It’s mid-July and summer associate programs are poppin’ at Biglaw firms across the country. While some summer associates are working themselves to the bone, others are taking advantage of their ability to be wined and dined by their firms. Sure, being an actual associate is more work than play, but why not have fun while you still can?

Today, we’ve got a very timely ranking of the large law firms where summer associates have the most fun, courtesy of Vault. If you were lucky enough to summer at one of these firms, we bet you had a blast.

Let’s check out the top 10 firms…

Vault’s methodology here is simple. The career information site surveyed about 17,000 first- through third-year associates who summered at their current firms, asking them to rate the programs based on two factors — how well they prepared them for practice and how much fun they had. Those scores were averaged to find out which firm had the best overall summer program. You can see that full list here.

We were much more interested in where summer associates would have the most fun before they were indoctrinated into the doldrums of eternal document review. Here’s the current top 10, from Vault:

1. Schulte Roth & Zabel
2. Irell & Manella
3. Shook, Hardy & Bacon
4. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
5. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
6. Latham & Watkins
7. Alston & Bird / Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (tie)
8. Morrison & Foerster
9. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
10. Kaye Scholer

You can see the full list of the Most Fun Summer Associate Programs here.

We don’t think anyone should be surprised that Schulte came in first place (even though the firm didn’t even make last year’s top 10). During the summer of 2013, we found out that summer associates were treated to a “Beyonce Concert!!!!” You truly can’t go wrong with the Queen Bee. Other firms that made the list for our Summer Associate Event Contest last year are listed here as well, like Skadden and MoFo.

According to Vault, Schulte associates said the summer program was “fantastically well-run” and they got to attend “tons of social events.” One respondent noted the importance of having fun in your legal career:

“The summer associate program was a great introduction to the firm. It gave me the opportunity to meet attorneys in a variety of practice groups, many of whom I work with as an associate, and to start developing informal mentor relationships that have been useful as an associate.”

Fun times at firms may not be as racy as the days of yore where people like Aquagirl and the Sapphic Summers existed, but it’s nice to know that today’s summer associates are still having fun.

Vault’s Best Summer Associate Programs for 2015 [Vault]

Earlier: ATL Summer Associate Event Contest (2013): The Finalists


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