During each school year, Berger Singerman hires a select group of law students who have completed their second year of law school to participate in the firm’s Summer Associate Program. Our Summer Associate Program is administered by the associates of the firm who interview and select potential candidates, manage the workload of the summer associates, and provide mentorship, training and feedback.
Our Summer Associate Program is ten weeks in length and is designed to offer summer associates a hands-on, meaningful experience to provide a thorough understanding of the work we do and the clients we serve. Through immersion into our practice, summer associates are exposed to the firm’s enduring cultural values that shape our delivery of the highest quality service to our clients through creative and effective business solutions and counsel. Our Summer Associate Program balances challenging work assignments with constructive feedback, work-related activities outside the office and enjoyable social events.
Starting in August of each year, the firm conducts interviews with rising second-year students on several law school campuses and also welcomes applications from exceptional students attending schools at which we do not conduct campus interviews. Applicants are requested to provide a cover letter, current resume, and a law school transcript. As a firm that emphasizes teamwork and collegiality, we value the differences in experience and outlook that each potential candidate may bring to the firm. We look not only for academic excellence, but also for work experience, motivation, leadership experience and the ability to work in collaborative teams.
We strive to give our summer associates a realistic view of practicing law at Berger Singerman and to help them bridge the gap between academia and practice. In order to introduce summer associates to the breadth of our practice, each summer associate works on matters in many practice areas of the firm. Our summer associates are not assigned to a particular practice group – they receive a variety of substantive and challenging work assignments from different practice areas. However, we do encourage our summer associates to request assignments in the practice area of particular interest to them.
Our summer associates work on real projects for real clients and can expect substantive assignments, as well as numerous opportunities to observe depositions, hearings, trials, client meetings, negotiating sessions, closings and client development activities. A sampling of work experiences of former summer associates includes conducting substantive research and preparing legal memos, pleadings, and motions; assisting with and observing depositions, arbitration and mediation proceedings, trials, and courtroom and administrative hearings; attending negotiations and corporate and real estate closings; and preparing, reviewing and commenting on various transactional documents. Summer associates actively work on current matters, thereby learning how our lawyers collaborate to address client concerns and how their own work product contributes to the representation.
Mentoring and Training
Each summer associate is assigned a mentor who serves as a general resource to the summer associate throughout the program, coordinates the summer associate’s assignments, advises when work challenges and questions arise, and provides general guidance on any matter whether or not related to particular work assignments. Mentors help summer associates understand the nuances and challenges of our practice and firm, the transition from law school to practice, and offer advice on how to take advantage of the resources and opportunities Berger Singerman has to offer. They also ensure that the summer associates interact with virtually all lawyers in the firm, as well as organize a variety of events throughout the summer that allow our summer associates to get to know our team members on a more informal basis. Several of the associate-level team members who have been through Berger Singerman’s Summer Associate Program have served as mentors to our summer associates.
We provide our summer associates with interactive training through workshops, seminars, presentations, formal introductions to our various practice areas, and general professional development programs. Our summer associates are encouraged to attend all meetings and sessions available to team members, including team and practice group meetings and firm-wide and practice group specific trainings.
In furthering our commitment to enhance each summer associate’s legal skill set, we recognize the value of constructive feedback. Summer associates are evaluated on each assignment by receiving informal feedback from the assigning attorneys. In addition, our summer associates meet with their mentors on a weekly basis both to receive and to provide meaningful feedback on their assignments and the program. Summer associates also receive formal evaluations at the end of the program that are discussed during an exit interview.
For more information on our Summer Associate Program, please contact Elizabeth Calderin at firstname.lastname@example.org.