Summer Jobs Snapshot: Four Times the Impact - Spending a Summer at Edwards Wildman

Stepping out of the elevators onto the 20th floor of the Prudential building and into the offices of Edwards Wildman -- a top international firm with hundreds of lawyers around the globe -- it’s easy to see how a small group of four high school students might feel intimidated. However, after just a few weeks Boston Public High School students Olivier Tingue, Jose Maria, Emily Mercado, and Loyanni Carvalho-Mendes are right at home.  Edwards Wildman, a longtime supporter of the program, realized the students they employ through this program are much more than an extra set of hands. Their past experience with the students and commitment to increasing opportunities for Boston youth has resulted in them taking four students each summer for the past two years.

Managing Partner and Summer Jobs Steering Committee Co-Chair Matthew McTygue has observed that, due to their youth and enthusiasm, they are “ready to help and like learning why things are done the way they are, which allows them to pick up on projects that have fallen through the cracks.” Thanks to their attitude and energy, the students’ services have been in high demand across the entire office this summer, helping with projects ranging from updating the firm’s webpage to assisting with a system change in the firm’s mailroom. Frequently, “lawyers were fighting over them; people were trying to book them in advance for their time,” said McTygue.











The program at Edwards Wildman Palmer provides unique opportunities for students to interact with and learn from attorneys and staff in special seminars, court house tours, and weekly lunches with lawyers practicing in different fields. One of the most interesting summer activities is the moot court competition, where students are divided into teams of two and guided by lawyers at the firm to prepare for their final debate. When reflecting on the summer, Jose said, “My favorite part has been talking to the lawyers because you get to learn that they are real people and they have gone through what you are going to go through in the future…it is nice to know that.”

For Olivier and Jose, this experience served to solidify their career plans. Before beginning his internship Jose was interested in law, but wasn’t sure about pursuing it as a profession. Thanks to what he called an enlightening experience, Jose said “I really understand what I want to be now in the future -- this is a great career.” Similarly, Olivier had always loved the law and politics, but didn’t know about the BBA’s Program until he happened to meet BBA President Paul Dacier at a Summer Jobs event hosted by the Boston Private Industry Council. “I did a speech along with Mayor Walsh, and after I met the president of the BBA Paul Dacier,” Olivier recalled. “He told me, ‘you have to join this program.’” With a great summer experience under his belt, Olivier wants pursue international law and has found that setting his sights on that goal has been a great source of motivation. “I see what type of law I am interested in and that gears my focus.”










The program isn’t just for students who want to be lawyers, however. Throughout the summer Loyanni and Emily found that there are many other options for working in the legal profession aside from practicing. As a result of Edwards Wildman’s commitment to making sure students see all aspects of working at a law firm, Emily discovered that, to her surprise, she really enjoyed working with the database records and the IT department.  Loyanni has found the entire summer experience to be eye-opening: “I value that I’ve had the opportunity to be exposed to so many more career paths and opportunities.”

The beauty of the Summer Jobs Program is that it’s not just the students, or just the firms, who reap rewards. MyTygue puts it best: “We’re mentoring students who are at the beginning of their professional career, and have the joint benefit of helping them advance their career objectives as well as our business needs. The program is not a community service -- but a really smart way to get an incredible amount of value by tapping into a talent pool that may be overlooked.”