Associate Life

Sonia Fleury

DC Bound

July 17, 2012 11:58 AM | Permalink | Print

On June 20, I boarded an airplane to Washington DC with my fellow summer associates for a two-day retreat in the nation’s capital. We arrived right in the middle of the heat wave sweeping the Eastern seaboard and sought momentary refuge in our hotel rooms before catching the subway to the Nationals vs. Rays game. We spent the evening in good company, and the next morning, took an early stroll past the White House to the office. Over the next couple of days, we got to know our peers through group discussions and activities, and learned more about the firm through associate panels, a conversation with the managing partners and a presentation on the firm’s finances from our CFO.

But it wasn’t all work and no play. On our second day, we took a bus tour of downtown and visited the capitol. Our tour guide, Jamaal, gave us a history of the city, and we stopped to see the new Martin Luther King, Jr. monument. That night, we all had dinner at Georgia Brown’s, whose fried chicken, peach cobbler, and southern charm are enough to make even non-southerners homesick for the low country. Afterwards, a few of us went to the Round Robin Bar at the Willard Hotel to take in one of DC’s most historic buildings. It was there that delegates from the north and south met in February 1861 in a final effort to avoid the Civil War. The Battle Hymn of the Republic was written in one of the hotel’s rooms that same year; Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations has its origins in the Willard’s lobby in 1916; and Martin Luther King wrote his infamous "I Have a Dream” speech there in 1963.

The trip was a great success. There are many advantages to working in one of WilmerHale’s smaller offices, but it’s wonderful to be reminded that we’re all part of a dynamic, geographically diverse group of individuals lucky to be able to call one another colleagues.