Summer associate class sizes may be smaller than they were back in the good old days, but Biglaw firms seem to have used the shrinking summer pool as an excuse to throw events that were overflowing with an abundance of awesomeness. Offers are still being tossed out like Mardi Gras beads, and life was very, very good for this summer’s crop of Biglaw initiates.
But just how good are we talking here? We think the fact that we received an overwhelming number of nominations for this year’s summer associate event contest speaks volumes. We managed to whittle down the list of 20+ gushing nominations we received to just eight of the most amazing. Some were cultural extravaganzas, others were athletic outings, but all were fun and absolutely fabulous. Thanks to everyone who submitted a nomination.
Did your firm make the cut this year? Take a look to find out…
Vote below for your favorite. Without further ado, here are the top eight events of the summer of 2014:
1. Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff: Lawyers know how to party, and so the Indianapolis office of this firm showed its summers exactly how it was done by taking them to some of the finest distilleries:
I’d like to throw my firm in the hat for coolest summer associate events. For the last outing, we took our summers on the Bourbon Tour in Louisville Kentucky. We visited the Maker’s Mark distillery, which was pure class – something you can expect from a great bourbon like Maker’s. Then we toured the Jim Beam distillery, which was enjoyable, but not as much as Maker’s. However, Jim Beam did have a little sandwich shop that sold bourbon ice cream. Can’t beat that. It was pretty great to learn about and partake in my favorite bourbon when I could/should have been billing hours.
2. Cooley LLP: This summer, Cooley’s Palo Alto office was cooler than cool, with multiple nominations for multiple events. We’ve only included one event, but offer our additional props for the firm hosting a beach party so outstanding that regular beach go-ers tried to join the fun. A tipster said: “Probably the last time I’ll see regular folks trying to party with lawyers.” Here’s the Cooley event that received the most nominations:
Just like to nominate my favorite summer associate event hosted by Cooley LLP in Palo Alto. A group of us went to a sporting clay range (Coyote Valley Sporting Clays) and had a fantastic time! Who wouldn’t like “golf with shotguns”?! There were a bunch of other fun events, but this was by far the best.
3. Katten Muchin Rosenman: The Chicago office saw fit to praise Mama Monster herself, who just so happens to be one of the most foul-mouthed deponents of all time. This firm simply lives for the applause:
We went to a Lady Gaga concert in the “super suite” at the United Center in Chicago. The opening act was Crayon Pop, a K-pop group of five girls wearing bicycle helmets who are at least as ridiculous as Lady Gaga.
4. Kaye Scholer: Knives down, hands up! The firm’s New York office showed its summers a good time with lavish concert experiences, but it seems like the best time of all was had during a competition cook-off:
At Kaye Scholer, we saw Bruno Mars and Pharell at MSG, but my favorite event was a cooking competition class we did at a cooking school in SoHo. It was a unique experience and had secret ingredients and an ingredient fantasy draft that made it a mix of Iron Chef and Cutthroat Kitchen.
5. Smith Anderson: Knowing full well that sometimes summer associates go a little wild, the Raleigh office of this firm hosted an event where none of their would-be lawyers could possibly be hurt… much:
My summer employer randomly enrolled the summer associates (and a few associates and even one partner) in bubble soccer. Not sure if we have a video from our trip, but here’s what bubble soccer is:
6. Squire Patton Boggs: After completing a merger, this firm was able to pull a rabbit out of a hat with a successful summer program that went off without a hitch. Here’s what happened at the Los Angeles office:
I was a (1L) summer associate at Squire Patton Boggs Los Angeles’ office, and the coolest event we had for us SAs this summer was the Magic Castle in Hollywood! One of the partners is also a magician/member of the Magic Castle (very exclusive and difficult to get into and guests are only allowed if they are invited by a magician/member). We had a private dining room area for our event, a seance (with our very own lead seance/magician?), and a few magic shows after that in the Castle with unlimited drinks as well.
Nomination for Skadden Chicago summer event at Jay and Bey’s On the Run tour. It was bananas.
8. Sullivan & Cromwell: Among the many, many events that the firm hosted for summer associates this year — including “Partner Experience” events, where groups of 10-20 summers were invited to go to specialty events with partners — this one sounded like it was one of the most fun for the entire class:
Sullivan and Cromwell rented out the entire “Royal Palms” shuffleboard club in Gowanus for S&C summers, brought in food trucks, 3 open bars, etc. This was a sweet event and not as typical as the others.
So, readers, what will it be? A concert by a woman who wears dresses made of meat? A spectacular sporting event, like golf with shotguns or bubble soccer? An evening filled to the brim with a booze galore? Please cast your vote now (voting closes on SUNDAY, AUGUST 10, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time):
Which firm put on the best summer associate event of 2014?
- Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff - Distillery Tours (23%, 274 Votes)
- Katten Muchin Rosenman - Lady Gaga Concert (18%, 213 Votes)
- Skadden Arps - Jay-Z and Beyonce Concert (14%, 164 Votes)
- Cooley LLP - Sporting Clay Range (11%, 132 Votes)
- Smith Anderson - Bubble Soccer (11%, 129 Votes)
- Sullivan & Cromwell - Royal Palms Club (11%, 125 Votes)
- Squire Patton Boggs - Magic Castle (7%, 84 Votes)
- Kaye Scholer - Competition Cook-Off (5%, 57 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,177