During the course of a typical 10-week summer experience, a summer associate is exposed to both the commercial and litigation departments, receiving assignments that range from legal research and memo drafting to preparation of commercial documents and pleadings used for litigation. Summer associates have the opportunity to attend depositions, court appearances, appellate arguments, client meetings, drafting sessions, conference calls and transactional closings. Summer associates also participate in firm meetings and in-house training sessions.
We give our summer associates junior associate-level work. This is real work for real clients. An assignment coordinator assigns projects and gauges work flow, ensuring a variety of work from all areas of the firm. We also emphasize personal initiative and encourage our summer associates to contact attorneys directly to obtain assignments in areas that interest them. Regardless of how the work is obtained, each summer associate's activities are monitored to maintain a steady and manageable work level and ensure a variety of experiences. This helps summer associates determine what area of practice is the best fit for them.
“The work was both interesting and challenging. Nothing I did [during the] summer was a ‘slam dunk’. All of the projects took a fair amount of thought and effort. I felt like I actually learned valuable skills that will benefit me as I continue my career.”
-Joe Dunham, Summer Associate 2011
"The summer program allows you to do real work for real clients from day one. I was able to work with dynamic attorneys to solve challenging problems. I was able to complete two summers with Briggs. Each summer provided me with valuable experience and skills. The best part is that the summer associates are included in strategy discussions, can get client exposure, and have projects that are relied upon. Most importantly, the summer experience confirmed that Briggs was the place I wanted to work because of the great attorneys and staff that were always willing to provide support, guidance, and feedback to help me improve. Through the experience I learned what I needed to focus on as student to prepare me for life as an associate.”
-Brandon Blakely, Summer Associate 2016, 2017
“The Summer Associate program at Briggs provides invaluable insight into what daily life looks like as an associate. I had the opportunity to really engage with projects and cases and I knew the work I performed was actually being used to achieve a goal for the benefit of our clients. I gained valuable skills including learning how to juggle various projects, manage deadlines, and work with a wide variety of attorneys with different styles. These practical skills complimented my law school education, but helped me better understand the reality of the practice of law.”
-Erin Conlin, Summer Associate 2017
Working at a law firm is serious work. So it's important to be able to cut loose with colleagues. Briggs plans and sponsors several social events throughout the summer. Summer associates also regularly socialize with Briggs attorneys and each other outside of our planned activities.
Each summer associate is assigned a mentor. This mentor serves as an important resource in assisting with a summer associate’s orientation to the firm and introduction to the practice of law. Our mentor program is designed to provide each summer associate daily access to one of our most successful associates. The responsibilities of our summer associate mentors include introducing the summer associate to other Briggs attorneys and staff, answering questions and, when asked, reviewing initial drafts and work assignments.
Summer associates receive in-depth evaluations of work product from assigning attorneys. In addition, three formal evaluations are conducted by members of the recruiting and evaluation committees.
- Three-week review
- Mid-summer review
- Final review
Summer associates are provided with detailed feedback on overall performance, reviewing the following areas:
- Quality of legal/factual research and analysis
- Quality of written work
- Quality of oral presentation
- Promptness and efficiency
- Maturity, enthusiasm, poise and confidence
- Acceptance of responsibility
- Usefulness of work product
- Ability to work with colleagues, clients and staff
At the same time, we seek input from each summer associate regarding his or her experience at Briggs to ensure that we continue to improve our program and address summer associates' needs and concerns.
The goal of the summer is to identify where in the firm each summer associate will practice as an associate after graduation and passing the bar. Those who take best advantage of the program treat their first day of summer as their first day on the path towards becoming a shareholder at Briggs and Morgan. By finding a fit, they are able to hit the ground running when they return to the firm as a licensed attorney.
We set the size of our summer associate class each year by reviewing how many openings will be available for the returning summer associate to whom offers are extended. Because we generally only hire as many summer associates as we can extend offers, law students know that they need not compete with one another during the program. This helps create a collegial and comfortable working environment for summer associates, and has resulted in close and lasting friendships among law students in each of our summer classes.
Attorneys and staff at all levels throughout the firm enthusiastically look forward to meeting, working with and socializing with the talented law students who join us each summer. To apply for the summer associate program, please go to the Opportunities page.
“Summering at Briggs and Morgan was a phenomenal opportunity to integrate with the social and cultural fabric of the firm, to build and sharpen real world legal skills, and to do meaningful work for clients. Most importantly, it was a transformative experience: it forced me to shift my mindset from that of a law student to that of a lawyer.”
-- Ruvin Jayasuriya, Summer Associate, 2013, 2014
Briggs aggressively pursues law students who are bright, motivated, mature and confident. Our recruitment efforts are managed by a Recruiting Committee, made up of shareholders, associates and our Director of Recruiting and Diversity.
Recruiting Committee Members:
Kendra Brodin, Director of Lawyer Talent, Co-Chair
Dani Fitzsimmons, Co-Chair
Executive Committee Liaison: Justin Weinberg