Everyone in the firm participates in the Summer Associate Program (“Program”) throughout the course of the summer. A committee of attorneys is responsible for running the Program and has extensive contact with each summer associate.
The Program consists of five major elements: Work Assignments, Work Experiences, Presentations, Social Interaction, and Evaluations.
We believe the Program has facilitated the integration of new associates (hired from the Program) into the firm and has provided advanced training in the practice of law, which they can take back to their law schools in their final year of study.
This refers to substantive and billable work performed by the Summer Associates. In past summers, work assignments have been provided by attorneys in the firm and have been diverse in terms of length, complexity and area of the law. They have included legal research, preparation of memos and pleadings, drafting documents, review of contracts, interviews of witnesses, and “second chairing.” Generally, Summer Associates have the opportunity to meet with clients and other outside attorneys in connection with their work assignments. The work assignments are supervised by the attorneys who generate the assignments. The committee continually evaluates the work assignments and the work load of each Summer Associate and, in distributing work assignments, attempts to provide each Summer Associate with as much diversity and contact with as many attorneys in our firm as possible.
Summer Associates participate in and observe situations where attorneys exercise “lawyering skills”. This is generally non-billable time. They may be attending court hearings, administrative hearings, arbitrations, depositions, client conferences, transactional negotiations and the like. Our attorneys are asked to provide work experiences over the course of the summer. The Summer Associates may be asked to select from the available calendar of work experiences. The committee supervises the choices and make certain that work experiences are not overlooked.
Each summer associate makes a presentation to our attorneys and legal assistants on a subject of the summer associate’s choosing but which is of substantive interest and some relevance to the private practice of law. A member of the committee works with each summer associate in choosing, refining, and preparing his or her presentation. The presentation is made over lunch in our conference room with the Summer Associate setting the parameters of the discussion. These presentations are a part of our regular “in-house continuing legal education” program, where our attorneys and legal assistants make similar presentations in their areas of concentration (and which the Summer Associates are encouraged to attend).
A less formal, but no less important, element of the Program is social interaction between Summer Associates and our professional staff. Summer Associates may be invited to dine with professional staff members, visit their homes, go to movies, play golf, or other casual events. We recognize it is easier to work with people with whom you can easily communicate and share experiences.
When a summer associate completes a work assignment, the attorney who generated the assignment is required to provide the summer associate a written or oral evaluation of the project. A copy of each written work assignment and each evaluation is kept by the committee.
During late June or early July, the committee conducts an abbreviated “mid-term” evaluation of each Summer Associate’s accumulated written evaluations and additional oral or written input from the attorneys. The committee meets with each summer associate, discusses the evaluations received and may make recommendations and suggestions for improvement for the second half of the Program.
Usually during August, all attorneys are asked to evaluate each summer associate. The committee obtains information from each attorney for an assessment of each summer associate’s performance over the summer. The committee then meets with each Summer Associate for the final evaluation and to discuss the results of its survey of the attorneys.
Often at the end of the summer and, if possible, in conjunction with the final evaluations, we extend offers for associate positions for the following year.