You really have to take a step back and think about what summer associate programs used to be in order to appreciate what they are becoming. It is hard to imagine that a recruitment model that firms used for years is suddenly so “outmoded” that some firms are doing away with it entirely.
Day Pitney isn’t canceling its summer program, but the firm is making significant changes. The firm issued a statement about its new summer mission:
Day Pitney announced today that beginning in May 2010 the firm will alter its traditional summer associate program to focus on apprenticeships.
The summer apprenticeship program will be an eight-week course designed to prepare law students for the practice of law through practical, day-to-day applications and on-the-job training. Apprentices will learn by shadowing Day Pitney lawyers and working with firm professionals in one-on-one coaching scenarios. They will also collaborate with lawyer teams handling ongoing client matters. The practice-based learning approach will be supplemented with focused training workshops and diversity and community service activities designed to teach law students about the firm’s culture and key core values.
Why does the firm have to change the program to have “on-the-job training”? What does “day-to-day applications” even mean? What was wrong with the old way?
Actually, don’t answer that. We all know what was wrong with the old way. Let’s embrace the new way of doing things after the jump.
According to Day Pitney, the firm is looking to emphasize training through its summer program:
“We have decided to move beyond the traditional assignment-based summer associate program towards something that better suits the needs of law students in preparing them to become good practicing attorneys,” said Peter Wilson, Jr., the firm’s Director of Diversity and Legal Recruiting. “The newly designed program expands beyond reading, research, and writing assignments. We want a program that revolves around the key values that we stress for our attorneys – education, career development and the importance of working as a team.”
The program will initially be rolled out in two offices: Hartford, Conn. and Florham Park, N.J. It will consist of two rotating four-week training courses in either distinct departments or combinations of complementary practice areas. As part of the curriculum the apprentices will have the opportunity to work closely with a team made up of partners, associates, and counsel specially chosen based upon experience, seniority, and effective mentoring skills.
Better training! Partner contact! As long as the pay is the same, prospective summers should be signing up in droves …
Day Pitney has not responded to our questions about the pay scale for the new summer program. But we do have a quote from a tipster that is working at Day Pitney:
No mention of compensation “adjustment.” They apparently just opted to omit that lede rather than bury it.
You know what is funny, a lot of students would actually appreciate a summer program based on practical training, as long as the pay was market level.
Does the new Day Pitney program pay as much as the old one? We’ll have to wait and see.
Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Second Round of Layoffs at Day Pitney