: Arizona State University, B.A. & B.S; Hebrew University of Jerusalem, M.A.; University of Chicago, J.D. Candidate

Languages: English, Arabic, Hebrew

I had a fantastic summer at Heskia-Hacmun Law Firm. Not only did I have an amazing view from the 38th Floor of the Azrieli Towers, but I also worked with a great team on very interesting projects. During my time at the firm, I translated international real estate transactions, worked on cross-border intellectual property disputes, and assisted partners in representing clients in cases of breach of contract.
Although knowledge of Hebrew is not necessary for a summer associate, it may help to enrich the experience. I enjoyed the challenge of learning Hebrew legalese. Moreover, my Hebrew knowledge enabled me to perform research for partners, translate documents, and follow court proceedings.
While I greatly enjoyed the numerous and diverse projects that I was given, I did not find the workload to be onerous. The firm has no face time requirement. When there are no assignments available, the firm encourages summer associates to go to the beach, the bar, or both. At the same time, the firm is flexible in allowing time off for short trips around the country and the region.
By far the best part of the experience was working with an outstanding team. The open door policy of the firm makes it easy to interact with partners and senior associates. I felt comfortable asking for feedback on my work, advice about my future aspirations, and recommendations of things to see and do in Tel Aviv. In turn, partners and senior associates would solicit my advice about the U.S. legal system and possible interpretations to clauses of contracts. The strong foundation of mutual respect created a very congenial and collegial working environment.
The small size of the firm, at least by U.S. standards, also enabled me to forge strong relationships with everyone in the office. I greatly enjoyed celebrating momentous personal accomplishments and attending family functions of my colleagues. Informal social gatherings of foreign summer associates and our Israeli counterparts were not uncommon.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with wonderful people, gain great practical experience, and contribute to the firm in a meaningful way.