“The Real World According to Summer Associates”

Ah, who doesn’t like to work with summer associates?

"Law students today are a serious bunch. ‘Although I appreciate the fancy lunches, dinners, ball games, retreats, etc., I am more interested in experiencing what life actually will be like as a first-year associate,’ reads one typical remark from an intern at Heller Ehrman in Menlo Park, Calif. ‘Make sure summer associates have enough work to do — most of us would rather stay late than spend days bored,’ counseled a Cahill Gordon & Reindel summer associate. They may welcome — and even expect — the fun and games, but they know that all the pampering goes by the wayside once they sign on as a permanent associate.

"Partners and administrators involved in the recruitment process say that this need-to-know approach is coming from a couple of places. Summer clerks today are much more knowledgeable consumers. ‘Five or six years ago, summer associates would ask questions like, ‘How many lawyers do you have?’ or, ‘What are your practice areas?” says Jennifer Gotch, director of recruiting at Atlanta’s Arnall Golden Gregory. "You never hear that anymore.’ Instead, summer clerks are digging deeper, asking firms to open up their books, discuss their strategic plans, and describe their partnership track — in detail.


"Some firms looked better than others under the microscope. The 172 firms in the survey averaged a rating of 4.502 on a scale of 1 to 5. The highest-scoring firms included many familiar names — 10 of the 20 best firms of 2006 scored in the top 20 last year as well, including this year’s winner, Arnall Golden Gregory. But plenty of newcomers grabbed top slots, including second-place winner Nutter McClennen & Fish (up from No. 41 in 2005), and third-place Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian (up from No. 37 in 2005). Two of the top 10 slots were captured by firms that vaulted more than 100 spots: Dickstein Shapiro leaped from 119th to sixth, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius shot from 122th to seventh."

What do you think of summer associates? Like seeing new people at the firm? Dislike having to answer all their questions?