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In anticipation of the release of the summer associate survey results, last week we highlighted the firm with the highest response rate among summer associates, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman.  Today we want to congratulate and feature WilmerHale, for having the highest overall number of respondents to the summer associate survey. In a time when firms have scaled back their summer programs to the point that you might blink and miss them, WilmerHale’s 56 summer associate responses are particularly impressive.

So what exactly did so many summer associates have to say about WilmerHale’s summer program?  For one, the best part of the summer program was the attorneys.  Summer associates unanimously praised the “supportive, friendly culture” and the “bright” yet “down-to-earth” people.  WilmerHale also treated summer associates to a lot of good, old-fashioned fun, such as feasting on crab after a sailing trip on the Chesapeake Bay, whitewater rafting and camping, ziplining on Catalina Island, and spending a firm-sanctioned “skip day” at the beach.

But it wasn’t just fun and games all summer long. Summer associates at WilmerHale proved to be more than just overpaid, wannabe lawyers, by completing an average of 10 “substantive” and “important” assignments over the course of the summer.  Spoken like a true Biglaw associate, one WilmerHale survey respondent noted that “it can be tricky to balance events, assignments, and life outside the firm.

To find out more about the associate experience at WilmerHale or other firms, head on over to the Career Center. And be sure to look out for summer associate survey results in the next few weeks.

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The restaurant Compass has a special package for purchase; this week, you can guarantee up to 50 percent off on its fine New American dining.

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Thanks to the over 500 people who responded to our summer associate survey and to all the firms who participated in distributing the survey to their summer associates. We will be rolling out the updated Career Center Firm Snapshots in several weeks, but wanted to give you a sneak peak of some of the results.

Today we are highlighting the firm that had the highest response rate among summer associates: Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, where 95 percent of summers responded. Based on the responses, we can tell that summer associates really enjoyed their summer at Kasowitz.

Summer associates raved about Kasowitz’s litigation training programs and felt that the firm really cares about training its “young lawyers to be top litigators.” In addition to working on “substantive” and “interesting” litigation work assignments, survey respondents had a great time at Yankees games and on a West Village Art Tour. While most large law firms have been trimming their summer program budgets, summer associates at Kasowitz were still enjoying $50 lunches and $100 dinners. They also attended a firm retreat at a country club in upstate New York.

Want to know more about the associate experience at Kasowitz Benson? Click here for the firm’s profile. And watch out for more summer program updates from the other Big Law Firms in the coming weeks!

Kasowitz Benson [Career Center profile]


Thanks to this week’s advertisers on Above the Law:

If you’re interested in advertising on Above the Law or any other site in the Breaking Media network, download our media kits, or email advertising@breakingmedia.com. Thanks!

Ah, the end of summer. For many law students, this time of year ushers in the arrival of the fall on-campus recruiting season (or what’s left of it), the dreaded wait for a permanent offer of employment following graduation, as well as a new diet regime for those summer associates who took their firm’s “unlimited lunches” policy a little too literally.

While your summer associate experience is still fresh in your mind, please take our short survey. Responses will be kept entirely confidential, of course.  So give us your raw insights into the stuff that no one told you about summer programs, such as how many hours you really work a day, whether the assignments you receive are “real” or just busy work, and which social events are worth attending.

This is last call on the survey for this summer as it will be closed on Friday, so please share your insights before then. Thanks!

Thank you, bonobos!

Thanks to this week’s advertisers on Above the Law:

If you’re interested in advertising on Above the Law or any other site in the Breaking Media network, download our media kits, or email advertising@breakingmedia.com. Thanks!

In today’s post, we are highlighting how the summers at this week’s five most popular firms feel about their summer programs. We are also still collecting responses for our 2010 Summer Associate Survey and encourage current summer associates to please take our short survey.

  • You won’t have to explain the impact that this well-known law firm has had on the legal employment market to your classmates. Don’t expect 5-star lunches everyday as a summer associate, but don’t be surprised if it happens a couple of times throughout the summer. 
  • All summer associates at this international law firm received full-time offers last year. Even more impressive, none of them were deferred. But be sure to have your passport handy, though; it is not uncommon for summer associates to work part of the summer in an overseas office or two.
  • Summer associates attend litigation or transactional training institutes and experience a free-market work environment at this Chicago-based law firm. Anticipate a lot of flexibility in your assignments, but don’t except any hand-holding.
  • Associates at this Texas-based law firm can afford to buy more than a 3500 sq ft house and a Lexus with its top-of-the-market salary levels. Summer associates will also have plenty of time to get a nice tan as folks here leave the office before 6 p.m., and weekend work is as rare as the steaks you’ll be eating at a firm-sponsored BBQ.
  • Southern hospitality and decent work hours will greet you at this Georgia big law firm. But there will be more to your summer experience here than buckets of sweet tea and peaches. Summer associates select a department rotation and will experience a very structured and substantive summer program.

Want to know more about the summer program at other Big Law firms, or see the feedback left by former summer associates at the firm you are currently summering at or hoping to interview with in fall recruiting? Please visit the Career Center, powered by Lateral Link, for the inside track on each leading law firm.

Thanks to this week’s advertisers on Above the Law:

If you’re interested in advertising on Above the Law or any other site in the Breaking Media network, download our media kits, or email advertising@breakingmedia.com. Thanks!

The good old days of Biglaw summer associate programs have now become the stuff of legend. Long gone are the days of doing doc review at the beach, unlimited lunches on the firm’s tab, swanky social events, and 100% offers for full-time employment.

Instead, today’s typical summer associate program has been streamlined down to 8 to 10 weeks, reduced the size of its class (by 50 percent or even 80 percent), and adopted new cost-saving rules for meals and entertainment.

We want to hear from you about what your experience has been like under this new paradigm. If you are a 2010 summer associate, please click here to complete a short survey, which will be kept completely confidential.

Feel free to use this opportunity to dish all about your firm’s work assignments, facetime requirements, meal budgets, and events – whether good, bad, or indifferent. Survey results will be posted on the Career Center — just in time to help you, your colleagues, or potential summer associates make some important career choices. Thanks!

Now that we have kicked off the 2010 Summer Associate Satisfaction Survey, we wanted to share with you some of the highlights from the reports on the 2009 firm summer programs. If you are a current summer associateclick here to take our short survey about your experiences this summer at your firm.

  • The summer associate program at this Silicon Valley firm begins with a kickoff weekend at the Seascape Resort in Aptos, California, where, in addition to social events, the firm holds trainings and various practice group workshops.
  • This Washington, D.C.-based firm offers summer associates the chance to participate in its Public Interest Fellowship program, and split their time between the firm and local public service organizations for five weeks at full salary.
  • Summer associates at this Philadelphia-based firm, which recently opened a Moscow office, are paired not only with a partner and associate guide, but also a writing mentor.
  • All 14 of this "global" firm’s domestic offices have summer associate programs, and summer associate positions are also available in locations outside the U.S.

Additional summer program highlights, which might give you some good ideas to use at your firm, after the jump.

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