Summer Associate Madison Hauser Reflects on Experience at Kluger Kaplan

By August 6, 2021

In high school, when asked why I wanted to be a lawyer, I never had the right answer. I don’t have any lawyers in my family, I never had any real-life legal experience, and in fact, I don’t even think I knew any practicing attorneys at the time. I had always loved legal dramas, but of course, I couldn’t respond with that. I figured once I experienced what the real-life practice of law looked like, I may change my mind. So, I interned throughout college in various legal positions. After getting coffee for lawyers and looking at medical bills all summer, for some reason, my career choice had not budged. When I began law school, however, I thought for sure the endless studying would convince me to change paths. The stories I heard going into my first year of law school were almost enough to make me reconsider. But looking back, I’m glad I didn’t.

Entering my second year of law school, I immediately began the search for a summer position for the upcoming summer. I remembered a close family friend telling me about a boutique litigation firm with some of the best litigators he knew. As someone who wanted a small firm culture, with big firm talent, Kluger Kaplan sounded like just the right place for me to spend my summer. The overall message on the website about work-life balance and a family culture immediately drew me in. And the website did not lie. From the interview where I spoke to two very successful, yet extremely nice partners, Todd Levine and Josh Rubens, I knew I would enjoy my summer at Kluger Kaplan.

Truthfully, walking into the fancy office on my first day felt slightly intimidating. My last law school clerkship did occur in the midst of the pandemic, so the Downtown Miami, 27th floor, office building definitely felt different than what I had been used to—researching in my pajamas from my bed. But the intimidation immediately disappeared as I began meeting different lawyers at the firm. The welcoming atmosphere replaced my nerves with excitement.

As the summer continued, I had the opportunity to work with many talented lawyers, on a variety of cases that always intrigued me. Whether I worked on a family law case, or a commercial litigation case, each case’s facts differed from the next, and the law, most of the time, did not have an easy answer. But despite the long hours and, at times, frustration—when Westlaw would not give me the answer I needed—I appreciated the challenge.   

During my time this summer at Kluger Kaplan, I learned invaluable lessons I will never forget. I learned new law, I became a better researcher and legal writer, I had the opportunity to experience and observe my first trial, I learned from two of the most impressive trial lawyers the importance of thinking quickly on your feet, and I learned from Alan Kluger one of the major keys to success: the importance of your attitude and the way you treat others. Oh, and I even learned from the most experienced trial lawyers that the nerves never go away.

This summer I also finally found the answer to the question of why I want to be a lawyer—I love the challenge. Kluger Kaplan has taught me that wherever my career takes me, and whatever kind of law I end up practicing, most importantly, I must always challenge myself. And if I ever don’t get nervous in court, I am doing something wrong.