Intern Spotlight: Top scholar lands top honor

Intern Spotlight: Top scholar lands top honor


Ariel Cavazos is the 2017-2018 Holland & Knight Scholar, a designation that landed her a summer associate’s position at the Top 10 law firm as well as a full-tuition scholarship for her second year at Florida A&M University College of Law.

Holland & Knight, LLP selected Cavazos after a panel interview with law firm partners and an application process that included several other FAMU Law students who, like her, excelled in first-year classes based on grades following their first semester of law school. As the 10th recipient of one of the law school’s most prestigious honors, Cavazos said she proudly represented the FAMU College of law during summer 2017 while honing her practical skills.

“I’ve been exposed to many different areas of the law and have gotten invaluable experience that as a rising 2L I would not have received anywhere else,” she said.

As a summer associate, she was packed with legal research and writing assignments – analyzing live cases, meeting with actual clients, and gaining first-hand knowledge of what it is like to be in court.

Cavazos admits she was more of an introvert before the internship, which is why she hoped the experience would raise her legal and, more importantly, her communication skills to the next level.

“In a firm such as Holland & Knight, one meets many different personalities,” she said. “I’ve had the privilege of working closely with partners as well as associates and have learned so much from each one’s style, which in return has added to my own work style. Practical experience is important.”

How did this internship help prepare you for your future career as a legal professional?

My experience with Holland & Knight has helped me develop a greater focus and skill with regards to research and writing, which I’m certain will enhance my experience as a 2L.  In addition, it has added value to my personal growth and professional development.

What skills did you use during the internship after learning them at FAMU College of Law?

The skills I used most while at Holland & Knight were my research skills. Having efficient and effective research skills is important, especially when you are researching a topic that is new to you. In addition, I’ve had the opportunity to use and enhance my writing skills. Both of those skills helped me to become a more focused and disciplined student of the law.

What advice would you share with students looking for internships now?

My advice would be not to get caught up in the jobs/ internships your classmates may be landing. Your first year should be about doing your best and getting the best grades you can. Also, I would suggest researching and starting the process of applying for internships over winter break or as soon as you get your grades. The second semester of your first year is a lot more challenging than you’d expect it to be and you will not have as much time to apply and look for internships. So, if you prepare in advance it will make the process less stressful. Finally, don’t limit yourself. You may come into law school thinking you want to be a criminal defense attorney and by the time you complete your first year, you may want to be a transactional attorney. Be willing to try different areas of the law. This is probably the greatest advantage that has come to me through my time at Holland & Knight.


Sidebar: A Few Other Summer Law Firm Placements:

  • Elizabeth Whittle, second-year student, interned with Sukkar & Associates in Miami.
  • Dana Satchell, second-year student, interned at Boomershine Law in Orlando.
  • Islamiyah Arogundade, second-year student, interned with McBride, Scicchitano & Leacox, PA in Orlando.