Meet Alicia, Berman & Simmons 2023 Summer Associate

Alicia Rea is a J.D. candidate at the University of Maine School of Law with a Master’s in Public Administration and Policy from American University. As her 10-week Summer Associate program at Berman & Simmons comes to an end, we sat down with her to talk about her experience at Berman & Simmons.

Q: Why did you decide to apply for the Summer Associate Program?

A: I’ve lived in Lewiston since 2014, so I knew about Berman & Simmons already when I went to law school in 2021. Having options in Androscoggin County, such as Berman & Simmons, was really important to me because I do want to become a part of the Androscoggin Bar when I’m an attorney next year. Having an opportunity to get to know the folks here was really important.

In addition, I really wanted a chance to do some civil litigation. Obviously, Berman & Simmons fits that bill. Getting that really wide breadth of experience was really important to me. I knew that Berman & Simmons was the place that “goes to trial,” so I thought, if I’m going to get an opportunity to see the whole system and get the best opportunity to see a case go to trial, this is the firm to do it at.

Q: What did you enjoy about your experience at Berman & Simmons

A: I really enjoyed getting some hands-on experience. As an example, I attended an actual arbitration with one of the lawyers and did the in-person client interaction with him. In another case, I was asked to write a memo for a lawyer and he explained the real-world impact of the work I did and what it was going to mean for the client.

So, there was this real balance between seeing what the research and the writing and the memo does for the client and also there was a little bit of social work involved with the client work itself.

Q: Final thoughts?

A: A Summer Associate is going to get so much variety at Berman & Simmons and real-world experience. This is nothing like Torts class. Torts was a tough class for me in law school, and I feel like this was one of my best experiences, so I’m reconciling those two things!

My plan all along has been to be a criminal defense attorney and this has been exposing myself to more things. I just see such a value alignment between those two things and defending people’s rights and making them whole, and making sure this is in the interest of justice.



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