summer associate program ATL Above the Law blog.jpgLast week, we brought you our five finalists in the ATL Summer Associate Event Contest of 2009. The top two vote-getters are too close to declare one a winner, so we’re having a run-off.

Southeast firm Carlton Fields garnered almost 32% of the over 2,500 votes for taking its Tampa summer associates on a daylong fishing trip, with multiple swimming, beach, and bar stops along the way. IP firm Fish & Richardson captured 34% of the vote for “Harpdrygal IV,” an event shrouded in mystery revealed on the day of to be an all-female roller derby.

We checked back in with the firms and have some additional information about the events to inform your voting. We also have photos, but from the roller derby only. No Carlton Fields associates in bathing suits, though we can direct you to the summer associates’ photos and you can use your imaginations. After the jump.


So, ATL readers, you will determine the event to be crowned the best of 2009. Everyone said they’re cutting back this year, but it was the creative events outside of the big cities that caught the imaginations (and votes) of our readers. Sidley NYC, Cadwalader NYC, and Cleary DC came in far behind Carlton Fields (Tampa) and Fish & Richardson (Dallas).

Here are more details on those two firms’ events. Poll as to the best at the bottom of the page. Poll closes Thursday night!
Carlton Fields Fishing Tournament

This is an annual event that the firm has done for many years, says Carlton’s director of recruiting. The firm’s shareholders — it’s a corporation, not a partnership — take associates and SAs out on their personal fishing boats for a day. (3500 square feet and a schooner in Tampa, baby!)

Usually, it’s a tournament but the weather was bad, so the competition was less structured this year. More anchoring for drinks and swimming, and less time spent on the open water.

There are no photos from the event, but you can check out the photos of the summer associates from the Tampa office and decide whether you’d vote for this event and the chance to spend the day in bathing suits with them.

Fish & Richardson “Harpdrygal IV” Roller Derby

Harpdrygal is the brainchild of Geoff Harper and Kip Mendrygal. It started as a counter-culture event in response to the typical Biglaw lavish events and indulgent dinners for summer associates. In past years, Harper and Mendrygal organized surprise events for summers that included trips to WWE Friday Night SmackDown, a Professional Bull Riders event, and a demolition derby (photos here).

Frugality and no frills actually seems more “the culture” than counter-culture this summer. The Harpdrygal choice this year was an all-female roller derby (a.k.a. “an American-invented contact sport based on formation roller skating around an oval track” via Wikipedia).

Says Mendrygal:

Although the primary goal is to expose people to things they otherwise would never try (and certainly wouldn’t try in the context of a “normal” summer clerkship), they’re supposed to be fun too. (It doesn’t hurt that we’re in Dallas–not New York or Los Angeles where there is an endless supply of cool things to do.)

For all you non-derbyites, here’s some photos from the event to put it in context:
harpdrygal 1.jpg
harpdrygal 2.jpg
harpdrygal 4.jpg
Now please choose your winner!


Poll closes Thursday at midnight.

2009 Summer Associates [Carlton Fields]
Earlier: ATL Contest: Best Summer Associate Event of 2009
ATL Contest: What’s the Best Summer Associate Event of 2009?


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