Summer Job Spotlight: Parth Deshmukh, 2L, Winthrop & Weinstine

August 25, 2020

Parth Deshmukh, 2L, worked this summer at Winthrop & Weinstine, a well-established Minneapolis law firm boasting 130 attorneys working in more than 60 practice areas. It was an excellent opportunity for Deshmukh, who hopes to one day practice business law, to gain exposure to a number of different practice areas, and to connect with a number of the firm’s lawyers.

How did you connect with this summer opportunity?
Toward the end of my first semester, I became aware of Twin Cities Diversity in Practice (TCDIP) through my awesome career counsellor–Wendy Griak. Winthrop was one of the firms that were participating in TCDIP. Based on interactions with other students who had spent a summer at Winthrop and based on great conversations with attorneys at Winthrop during my interview, I felt comfortable and excited with the prospect of spending the summer with them.

Please describe a “typical” day on the job.
At any given point, I am working on two to three “matters” with different check-in periods, different work product expectations, and different areas of law. I have a lot of independence in planning my day at work, as long as I keep the attorney(s) I’m working with in the loop. Winthrop also places a lot of emphasis on “networking” within the firm, and rightly so. I have been having anywhere from three-to-five Zoom coffee sessions every week with different attorneys from different groups to understand their practice better, and to facilitate my personal decision regarding what kind of law I eventually desire to practice.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your summer experience?
My summer at Winthrop has been completely “virtual.” Having said that, all the attorneys have been extremely forthcoming, and have been putting in more effort in trying to get to know the summers. I’d like to believe that the work I’m doing is the same as it would’ve been inside of a physical office. Not being able to connect with people organically (in the hallways, over lunch, etc.) has definitely been the biggest challenge.

How so far has your summer experience compared with your expectations?
I honestly didn’t know what to expect given we were having a virtual summer. There was no one I could talk to who had gone through a similar experience before me. Having said that, I have still done “real” work, shadowed on client calls, made presentations to partners, so my expectation of doing “real world lawyer stuff” has been fully met.

How does your experience connect with what you currently envision doing with your law degree?
I hope to practice business law as a full-time lawyer outside of law school. This summer has truly helped me understand how business concepts and considerations play a key role in the world of law, and vice versa.

What advice would you offer another law student thinking about working in a similar position next summer?
I’d say the most important thing is to be your own genuine self, make sure that the organization you will be working at is a good fit for your personality and ambition. Also, interacting with people as much as possible before, during, and after the internship is kind of the key according to me.

These are stressful times. What are you doing for wellness to de-stress?
I just try to remind myself that this is a phase that we all find ourselves in. The world will be back to normal sooner or later and reminding myself of that fact helps me.

How are you spending your free time this summer?
I love having a good time with my friends (as much as that has been possible during these days) over the weekend and finding about their summer experiences. I am new to the city and had heard great things about the Minneapolis summer–so I like to explore the city as much as is safely possible.

Parth Deshmukh, 2L
Parth Deshmukh, 2L

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