12 Summer Associates, 8 Markets, 1 Fantastic Summer

By Law Weekly Staff

Virginia Law Weekly staff interviewed twelve summer associates who worked for firms. These are their stories.


What drew you to that geographic location and/or employer?

“Great firm in my target market” – D.C. ’20

“I’m originally from Philly and it was a smaller firm. I immediately connected with the people and knew I wanted to come home for the summer.” – Philly ’20

“What drew me to [the firm] were the lawyers and the quality of work. This past summer, I met attorneys who have a sincere desire to do their best work and to mentor young associates. They collaborate with each other to devise solutions to complex legal issues.” – NYC ’19

“Close to home and reputation for being a great place to work.” – Chicago ’19

“I wanted to be closer to family, and somewhere without the awful, humid weather.” – Denver ’19

“Family.” – Houston ’19

“Lots of family and friends there from before law school (plus it's the greatest city on Earth).” – NYC ’19

“NYC has always been the goal. It seemed like the best place to start a legal career, a city that offers opportunity for all areas of law.” – NYC ’19

“D.C. is home.” – D.C. ’19


What type of work did you do? Were you able to become involved with pro bono work? If you had a favorite matter (billable or pro bono!), can you describe it at all?

“The firm I worked at did mostly environmental law. I focused on mainly environmental litigation but also some regulatory work. A lot of my research consisted of looking up federal or state environmental regulations and understanding the meaning and workings of them.” – Philly ’20

“I did a little bit of work in pretty much every practice group. The most exciting project all summer was an article that I actually had published and sent out to clients. I also got to see my research appear in an opposition that we filed to a Supreme Court cert petition.” – Denver ’19

“All tax work but not much pro bono. My favorite assignment was working on research for a client who was a whistleblower and figuring out how to win our client an award for the client's help in the case. The award potential was high, which made my research feel important as a 1L.” – D.C. ’20

“Mergers and Acquisitions.” – SF ’19

“I worked primarily on litigation assignments involving legal research and writing. I was also able to do pro bono work. My favorite pro bono assignment involved helping a victim of domestic violence receive a temporary order of protection from her abuser.” – NYC ’19

“My favorite project was transitioning a company from an LLC to a non-profit. This saved them money and let the younger lawyers get some really advanced work” – Chicago ’19

“Complex commercial litigation—mostly antitrust cartel investigation-related work. Also did a bit of work in energy regulatory matters and a pro bono project related to parole opportunities for asylum seekers found to have a credible threat of persecution or violence if deported home.” – D.C. ’19

“Corporate, M&A, securities, public finance, and corporate finance.” – Houston ’19

“Mixture, but mostly litigation. My favorite project was a memo for restructuring. Lots of pro bono, both firm and external program-based. I would highly recommend the Courtroom Advocates Project, which assists victims of domestic violence in procuring protective orders, if your firm participates.” – NYC ‘19

“Mainly memo drafting, which involved research and writing on various disputes related to the Delaware Corporate Code.” – Wilmington ’19

“Litigation.” – NYC ’19

“I did a little bit of everything—some corporate, mostly litigation, and a pro bono matter. I tried to do as much litigation as possible, and did a lot of sports litigation, antitrust, and insurance. My favorite matter was an extensive antitrust litigation case I was put on with another summer. It was an exciting part of a long-time case, and I had the opportunity to do some substantive work that ended up being seen by a judge.” – NYC ’19


Did spending the summer at a firm influence your future career goals (area of practice, firm vs. in-house, private vs. public, which market, etc.)?

“A bit in terms of area of practice, yes.” – DC ’19

“Spending my summer at the firm affirmed that I want to do litigation. I was also surprised that firm life ended up being a lot more appealing than I previously anticipated. I figured I would only spend a few years at a large firm, but after this summer, I could see myself spending the majority of my career there.” – NYC ’19

“Most definitely. It confirmed my interest in litigation work at a firm. But it also opened my eyes to environmental work—that wasn’t something I was originally super interested in, but this summer definitely changed that.” – Philly ’20

“My experience totally changed my practice group interest—I went in leaning towards litigation, but over the course of the summer I actually developed a stronger interest in health care, which is an area of law that I hadn't even previously considered.” – Denver ’19

“I knew I wanted to do tax at a firm to start out my career so it didn't change that too much, only confirmed it.” – D.C. ’20

“After spending the summer at the firm, I confirmed my interest in litigation.” – NYC ’19

“Made me realize that corporate work was right for me.” – Chicago ’19


What was your favorite “fun” summer class activity?

“Probably the trip to and tour of the Supreme Court with former SCOTUS clerks from the firm. Also the day one of the partners took us out on the Chesapeake Bay in his boat.” – D.C. ’19

“I loved volunteering at Habitat for Humanity with my co-interns and mentors at the firm.” – Philly ’20

“Axe Throwing” – Wilmington ’19 | “Our most exciting activity was definitely axe-throwing!” – Denver ’19 (ANG’s Note: Why didn’t ANG’s firm do axe-throwing??)

“Whirleyball” – Chicago ’19

“Going for a winetasting tour on Long Island.” – NYC ’19

“Volleyball bar event” – Houston ’19

“The most fun activity was a cooking competition held at an NYC restaurant. Attorneys and summer associates broke up into groups and had an hour to prep a meal that was judged by a restaurant chef. While using our very-limited student meal-prep experience was stressful when having to prepare a meal without a recipe, everyone got really involved and competitive and it ended up being a greatly entertaining night.” – NYC ’19

“We went to a crab house and I learned how to crack crabs open and eat them for the first time!” – D.C. ’20

“Wine tasting in Napa” – SF ’19

“I'd have to say sailing on the Hudson River with partners and summer associates. Thankfully no one fell in the water!” – NYC ’19

“Seeing ‘Come from Away’ on Broadway!” – NYC ’19


What was the most surprising thing about your summer?

“Hearing about how different people’s experiences were at different firms.” – D.C. ’19

“I was surprised at how quickly I became friends with my summer class. Throughout the work and extra activities, the summer class grew very close and made it difficult to leave at the end.” – NY ’19

“I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the environmental legal field but also at the amount of ‘real’ work I was given—I felt needed and appreciated.” – Philly ’20

“I was shocked by how fast the summer goes—10 weeks sounds like a long time, but it goes by so fast that you won't know what hit you.” – Denver ’19

“How quickly it went!” – D.C. ’20

“I was surprised by the amount of pro bono work that I was able to do. [My firm] has a strong pro bono practice that spans a range of areas from immigration to domestic violence.” – NYC ’19

“How helpful and patient the first-year associates were.” – Chicago ’19

“10 weeks feels much longer than 8 weeks!” – Houston ’19

“Though I appreciated getting a glimpse into first year associate life, I didn't anticipate working as hard and as long as I did.” – Wilmington ’19


This chart shows the locations where interviewed members of the classes of '19 and '20 worked this summer.

This chart shows the locations where interviewed members of the classes of '19 and '20 worked this summer.

What would you suggest to someone moving to your market (professional advice, recommendation of something fun to do, where to live, favorite restaurant—sky’s the limit!)?

“I absolutely loved being able to walk to work.” – D.C. ’19

“I think it's valuable to try different practice areas at the beginning of the summer, but to not be scared of letting your preferences known once you've gained some experience. Beyond that, it's important to socialize and get to know the people you'll be working with (both attorneys and the other summer associates). I lived in Brooklyn over the summer and would highly recommend it for people working in NY. It was the ideal break on the weekends (at least in the mornings before meeting up with others in the city) to be somewhere with less people, more space, and a different vibe.” – NYC ’19

“Philly is a wonderful city! There’s a new Lebanese restaurant in Fishtown I recommend—it’s called Suraya. There are many great firms in Philly too; it’s a great city to work in if NY is too much for you and you’re not a D.C.-type person. Plus, our football team isn’t too bad right now.” – Philly ’20

“Follow the crowds and get out of the city on the weekends - there are so many things to do outdoors. And if you don't check out Bubu and/or Blue for lunch, you're missing out.” – Denver ’19

“Explore! Days can be long but make time for fun.” – D.C. ’20

“New York City is a place of endless possibilities! There are so many great restaurants (Joe's Shanghai, V&T Pizzeria, Sarabeth's) and things to do (free kayaking on the Hudson River during the summer, Shakespeare in the Park, free concerts in Central Park).” – NYC ’19

“Get out to do something every day after work. Chicago has so much to offer so there’s always something new to do. Also, I would suggest living within walking distance to your office.” – Chicago ’19

“Houston has the best restaurants for reasonable prices. Try everything.” – Houston ’19

“Live in Brooklyn--it's so much more peaceful.” – NYC ’19

“If you really, really want a spicy burger, go to Farmer and the Cow (they also serve boozy milkshakes).” – Wilmington ’19

Will You Be Returning to Your Summer Employment Next Year?

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