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We’ve completely updated the Summer Associate Program sections in each of the Firm Snapshots with the 2010 summer associate survey results and the latest news.  With on-campus interviewing already underway at most schools, law students won’t want to miss getting the inside scoop on the highlights – and lowlights – of each firm’s summer program.

So head on over to the Career Center to see how the firm you summered at, or want to interview with, stacks up. Highlights include:

  • Summer associates at this litigation powerhouse brag that their “workload is super light,” completing one to five assignments over the course of the 12-week summer program, and typically spending about five hours a day on billable work.  Just don’t expect to be making the lunch rounds at the city’s trendiest restaurants.  Summers eat in at the firm’s dining room, which serves free but “excellent” lunch daily.
  • It certainly pays to have high-profile clients at this firm, which treats its summer associates to unique social events like the Tony Awards and the NBA Draft.
  • The line between summer and full-time associates is blurred at this firm, with summers “put[ting] in well over 80 hours” during some weeks to complete 15 or more assignments during the eight-week summer program.  Despite their high work demands, these summer associates still find the time to be do-gooders by volunteering to cook at the Ronald McDonald House for kids and their families.
  • The good old days never left this firm.  Summer associates typically bill about four hours a day on assignments, leave at 5:30 p.m., play softball at Fenway Park, and still get 100% offers. But you might want to think about taking an extended post-bar trip, since you might not start work on time as a first-year associate.
  • No complaints at this firm, which gives summer associates “exactly the work that they want” and still provides a “very generous” $65 lunch budget in New York.  Be sure to brush up on your foreign language skills; one-third of the summer class gets to spend up to three weeks working in one of the firm’s overseas offices

For information on the summer programs at all the top firms visit the Career Center.

With the summer coming to an end, we are almost done updating the summer associate profiles for all the firms listed in the Career Center. Along with Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman and WilmerHale, Morrison & Foerster was another one of the firms that encouraged their 2010 summer associates to share their experience with us.

Summer associates at MoFo definitely noticed the amount of transparency at the firm and appreciated how the firm “openly communicate[s] with summers regarding expectations.” If you end up summering at MoFo, don’t be surprised if you get to discuss regulatory matters with clients or draft portions of a brief about to be submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. While every assignment may not involve earth-shattering issues, summer associates are given the opportunity to participate on various pro bono matters throughout the summer.

When MoFo summer associates aren’t busy selecting assignments in different practice areas or attending training sessions, they get to experience “just the right amount of social events to provide a contrast to the work.” In 2010, summer associates would end the workday sailing the Chesapeake Bay, mediating with a Zen Monk, or touring the Museum of Modern Art. In addition to real work experience and quality social events, MoFo had a not-too-shabby offer rate of almost 100% for the 2009 summer class.

Get more details about the summer associate experience at MoFo and other firms by going to the Career Center. Keep an eye out for future posts as we will be publishing the rest of the summer associate survey results in the next week or so.

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 Thanks!

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 Thanks!

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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Lawyers enjoy fine dining. And they enjoy striking a good deal. So here’s an offer that we think will appeal to many of our New York readers.

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 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 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 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.

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