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Career Center: 2011 Summer Associate Survey Results (and Some Summer Program Superlatives)

Now that 2011 summer programs have officially come to an end at Biglaw firms everywhere, law students are returning to their schools a little less naïve about working in Biglaw, a little bloated from all the free food, and seriously missing their fat summer associate paychecks. But how hard did they have to work, and how well were they fed on the firm’s dime?

Here at the Career Center, we know that summer programs are about much more than numbers and stats. So we surveyed summer associates at the top law firms in the country to find out about all aspects of their summer experience. Based on these survey results, brought to you by Lateral Link, we have completely updated the summer associate program sections of the Career Center’s firm profiles.

As befits the end of any school year, we’re also handing out some summer program superlatives to commemorate the 2011 summer class. Click on the links after the jump to see if the firm you work at, or want to work at, made the cut….

Summer programs most likely to roll out the red carpet for you and still give you an offer:

A-list events abound in this firm’s summer program, which include attending the Tony Awards, the NBA Draft, and a U2 concert. With 100% of summer associates receiving permanent offers last year, the only thing you have to worry about is your expanding waistline from all the unlimited $60 lunches at New York City’s trendiest restaurants.

This firm’s summer program spares no expense, with summer associates partying in style at a summer associate retreat in Beverly Hills, attending social events like musicals, happy hours, and trapeze school each week, and being treated to unlimited attorney lunches throughout the summer. Plus, all or almost all summer associates have received offers in recent years.

Summer programs most likely to make you pull an all-nighter (for partying and for work):

You’ll need lots of caffeine trying to keep up with this firm’s summer program. From front row seats at a Britney Spears concert, to a party bus to a U2 concert, to a party on the rooftop of The London Hotel with an after-party at the Trousdale, it’s no wonder that survey respondents say: “Don’t expect to get a lot of sleep during your summer.” And it’s not just the parties that will keep you up at all hours of the night. Survey respondents report that “it can be easy to get overloaded with projects here because the firm is so busy,” they sometimes work on weekends, and that the firm “expects a lot from its summer associates.”

At this firm’s summer program, “you get real work and real responsibility,” and “you work like crazy.” But it’s not all work and no play during the summer. Survey respondents say that the attorneys are all “incredible, fun people,” “the parties are ridiculous and everyone (partners, associates, and summer associates) has a blast,” and that “social events can go late, and there are a lot of them.”

Summer programs most likely to help you rack up frequent flyer miles:

Most respondents in this firm’s summer program had the chance to work in one of the firm’s international offices (in Europe, Asia, or South America) for three weeks, with the firm paying for airfare and housing costs. One respondent describes it as “a phenomenal experience that demonstrated the international, yet interconnectedness, of the firm.”

This firm also offers its summer associates a two-week “all-expense-paid trip to the [international] office of your choice (provided you speak the language),” which respondents say is one of the highlights of the summer.

Check back in on Thursday for more fun scoops about this year’s summer associate programs!