It’s summer time! A lucky few are being paid to warm seats in law firms across the land. (Very few — thanks to the minimal numbers of offers extended to law students in Recession Land.)
Some firms are very excited about their summer associates, to the point of issuing press releases about them. Firms are planning fun events. Hopefully, Williams & Connolly offers cooking classes at a culinary institute again this summer (for those who don’t get offers and may not be able to afford to eat out one day). We’ve got a round-up of our favorite summer “happenings,” after the jump.
But one thing firms may not plan to do this year is bill for summer associates’ time. Nate Raymond reports in the New York Law Journal that Citigroup Inc. has told its outside counsel that it will not pay for law students’ time. Citi does not stand alone:
J. William Dantzler Jr., a tax partner at White & Case who oversees hiring in New York, said with regard to billing clients for summer associates, it has been “a slide for 10 years.”
“More and more clients don’t want summer associates to bill to them,” he said. “When I started almost all clients would accept it. And it’s evolved to where a lot of clients don’t.”
Ironically, because of the huge decline in the number of summers brought in, they’re more likely to actually do substantive work this year. One Biglaw firm, for example, instituted a requirement last year that every summer associate produce at least one piece of seriously impressive legal writing. Which firm is it?
From the New York Law Journal:
Last year, Shearman & Sterling instituted a policy that every summer associate in each practice group rotation had to produce at least one piece of substantive writing, such as a memorandum of law, said hiring partner John Cannon III. Such a policy would have been difficult for Mr. Cannon and others in charge of the summer program to oversee in 2008, when the firm had 129 summer associates. But in 2009, the firm had 52 summer associates, and this year, Shearman has 28, he said.
“Sometimes in the past with larger classes we didn’t have that much basis to substantively review the work and the potential of the students or give them much feedback,” he said. “And now we’re very strict about enforcing that. It’s good for us and probably even more so for the students.”
Fewer summer associates combined with fewer drunken events and more substantive work means less excitement here at ATL. Damn this never-ending recession and its pernicious effect on gossip!
Still, we hope that summer associates manage to have some fun this summer — and that they share it with us. Email us with stories of summer associate events and gossip at firstname.lastname@example.org. For now, we’ll have to sate your desire for salacious stories with a retrospective of summers past.
Here’s a round-up of some of our favorite SA stories:
- Aquagirl — the Cleary Gottlieb summer associate who stripped to her skivvies and took a swim in the Hudson. It didn’t ruin her career, though she ultimately swam south to a D.C. law firm.
- Jonas Blank — the Skadden summer associate felled by “Reply All.”
- The roller derby lovers at Fish & Richardson. Speaking of, what are they doing for Harpdygal V?
- Cadwalader’s unofficial training session on bare assets.
- The Harvard Law Student who did not make it through July at McDermott Will & Emery.
- The Kirkland Boozer and Bruiser.
- We love any summer associate audacious enough to submit hundreds of dollars worth of bar receipts in an expense report. E.g., Skadden Cristal Boy.
Offers are tough to come by these days, so exercise your best judgment. But if someone does act unwisely, we hope you’ll read about it here first.
Clients Grow Cool to the Support of Dwindling Summer Classes [NYLJ via WSJ Law Blog]
Oops [The New Yorker]
Earlier: We Know What You Did, Harvard Summer
A Further Update on Aquagirl: Is She Still Afloat?
The Bruised Booze Cruiser: An Alternate Account
Summer Associate of the Day: ‘Skadden Cristal Boy’
A Stripped-Down Summer Associate Event at Cadwalader
ATL Summer Associate Event Contest of 2009: Fish & Richardson Roller Derby vs. Carlton Fields Fishing Trip