Our summer associate program generally starts at the end of May and concludes the beginning of August. 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 also have the opportunity to attend depositions, court appearances, appellate arguments, client meetings, drafting sessions, conference calls and transactional closings. In addition, summer associates participate in firm meetings and in-house training sessions.
We give our summer associates junior associate-level work. An assignment coordinator assigns projects and gauges work flow, ensuring that a variety of work in many areas is provided. We also place a great deal of emphasis on personal initiative and encourage our summer associates to contact attorneys directly to obtain assignments in areas of special interest. Regardless of how the work is obtained, an assignment coordinator monitors each summer associate's activities to maintain a steady and manageable work level and ensure that our summer associates experience varied aspects of the law.
“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
"Summer at Briggs is a time to figure out what kind of law you want to practice and with whom you like working. I enjoyed taking time to work with different attorneys on a variety of issues, each of which was very interesting in one way or another. It really helped me figure out what kind of work I wanted to do."
-Michael Sawers, Summer Associate 2009, 2010
Briggs encourages summer associates to form friendships with their colleagues and provides opportunities for fun outside of the office. Briggs plans and sponsors several social events throughout the summer. Summer associates are also encouraged to 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 both verbal and written evaluations of work product from the assigning attorneys. In addition, there are three formal evaluations conducted by members of the recruiting and evaluation committees as follows:
- Two-week review
- Mid-summer review
- Final review
Summer associates are evaluated 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
- Personality (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 feedback 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 each summer associate will fit 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 looking at how many openings will be available for the returning summer associate to whom offers are extended. Law students thus know that they need not compete with one another. 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.