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Want to know where the happy summer associates work?  More importantly, want to know if the happy summer associates eventually turn into happy full-time associates?  Click on the Career Center links below to find out.

  • Bragging rights go to this Wall Street firm’s summer associates, who say they do substantive and high-profile work, but have reasonable hours, get 100% offers, and have no start date deferrals.
  • Summer associates at this firm reaped the benefits of an 80% decrease in summer class size, reporting that they were “impressed” by how often the assigning attorneys took time to go over their assignments and offer suggestions.
  • Praises abound for this firm’s summer program, which summer associates say offers “excellent hours,” “easy access to a broad range of real, substantive assignments,” and “the positive sense you get…that people actually enjoy their jobs.

For information on summer programs and associate life at all the top firms, visit the Career Center.

From time to time, we “go live” with the Career Center resources, to give you access to firsthand advice from the hiring partners and in-house counsel at major law firms and companies.  Our next opportunity for this type of professional development will be Wednesday, September 22, 2010 in Miami, Florida.

If you are in the Miami on the 22nd, need free MCLE credit, and would like some great advice on taking control of your career, read on for details….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: Taking Control of Your Career”

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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!


Do you know which firms are described by their summer associates in the blurbs below? Check out how each firm fared in our 2010 Summer Associate Survey by clicking on each firm below, or by visiting the Career Center homepage and searching by name for the firm you are curious about.

  • Summer associates at this firm rave about its “laid back” work environment and the “fantastic” people they get to work with. Things are so laid back at this firm that summer associates were brave enough to force a couple of attorneys to chug bottles of Smirnoff Ice.
  • Bravery is also a required trait of the summer associates at this firm, where feeling lost during the summer program takes new meaning. Between mock trial competitions and hikes of active volcanoes, boring is definitely not an adjective used by the summer associates surveyed here.
  • Work assignments given to summer associates at this firm range from “big-name client” projects to pro bono work. When they aren’t busy in the office, summer associates were busy golfing, rafting, and gallivanting around the city of Austin during a firm retreat. 
  • While the hours may be “long,” summer associates at this firm still describe its culture as “laid-back.” Plus summer associates do not have to worry about bringing money for lunch, since they get to attend an unlimited number of free lunches.
  • This firm received high marks from its summer associates for providing “real” assignments as well as firm-sponsored volunteer opportunities — but summers also warn that it can get “ridiculously busy” at times. It’s not all work here, though, as summer associates still have time to attend baseball game, dinners, and Friday happy hours.

For information on summer programs and associate life at all the top firms, visit the Career Center.

Just a reminder that the 2010 summer associate survey results have been incorporated into the Summer Associate Program sections within each of the Firm Snapshots. So be sure to visit the Career Center, where you’ll find inside information about the summer programs at all the major law firms. Here are some examples:

  • Lunches at this firm are limited to 10 “traditional” lunches budgeted at $65 each, and 20 “casual” lunches budgeted at $15 each.  But if the wining and dining, long hours, and BlackBerrys aren’t your thing, the firm gives a few summer associates the opportunity to spend an additional four to six weeks on a public service project at their full firm salary.
  • With 93% of summer associates receiving offers in 2009, no start date deferrals, a summer associate weekend retreat on Catalina Island, and a trip to Disneyland, this firm has its summer associates feeling like they’re summering at the happiest Biglaw firm on earth.
  • Unsociable types need not apply to this firm, which summer associates confirm lives up to its “very social” and “fratty” reputation.  In addition to a full calendar of after-work events, a summer associate weekend retreat is held in Beverly Hills for more socializing, schmoozing, and a bit of training.
  • Summer associates who share the same entrepreneurial spirit as this firm will thrive in the free-market assignment system, where summers are in control of their workload and who they work with, and have no qualms about needing to “reach out to attorneys for assignments, mentorship and feedback.”
  • Summer associates have to “[b]e prepared to be on top of [their] game all the time” at this firm, where social events are as equally important as work product quality.

For information on summer programs and associate life at all the top firms, visit the Career Center.

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!

With OCI in full swing, you should check out the firms below to see if it is one of the firms you have a callback interview with. Wondering how summer associates rated their summer experience at the firms you may be interviewing with? Check out the Career Center for valuable insight on summer programs, as well as firm-specific information that will be helpful in your interviews.

  • Out of the office by 6:00 p.m. and no weekend work faced the summer associates at this firm. When they weren’t working on “realistic work assignments,” summer associates attended several social events including a retreat at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta.
  • Vegans and sedentary individuals may not fit in with the summer associates at this firm. While summer associates commend the firm for being “open and honest,” a number of 2009 summer associates were asked to accept firm-sponsored fellowships and defer their start dates until January 2012.
  • Summer associates at this firm receive continuous feedback on work assignments and attend writing seminars, mock trials, and corporate transaction workshops. In addition to not getting work stuffed down their throats, summer associates brag that they attended far more events than their peers at other firms.
  • This firm reduced the length of its summer program and cancelled summer programs in a couple of its offices in 2010 and 2011. Summer associates fortunate enough to get a summer gig here usually worked on 11 to 15 assignments and are encouraged to work in different practice groups.
  • The good ol’ days are still alive and well at this firm, where summer associates get to live it up on yacht cruises and get prime seats to baseball games, symphony concerts, and musicals. The tradeoff for all the social events is the occasional “long night in the office,” but summer associates typically leave the office between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

For information on summer programs and associate life at all the top firms, visit the Career Center.


Looking to spruce up your wardrobe for fall recruiting season? Whether you’re a law student interviewing for jobs, a partner in pursuit of a top recruit, or unemployed and waiting for the Rapture, it’s important to look your best.

Working together with Gilt Groupe, which hosts invitation-only sales of luxury brands at prices up to 70% off retail, we’ve put together a special sale just for Above the Law readers. Here’s your chance to snap up sharp and sophisticated clothing, footwear and accessories, from some of the most trusted names in menswear. See, e.g., Thomas Pink; Cole Haan; A. Testoni; Calvin Klein.

Your Above the Law editors are excited about the deals. Lat’s been on a juice fast and needs skinny slacks. Elie… does not, but his wife likes it when Elie rocks the Elie (Tahari — whose shirts will be on sale).

Check out the wares here. The sale starts today at noon and is for a limited time only — so act now, or your purchase may be time-barred. Happy shopping!

Above the Law Custom Store [Gilt Man]

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!

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.

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